Buttigieg addresses reparations, HBCUs, being gay

Feb 05, 2020


CNN commentator Angela Rye with candidate Pete Buttigieg at Ministers' Hall. (Panther photo by Tasha Skinner)


‘Take steps that are reparative’


Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential candidate, visited Claflin University on Jan. 23 to share his personal views and his policies with young African American voters.

CNN commentator Angela Rye held a live interview with Buttigieg on her podcast, “On One with Angela Rye,” from Ministers’ Hall. She addressed Buttigieg’s’ HR-40 plan, which was created to help equalize the gaps between African Americans and their Caucasian counterparts.

“In addition to HR-40, would you sign a reparations bill that isn’t just studying reparations and puts forth ideas for reparations, plans that actually have equity and give dollars?” Rye asked.

“I don’t think we have to wait for a commission to come from HR-40 to take steps that are reparative,” Buttigieg said. “And yes, that means resources, that means dollars.”

The presidential candidate and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, explained his stand on health care.

 “I call my plan ‘Medicare For All Who Want It’, and the idea is to take a version of Medicare. It’s a public plan, and you can get in on it if you want to. But I trust you to decide whether you want to.”

Buttigieg acknowledged his low standing in polls pertaining to support from African Americans.  “In order to deserve to win, I’ve got to be speaking to everybody, especially knowing that my party is dependent on black voters.”


‘I’m sending a signal that I wish 20-year old Pete could see’


Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg talked about wrestling with being known as the gay politician.

During a Jan. 23 visit to Claflin University, the openly gay former South Bend, Indiana, expressed admiration for all who have “come out” as early as college.

 “I’m sending a signal that I wish 20-year old Pete could see. That tells people that they are okay and that they get to be themselves,” Buttigieg said.

He said the most touching moments are when people from older and younger generations said they finally feel as though they can be themselves.

“You are reaching people in ways that you don’t understand sometimes and I think the 20-year old me wouldn’t even grasp what it meant that I thought at the time was a burden.”

Buttigieg came to Claflin for a live conversation and podcast hosted by CNN’s Angela Rye.

The Democratic presidential candidate and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, discussed student loan debt, which is currently almost $1.46 trillion, and Congressmen Ilhan Omar’s bill that will cancel out student debt.

“I don’t support this bill because of fairness. If you were lucky to get it, good, if not too bad,” Buttigieg said. “The right way to do this is to make sure everyone gets their loans forgiven by taking certain steps by widening the definition of public service for those purposes and so it can be user friendly.”

When asked a question from the audience about minorities in low-income homes and the plan to get proper funding for those schools and increasing teachers’ salaries, he said, “I am proposing a major increase in Title l. Title ll funding could be available specifically for making sure there are diverse teachers because frankly there are kids that seeing a teacher that looks exactly like them will increase their chances of succeeding.

“That is why we need to support HBCUs that are creating the next generation of professionals. Lastly, my secretary of education will be someone that believes in education.”


Building a sense of belonging


Former Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg made his way to Claflin looking for support from young black voters.

In addition to Buttigieg, CNN political commentator Angela Rye also made an appearance at Claflin’s Ministers’ Hall on Jan. 23. She interviewed Buttigieg for her postcast, asking questions regarding his life preferences and presidential candidacy.

“What of those experiences as mayor would you take with you and focus on symbolically as a president?” Rye asked. 

“I’m going to measure the economy by the income growth of the 90%. In other words, if the economy as a whole is going through the roof and isn’t getting the 90%, then it doesn’t count. Even if we’re measuring, I want to think about what we’re measuring, but it’s also got to go beyond what we’re measuring,” Buttigieg said.

“Look at the climate of exclusion that’s emanating from the White House right now. A lot that is in the tone and the message. I don't think we understand until now just about how we rely on just how much the president doesn't do. What the president doesn't say, what the president doesn't tweet and that's just as important as all of the wrongdoings coming out of the White House, so I’ll be very attentive to the ways in which the culture, climate and tone of the White House can help build a sense of belonging.”

Buttigieg said supporting HBCUs is essential.

“The judiciary would get better if we have  more black jurists and attorney, the racial health gap will get better if we have more black doctors, nurses …,” he said.

Buttigieg said he will strive to make a difference and is “on your side.” His strategic plan is to improve what the current White House hasn’t.

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