Pete Buttigieg Gives Ultra-Cringeworthy Answer on Racism

Screenshot: CNN

During a raucous first night of the second round of Democratic primary debates, Pete Buttigieg addressed systemic racism in America—an issue he’s struggled with in the past—by insisting that he, personally, embodies the “racial divide.”

“As an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial divide lives within me,” Buttigieg said with a perfectly straight face, despite the patent absurdity of the statement. I suspect some of his constituents of color might feel differently.

“I’m not saying that I became mayor and racism, or crime or poverty, ended on my watch,” he added, correctly noting the fact that despite his personal ownership of America’s racial disparity, things have not, in fact, gotten much better.

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“Right now in the wake of a police-involved shooting our community is moving from hurting to healing by making sure that the community can participate in things like revising the use of force policy, and making sure there are community voices on the board of safety that handles police matters,” Buttigieg continued.

And while the sentiment is a decent one (although it’s highly debatable whether the residents of South Bend feel Mayor Pete has really done enough) the fact that Buttigieg so casually internalized other people’s experiences to exemplify his own deeply privileged life is deeply not great.

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Rafi Schwartz

Senior writer. When in doubt he'll have the soup.