If you had stepped off into the nether world and your departing point had been September 25, 1957 and your returning point was today, January 6, 2009, you might think little had changed. When you left you would have seen the National Guard escorting nine African American students into a side door of an all white school. Today you would have seen an older African American man,Roland Burris the former Attorney General for the State of Illinois, being escorted into the Senate by state policemen and capitol guards. The kids got in and history will be forever changed. The former Attorney General did not; and again history will forever be changed.
Citing the fact that his appointment was tainted, Nancy Erickson, the Secretary of the Senate, when presented with his credentials, rejected them. It wasn’t like she didn’t know he was coming. It wasn’t as if he didn’t know they were going to reject him either. In a made for TV sound bite world; it was what we call news today and eerily some fifty two years later after Little Rock it makes you wonder just how far we have come.
The future Senator for sure was not being rejected by the color of his skin. Thank goodness for that. However Burris was chosen by tainted Illinois governor Rod R. Blagojevich who is currently under investigation for selling the seat he had chosen Burris to fill. The Governor had been warned by the Democrat majority not to appoint anyone but he did anyway. Kind of like the Governor of Arkansas who had been warned not to try stopping the desegregation of his school system!
I think back to the, “I have a Dream Speech,” when the hope was that one day we would all be judged by our character and not by the color of our skin. We still have a long way to go on that one, but we are making progress, as we sit here only fourteen days away from inaugurating our first African American President. Yet even though that has come to fruition, we still have problems. Sadly for Burris it is not his character that is being judged poorly but the character of the one that appointed him and their in lies the riff; he is still being denied the job.
To make it all an even more juicy tangled mess, Blagojevich has never been formally convicted of doing anything wrong. Whatever happened to, “innocent until proven guilty?” While no one says the man is a saint, the process of proving him guilty in a court of law still remains to be done. And what if he is found innocent? Does Burris get the job and everyone sits down and has a beer and laughs about this? I think not!
The Democrats seem to have jumped the gun a bit, and once again raised questions as to whether they really have a clue as to what they are doing. The irony of it all is that if the indictment of the Governor Blagojevich had come a few months later this would have never happened. Granted the choice of Burris as well may have never been made as well but you have to wonder about the timing? Especially since the prosecutor just asked for an extra ninety days to put his case together. You would have thought his boss would have told him to hold off until the case was ready but then again this again Administration has a habit of going in unprepared, in big things as well as small!