Congressman Rush clinging to racism

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s appointment of Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat comes as no surprise. I had already assumed his refusal to relinquish his office meant he intended to exercise his power to appoint a new senator.

Burris, former Illinois attorney general, reportedly is a decent, honest guy. But he may not be the sharpest crayon in the box, coming out of retirement to become Blago’s tainted political pawn in a truly sordid game. For him, it’s political ambition and a last chance to fulfill a dream vs. an opportunity shrouded in controversy and possible humiliation and rejection by Senate colleagues.

I didn’t give a second thought to Burris’s being black and I don’t pretend to know what part it might have played in his acceptance of an appointment that would make him the only black senator in Washington. Clearly, however, it is a very big deal to Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush, also a black man, who said, “There are no African-Americans in the Senate, and I don’t think that anyone, any U.S. senator who is sitting right now, would want to go on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the U.S. Senate.”

Burris’s race neither qualifies him nor disqualifies him from consideration for that senate seat; it’s simply irrelevant. At the risk of sounding like a racist myself, I think older blacks like Rush should stop perpetuating the race issue. He was the first to speak out about Burris’s race and the only one to indicate that it somehow entitles Burris to be seated. I keep trying to be open-minded about race and I get really, really tired of hearing that anyone is entitled to special treatment on that basis alone.

It’s rather sad that Burris would demean himself by coming out of retirement to write a questionable new ending to a previously honorable career. It is even more lamentable that Congressman Rush would play the race card yet again, even as America is about to inaugurate her first black president.

One thought on “Congressman Rush clinging to racism

  1. Illinois Congressman Bobby Rush……. just when I think things cannot get any worse for Illinois…..

    oh… my….. gah….


    I don’t recall hearing of him before. Too bad he didn’t keep quiet.

... and that's my two cents