In a ‘No Spin’ interview with General Colin Powell, Bill O’Reilly insinuated that Powell engaged in identity politics by voting for President Barack Obama. O’ Reilly claimed to be “perplexed” that Powell would vote for Obama when his economic policies have failed African-Americans. And that’s when the general called him out for passive racism.
The Huffington Post reports:
Powell said that he did not agree with the economic policies put forward by other candidates. “In the last several years, I have been troubled by the right shift of the Republican party too far to the right,” he added.
“Here’s what perplexes me,” O’Reilly began. “President Obama’s economic plan hasn’t worked among African-Americans.”
“Why do you only see me as an African-American, Bill?” Powell responded. “That troubles me. I’m an American.”
O’Reilly defended his question, noting Powell’s criticism of the Republican party over minority voters. (Powell recently alleged that Republicans “look down on minorities,” and went after the party’s efforts to institute voter ID laws.)
Powell went on to say that Obama’s policies had benefited the country as a whole, and that he wasn’t speaking as an African-American.
O’Reilly never let up, reminding General Powell that his recent criticisms of the GOP had centered around race. Powell responded that the racist elements within the party were a separate issue than what he considers to be a recovering economy under President Obama.
Powell has continuously had to defend his support of the president. Apparently, in this country, two Black men can’t support each other politically for any reason other than they are both Black.