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Franks Paying Recognition For An Incredible American – Gen. Colin Powell

Whenever people talk of noble Americans, hard-working, immigrants with sincerity, great leaders who are brave enough of excepting their fault with great achievements Gen. Colin Powell, Americans believed Secretay of the state is the image that comes to our mind after listening to all these.

Today, he can be viewed as a genuine throwback. He made all Black Americans. He is the most inspiring and genuine person who never tries to take credit for what he has done but appreciates others and tries to do whatever ha can mostly when no one can notice it. We all will miss him.

Here is who Franks reminds his memories with Gen. Colin Powell

Frank said when he came to know about Gen. Colin Powell, he was starting one of the greatest achievements. He was planning to destroy the fourth largest army in the world at that time which belonged to Iraq. 

In 1991, He along with President George H.W. Bush, his boss. They realized that they don’t want to destroy the country but wanted to defeat Saddam Hussain And also separate Iraq from Kuwait. They use powerful army forces in Iraq with a brilliant strategy. Within seven weeks, they won the battle and complete the mission. Every person included wants to do more but Powell tries his best and is able to convince the president to stop.

Authorizing the use of force in Desert Storm was my first big vote after being sworn into Congress. I had been given my first choice in committee assignments — the House Armed Services Committee. They even gave me a top position on the Readiness Subcommittee as my Republican Party was in the minority. I was expected to get up to speed quickly.

There could have been no other individual from Congress of shading, Black or earthy colored that upheld the utilization of power in the Persian Gulf War.

There was no other member of Congress of color, Black or brown that supported the use of force in the Persian Gulf War.

Franks Paying recognition for an incredible American – Gen. Colin Powell
(l to r) Gen. Colin Powell, Congressman Ed Towns (NY), chairman of the CBC, Congressman Gary Franks.

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Prior to the House floor vote, Gen. Powell and his team had several meetings with the House Armed Services Committee members as it was most appropriate.

In my private conversations with the general, I learned that his parents, upon arriving in the United States from Jamaica as immigrants, lived in a town in my Connecticut congressional district, prior to the family moving to the South Bronx where he was born. That was enough for me to consider him a native Nutmegger.

Our friendship was immediate. My wife is also of Jamaican descent.

One of my most cherished memories was when the Congressional Black Caucus had him attend one of our weekly meetings. I boasted that these folks want to commend you now, but they were not with you when it counted. I said this partially in jest, but everyone got the message. Powell merely smiled.

Years later we would both author books. I am in his first book, “My American Journey,” and he is not only in my book, “Searching for the Promised Land,” but he wrote a blurb for the back cover to help with its sales. His book sold a heck of a lot more copies than mine did.

In our books, we both recollect the same story. I told Powell that he helped me get elected to Congress. He paused, and said, “Gary, I do not get involved in politics, how did that happen?” I said, “I told my voters that if I could get elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, as one of 435, as a Black man in a 92% white district — a first, what harm could I do? After all, we have a Black man as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also a first, and look at what he has been doing.” This always elicited both gasps and laughter.

Franks Paying recognition for an incredible American – Gen. Colin Powell
February 8, 1985: Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger speaks with Army Maj. Gen. Colin Powell during testimony before the Senate Budget Committee on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo)

Powell was not about race. People often made it about race, but he never did.

From the 1996 election when Powell decided not to run for president, the Democrats’ plan was launched. It was substantially based on race, in my opinion. The Democrats have not won the white vote in decades for president. Of late, they have won more than 90% of the Black vote with the extremely high Black turnout on Election Day. When Democrats fail to get 90% of the Black vote they tend to lose.

We live in a divided, polarized America, but I can’t help but imagine what this country would look like had Colin Powell become president. I believe he could have brought us together. What a dynamic leader he would have been. Our loss.

Job well done, soldier.


Gary Franks served three terms as U.S. representative for Connecticut’s 5th District. He was the first Black Republican elected to the House in nearly 60 years and New England’s first Black member of the House. He hosts the podcast “We Speak Frankly.”

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