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Experience With What?

It was about four on the Monday morning following Senator Hillary Clinton’s withdrawal from campaigning for the presidential race. I was watching one of the network television news programs. It was either ABC or CBS. The story was about how some Democratic Party voters were now going to switch their vote because Ms. Clinton didn’t win. The story included a few responses to the question to Democrats, who would you vote for in November. One respondent claimed that Senator Barack Obama just didn’t have the experience and it would be better for the country if Senator John McCain won the presidency.

I saw the same type of responses in a news article in Yahoo! News later in the day titled Racial Attitudes Pose Challenge For Obama. Some of the comments from this article are:

  • “I don’t think we’re ready for either one [a female or a black man] yet”,
  • “I don’t think our country is ready for a black President”,
  • “A black man is never going to win Pennsylvania”,
  • “His middle name [Hussein] bothers me a lot”, and
  • “He doesn’t wear a flag pin. It seemed like code for, He’s not one of us”.

He’s not one of you alright! To me, that seems like code for, He’s not white.

A lot of people will add the fact that the way they feel has nothing to do with race. As in, “A black man is never going to win Pennsylvania, but it has nothing to do with race.” A lot of people don’t even bother trying to mask their hypocrisy these days.

One woman, with a husband who is currently in the military and stationed in Iraq, lamented the fact that she wants her husband home and safe. More than almost anything else she wants an end to the war. One of the few exceptions that she wants more than an end to the war is the defeat of Mr. Obama. The woman admitted that she could not bear the fact that Mr. Obama would win the oval office. Again, it has nothing to do with the fact that he’s black. He needs more experience.

Experience with what, being white?

Right now, one of the most experienced Americans for the presidency is the President, George W. Bush. With seven years and some change under his belt, the only person alive who has more experience would be former President Bill Clinton. However, since Mr. Clinton doesn’t have any war experience, it could be argued that Mr. Bush’s war experience is more valuable than Mr. Clinton’s peace time experience.

But with Mr. Bush’s approval ratings currently at cesspool levels and continuing to slide towards bottom feeder status, even if he tried, it is a sure bet that Mr. Bush couldn’t win the top slot at the local PTA. The fact is, finally, the American public sees via hindsight enhanced with bionic optics that Mr. Bush does not have the judgment, the god given common sense, and/or the shred of integrity needed to effectively run this country or any other country or the local PTA for that matter. Mr. Bush is capable of running the United States. But running the country into the ground is not a favorable outcome by most American citizen’s standards.

Now, many people say that the only factor that matters is experience. In fact, if the woman mentioned earlier whose husband is now serving in Iraq is any indication, people are willing to vote against their own interest to because they are so worried about Mr. Obama’s lack of experience. Race has nothing to do with it. People are so concerned about Mr. Obama’s middle name that they are willing to vote against their interest. People are so concerned about other people’s willingness to have a black President that they don’t think they should vote for the black President. And many of these people will claim that they didn’t even notice the fact that Mr. Obama was black.

On the other hand, according to the Yahoo! News article, seventy two year old Robert Miller thInks that the United States Constitution should be amended so colored people can’t run for the White House. Seventy one year old Dixie Pebley says the fact that Mr. Obama is black doesn’t bother her. But the fact that he is or was Muslim is unforgivable. She’s not prejudice against African Americans. Ms. Pebley is just prejudice against Muslim Americans.

I’m not a big fan of Mr. Obama, Ms. Clinton, or Mr. McCain by any stretch of the imagination. If I have a problem with any of these presidential candidates it is a problem based on a clash of ideologies that leads me to believe that he or she may not be the best candidate for the job. Regardless of who is chosen, I would like to know that he or she will be the best candidate for all Americans and not just for one particular group. The United States will only be as great as the least of us. Whether or not the candidates have good judgment with this particular concept happens to be my greatest concern.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Life, Racism, Thoughts


  1. There is a difference between 20 years of experience and one year of experience 20 times.

    Judgement is what counts. Experience is just one thing that can contribute to judgement. Other factors are common sence, intelligence and training.

    Comment by gasdocpol | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the feedback gasdocpol,

    And let’s not forget about luck! My experience is that it can be a great big factor!


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  3. I don’t know.

    Frankly, I think BHO is going to win and win big. Maybe this will either get some racists to
    1. Work on changing their attitudes or
    2. Leaving.

