South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has finally accepted the criticism that he received over his past remarks on minorities and education.
Race and ethnicity have always been a complex issue in the country, with citizens ranging from blacks to ethnically diverse population. African Americans are the largest minority comprising of 55 percent of the population, along with Hispanic, Latino Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives and multiracial Americans, living in South of the country.
Not only has the presence of such immigrants mitigated the resources but has also affected the lives of the native Americans.
In 2011, Pete Buttigieg made certain comments about the challenges faced by minority communities in education. During that time, Buttigieg was a candidate for the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
The comments that resurfaced on social media this week, drew sharp criticism online, including an essay by Michael Harriot titled “Pete Buttigieg is a lying MF” published on the African American-oriented website The Root.
In his comments, Buttigieg said children, “need to see evidence that education is going to work for them … and there are a lot of kids, especially in the lower income, minority neighborhoods, who literally just haven’t seen it work. There isn’t somebody they know personally who testifies the value of education”.
It has been evident that Pete Buttigieg has long struggled to gain support from black voters. Moreover, his comments appeared as if it were the students of color and their families, who were at fault for lack of value education. Well, both the systems and individuals that put huge barriers around these people are to be blamed equally.
Clearing the doubt of air from his previous comments, Buttigieg said, “What I said in that comment before I became mayor does not reflect the totality of my understanding then, and certainly now, about the obstacles that students of color face in our system today.”
Responding to Harriot’s essay, Pete Buttigieg said, “I believe I was speaking about the need for mentorship and the need for career pathways, but the problem is to the extent that that feels like it’s validating a narrative that sometimes blames the victim for the consequences of systemic racism, I understand why he [Harriot] was upset and I understand the perspective and largely agree.”
Buttigieg even reached out to speak with the author.
Harriet described his small phone conversation with Buttigieg in his second essay, which he published on Tuesday. He wrote that Buttigieg didn’t want to tell him his side of the story, stating that he didn’t even excuse himself by explaining that the comments referenced by the article were made years ago. Nor did he try to explain his plan for black Americans.
Harriot noted that Buttigieg had said, “I think the context was important, especially the fact that it was before I took office.”
One by one, each Democratic hopeful is getting pinched by their past actions that might affect their present candidacy ahead of the 2020 elections. As every presidential candidate is trying to portray their best in front of the voters, former Vice President Joe Biden appears to be the first and foremost choice of black Democratic voters.
Will Pete Buttigieg through his recent realization and acceptance of criticism play an outsizing role, getting huge number of black voters’ support in 2020 elections?