Just a day after the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, Colin Powell discussed the shooting death of Trayvon Martin on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. Though the 76-year-old former secretary of state said the jury that acquitted George Zimmerman showed "questionable judgement," its verdict will soon be "forgotten."
"I think that it will be seen as a questionable judgment on the part of the judicial system down there," Powell said of Zimmerman's trial in Sanford, Fla. "But I don't know if it will have staying power. These cases come along, and they blaze across the midnight sky, and then after a period of time, they're forgotten."
Asked whether Barack Obama's personal response to Martin's death struck a chord with him, Powell said he'd like to see "more passionate" responses from the president in the future.
Yeah, I’d like to see him be more passionate about race questions, and I think that was an accurate characterization of some of the things we are exposed to. In my lifetime, over a long career in public life, you know, I’ve been refused access to restaurants where I couldn't eat, even though I just came back from Vietnam. "We can't give you a hamburger. Come back some other time." and I did, right after the civil rights act of 1964. I went right back to that same place and got my hamburger, and they are more than happy to serve me now. It removed a cross from their back. But we're not there yet. We’re not there yet. And so we've got to keep working on it. And for the president to speak out on it is appropriate. I think all leaders, black and white, should speak out on this issue.