Bobby Rush Backs the Holdout Trustees

Chief Illiniwek's fault

By Steve Rhodes
|  Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009  |  Updated 9:33 AM CDT
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Fools Rush In

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Rep. Bobby Rush backs the remaining trustees. But why?

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Oh no, not again.

The Bobby Rush Show is back for an encore.

Apparently rested and ready for action, Rush, fresh off a successful race-mongering campaign that scared the bejeesus out of weak-kneed Democrats and saved Roland Burris's bacon, is back in action in the case of the University of Illinois holdout trustees.

And again, the congressman is on the wrong side.

Rush has written a letter to Gov. Pat Quinn telling him to back off his demand that the remaining two trustees resign like their colleagues did. Quinn wants to appoint a new board in the wake of the school's admissions scandal.

Rush calls holdout James Montgomery an "outstanding citizen" and holdout Frances Carroll a person of high moral character, according to WBEZ.

Right.

While not the most egregious violators of ethics and good sense, both Montgomery and Carroll dipped their hands into the admissions process to help favored students get into the school despite the fact that they would have been denied under normal conditions.

Last week Carroll complained that she was being treated like "chattel," an obvious shot across the bow of race. Enter Rush.

And Carroll told WBEZ earlier this month that pressure on the trustees to resign stemmed from their decision two years ago to do away with the Chief Illiniwek mascot.

Under that scenario . . . well, I can't even come up with a scenario under which that would be possible.

Montgomery and Carroll are African American, but the other trustees who have already resigned appear to be mostly white. It's not as if Quinn singled out black members of the board.

If this is about race at all, it's about students without connections being denied the special benefits that students with connections have been getting - mostly wealthy, white suburban students. Maybe that's what Rush, Montgomery and Carroll should focus on.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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