South Bend, Indiana Mayor and Democratic candidate for President Pete Buttigieg has had one hell of a week. He’s picked up two congressional endorsements on Monday and Tuesday, giving him three congressional endorsements overall.
The first one he received in April from Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) who said he is “similarly inspired” by Buttigieg as he was former President Obama. His second endorsement came on Monday from Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.). This third endorsement arrived Tuesday morning from Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), who previously endorsed former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) before he dropped out of the 2020 race.
This comes off news of the latest Iowa polls showing him with a huge jump in support from prospective voters, picking up 26% of voter support. The next highest candidate is Senator Elizabeth Warren at 19% and Senator Bernie Sanders at 18%.
Granted, this is just for Iowa. He’s still polling at around 9% nationally but that kind of boost could lend itself to his campaign gaining additional momentum and further solidifying himself as a viable alternative candidate to the far-left candidates ahead of him.
However, all this positive momentum that he has been building up could potentially come crashing down.
Michael Harriot wrote a scathing piece on The Root titled Pete Buttigieg Is a Lying MF. You should absolutely read the article for yourself, but here’s a key highlight.
“This is not a misstatement. Pete Buttigieg went to the best educational institutions America has to offer & he—more than anyone on the goddamned planet—knows everything he said [about minority students] is a baldfaced lie”
That, in turn, got the hashtag “PetebuttigiegisalyingMF” trending.
We could spend weeks poring through every single tweet with #PetebuttigiegisalyingMF attached to it, but that’s more of an exercise you should do for yourself instead of having me cherry-pick a handful to shove in your face proving just how bad Buttigieg’s day was getting during that time. One of the big takeaways from all this is the fact that Buttigieg is a white man pretending to have some intrinsic understanding of the plight of the black community, specifically as it pertains to educational opportunities and attainment.
When you’re the whitest person in the room, have had one of the whitest upbringings along with much of the privilege that comes from all that – how could you truly know or understand what the black community is going through?
You can’t. It’s time to stop pretending that you do. And that goes for anyone who hasn’t lived that experience as being black in America. It’s just different. And some of us who have shared experiences with black communities, who happen to not be black, can understand and even relate some – but it’s still not the same.
Pete Buttigieg’s response to the harsh criticism, the fair criticism, he’s received as a result of that article was to call Harriot directly and have a conversation with him after briefly discussing it while on the campaign trail. According to Harriot, who wrote about that call, Buttigieg mostly just listened for nearly 20 minutes instead of trying to explain to Harriot why he was right.
It’s a good start.
Because you see – sitting at a table with other white men discussing the plight of the black community and providing ideas on how to ‘fix’ the problems of the black community isn’t particularly constructive.
Sitting around a table with those white men and discussing the root causes of the discrimination and issues faced by the black community each day actually could be.
Calling out the systemic racism by institutions put in place by white people and calling it out directly to the faces of white people you know who support those institutions actually could be.
Being willing to proactively engage community leaders and residents within predominantly black and under-served communities is something Buttigieg should have been doing already – and not in an “I’m smarter than you and know how to fix things for every one of you” kind of way.
But here’s the rub.
Buttigieg enjoys and owes the majority of his support to white voters. He’d surely lose a portion of them if he began to truly and passionately take a stand against the institutional racism that has plagued our nation since its creation.
How willing and ready is he to accept that loss of support within his base so he can make proper inroads within the black communities and voters across the country?
How willing is he to better educate himself through gaining that understanding of the black experience by reaching out to black voters directly and listening to them too, as opposed to talking at them and instead with speaking with them?
No one knows the answers to these questions, but actions speak louder than words. We’re about to find out just how much Buttigieg doesn’t want to be just another one of those “get-along moderates who would rather make shit up out of whole cloth than wade into the waters of reality.”