Obama’s intervention in the Roland Burris situation has assured that any further demagoguing Bobby Rush does on Burris’ behalf will only serve to make him look more ridiculous. And it appears Rush is up to the job. Here he is on TV this morning comparing Burris’ exclusion from the Senate to the Little Rock Nine:
“You know, the recent history of our nation has shown us that sometimes there could be individuals and there could be situations where schoolchildren — where you have officials standing in the doorway of schoolchildren,” Rush said. “You know, I’m talking about all of us back in 1957 in Little Rock, Ark. I’m talking about George Wallace, Bull Connor and I’m sure that the U.S. Senate don’t want to see themselves placed in the same position.”
Okay, listen. No one will object if an African-American wins a special election for that seat. No one will object if the power to appoint falls to the lieutenant governor and he selects an African-American. Roland Burris’ troubles have nothing to do with the fact that the is African-American. Surely Bobby Rush can understand this. And yet, he is likening Harry Reid (and by extension, everyone who is opposed to seating Burris, including Barack Obama!) to some of the most odious figures in civil rights history. Surely this isn’t the smartest way to go about getting what he desires.
Update: Nice, Ta-Nehisi Coates chimes in:
I don’t know if I’ve shifted politically or what. But after watching a black man named Barack Obama–who couldn’t get into the Democratic convention eight years ago–win Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico and Colorado, my tolerance for Negroes claiming that we need an appointment like this–in this kind of situation–is zilch.
Look, I say this as a black dude obviously concerned about race in this country. If you want a black senator go out and do the work to get yourself one. Build the organizations, build the fund-raising, do a black version of Emily’s List, if need be. At some point, you have to stop bitching about the track. You have to stop bitching about your hand-me-down spikes. At some point, you just have to go out and run. I have little tolerance for the racial grievances of upper-middle class blacks. Do for your damn self, and speak for your damn self. Keep my name out your mouth.