BLM leaders have a big problem with Biden Cabinet pick Pete Buttigieg

Joe Biden is set to nominate his former 2020 Democratic rival Pete Buttigieg for a transportation post in his administration and leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement are not pleased.

The former South Bend, Indiana, mayor will reportedly be formally nominated by Biden as his incoming Secretary of Transportation. Biden touted his former opponent in a tweet as a “leader, patriot, and problem-solver.” But Black Lives Matter leaders in his home town beg to differ, calling for the rejection of Buttigieg and others for that post “or any other cabinet position.”

While Biden’s selection of Buttigieg was praised by LGBTQ rights groups, who celebrated the possibility of the openly-gay former mayor in a White House Cabinet position, the feeling was decidedly different for BLM leaders. The South Bend chapter of Black Lives Matter opposed the pending nomination, with leader Jorden Geiger and others joining in on a call to reject the choice.

“We urge the rejection of our former mayor Pete Buttigieg, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo for Transportation Secretary or any other cabinet position in the administration,” Geiger said in the call with BLM activists from South Bend, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

“There are plenty of other potential appointees who will serve that position well,” Geiger continued. “These four in particular, with their many policies that advance systemic racism and white supremacy, are not some of them. ”

He noted that the BLM group has no “inside knowledge” of Biden’s decision-making process but hoped the Democrat’s team was “casting a wider net” due to the importance of the Transportation Secretary post. He also pointed to Buttigieg’s record as mayor and how he gave “less than one percent of city contracts to black businesses.”

“We saw black communities have their homes torn down by his administration,” Geiger said, in a reference to the former mayor’s effort to tear down substandard housing. “We saw the machinery of his police turned against black people.”

Buttigieg had been slammed for demoting South Bend’s first black police chief and faced opposition from the local black community. The criticism continued to dog him during his brief presidential run as Black Lives Matter activists protested him on the campaign trail. His repeated attempts to reach out to the black community were slammed as hypocritical pandering.

The Democrat quickly dropped out of the race under the challenges and announced his support of Biden soon after. But the BLM members have not forgotten and made it clear that they would not be silent on Biden’s Cabinet picks.

Black Lives Matter leaders congratulated Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris following Election Day but, according to ABC’s Beatrice-Elizabeth Peterson, more than one month after requesting a meeting with the Democrats, they still have not been contacted.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement in California staged a protest outside of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s house, opposing his potential appointment to any position in a Biden administration.

“We are concerned, we know that the Biden Harris administration met with, we’ll say more traditional civil rights leaders, but refused to respond to our letter requesting a meeting,” law enforcement critic and co-founder of the Los Angeles Chapter of Black Lives Matter, Melina Abdullah, told reporters.

Frieda Powers

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