Many villagers have told me that this entire issue had nothing to do with racial politics. I beg to differ. Just review the facts. Sen. Harry Reid was one of 50 Democratic senators who signed this letter in mid-December:
Dear Governor Blagojevich:Fast forward three weeks ... Roland Burris arrives on the steps on the Senate. They send some flunkies to turn him away. Burris goes outside in the rain and pleads his case to the cameras. Burris never uses the race card. He simply states the truth. He is the duly-appointed junior senator from Illinois and he's sure that things will work out in the end.
We write to insist that you step down as Governor of Illinois and under no circumstance make an appointment to fill the vacant Illinois Senate seat. In light of your arrest yesterday on alleged federal corruption charges related to that Senate seat, any appointment by you would raise serious questions.
It is within the authority of the Illinois legislature to remove your power to make this appointment by providing for a special election. But a decision by you to resign or to step aside under Article V of the Illinois Constitution would be the most expeditious way for a new Senator to be chosen and seated in a manner that would earn the confidence of the people of Illinois and all Americans. We consider it imperative that a new senator be seated as soon as possible so that Illinois is fully represented in the Senate as the important work of the 111th Congress moves forward.
Please understand that should you decide to ignore the request of the Senate Democratic Caucus and make an appointment we would be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated.
We do not prejudge the outcome of the criminal charges against you or question your constitutional right to contest those charges. But for the good of the Senate and our nation, we implore you refrain from making an appointment to the Senate.
Harry Reid and his crew hate the visuals. All-white Senate has a party inside the Capitol Building ... swearing ins .... voting on majority leader ... family gatherings ... photos ... smiles ... laughter. While outside, standing in the rain, is a 70-year old Black man who was denied entry.
The next day Sen. Reid trips all over himself talking about how race wasn't an issue. After all, Mr. Burris is a "nice man" with "two degrees". All that was missing was a mention of how 'clean' and 'articulate' Burris was when he came into the office.
If Roland Burris was a WHITE man ... this would be a non-issue. The US Senate would not seat him. They would abide by their December 10th letter. But, Roland Burris is a BLACK man. Sen. Harry Reid and his 49 white comrades don't like the idea of being the ones blocking the door for his legal entry into history.
Race still plays a powerful role in American life and politics. Villagers ... we are not in a post-racial world yet! That's my view. What say u?