Dozens of black leaders and ministers gave Roland Burris a rousing send-off Sunday at New Covenant Church on Chicago’s South Side. Burris took the stage to a crescendo of drums, organ music and applause as hundreds of supporters cheered his appointment.
“We are hoping and praying that they will not be able to deny what the Lord has ordained,” Burris said. “I am not hesitating. I am now the junior Senator from the state of Illinois. Some people may want to question that and that is their prerogative.”
At New Covenant Church, Bobby Rush called the Senate the “last bastion of plantation politics.” The Chicago Democrat said blacks had been “excluded systematically for too long.”
But several people sitting in the pews during the Burris send-off said their support for his appointment has nothing to do with the him being African-American.
“I’m elated, very happy, overjoyed. Burris has served this community for many years,” said 66-year-old D. Shepherd, a retired minister from Chicago. “He’s the best man under the circumstances; it’s not because he’s black.”
Race is making this a sticky issue, especially since Harry had made it clear to Blagojevich days before Gov. Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, who he didn’t want in the post: Jesse Jackson, Jr., Danny Davis or and Emil Jones.
It could be coincidental they are all black, but regardless, I believe they should give the man his Senate seat and show him respect when he arrives in Washington.
I don’t think Harry or anyone else wants to stand in the way of “what the Lord has ordained.” I just really don’t.