He said it.
And all it took was an 8-year-old viral video clip, his campaign polling at zero percent among black voters and someone calling him a “lying motherfucker.”
Also, I am someone.
During a campaign stop in Montgomery, Ala., promoting his Douglass Plan aimed at dismantling systemic racism in America, Pete Buttigieg invited me for a face-to-face discussion on the video, the two articles and his bid for the Democratic nomination for president. But when The Root sat down with the South Bend, Ind. mayor, we didn’t discuss presidential politics, defeating Donald Trump or if his Douglass Plan included funding for Dr. Umar Johnson’s school. Instead, we confronted Buttigieg about his mayoral tenure and the decisions he’s actually made that have affected South Bend’s racial disparities in economics, education and criminal justice.
We asked Mayor Pete about:
- The data that shows South Bend School Corporation disciplines black students at four times the rate of white students, while white residents (including Buttigieg) are able to opt for more expensive, whiter private schools.
- A 2019 study that shows the city of South Bend spent zero dollars in city contracts with black-owned businesses.
- Why he asked white people to endorse his Douglass Plan for Black America (67 percent of the endorsers’ names that could be reliably checked were white, according to the Intercept).
- Why he couldn’t fire Aaron Knepper, a police officer involved in the killing of an unarmed black man, despite multiple accusations of police brutality against him, dating back to 2012.
- Most importantly, we asked Pete Buttigieg why black voters would trust him to fix America when he didn’t fix these issues in South Bend.
We did not ask him about his role models. Watch the video above.