October 29th, 2012
01:34 PM ET

Opinion: Sununu's comment insults black Americans

Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - When was the last time you heard someone say it's important to hire a qualified white person for a job? No, seriously, I really want you to think about that question.

Whenever there is a discussion about diversity, inclusion or affirmative action, we always hear folks say, "We do a great job of trying to find qualified minorities."

That always tickles me, because when it comes to hiring whites, the assumption is that all are qualified, so there's no need for the qualifier "qualified."

That was the first thing that came to mind when former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu gave his opinion on "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Thursday regarding Gen. Colin Powell's endorsement of President Barack Obama.

Booker: Sununu's comment was 'unfortunate'

"Frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama," Sununu said.

When Morgan asked him what that reason is, Sununu said, "Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."

Oh, John, you're such a charmer to say you applaud Colin Powell for being a righteous brother and supporting his brother from another mother.

Read Roland Martin's full column

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Anona Moose

    "When was the last time you heard someone say it's important to hire a qualified white person for a job?"

    You focus on the 'qualified' and not the fact that we're introducing skin color as a prerequisite for a job...

    As if you could actually say "it's important to hire a white person" and not be a racist. Somehow it is ok to say "it's important to hire a black person for a job" right?

    November 13, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. icons archive

    Magnificent phrase

    November 4, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rabbi

    JohnC–sure it did. Last election, the "we may never get another chance" and "We gonna get a black man in the Whitehouse" interviews were ALL over Virginia local television. I just saw a Richmond Times Dispatch story today about Midlothian (0r Petersburg) and the racist statements of the people of color on keeping the current president because of his color...

    November 2, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jorge

    If you drink your water from a mill pond next to an outhouse, you'll eventually get a nasty taste in your mouth. My objection to Sununu is not in the factual things he may say, but in his possible motives for saying them based on his reputation, and the places someone like him may be trying to lead those who listens to him. Listening to him now seems like putting a carton of bad milk back in the 'fridge in the hopes that it will be good tomorrow...

    November 2, 2012 at 8:18 am | Report abuse |
  5. JohnC

    So in the last election 95 percent or more of black americans voted for President Obama and race had nothing to do with it?? Seriously?

    November 2, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ontarah

    It's neither wrong nor offensive to observe that people vote partially based on race. White people do it. Black people do it. Latinos do it. It's just how humans operate. I wish people would stop making such a big deal of this being pointed out, and moreover stop making out that you are a bad person for voting for people you think are like you.

    November 2, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jake

    Sununu was speculating that race played a role in Powell's decision to back Obama.

    95% of African Americans voted for Obama.
    90% of African Americans voted for Al Gore and 85% for Bill Clinton.
    About half of those African-Americans not voting for Gore did vote for Obama. Was it policies or racial preference or some combination of the two? Who knows? What about Powell? Who knows?

    Is suggesting that a person might like people of their own group insulting to the group? It is certainly true that some members of a group favor the success of their own members. Not each member of the group, some members of the group. Is Powell in this category? Who knows.

    Should Sununu be lambasted for for the remark. No. I think over-reaction sells in the news.

    November 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jorge

    Sununu, the Middle-Eastern refugee from Cuba who prodded George Bush senior into welching on his promise of "read my lips, no new taxes," who's flying priviledges were revoked by the White House for his abuse of government air services by flying to ski lodges, resorts, fat-cat party conventions and even his dentist, and who was finally asked to repay all the misappropriated expenditures and resign in shame by his own boss, the president. What the hell does he have any say in???

    October 30, 2012 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mugwump1

    Roland Martin accusing anyone of being racist is beyond funny.

    October 29, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |