The Powell and Rice Legacy in Black America

"The Trill Is Gone"; As BBKing sang so eloquently. The same may be applied to Colin PowellandCondoleezza Rice's relationshipwith Black America.The actions ofthe Bush administration may be tarnishing Powell and Rice's place inAmerican Blackhistory.

From the beginning of the Bushpresidency, Powell and, Rice have been portrayed as trueAfrican-Americanheroes,modern-day Black History Month Icons, right beside the likes of Frederick Douglassand SojournerTruth.

To a largedegree, this portrayal has been acceptedas truth amongst the Black community. The background and history of both these prominent Blackpersonalitieshas truly beenthe embodiment of the American dream.

Powell is the first blacksecretary of state in Americanhistory, arguably the mostpowerful blackperson in theworld. And Rice is the second black(after Powell) and first woman toserve as nationalsecurityadviserto the president.

Due to their positions withinthe Bush administration, Powell and Rice have become thespokespersons for theU.S. war on terrorism and foreign policy.However, this has not been a good year for George W.Bush and his missteps and fumbles are now reflecting directlyon Powell andRice.

With the recent revelations byRichard Clarke, then Bush's counter terrorism advisor,concerning the stepsleading up tothe war; the overthrow of Jean-BertrandAristide in Haiti; and David Kay, the chiefweaponsinspector,testimony that Iraq apparently had not possessed weapons of mass destruction; allof whichdirectlyinvolved and fell under the peeveof Powell and Rice. Their creditabilityis now at risk not onlyin the Blackcommunity, but with America at large.

There are no current pollnumbers of the affect these events have had on Powell andRice's creditability,but if you canjudge by the amount of posts/articles submitted on the Internet; it is quite significant! The Black Commentator(www.blackcommentator.com), a popular Black Web portal asked in arecent posting."Who in theblack community will debase their organizations with the presence of such `rolemodels'?" A quick search on The Black Web Portal.com(www.blackwebportal.com) brings up over 14 hitsalone.

 According to Glen Ford ofthe Black Comentator.com,"Powell hascreated the illusion that he is always ata distance from theadministration." "But, said Ford, that illusion was frayed by Iraq, and, for both Powell and Rice, completely shattered bytheir obviousinvolvement inwhat has transpired in Haiti. They have "crossed a line," he said, and theirstanding in blackAmerica will never be thesame."