“If you come from the ghetto, people are always doubting you,” Mr. Jones said. “I never listened to them. I was too busy.”

So go ahead and tell him the political facts of life: that he is wasting his time and has a scant shot at winning President’s Obama’s old Senate seat in November.

Then point out to him that at 31, he has little name recognition and even less money. Finally, remind him, “for his own good,” as he says a group of young black Democrats did a few weeks ago over lunch at a Greek restaurant, that he has a bright political future because he is young, gifted and black. But that if he keeps on with thisRalph Nader-Don Quixote business and stays in the race, he could take crucial votes away from the Democratic nominee, Alexi Giannoulias, in a skin-tight election. He will be nothing but a spoiler and then all bets are off — all bridges burned.

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