Pete Buttigieg Responds to Writer Who Called Him a “Lying Motherf*cker”

The writer said his piece was not meant to inspire outrage but to make a point about Black voters.

A 2011 resurfaced video of presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg talking about minorities and schooling sparked a candid op-ed by a writer, who called Buttigieg a “lying motherf*cker.”

In an article for The Root, author Michael Harriot calls the South Bend, Indiana mayor a “Lying MF,” after the video showed Buttigieg saying, “There are a lot of kids, especially the lower-income minority neighborhoods, who literally just haven’t seen [education] work. There isn’t somebody they know personally who testifies to the value of education.”

Harriot criticized Buttigieg by saying he “has never attended a school with more than 10 percent black students, [but] he thinks he knows what’s stopping black kids from achieving their educational dreams.” He also wrote that Buttigieg oversimplified the systematic racism in schools and neighborhoods down to children not having role models.

Buttigieg responded to the op-ed on Tuesday, saying “I wanted to make sure I communicated that I'm very conscious of the advantages and privileges that I have had.”

He also gave Harriot a phone call, which the author then detailed in a follow-up piece. During the conversation, Harriot says Buttigieg mostly wanted to listen to his points rather than tell his own side of the 2011 comment.

Harriot told Buttigieg that institutional racism is so deeply embedded that he’s worried no one in any position of power can remedy it; Harriot said Buttigieg disagreed.

“Buttigieg, however, insisted that there are some things that people in power could do to make things more equal, a point I actually agreed with,” Harriot said.

The piece concluded with Harriot saying the purpose of his piece was not to inspire outrage but to make a necessary point about Black voters. “There is no way that I can know if he is genuinely interested in engaging black voters, attacking discrimination or crossing the racial divide,” Harriot said. “The only thing I actually know about Pete Buttigieg is that he is a white man. But Pete Buttigieg listened, which is all you can ask a white man to do. Unless, of course, he wants to fight.”