Ilhan Omar calls out Buttigieg campaign for stock photo of black woman

(Image: YouTube/Bernie Sanders screenshot)

Rep. Ilhan Omar targeted South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg for promoting his racial justice plan with a stock photo of a Kenyan woman.

The Minnesota Democrat criticized the 2020 contender for his campaign’s use of the photo which was noted by Intercept D.C. bureau chief Ryan Grim.

(Image: YouTube screenshot)

Grim tweeted that the unnamed woman in the photo used by the Buttigieg campaign had “reached out to me very confused.”

“What’s the meaning of the message accompanied by the photo? Have no idea of what’s happening…” she had reportedly asked.

“Background is that a photographer made the photo available online for free. A stock photo place grabbed it, and Pete grabbed it from there. She didn’t intend to pose for a stock photo but did agree to be photographed,” Grim explained.

“This is not ok or necessary,” Omar, who has endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, tweeted in response.

“This photo was removed from the page on our website promoting the Douglass Plan months ago as part of an update to the page,” a Buttigieg campaign spokesman told The Hill.

“The stock photo, which is widely utilized across the internet, was initially selected while a contractor was running our site, and the stock photo website it was pulled from did not indicate the photo was taken in Kenya, nor did it identify the woman as being from Kenya in any way,” the spokesman explained.

“Using stock photos on websites is standard practice but as our campaign has grown, we have brought all of our web development in-house to guard against mistakes like this,” the spokesperson added. “We apologize for any confusion this caused.”

The Indiana Democrat’s campaign has struggled to attract the support of African Americans and reports last week revealed that black voters in South Carolina have argued that their support for Buttigieg’s presidential campaign has been overstated, and misleadingly reported.

Many joined Omar in her criticism, slamming Buttigieg whose campaign has recently seen a surge in Iowa.

Others dismissed the reactions, including Omar’s, as just a lot of drama as even Democrats called her out for hurting the party.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
[email protected]

Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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