The Rev. Jesse Jackson says race should not be part of the debate over Roland Burris' appointment to the U.S. Senate seat previously held by President-elect Barack Obama.
"I think all discussion of race is a painful diversion," Rev. Jackson said Wednesday when asked whether he agreed with U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Chicago, that the job should go to an African-American.
"Roland's case is a legal case, it isn't about his race, or gender or religion," Rev. Jackson said. "Does the governor have the power to appoint a successor, yes or no? I think yes."