Pete Buttigieg: Explain Apparent Condemnation of the Civil Rights Movement

Target: Pete Buttigieg, candidate for the Democratic nomination

Goal: Clarify Mayor Pete’s seeming condemnation of the civil rights movement.

In a tweet attempting to draw comparisons between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, Democratic hopeful Pete Buttigieg said “We can’t afford a scenario where it comes down to Donald Trump with his nostalgia for the social order of the 1950’s and Bernie Sanders with his nostalgia for the revolutionary politics of the 1960’s.” The predominant ‘revolutionary politics’ of the 1960’s were the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War.

Buttigieg’s campaign later deleted the tweet. The idea that a potential presidential candidate in 2020 would have some kind of problem with people of color actively fighting for their rights against segregation and oppression is a troubling one. If Pete Buttigieg expects to represent all Americans, and not just whites, some clarification is due, especially to people of color whose lives depended on the civil rights movement. Sign our petition and demand that Pete Buttigieg explains himself.


Dear Mr. Buttigieg,

Your tweet drawing a comparison between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders is a troubling one. Invoking the “revolutionary politics of the 1960’s,” also known as the civil rights movement, as something to be opposed to, raises a major red flag for those of us who take civil rights seriously. Obviously, by deleting the tweet, you know that something was wrong with the message you were sending, but potential voters deserve more than a silent retraction.

Presumably, by running for the Democratic nomination for president, you intend to represent more than just white people. Explain to people of color what is so problematic about the civil rights movement, which led to, among other things, African Americans being allowed to sit wherever they want on public transportation. And if opposition to that monumental fight for justice wasn’t what you intended to portray, what was?


[ Your Name Here ]

Photo Credit: Gary Riggs

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