A nation as great and diverse as America deserves leadership that opens its arms not only to those who have already reaped the rewards of the American Dream, but to those who strive and struggle each day often against daunting odds to make that dream come true. The Hispanic immigrant who became a citizen yesterday must be as precious to us as a Mayflower descendant; -- the descendant of a slave or of a struggling miner in Appalachia must be as welcome in our party as any other American.-Colin Powell at the 1996 Republican National Convention.
Colin Powell has been on the news these last few days after endorsing the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, for the US presidency. It's too bad that the GOP listened to its hate-mongers rather than to one of its few wise voices on the value of immigrant and the American Dream. In my view, his endorsement does not redeem him from the spectacle he was a part of when advocating for the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses, but it does show him as a wise man that can recognize the importance of our moment in history.