Pete Buttigieg: new packaging for the same old shit


Michael Harriot at The Root just took Mayor Pete to the mat.

“Kids need to see evidence that education is going to work for them,” Buttigieg explained whitely, when he was running for mayor in 2011. You’re motivated because you believe that at the end of your education, there is a reward; there’s a stable life; there’s a job. And there are a lot of kids—especially [in] the lower-income, minority neighborhoods, who literally just haven’t seen it work. There isn’t someone who they know personally who testifies to the value of education.”

I want to be clear: Pete Buttigieg is a lying motherfucker.

This is not a misunderstanding. This is not a misstatement. Pete Buttigieg went to the best educational institutions America has to offer and he—more than anyone on the goddamned planet—knows that everything he just said is a baldfaced lie.

Majority-minority schools receive $23 billion less in funding than majority-white schools, according to a recent study by EdBuild. Black students in Indiana, the state where Buttigieg serves as mayor, and across the country, are disciplined more harshly than white students. But even though Buttigieg has never attended a school with more than 10 percent black students, he thinks he knows what’s stopping black kids from achieving their educational dreams.

From environmental degradation to systemic racism, the playbook of capital and the white moderates it relies upon to maintain control in order to continue making money from killing our grandchildren or keeping minorities in economic shackles is the same. Blame the problem on individuals. You need to recycle. Black boys need better role models. Whatever the problem is, the solution is not systemic … it’s on you.

I know “Mayor Pete” is getting a lot of traction among white progressives. I don’t expect political perfection so this isn’t a matter of holding him up to standards that are impossible to meet. But know this: he’s just new packaging for the same shit. He’s the corporate ad campaign designed to make you feel better about the single use plastic packaging the product comes in. He’s the corporate funding for convincing you that recycling will save the world, making saving the world your problem while capital builds another new plastic factory.

As Harriot points out: he’s a lying motherfucker. If he was half as “woke” as he’s being packaged to be, he’d speak the truth. There may be truths that he can’t speak out loud because of political reality. This ain’t one of them. So remember when his campaigners tell you all about how dreamy “Mayor Pete” is, that he’s a liar. He’ll lie about incredibly important things that are so fucking self-evident there’s no need to lie about them. He’s the mayor of a city where the truth of this issue is on staggering display every damned day and he’s willing to lie about it.

Maybe not all white men, but most young white men grow into the same old white men that have been destroying things for generations. Just because they convince you to plant some trees to offset the carbon emissions of their daddy’s factory doesn’t mean they won’t inherit the factory and pretend that the cancer it gives your kids is your fault. They’re lying motherfuckers.

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