WASHINGTON, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Secretary of State Colin Powell merely smiled when told of singer Harry Belafonte's remarks calling him a slave who lived in the "house of the master," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Wednesday.
"He smiled when I told him about it," Boucher said responding to a question about the calypso singer's comments made to a San Diego radio station.
"There's an old saying," Belafonte told 760 KFMB. "In the days of slavery, there were those slaves who lived on the plantation and were those slaves that lived in the house.
"You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master ... exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him.
"Colin Powell's committed to come into the house of the master. When Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture."
Boucher said Powell told him Wednesday both the Internal Revenue Service and the secretary of state's accountant "thought he did better as a field hand."
In his comments Tuesday, Belafonte also criticized other members of the Bush administration.
"As they said when the secretary sang at ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations), he shouldn't quit his day job," a U.S. official said. "I think the same can be said about singers who get into politics."