Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s struggle to appeal to Black people is real and has been more than apparent when looking at his polling numbers. However, white folks who would cast their ballot for the South Bend mayor tomorrow, if they could, are confused about the lack of support he has been receiving from the Black community.
According to a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll, Buttigieg’s numbers with Black voters are in the single digits – 2 percent nationally, to be specific. In a report from BuzzFeed, residents in Iowa don’t understand why he doesn’t resonate with Black voters.
Buttigieg is a frontrunner in Iowa and New Hampshire, which are both predominately white, but also play key roles in determining the presidential nominations because they are the first two states to vote. Nonetheless, Real Clear Politics indicates that Buttigieg’s polling numbers are relatively low across the board.
That said, while some white voters don’t understand what the issue is, others are uninterested because the Black vote has no impact on their own. On the other hand, some of Buttigieg’s Iowa supporters are aware of the Democratic candidate’s struggle with Black voters and suggests it could be a result of how he has handled police relations and housing issues for people of color in South Bend, BuzzFeed reports.
It seems like there are hopes that if Buttigieg can outnumber Joe Biden in Iowa and New Hampshire, he may have a chance with Black voters going forward. Biden is currently leading the race among Black voters.
An independent contractor in Polk City, Iowa said that Buttigieg’s lack of support from Black voters concerns him because his daughter married a Black man. The Iowa resident also said he was aware of the Black Lives Matter protesters recently interrupting his town hall forum in Des Moines, Iowa.
“But I don’t believe that, based on the way that he is, that would ever be something he would project,” said the Iowa resident. “He wouldn’t project that black lives don’t matter. To him, all lives matter.”
However, “all lives matter” isn’t a phrase that even remotely appeals to the Black community because, if anything, it minimizes the origin, purpose and work of the movement. Black Lives Matter was organized to fight against police brutality and systemic racism against Black people – issues that white folks can’t identify with and have become increasingly worse with Donald Trump in office.
In a new Washington Post-Ipsos poll, “more than 8 in 10 black Americans say they believe Trump is a racist and that he has made racism a bigger problem in the country.” Also, 65 percent of Black people say it’s a “bad time” to be Black in America, while “77 percent of black Americans say it is a ‘good time’ to be a white person.”
“As a black person, you’ve always seen all the racism, the microaggressions. But as white people, they don’t understand this is how things are going for me,” said Courtney Tate, an elementary school teacher outside of Dallas who said he is the only black male teacher in his school. “They don’t live those experiences. They don’t live in those neighborhoods. They moved out. It’s so easy to be white and oblivious in this country.”
His experience is not an uncommon one within the Black community, and it provides more than a little insight to white folks who are confused about Buttigieg’s struggle to get support from Black voters.