Our brains have millions of years of evolutionary adaptation to visual (i.e. colour) processing, whereas symbolic processing is a relatively late addition to our daily life...
That point aside, I just wanted to add that a judicious use of colour can call out an especially relevant point in an otherwise long / detailed post: this allows posters to provide all the relevant details, while also allowing other users to quickly navigate the post, without overlooking important details.
Bold and italics can do this as well, but only up to a certain point. Eventually (because everything is the same colour), bold type competes with headers (and italics do not make text "jump out" in the same way; not to mention they can be very hard to read).
As for the "people will abuse it" argument. The community already has guidelines for how to post a question (which has far more potential for being misused than colour IMO), and we have community members with the ability to edit posts and manage content. Surely allowing one or two colours is something this community can handle, no?