Lately, the new darling of the Democratic party seems to be the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg. Based on the polling from RealClearPolitics, he is ranking top 5 in most of the polls. Pundits advocate for his potential ascension to the throne, but one thing seems to stand in his way…….. Black people!!!! Yes, the one voting block that any democrat needs, but hates to admit. Many pundits want to attribute his low scoring with the Black community to the fact that he’s Gay, but anybody who knows black people know…..that isn’t it for the majority. The most racially segregated populations in this modern pluralistic society, from my outside observance, is the gay community. So I do not believe that his sexuality plays a direct role in his low scoring amongst black folk. It seems that people are struggling for the answer, so I thought that I would share my viewpoint on Mayor Pete and why he may not be resonating with the Black community.
As an African-American, I tend to see things in a particular light that most white Americans might not see. Also, African-Americans have had a long history of being able to study white people in a way that white people take for granted when it comes to interacting with people of different backgrounds. So I’m sure that I’ll present some bias, but understand, these biases have always served as a tool to survive in a world that often didn’t treat people of color kindly. Yet this bias helped black people survive the whimsical nature of race relations over the years. With that being said……..
Pete Buttigieg reminds me of the dude at your job who would snitch on you if he didn’t like you. Or the dude who sees you everyday but refuses to speak unless you speak first, or if he needs something. The way that he presents himself comes across too refined and too matter-of-fact. Sure, those are qualities that you’d want in your president, but his presentation of self comes off very hollow and superficial. He fails to connect to black people because from what he presents, he resembles that asshole cop who could write you a warning but is trying to give you a ticket to teach you a lesson.
To flip Doughboy’s infamous line from John Singleton’s Boyz N the Hood, Pete Buttigieg “don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on with black people!” and it’s apparent to most black folk. He seems to lack a certain level of humility that is required to gain the respect of black folk. Very similar to the white co-worker that you invite to a family function, yet he still seems oddly nervous, as if he’s on the verge of getting jacked in Aunt Esther’s crib. The eternal untrusting white person, who…you know if the revolution goes down, there’s a chance….he might sell you out to save himself.
He reminds me of the last person in the world Id want to stand up for me in a fight. There is nothing about his presentation that says he is willing to stand up and fight for black people on a Moral basis. There’s nothing about his courting that says to me, that he sincerely sees the problems that exist in the black community. Knowing him to be mayor and knowing that 25% of the black population is below the poverty line in South Bend, you just get this feeling that he’s nothing more but a keeper of the status quo.
Black people by nature, make a lot of judgments from their internal biases. So in order to get most African-Americans to even consider you, you first have to make them feel comfortable. I expect all politicians to tell me things I want to hear and tell me things that sound like they are in my best interest, but people like Pete, just make me feel as soon as he’s in office, all those promises and pledges will go right out the window.
The reason why?!?!?! Pete Buttigieg doesn’t engage black people and their issues as if thinks they are his equal. If he’s hated because of his sexuality… it’s like that Gay dude at your job…that even the Gay people can’t stand. He doesn’t seem like the type of man that would sit with me at a table and have lunch, because he’s interested in being a friend. He seems to resemble that dude who sits with you at lunch so he isn’t alone. He seems only interested in the black vote for what it can get him, not what he can do for black people and not even because he wants to make America better.