Sunday, January 11, 2009
On this day:

Artur Davis on seating Roland Burris: Keep race out of it

Rep. Artur Davis is a real gem.

From the B'ham News:
"I choose not to associate myself with any argument from some quarters that Burris' race or the desire for diversity entitles him to be seated, and I cannot join any suggestion that those who oppose Burris are racially motivated," Davis said in a written statement explaining his decision not to sign the CBC letter.

Burris, who is black, was appointed by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to the Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, but Blagojevich is under federal investigation for trying to sell the appointment to the highest bidder. Democrats initially opposed Burris' arrival in Washington, but they are now considering allowing him to take office.

Although Davis said he agreed that Burris - who is not accused of wrongdoing - is legally entitled to be sworn in, he objected to implications that the controversy was driven by racism.

The CBC letter did not mention race, but some caucus members have compared Burris' treatment to a lynching.

On Wednesday, Davis left a closed meeting of the 41- member black caucus before the group voted to back Burris. And Thursday, he went public with his opposition.

The controversy "should not be treated as an occasion for racial solidarity," he said. ...

Davis, who would like to be elected Alabama's first black governor in 2010, said the election of the first black president should end attempts to "inject race into arguments where it doesn't belong."

"Barack Obama never based his campaign on racial appeals and it is time to honor the example of this historic election," he said.

Wow. What a breath of fresh air, not to mention an excellent political play. Although if Rep. Davis is really serious about removing race from those areas of public life where it should play no part, perhaps he should reconsider his membership in the Congressional Black Caucus.