Mayor Pete Reaches Out To Critic On 2011 Comments

“I reached out to the author, and while I obviously, I think that some of the characterization of me personally is unfair, I do understand the concern. 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.

“I believe I was speaking about the need for mentorship and the need for career pathways but the problem is to the extent that, that feels like it’s validating a narrative that sometimes blames the victim for the consequences of systemic racism, I understand why he was upset and I understand the perspective and largely agree.” – Pete Buttigieg.

From the original author at The Root:

Pete Buttigieg didn’t want to tell me his side of the story. He didn’t excuse himself by explaining that the comments referenced by the article were made years ago. He didn’t even try to explain his plan for black America. “I think the context was important, especially the fact that it was before I took office,” Buttigieg said.

But mostly, he just wanted to listen. For 18 minutes and 45 seconds, we talked about educational inequality, poverty and institutional racism in America and how to fix it. OK…I’m lying. I don’t know how to fix shit.

As I explained to the presidential candidate (for some reason, I had to refrain from reflexively calling him “Mr. President”), my problem with his comments was not that they were wrong, it’s that he knows they were wrong.

The full piece is worth your time.