W. Kamau Bell Says Buttigieg Would Get ‘Less Than 0% of the Black Vote’ In Backlash to Newly Resurfaced Video


CNN host W. Kamau Bell was among those who torched South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg over a resurfaced video from 2011 in which Buttigieg holds forth on the perceived value of education among “kids” from “lower income and minority neighborhoods.”

This weekend, a clip surfaced of Buttigieg speaking about education during the 2011 South Bend, Indiana mayoral race at a forum with other candidates.

After one of the other candidates mentioned mentoring, Buttigieg said “Of course because you know the kids need see evidence education gonna work for them, right? So you see a lot of parts of town where…”

“That’s part of the motivation,” the host interrupts.

“Yeah! Because 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,” Buttigieg continued, then added that “there are a lot of kids, especially the lower income, minority neighborhoods, who literally haven’t seen it work, there isn’t someone they know personally, who testified to the value of education.”

The clip racked up over a million views on Twitter, and sparked some sharp reactions. Several of them, including Bell’s, had to do with Mayor Pete’s already well-known problem attracting black voters.

“We’re about to find out how someone can get less than 0% of the Black vote,” Bell wrote.

Many disagreed with the substance of Buttigieg’s remarks in fairly stark terms.

But perhaps the most blistering response came from The Root’s Michael Harriot, who penned a commentary — entitled “Pete Buttigieg Is a Lying MF” — that detailed Harriot’s own path to educational attainment, and pointed out the obstacles that the kids Mayor Pete was talking about face:

This is not a misunderstanding. This is not a misstatement. Pete Buttigieg went to the best educational institutions America has to offer and he—more than anyone on the goddamned planet—knows that everything he just said is a baldfaced lie.

Majority-minority schools receive $23 billion less in funding than majority-white schools, according to a recent study by EdBuild. Black students in Indiana, the state where Buttigieg serves as mayor, and across the country, are disciplined more harshly than white students. But even though Buttigieg has never attended a school with more than 10 percent black students, he thinks he knows what’s stopping black kids from achieving their educational dreams.

Apparently, it’s not the fact that the unemployment rate for black college graduates is twice as high as the unemployment rate for white grads. Black college graduates are paid 80 cents for every dollar a white person with the same education earns. White people leave college with lower debt and higher earnings. White kids get more resources, more advanced classes and have access to more technology. But Pete says it could all be solved with a vision-board.

Buttigieg campaign rapid response researcher Rodericka Applewhaite defended Buttigieg, casting his remarks as a call for greater diversity in the classroom.

Buttigieg is leading the polls in Iowa and is near the top in New Hampshire, but has thus far attracted very little support from black voters.

Watch the clip above, via @RzstProgramming.

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