January 6th, 2009
11:32 AM ET
14 years ago

Jackson Jr. warns Burris controversy becoming 'racialized'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/12/12/jackson.jr.blagojevich/art.jackson.cnn.jpg caption="Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. had been mentioned as a possible Senate replacement for Obama."](CNN) - Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. told CNN Tuesday that Roland Burris's "credentials are in order. There is a strong constitutional and legal case for his seating.

"The longer this process takes the more racialized this seat becomes and the more difficult it becomes for Democrats to hold it in 2010," said Jackson, who said he has not spoken to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid or senior Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin about the seating of Burris.

Filed under: Jesse Jackson Jr. • Roland Burris
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Jesse Jackson Jr, YOU sir are an idiot! Going to the racial card on such a sensitive political issue is cop-out and sophomoric. Thank heavens you did not get the seat. Go away until you grow up and gain an original thought.

    January 6, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. Mesa Mick

    Why is it that only black politicians in IL are raising the race issue?

    Didn't they get the message – the civil rights movement of the 60's is over and to run around bleeting "race, race" is sooo not true any longer. Unless of course you're a divisive politician wanting the spotlight...

    January 6, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. Ben

    The more people like Jackson Jr. and Rush open their mouths, the more they prove they either don't understand what the ACTUAL issue is here, or they just don't care, choosing instead to try and make this an issue of race, thereby making themselves more prominent.

    It wouldn't matter if Burris were black, white, purple, green or technicolor. The man that appointed him made several attempts to sell the same appointment. Therefore, no appointment made by Blago would be legitimate.

    Burris, Rush, and Jackson Jr. are just power hungry opportunists trying to capitalize off the chaos that Blago has created. My fellow IL voters should hold them accountable in the next election (although knowing the amount of corruption in IL politics, I don't hold out much hope).

    January 6, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Carlos

    Jesse, give it up! You tried to buy your way in and, since that didn't work for you, you are now trying to make this a racial issue. You are bad news, dude.

    January 6, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  5. gt

    Hey where is Big Jessie when you need him ... ah yes Chicao politics,

    January 6, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. Rick

    I see your following in your corrupt fathers footsteps JJ Jr

    January 6, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. George

    Watch out, here comes the race card.

    "The longer this process takes the more racialized this seat becomes ........ "

    "Racialized" ? What's race got to do with it? Apparently everything in some people's minds.

    January 6, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. John, Brooklyn, New York

    As a loyal Democrat and activist in multiple efforts to expand civil rights for everyone, I find the veiled threats of blacks from Chicago to "racialize" the Burris controversy deeply disturbing. If anything, these people should be more concerned that a tainted white governor is using a respected black man to deflect his guilt. And, frankly, by accepting such a role, Burris fails to emerge as a respected leader Illinois and a respected African American. Instead, he comes off as a willing pawn in a political skirmish and, frankly, an Uncle Tom for Governor Blogojevich.

    January 6, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Super D

    Of course it's become racialized. When you're Jesse Jr. just like dad, there's racism in everything that does no go your way


    January 6, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. LH

    I do not believe that the Burris holdup is at ALL racial! RB tried to appoint another gentleman but he was intelligent enough to recognize the stigma of a RB appointment and he turned it down.

    On the other hand, Burris is so full of himself and his self-importance that he was eager to accept the offer regardless of how sleezy the governor is. If you ask anyone who knows politics in Chicago/IL about RB, they will tell you that RB is AND has been a crook there for a LONG, LONG time....

    I believe that if anyone is playing a race card, it's RB; he knew EXACTLY what he was doing, when he selected Burris. Hell, Burris was nowhere close to the "short list" OR "long list" of potentials!

    January 6, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. s

    I'm black and I call BS on this! This as nothing to do with race! The case is simply that Blago should NOT be appointing anyone when he is under investigation. Burris would have been given the 'go' if he was appointed by a Blago replacement.

    BTW, what is holding them from charging Blago, anyway?

    (I'll go read up on that I guess) :/

    January 6, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Jane

    Only the Jackson's would make this into a racial issue. There is no race issue here the paperwork is incomplete without a signature. Enough said. I'm sick of the race crap get over it. Burris is a good man and qualified for the job. The gov or IL is the one who is also turning this into a race issue as he snickers, laughs and taunts the leadership of the United States and his state. The gov put Burris in this position with full knowledge it would create controversy as and while he thumbs his nose at everyone else. His arrogance is despicable.

    January 6, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. RH

    If somebody could convince me that race wasn't a factor in the selection of Burris in the first place I might not be irritated by Jackson's assertion. You can't have it both ways.

    January 6, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. J.P..

    BECOMING racialized???

    The party of affirmative action whining about something becoming "racialized." Hello, pot...

    January 6, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. RH

    Read: If Burris isn't seated, it's because of racism.


    January 6, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. NEL E BELL


    January 6, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. RH

    If somebody could convince me that race wasn't a consideration in the selection of Burris in the first place, I might not be irritated by Jackson's statement. You can't have it both ways.

    January 6, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  18. ree

    I am tired of all this crying Racism. Enough is enough.

    I agree with Barb. Does the seat absolutely have to go to a black person? Does everyone who wants to hold office have to be black or a women?

    January 6, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. Art

    Thanks Jesse Jr. You just let me win ten bucks... Not only did I pick the day, I picked the person that would say it.

    Thanks again...

    January 6, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. BJ

    Go figure...another Jackson playing the race card...

    January 6, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  21. Are you serious?

    If Burris had been white and denied his seat today, would any of these black leaders be crying about racism against white people?

    Get a clue. This isn't about racism, it's about a CORRUPT GOVERNOR MAKING APPOINTMENTS THAT SEEM SUSPICIOUS.

    January 6, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  22. CS

    My comment to Jesse, Jr.? Zip it, pal. Just put a cork in the pie hole, would you? You, Mr Jackson., need to worry about yourself and the slime that might be attached to you in this pay-for-play scandal. You, right now, should be silent and grateful that you thus far have escaped the censure. How long your state of grace will last, nobody knows, but until this is over, you really need to stay on the sidelines with your yap firmly SHUT.

    It's morons like you and Burris that make it harder for Obama. Please, will you just think about others and not just yourselves?

    January 6, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Zion

    Barb, this sort of fiasco is what happened to Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action was originally meant to give minorities, the financially disabled (poor people which included whites), and women the equal opportunity to succeed. It's people like those who are screaming this seat needs to go to a black man or this needs to go to a woman just becuase of race and gender are the type of people who twisted Affirmative Action into what it is today. I agree...Hey Barb, why can't the seat just go to the best qualified?

    January 6, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  24. Robin

    It should go to a qualified candidate. The sad thing is it looks like Burris is qualified. He made a grave mistake taking the appointment from the crooked govenor.

    January 6, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  25. Columbus, OH

    IT would not have made ANY difference regarding this appointment , even if the potential appointee, was white, black, gay, green, male or female, jew, or athiest. They were not going to accept ANY appointment from Blagoevich period. Its time for the Jackson whiney butt era to move on. For him to claim racism, doesnt hold a drop a water...Whenever the african american constituentcy doesnt get its way, it hides behind racism, if they have no other valid argument to advance. I personally think he need to be quiet as it appears that his hands aren't exactly clean neither. I am also a democrat.

    January 6, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
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