Politics

Pete Buttigieg Says ‘The Racial Divide Lives Within Me.’ Here’s How Twitter Reacted

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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said “the racial divide lives within” him during the second round of Democratic debates Tuesday on CNN.

His handling of racial issues in his home city of South Bend, Indiana, like diversity in the police force and housing policy, came into question as he was asked to explain to African-Americans why he should be the Democratic nominee.

“As an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial divide lives within me,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor started. (RELATED: Pete Buttigieg Responds To Racist Question At Campaign Event)

“I’m not saying that I became mayor and racism or crime or poverty ended on my watch, but in our city, we have come together repeatedly to tackle challenges like the fact that far too many people were not getting the help they needed in their housing, and so we directed it to a historically underinvested African-American neighborhood,” he said.

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Twitter, however, was not convinced that Buttigieg’s claim made sense in the context of how to address racial issues in America.

“‘The racial divide lives within me.’ — Mayor Pete Dolezal #DemDebate,” actress and director Jackée Harry wrote on Twitter in reference to Rachel Dolezal, a woman who pretended to be black.

“We can heal the racial divide. We just need to find it in a town in small town of 100,000 people in Indiana, inside the body of a clever elvish man named Buttigieg,” former director of the Fed Up campaign Shawn Sebastian wrote. (RELATED: Pete Buttigieg Said ‘All Lives Matter’ In 2015)

“‘The racial divide lives within me,’ Pete Buttigieg revealing he would’ve had the Heart ring as a Planeteer,” wrote “Keep It” podcast host Ira Madison III.

“‘The racial divide lives within me'” is the kind of weird thing you accidentally say when you are into McKinsey-style metaphorical bullshit instead of dealing with reality and power,” said Matt Stoller, a fellow at the Open Markets Institute.

“African-American voters are tired of having been lied to or taken for granted by politicians,” Buttigieg told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday. “When you are new on the scene, when you haven’t been known for years or decades, and when you’re not yourself from a community of color, you’ve got a lot of extra work to do in order to validate what you have to say and earn that trust.”

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