Former U.S. Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton in 2014
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

When I typically think of black Republicans, I put them in a basket of deplorables alongside Beyoncé haters (Beytheists), people who prefer KFC over Popeyes (tasteless) and people who walk too damn slow on highly trafficked streets (move!). Like, how do you trust anyone black who puts his or her trust in George H.W. Bush or George W. Bush? I have more faith in strangers at an Atlanta bar with my credit card.

However, after the leaking of Colin Powell’s emails, I am making room in the icebox where my heart s’posed to be for this conservative of color. I’ll never forget the role he played in the Iraq War, but after reading his thoughts about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, I’ll at least invite him to a fish fry. I won’t eat his potato salad, though.


For one, Powell’s blunt emails speak to the larger idea of how we black folks keep up appearances in corporate or, in this case, government settings, when, in reality, we can’t stand most of the fools around us. I now have the image of Powell going to the State Department and White House, giving his colleagues a smidgen of a smile and gracious nod, only to go back to his office and fire off emails with the subject, “This idiotic piece of s—t.” Or: “I hate her. I hate him. I hate all of them. UGH.”

Powell is absolutely correct about the hubris of Clinton and about Trump being an “international pariah” and “national disgrace.” I concur about Dick Cheney typically coming across as a “scary idiot,” and the Republican Party being a "reality show.” I’m also curious to know whether he and Condoleezza Rice ever wanted to jump Donald Rumsfeld.

Still, what’s really changed my mind about Powell is that I never knew how much I needed a shady, mean old Jamaican man in my life until now. Actually, shady old people in general. I lost my grandparents years ago, and while our love was deep and pure and other old Mariah Carey lyrics, what I loved most about them was that they used to say whatever the hell was on their minds—especially my grandmother. About any issue. About all people.

My mom is starting to enter this no-f—ks-given stage of life, but she’s Catholic, so she tends to feign guilt about whatever flies out of her mouth. I need someone older and, thus, more likely to just call someone out, take a sip of water or Paul Masson peach brandy, and call the next person out. I now believe that Colin Powell is that person, and I need someone to forward him this essay so that he can become my play paw-paw and email buddy.


You just know that Powell has far more to say about this election. I need to know what Powell makes of the following: Kellyanne Conway, who lies as well as Beyoncé does everything; Reince Priebus, the Jackie Christie of political operatives; Donald Trump, any day of the week, based on whatever inane and/or insane comment he’s made; and Hillary Clinton, in general.

Moreover, who are these alleged women Bill Clinton is smashing? Is he using vegan condoms? And for some reason, I bet Powell watches Power. Does he hate Angela and Tariq, too?


There are people penning articles about how to avoid Powell-like “email embarrassments.” Excuse me, but this isn’t embarrassing. This is an awakening.

As many of us as there are in America, there are six degrees of separation, which means  that some of you Negroes reading this know Colin Powell. Do me a favor: Tell him about me. Give him my email. Let the shade continue. If our emails get hacked again, oh well. Clearly, Powell doesn’t have any damns left to give.


Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.

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