Colin Powell Talks Race, March on Washington and Voter ID

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 Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was on “Face the Nation” yesterday, and just as he did last week in North Carolina, he read the Republican Party on their recent questionable policy decisions. Asked by news host Bob Schieffer what he thought of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to gut the Voting Rights Act, Powell curiously said he “could see why” they arrived at their ruling, but his bigger issue was with voter ID laws. Said Powell:

The concern I have now is many states are putting in place procedures and new legislation that in some ways makes it a little bit harder to vote. You need a photo ID. Well, you didn’t need a photo ID for decades before, so is it really necessary now?

Powell’s query mirrored a similar statement from Al Sharpton at Saturday’s “Realize the Dream” rally where Sharpton said, “We didn’t need ID to vote for John F. Kennedy. We didn’t need it to vote for Lyndon B. Johnson. … But suddenly we need it after we voted for Barack Obama.”

Powell talked about the original March on Washington 50 years ago, an event he wasn’t aware of at the time because he was in Vietnam as a soldier. He didn’t learn about the march until later that year when he returned from the war. It was then that he realized it was “time for us to understand that segregation and Jim Crow-ism, and these awful laws are not just a burden for African-Americans, they are a burden for all Americans,” he told Schieffer.

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