It’s great that Colin Powell said yesterday that Gates was in the wrong and that Obama shouldn’t have commented. What was interesting, though, was that Powell used his own situation to explain why Gates may have overreacted. Powell explained that, in National Airport, he was not recognized by Airport Security, even though he was the National Security Advisor. He said that he was just seen as a another black guy. In other words, he was speculating that, like him, Gates was upset about not being recognized. It really had nothing to do with race.
The lesson to be learned here, though, is that bureaurocracies treat everyone the same, i.e. as an annoyance. What Powell’s hero, Obama, is doing though, is building bigger bureaurocracies. So, Powell can expect more of the same.