Benjamin Dixon, The Guardian, February 11, 2020
One of my favorite church deacons at a ministry I attended in Boynton Beach, Florida, decided one Sunday that he would run for mayor. “Deac”, as we all affectionately referred to him, had already served many years as vice-mayor and city commissioner, so it was no surprise when he won the mayorship.
Deac was best known for singing old gospel songs with the growl of a blues singer and the whoop of a baptist preacher. To me, he was far more a beloved, black church dignitary than he was a politician. Nevertheless, my church deacon is more qualified to serve as president of the United States than former mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Political pundits and media outlets are scrambling to try to understand how it is that Buttigieg could have 0% support among black primary voters. I would offer the following:
First, ask any black person across the south and they’ll likely say the same thing: Buttigieg has less experience in office than our local church deacons – yet he is being propped up to be the next president , above equally educated and far more qualified politicians such as Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.
Black Americans understand one simple, albeit unfortunate, truth: we have to be twice as good as white men in order to earn half as much as they are given in this life.
So far, the Democratic primaries have been a case in point. Harris and Booker – who have equal or greater levels of education than Buttigieg, with far more experience – were quickly ushered out of the presidential race. Buttigieg not only remains on the stage, he stands a chance of winning.
Being more qualified than a white candidate only to be routinely passed over is all too familiar for black men and women across the country.
Second, Buttigieg’s disposition towards the black people of South Bend, Indiana, sticks in our minds. We took notice when he smugly told a black woman who was protesting the death of Eric Logan: “I’m not asking for your vote.”