When Rep. Bobby Rush donned a hoodie and sunglasses on the House floor as a stunt to publicize his opposition to the handling of Trayvon Martin's death in Florida, McClatchy News Service cooed, "For the 65-year-old former 1960s Black Panther Party activist, an act of civil disobedience never felt so good."
But Washington Post columnist Lisa Miller inflated the stunt way beyond its significance --- comparing it to lynching -- with a white Republican congressman from Mississippi, Rep. Gregg Harper, as the alleged metaphorical hangman for pounding the gavel and calling Rep. Rush out of order:
In yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times, columnist Mary Mitchell lauds Fred Hampton, a Black Panther leader killed 40 years ago by police. In "Hampton's forgotten legacy: Today's youth can learn something from Black Panther leader's humanitarian deeds," Mitchell soft-pedals the Panthers' extensive history of violence and radical politics in favor of citing some of Hampton's alleged good works:
He stood up for disadvantaged People in Chicago are still so divided over Hampton that, a couple of years ago, efforts to erect a street sign in his honor caused an uproar. Hampton will always be remembered by some for advocating violence. But for many others -- those who benefitted from his courage -- he will always be remembered for giving hungry children a hot breakfast. Or for opening a free walk-in health clinic on the West Side. Or for trying to open a swimming pool, so poor black children could get relief from the heat. Or for being a bold advocate for justice.
The Panthers' breakfast program for children has long been applauded, even by some conservatives, as a worthwhile endeavor. Ignored are the severe problems associated with that program across the country. Chicago was hardly an exception.
If the Senate was currently controlled by Republicans, and a black Congressman, in response to Roland Burris not being seated as president-elect Barack Obama's replacement Tuesday, accused that body of racism, do you think media would have reported it?
Probably every hour on the hour, right?
Well, on Tuesday, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) said: "I believe sincerely that if Roland Burris had not been an African-American, then he would be appointed. They think that they are above the law, and although they might not be termed racist, their action is racist."
Oddly, despite tremendous media coverage of Burris's refused seating Tuesday, Rush's comments went largely unnoticed:
Looking for a column loaded with racism, hyperbole, praise for a man embroiled in scandal, and an obvious disregard for the integrity of a Senate seat? Then you're in luck if you've read Ruben Navarrette's latest efforts.
Completely dropping the ball on why some people are apprehensive about any appointment that Rod Blagojevich could make for the vacant Senate seat, Ruben litters his article with some stunning phrases - statements which heap praise upon the disgraced Illinois Governor. Such phrases as:
Ain't this post-racial period great? Here we have one of the more famous members of the Black Congressional Caucus accusing Senate Democrats of threatening to act like Orville Faubus, George Wallace and perhaps the most iconic of segregationists, Bull Connor.
Bobby Rush, the former Black Panther who is now a congressman from Chicago, levelled his accusation on the CBS Early Show this morning in reaction to the letter signed by all 50 Senate Democrats declaring that they would not seat Roland Burris, the African-American that Gov. Rod Blagojevich yesterday named to take Barack Obama's Senate seat.
The son of an 8-term Democratic congressman from Illinois has pleaded guilty to having sex with jail inmates under his charge, the Chicago Sun-Times News Group reported today. Yet the congressman's Democratic Party affiliation was left out of the story altogether:
The son of U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush will spend six months in jail after pleading guilty to having sexual encounters with two female inmates and arranging encounters with another while serving as a state prison official.
Jeffrey M. Rush, 42, of the 700 block of Brookfield Court in Lake Zurich, pleaded guilty Wednesday to three counts of official misconduct and agreed to a sentence of 180 days in the Kane County Jail and three years probation, according to a release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office.
Two of the charges stem from sexual relationships Rush had with two female prison inmates between Feb. 1 and June 18, 2007, while he was serving as head of security at the Fox Valley Adult Transition Center at 1329 Lake St. in Aurora, the release said.