Pete Buttigieg called “The Root” writer Michael Harriot after the author blasted him as a “lying MF” in a recent op-ed that focused on some ill-advised comments on race and education Mayor Pete made in 2011.
Harriot took issue with the mayor’s assertion that black kids who are failed by the education system simply lack a strong role model in their lives “who testifies to the value of education.”
“You’re motivated because you believe that at the end of your educational process, there’s a reward, there’s a stable life, there’s a job, and there are a lot of kids, especially the lower-income, minority neighborhoods, who literally just haven’t seen it work,” Buttigieg explained. “There isn’t somebody they know personally who testifies to the value of education.”
“Kids” from “lower income, minority neighborhoods” don’t have “someone they know personally who testifies to the value of education.” – Pete Buttigieg, 2011 South Bend Mayoral Candidate #MayorPete #PeteForAmerica #Pete2020 #Buttigieg2020 #Buttigieg pic.twitter.com/sd1bZDLoG8
— Resist Programming ? (@RzstProgramming) November 24, 2019
Harriot then accused Mayor Pete of knowing that what he said in that interview wasn’t true.
“I want to be clear: Pete Buttigieg is a lying m*****f*****,” he writes.
“This is not a misunderstanding,” Harriot continues. “This is not a misstatement. Pete Buttigieg went to the best educational institutions America has to offer and he—more than anyone on the … planet—knows that everything he just said is a baldfaced lie.”
It didn’t take long for the Buttigieg PR team to get Harriot on the phone so that he and Pete could hopefully come to an understanding on the issue. According to the writer, the mayor opened the conversation by saying: “I don’t think I’ve ever been called a ‘lying m*****f*****’ before.” From there, Harriot says that the embattled presidential candidate “just wanted to listen.” According to the article, Harriot did most of the talking while Buttigieg sat quietly and asked questions, appearing to show a genuine interest in wanting to better understand the issues affecting young black Americans.
By the end of the piece. Harriot conceded that the “lying MF” article “wasn’t meant to inspire outrage,” but to “make a necessary point about black voters and real issues.” He also noted that he was wary of candidate who “wade into black barbershops or sashay into black pulpits” to promise that they are on the side of minorities when the reality is, they only care about votes. But the closing lines of the piece also denote a certain amount of respect for Buttigieg for at least taking the time to listen.
The fiery op-ed, as well as Mayor Pete’s seemingly acceptable response, set Twitter ablaze with opinions.
This is powerful writing that I encourage everyone—most especially white Americans—to read.
— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) November 26, 2019
“Pete Buttigieg doesn’t want to change anything. He just wants to be something.”
— brittany packnett cunningham (@MsPackyetti) November 26, 2019
Two minutes after this article was published, it’s been announced that Buttigieg is now polling at -400 with black Americans.
What a scathing piece. You just love to see it. https://t.co/J3403UF8n9
— Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) November 26, 2019
What a day. Michael Harriot wrote a brilliant and scathing essay on race and education that critiqued Pete Buttigieg, and Pete Buttigieg called him to talk about it. And it sounds like they had an honest, productive exchange. Another great article: https://t.co/zuZoCUZSqJ
— Charlotte Clymer?️? (@cmclymer) November 26, 2019
THIS is extraordinary. @michaelharriot and @PeteButtigieg had a real, honest, open conversation. And Michael wrote about it in his perfect style. This is something I was hungering for. Much respect to both of them. https://t.co/fVmYdHmrCL
— R. Eric Thomas (@oureric) November 27, 2019
When I read the original article, I remember thinking I really hope Buttigieg will take it seriously. Looks like he did. A rare encouraging moment in an era of utterly dismal politics. https://t.co/V1BMcfqKkX
— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) November 27, 2019
But this isn’t the first time that Buttigieg has rocked the boat on race. He has tried (and failed) to pander to his local African American community in South Bend, Indiana, even to the extent that he was willing to throw the police under the bus in a nationally televised debate. In a pathetic attempt to boost his own oppression street cred, he whipped out a race card of his own, recounting his father’s days as an immigrant.
That being said, it’s unclear how this interaction is going to affect Mayor Pete’s newfound popularity among voters.
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