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Pete Buttigieg Responds to Uproar Over Past Comments on Minority Students

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>Michael Harriot, who wrote a scathing essay about Mr. Buttigieg in The Root, said his goal was to point out that "the ignoring and whitewashing of the issues, and trying to remain appealing to moderate voters, does a disservice to the Democratic Party's core constituency."

>WASHINGTON -- Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., whose lack of support among black voters poses an ongoing threat to his presidential candidacy, responded Tuesday to an outcry over eight-year-old comments he made about black students from poor neighborhoods struggling in school because they did not have proper role models.

>"Kids need to see evidence that education is going to work for them," Mr. Buttigieg said during a mayoral candidate forum in 2011, before being elected, a clip of which has circulated widely on Twitter. "There are a lot of kids, especially, the lower-income minority neighborhoods, who literally just haven't seen it work. There isn't somebody they know personally who testifies to the value of education."

>After Michael Harriot, a writer for The Root, denounced Mr. Buttigieg's claim in a scathing essay, Mr. Buttigieg phoned Mr. Harriot on Tuesday to discuss the piece.

>"What I said in that comment before I became mayor does not reflect the totality of my understanding then, and certainly now about the obstacles that students of color face in our system today," Mr. Buttigieg told reporters, speaking in Denison, Iowa. "I want to make sure I communicated that I'm very conscious of the advantages and privileges that I have had, not through any great wealth but certainly through education, through the advantages that come with being white and being male, and that's part of why I know I've got to make myself useful as a candidate and as president."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/26/us/politics/pete-buttigieg-the-root-michael-harriot.html