A few years ago two associates of mine, who are long-time activists in the immigration reduction movement, met with then Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, now sitting in President Obama`s vacated U.S. Senate seat thanks to
the disgraced former governor of that state, Rod Blagojevich.During this meeting, Burris agreed wholeheartedly
that our present immigration policy is hurting black Americans
who increasingly are losing jobs to foreigners, many of them here illegally.
The message the increasingly unpopular Burris sent during the firestorm of protest
following his appointment went something like this:"It`s important that I get this job because I will be the only black SenateÂ voice forÂ African-AmericansÂ in the country."
On March 2, he again emphasized how important his new role is during a speech in the New Covenant Baptist Church
on Chicago`s South Side:
"From the pulpit, Burris touted to his overwhelmingly African-American audience the recent Senate approval of a voting representative for the District of Columbia, with its 600,000 residents, "the majority of them African-American ... without a full voice in their government." And he said he was proud of a bill he co-sponsored to honor the slaves who built the U.S. Capitol."
Burris apparently has yet to learn that in Congress it is far easier to honor the efforts of those dead for decades than it is to doing something worthwhile for the living.
Then, not to put to fine a point on it, Burris, who during this appearance also participated in a "laying on ofÂ hands"
while basking in the warmth and love of hisÂ mostly black audience, said this:
"I will never, ever let you down. I will serve you with honesty and integrity. That`s all I know, and that`s what God gave me."
Eight days later, however, Burris did exactly that when he and 49 other members of that "august" bodyÂ voted to table an amendment
to the Omnibus Spending Bill calling for a 5-year extension of E-Verify
, the federal database that helps keep illegal aliens out of our workforce.Â In doing so, he joined the other black "leaders" who for years have turned their backs on the people they say they represent:Â Rev. Jesse Jackson
, Rev. Al Sharpton
,Â the NAACP
and the Congressional Black Caucus
Welcome to the club, Mr. Burris.Â You`re just one more example of how easily politicians will surrender their core beliefs
for the privilege ofÂ joining anÂ exclusive clubÂ that has come to exist primarily forÂ the benefit of its own members.
And America`s blacks remain standing on the sidelines waiting for an independent black voice to tell it like it is about an immigration policy that continues to push themÂ back to the back of the political, social and economic bus.