While he may be enjoying a surge in the Iowa polls, Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is trending on Twitter for an entirely different reason, after a column entitled ‘Pete Buttigieg Is A Lying MF’ went viral.
In the column for the Root, senior writer Michael Harriot scathingly addresses a recently resurfaced video of Buttigieg claiming that black kids in low-income neighborhoods fail at school in high numbers because there “isn’t someone who they know personally who testifies to the value of education.” Buttigieg made the comment in 2011, while he was running for mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
“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
The column berating Buttigieg made such waves online that the phrase ‘Pete Buttigieg Is A Lying MF’ started trending on Twitter, much to the delight of his critics.
When you open twitter &
— Tom (@Tomtmjoe) November 26, 2019
“pete buttigieg is a lying MF” trending on twitter is all i’ve wanted in life and more
— simone.l (@simoneluthra) November 26, 2019
Harriot pulls no punches in the caustic column, accusing Buttigieg of perpetuating the narrative of low-income black neighborhoods simply “needing more role models and briefcase-carriers” as a magic fix to systemic issues.
It’s not a lack of role models who value education causing black kids to fail, Harriot suggests, but a system that sees minority schools receive less funding, black kids receiving harsher punishments and white kids being offered more advanced classes and better technology.
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“Pete says it could all be solved with a vision-board,” Harriot mocks, reminding readers that the candidate was fortunate enough to attend “one of the best private schools in the country” before going on to Harvard and becoming a Rhodes Scholar.
“I want to be clear: Pete Buttigieg is a lying motherf*cker,” he wrote, adding later that the mayor “doesn’t want to change anything,” he just “wants to be something.”
Journalist Jordan Chariton slammed Buttigieg as an “empty privileged vessel,” while another tweeter declared Buttigieg’s presidential run an “ego project” for a mayor who only received 8,000 votes in a small Indiana city.
“Two minutes after this article was published, it’s been announced that Buttigieg is now polling at -400 with black Americans,” joked journalist Emma Vigeland.
Indeed, already “struggling” with black voters, the column and the Twitter trending incident aren’t likely to do any favors for centrist Buttigieg and his “race problem.” Adding to his race woes, Buttigieg is also facing backlash after suggesting that black voters supported him more strongly the second time he ran for mayor — a claim that Politifact rated as inconclusive.
In IA, I asked Pete Buttigieg about @michaelharriot’s piece where Harriet called him a “lying MF” over 2011 remarks on education. Buttigieg told me, “While I obviously think that the characterization of me personally is unfair, I do understand the concern” https://t.co/Ojyqm8aREJ
— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) November 26, 2019
Tweeting amid the furore, CNN journalist DJ Judd said he asked Buttigieg for his reaction to the column on the campaign trail in Iowa. “While I obviously think that the characterization of me personally is unfair, I do understand the concern,” he said.
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