Sunday, October 19, 2008

General Colin Powell offers a word of wisdom to Americans caught up in hateful talk

In his "Meet The Press" interview this morning, former Secretary of State General Colin Powell offered a word of wisdom and challenge to all Americans caught up in name-calling and religiously-polarizing stereotypes. Here's a snippet of what Powell said as he reflected on a magazine photo essay of American troops in Iraq:

"It was a photo essay about troops who are serving
in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail
end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington
Cemetery, and she had her head on the headstone
of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in,
you could see the writing on the headstone. And it
gave his awards--Purple Heart, Bronze Star--
showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth,
date of death. He was 20 years old. And then, at the
very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian
cross, it didn't have the Star of David, it had crescent
and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was
Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, and he was an
American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14
years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until
he could go serve his country, and he gave his life.
Now, we have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way."

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