WATCH: Joy Reid Interviews Michael Harriot, Writer Who Called Mayor Pete ‘Lying Motherf**ker’


The Root’s Michael Harriot finished off the notion that black children lack educational role models in an interview with Joy Reid following publication of his viral article declaring South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg a “lying motherf**ker.”

Last weekend, a clip of Buttigieg speaking about education during the 2011 South Bend, Indiana mayoral race went viral, and not in a good way. Buttigieg, during a discussion of mentoring, said 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.”

Among the strongly negative reactions was Harriot’s equally viral post entitled “Pete Buttigieg Is a Lying MF,” in which Harriot reiterated that Mayor Pete “is a lying motherfucker,” and wove a critique of Buttigieg’s remarks into his own story of educational attainment. But the plot thickened when Buttigieg called Harriot, and got an 18-minute earful.

On Saturday morning’s edition of AM Joy, Reid caught viewers up on the backstory between Harriot and Mayor Pete, then welcomed the writer for a discussion of the controversy.

Harriot began by describing his conversation with Buttigieg, which he said “mostly consisted of kind of, to be honest, me ranting and him trying to fit a word in, in explaining.”

He then summed up the conversation much as he had in his follow-piece.

Reid then asked Harriot to respond to a critique from The Atlantic’s John McWhorter, who defended Mayor Pete in a post entitled “The Woke Attack on Pete Buttigieg,” in which he wrote that “Harriot is assuming that Buttigieg must have meant that the lack of role models is due simply to some pathology among black people, when actually, almost anyone who publicly talks of role models in this way intends, via implication, that the lack of role models is due to larger societal factors.”

“What do you make of that critique of what you wrote?” Reid asked.

“There are no lack of role models in black communities, black women are the most educated group of individuals in America, so in black communities, I would assume that there are black women present who are raising these kids,”Harriot said, and added that children in black communities “have teachers, and there are people in black communities there are preachers, there are people who live in black communities, because unlike what communities black communities aren’t as homogeneous, there’s teachers who live next to garbage men who live next to people who work at McDonald’s, because that is the way redlining worked for most of the history of this country.”

“So that’s a lie, I don’t know what else to call that,” Harriot said.

Reid went on to observe that “when [Mayor Pete] said it, I believe that the president of the United States was a black man named Barack Obama. I mean, every black child on Earth had a role model. Literally sitting in the White House.”

Harriot agreed that “We’ve seen the biggest black role model in America, which is Barack Obama, so that narrative couldn’t exist, that was in 2011 when Pete Buttigieg made these comments, so Barack Obama was president then, so I don’t understand where that came from.”

Watch the clip above, via MSNBC.

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