Appearing on Meet the Press, former Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama. He had several reasons for backing the Democratic nominee, including the “tactics that he said were insulting not only to to Obama but also to Muslims.”
Powell mentioned a New Yorker photo essay, ‘Service’. The shot taken at Arlington National Cemetery features the tombstone of Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, who died serving in Iraq at 20-years-old.
David Sirota reminded us of Powell’s international legacy, which is questionable at best. But no longer bound by the Bush administration the freethinking Republican addressed publicly the underlining prejudice that these false rumors fuel.
By saying, “He’s an Arab”, we’re conveying that being Arab makes one suspicious. By saying, “He’s a Muslim” we’re saying his religious faith excludes him from serving the United States. The public declaration finally reminds us that these are not epithets and that plenty of Muslims serve, protect and die for this country.