I loved Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama. It was so eloquent, uplifting and wise. It reminded me of why Colin Powell still commands respect in America despite his gargantuan miscalculation carrying water for the war in Iraq.
I was of course, offended by Limbaugh, Buchanan and Will's crocodile tears over "racism." Yet when I heard their monkeyshines condemned by dems, there was a subtle sour note: "of course it's not about race! Colin Powell makes good decisions!"
Colin Powell has served his country well, he is an adult American citizen. If he wishes to endorse and vote to ensure that a candidate of historically oppressed race attains an important public office--so be it. No American is required to have an angelic reason for their vote (as Governor Wallace proved), Colin Powell has certainly earned the right to endorse whoever he wants for whatever reason he wants.
There is a certain subtle racism to these statements. A white person can endorse Barack Obama and there is no "it's about race," narrative (except, of course, from Rush Limbaugh). But a black person immediately draws suspicion. Their opinion is suspect because they are part of a group identity, not an individual. Even when they are a former secretary of state, a former chairman of the joint chiefs, they somehow need to justify their opinion it cannot just be theirs.
Of course the Colin Powell endorsement was about more than just race, but even if it wasn't that would be fine. Colin Powell does not have to be colorblind, only right.