    Comment by blueollie | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  4. Thanks for the feedback blueollie,

    Like a lot of people, I am attracted to the idea of a black president. And a black president with an unambiguous vision of the needs of the black community, as well as the rest of the country, is the most attractive idea of all. If that happens it would go a long way for reforming a lot of people’s attitudes. Unfortunately, there is still the possible that a black president would be more likely to have been influenced by the dominant culture than vice versa.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  5. Obama’s Black? Well, actually he’s bi-racial (half white/half black). And yes, that bi-racial upbringing did affect his philosophy. So did living with a liberal White Mother.
    But frankly, the Which Presidential Candidate is Closest to You Policy wise Poll that I took in February didn’t have skin color any where on the poll and Obama was high up on the list. McCain was a bottom feeder.
    So that’s why I’m voting for Obama. But then again I put my philosophy above the color of the skin or a middle name.
    I’m hoping he can convince enough people to give the man the job.
    4 more years of McSame would be disastrous to this country.

    Comment by Lisa Harrigan | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  6. Thanks for the feedback Lisa Harrigan,

    It would be nice if more people took the poll and honestly applied the results to the candidate that most closely represented their values. But unfortunately, like the rest of our society without exception, the race of the candidate is a big factor when it comes to giving people an opportunity. When the best candidate is non white, the chances that the most inconspicuous issue being a deal breaker is magnified exponentionally.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  7. No one has the experience to be president unless one is running for a second term.

    i get so upset hearing people would rather vote for McCain (the worst canidate) than vote for “an inadequate Black man” a la Harriet Christian. People with this type of mentality scare the crap out of me. They’d rather hurt themselves than see a Black man in office. But, that’s racism.

    How terribly sad and crazy.

    You’ve made many great points.

    “He needs more experience. Experience with what, being white?” -That made me laugh.

    Comment by c | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  8. Thanks for the feedback c,

    That’s racism for you! I wouldn’t be so irritated with this if people had an honest reason related to the issues for not voting for Mr. Obama. But that lack of experience thing is just a lazy undercover racist’s way to say that they don’t want a black man to be president. If people are going to be racist they should wear their racism on their sleeves instead of trying so lamely to keep it on the down low.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  9. I so agree with this post and c. NO ONE has any experience being the president unless they have been there before. So it is a new experience for any first time president. Hence the “first time” is put in front of the president. It is just a load of crap and brotherP is right he needs more experience being white.

    Great post!

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  10. Thanks for the feedback theblacksentinel,

    I don’t care what you’ve done in your previous life nothing can compare to being the President of the United States. I don’t think being the head of state for any other country in the world is the same. It is totally unique. So when people say he needs more experience I have to ask experience with what?


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  11. brother peacemaker

    Luck is where opportunity meets preparation ( judgement, knowlence, training, common sense, and eperience)

    Experience? Except for Bill Clinton , no one living has more experience than GW Bush.

    As I said there is a difference between 20 years of experience and one year of experience 20 times.

    I would be overstating the quality of the experience of GW Bush if I said that he had one year 7 times.

    Comment by gasdocpol | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  12. gasdocpol,

    The luck I’m referring to is an unknown or unpredictable quantity that leads to a favorable or unfavorable outcome.

    I don’t know how much preparation, judgment, knowledge, training, common sense, or experience will help me win a lottery. It appears to be the luck of the draw.

    While preparation can help minimize the impact of luck when running a country, don’t be so sure to think that it can be totally prepared out of the equation.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, June 10, 2008 | Reply

  13. brotherpeacemaker

    I would not want our leaders to be wasting much time thinking about things as unlikely as winning the lottery.

    That is one of the many problems that I have with John McCain who is a superstitious compulsive gambler.

    Comment by gasdocpol | Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Reply

  14. gasdocpol,

    I cannot agree with you more. Unfortunately, our leaders do anything but lead. It appears that the vast majority of their time is spent playing politics and trying to win opinion polls on their core constituency. Politicians want to spend the majority of their time looking good instead of doing good.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, June 11, 2008 | Reply

  15. “He doesn’t wear a flag pin. It seemed like code for, He’s not one of us.”

    …. I don’t wear a flag pin. Does that mean that even though I’m an American citizen (and white, if you MUST know, but it really makes no difference at all- I’m a human, you’re a human. I don’t get the big deal!) I’m not “One of you”?
    Of course, no one notices I don’t wear a flag pin (or even own one) since I’m not running for president.

    Here is where I stand:

    Sen. McCain is a liberal. He says he isn’t, but he is.

