If there is one lesson my children have had to listen to over the years, it is the one about doing the “right” thing. I would give my son this analogy all the time as we maneuvered his teen years. “You come to a fork in the road. You know you should make the right turn, as in doing the right thing. But when you look down the right road, you see a huge mountain in the distance right in the middle of that road. You then look at the left road. It looks so smooth that you could probably land a plane on it. Now you know you should take the right road, but that mountain in the distance is a challenge. The road also looks bumpy. So knowing what you should do, you go ahead and choose the left road because it appears to be the easier and smoother route to take. You speed down that left road at 100 mph oblivious to the fact that it will soon take you off a steep cliff. Had you taken the right road, you would have found that the bumps you thought you saw were mere rolling hills along that road. And the mountain in the middle? Well, when you got to it, you would have found a tunnel going straight through it.”
I’m feeling like I want to offer that same lesson that I gave to a child to Roland Burris in his quest to be seated as the replacement junior senator from Illinois. Why? Because Roland Burris came to the same fork and chose that left turn. He looked at the bumpy right turn road which would have meant getting the senate seat through an honorable method and then chose the left turn because he saw it as his smoother road to the senate seat.
The right turn would have meant being the consensus candidate that the majority of the Democrats in the Illinois General Assembly had chosen. It would have meant he would have been supported by his true peers rather than just the community activists that I have been seeing on TV. It would have meant not having to watch a former Black Panther, Congressman Bobby Rush, try to change his spots by proclaiming our need for a “black” senator now in Roland Burris-but who four years ago told us that the white candidate Blair Hull was the only one qualified to hold that position.
Burris would have had the support of all the people creating a true “rainbow coalition” as opposed to what I see. Now those fighting for him to get the seat look like the Republican National Convention only in converse. Instead of all white people, all I am seeing are black people. And unlike Barack Obama who once said that if he lost the presidency race wouldn’t be the major factor, Roland Burris on the other hand, is choosing to become the “black” senator as opposed to an Illinois senator who happens to be black.
Burris’ decision to accept an appointment by a tainted governor has now tainted him as well. Burris has shown he is not concerned about how the governor’s tarnished reputation could tarnish his own. Burris reminds me of the stories of people who make deals with the devil as if the devil won’t come back one day to get his due. And to all the black folks who are being Roland Burris’ biggest supporters, what will you say on the day when, as with all politicians, he will have to make a choice to pick between supporting the black community or stepping on us. If we are to learn anything from history, it is that a politician who used black folks to get where they are going isn’t going to give a damn about us once they get there.
The way I see it, not only was Roland Burris looking to add more grandiosity to his resume, he claims he is doing this because of his commitment to the people of the State of Illinois. Well to the unemployed folks here in Illinois, we see him as another retired politician looking to sock the taxpayers for an even larger retirement pension at a time when many in this country have lost employment. Plus am I the only person disturbed when Roland Burris alternates between “I” and “we” when he speaks? “We are the senator” Burris says. With whom does he share that senate seat?
Lastly if the residents of the State of Illinois deserve anything, then we deserve to hear the Blagojevich tapes. All of them. Unfiltered and unedited. Maybe even sold as a 24 CD set. As always, profits going to offset all the costs this debacle is costing the Illinois taxpayers.