Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is hypocritical in his treatment of comments concerning minorities, according to Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens
When it comes to Defense secretary-designate Chuck Hagel, Powell excuses his use of the term "Jewish lobby." Powell said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program: "That term slips out from time to time."
When Hagel’s detractors "go over the edge and say because Chuck said 'Jewish lobby,' he is anti-Semitic, that's disgraceful,” Powell said.
But Powell used different criteria when assessing the comments of other Republicans. "There's also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party,” he said on the NBC show. “What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.”
Then Powell went after two Republicans in particular. “When I see a former governor [Alaska's Sarah Palin] say that the president is shuckin' and jivin,' that's a racial-era slave term. When I see another former governor [New Hampshire's John Sununu] say after the president's first debate when he didn't do well, he said he was lazy. Now it may not mean anything to most Americans but to those of us who are African-Americans, the second word is shiftless, and then there's a third word that goes along with it."
Stephens was unimpressed with Powell’s reasoning. “So let's get this straight. Mr. Powell holds it ‘disgraceful’ to allege anti-Semitism of politicians who invidiously use the phrase ‘the Jewish lobby,’" Stephens writes. “But he has no qualms about accusing Mr. Sununu . . . of all but whispering the infamous N-word when he called Mr. Obama's first debate performance ‘lazy.’"
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