    Sen. Clinton is a woman, and I don’t think that a woman should be in office. Women are much too emotional, and I think that if a tough decision had to be made, it might NOT be made because a woman wouldn’t want to be the one to say “Okay” to a war, or to a Nuclear bombing, or whatever. (By the way, I’m not sexist, either. I’m just a female who knows how most female minds work.)

    Sen. Obama is a snake. Charming and deceptive. I’m not racist, I don’t have anything against his skin color (I have “black” spots on my body- they’re called freckles. I have a lack of pigment in my skin, which causes me to be a paler person. People with darker skin have more pigment in their skin… so what?), but I do have to say that I was incredibly offended when he wouldn’t put his hand over his heart for the Pledge of Allegiance (Something about his grandfather teaching him that it wasn’t what was done? That it was done for something else… I forget what). I am incredibly offended (as he was, too, apparently) by his Paster/Preacher/Reverend/Whatever he is, and the speeches that he makes. Sen. Obama changed what he said to the people he said it to- these people want change? By golly, let’s give them change! Oh, you don’t want change? You support the war? Then let’s get Terrorism over and done with once and for all! (That said, I don’t remember what his speeches were about, only that they contradicted each other. Those two were just examples.)

    But so it goes. We get a conservative in office, and some people jump up and down because they aren’t liberal enough. Then we get a liberal in office, because everyone wants CHANGE, and everyone loves it at first, and then something happens and they decide that they don’t like it one little bit, and so we get another conservative in office. And then they aren’t liberal enough for some people…

    Comment by runningnotwalking | Thursday, June 12, 2008 | Reply

  16. Thanks for the feedback runningnotwalking,

    But what politician running for president is not a snake? Who runs for the highest office in the United States that we can trust explicitly and/or implicitly?

    I am offended that Senator McCain voted against recognizing Doctor King’s birthday in Arizona twenty five years ago but waits until now to say he was wrong. He promises to continue the same policies that keeps the black community subjugated while giving the corporate based America every opportunity to take further advantage.

    I am offended when Senator Clinton says that she appeals to blue collar white Americans, hardworking Americans. As if to say white collar Americans or nonwhite Americans are not hardworking (I happen to be all three: a white collar worker and a nonwhite African American and hardworking).

    I am offended by Senator Obama who pandors to every ethnic community in the United States but distances himself from the black community at every opportunity.

    But regardless who wins the race the subjugation of the black community will continue. As long as our politicians continue to do for the rich and well connected the underclass will continue to make due with struggling to survive here in America.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, June 12, 2008 | Reply

  17. BrotherP, I hadn’t caught that some people were using the experience card as a code to cover racism, perhaps even unconscious racism. Thanks for that.

    “Experience with what, being white?” made me laugh too, and then it rattled around and resonated — because it’s true.

    Thank you for giving me a soundbite I may need to use in the upcoming months.

    Comment by Deirdre Saoirse Moen | Friday, June 13, 2008 | Reply

  18. Thanks for the feedback Deirdre Saoirse Moen,

    I never thought of it as the experience card. It appears we are enjoying a mutual exchange of sound bites!


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Friday, June 13, 2008 | Reply

  19. Brotherpeacekeeper

    Stop whining.

    Obama is the best candidate running and he happens to be black.

    Obama wants to be President of us white folks too not just the “brothers” and “sisters”.

    Comment by gasdocpol | Sunday, June 15, 2008 | Reply

  20. gasdocpol,

    I wonder if you thought the Jewish Americans should stop whining when Mr. Obama went before AIPAC and expressly pledged his allegiance to Isreal. I wonder if you said to anyone that he was trying to be the president of white Americans and not the president of white Zionist or Yentas.

    I wonder of you thought that Hispianic Americans should just stop whining when Mr. Obama went before the Hispanic American community trying to speak a few words of spanish. I’m willing to bet that you never said that Mr. Obama should be the president of white folks and not the president of any chicos or amigos.

    It’s okay for Mr. Obama to throw himself at white folks who would prefer not to have anything to do with him. He’s the best candidate so black people should just sit back and enjoy the discrimination that is manifesting itself on a daily basis.

    I have a better idea for you. Why don’t you quit whining about my commentaries. Mr. Obama is trying to be president of all Americans and not just white folks. If he doesn’t want to appear to be the president of black people as well then this is something black people need to take into consideration as Mr. Obama tries to win over racist who would prefer not to see him in office.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, June 15, 2008 | Reply

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