January 6, 2009

The Problem We All Live With * Ruby Bridges thru Roland Burris

Senator-in-Waiting Roland Burris went to Washington DC today to take a seat in the all-white United States Senate earlier today. He hoped to become the only African American to serve as one of the 100 senators in America when he walked into the Capitol building. However, he was turned away by the all-white club.

As I watched Burris and his lawyers in press conference it dawned on me that some things never change.

Do any villagers remember when six-year-old Ruby Bridges was one of the first African American students to integrate the school system in the deep South, which remained segregated ten years after Brown vs. Board of Education?

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) immortalized Ruby's first day at the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans, Louisiana. Surrounded by anonymous federal marshals for protection from the mob that assembled in protect and anger. Ruby marches courageously and resolutely.

It seems that the problem we all lived with in 1964 is still with us in 2009.

11 comments:

Janet Shan said...

Wayne, I have to disagree with you on this. The problem is that Blago went ahead and appointed this man, even though he knew that it would create a firestorm. Barack Obama said that he should not have appointed a replacement given the fact that a criminal investigation is underwway. So, what if he is in fact convicted and the lieutenant governor decides to appoint his own senator? This is more complicated than it seems right now. Burris said that he was "ordained" to be the next senator. Barack Obama was ordained to be the next president. The difference is that it wasn't handed to him. He worked really hard to prove himself. Roland Burris was given a gift. If you ask me, he will not win in a senatorial election. He ran for governor three times, even against Blago and lost. That speaks volumes. He made this into a media circus from the day he was appointed. He is positioning himself to see wronged.

Janet Shan said...

Sorry, I meant positioning himself to seem wronged.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi Villager,

If Burris is smart, once he gets in to the Senate, and he will, he'll kick those idiot Democrats to the curb and become an Independent. That will show them!

SjP said...

Agree with you 100%! Blago is still the governor of Illinois and had the right to appoint someone to fill Obama's seat. Since Illinois didn't remove or impeach him as governor and Burris is considered qualified Burris should have been sworn in today. That's the absolute bottomline.

This is political theatre and the loosers here will be Harry Reid for attempting to strong arm Blago while giving Burris an offer he can't refuse (seating him provided he doesn't run in 2012). But, just because Burris is not well know on the DC front - folk should not sell him short. He's an Illinois politician from way back - old school and he does not play!

I believe he'll be sworn in primarily because there is no legal reason for him not to be sworn. But, as for him becoming an independent...well, I doubt that very very seriously.

But, time will certainly tell...

BTW, I posted this NR painting as one of my WW posts with a little different twist. Hope you get by to check it out.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hello there,

There is NOTHING racist about the fact that the rules do not change and bend for us when we show up unprepared and without adhering to the rules.

Barack was not turned away the day HE showed up to claim HIS Senate seat... Carol Moseley Braun was not turned away the day SHE showed up to claim HER Senate seat...

If other blacks had been turned away...then we can sit here and claim that this action is race-based....

The bottom line is that Burris did not read the fine print, showed up thinking that with the media behind him that the rules would change for HIS special situation and he was wrong.

Lesson learned...when you want to play in the big leagues, suit up and know the rules of the game. When we fail to read the rules, when we show up unprepared, we need to own up to that and stop screaming that others are racist for not letting us "slide".

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Villager said...

Janet - The fact that Blago is a jerk is actually irrelevant to the more critical fact that Blago is the constitutionally elected governor of Illinois. He is not indicted ... he is not convicted ... and in our country you are innocent until proven guilty. I note that Blago's decision on selecting a date for the special election to fill Rahm's congressional seat is being accepted by everyone. How can you accept some of his executive decisions as governor while ignoring others.

The Secretary of State in Illinois is being a petulant child by not signing Burris' appointment. I suspect that his signature will be compelled by the Illinois supreme court.

I agree that Burris was given a gift. Does that fact overturn the fact that he meets the requirements for the gift?

He should be seated so that the nation can move on to more pressing problems.

Villager said...

Mes Deux Cents - I hadn't heard that suggestion before (smile)! It would be something to see him & McCain's good buddy ... the other "independant" Senator ... sitting in the corner talking to themselves and waiting for Harry Reid to come to them in order to get votes needed to pass some legislation...

Sojourner - I'll be by shortly to see your WW-post. I agree that Harry Reid is a big loser in this Burris situation.

Villager said...

Lisa - You may be right. Perhaps racism has nothing to do with it. If so, it would be one of the first times in the history of the lilly-white US Senate...

Janet Shan said...

Wayne, your points are well taken, but the fact still remains that this is more complicated than it seems to be. Blago isn't just an everyday citizen like you and I. He is the governor and he was charged with a crime. NY's former governor Eliot Spitzer was not even charged with a crime, simply an investigation, and he was forced out. Al Franken won his election, but you didn't see him on Capitol Hill yesterday trying to be seated. There is pending litigation and he needs to wait to see what the outcome is going to be. The people's business will get done. Roland Burris being seated today or tomorrow will not change the course of any pending legislation on the table right now. In my opinion, this has nothing to do with race.

teamowens313 said...

Hey Villager.

I really, really have to go with Janet and Lisa (Black Women Blow Trumpet) on this one. This isn't about race at all. Not one bit. Although I do believe there is a strojng chance Burris will be seated because it does appear the law is on his side, sometimes just having the law on your side isn't enough. If you recall, Burris was one of those who was calling for Blago's head along with everyone else - until Blago offered him this Senate seat. Now Blago's his main man.

It's true that Burris is an old school Chicago pol from way back, and this is why a lot of folks cringe when they remember what that truly means. We're talking Daley and the Chicago Machine. Jane Byrne. We're talking the kind of Chicago politics that ultimately - I believe - stressed Harold Washington out so much that it killed him.

Burris may have outslicked himself on this one, and he will pay the price. Be careful what you want...

Villager said...

Janet & Keith - Did you have chance to see the press conference by Harry Reid and Dick Durbin today? They both bent over backwards to talk about how race had nothing to do with their decision. Anytime you spend that much time talking about how your actions are not race-based ... they *ARE PROBABLY* race-based! I don't disagree with anyone who sez that Blagojevich is a dirty-dog ... however, he is also the legally-elected governor of Illinois. His appointment of Burris is legit. US Senate should go ahead and seat the guy...