Leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement have come out against President-elect Joe Biden’s decision to nominate former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg for Secretary of Transportation, recalling his struggles with minority voters.
Biden announced Tuesday that Buttigieg was his choice for the transportation post — a plum position for a candidate who dropped out of the presidential race before Super Tuesday and endorsed the former vice president.
As Fox News noted, Buttigieg was criticized in South Bend for failing to fix potholes in his city, whose roads were regarded as among the worst in the state.
In addition, Buttigieg faced opposition from the local black community after he demoted the city’s first black police chief, and after a white police officer shot and killed a black man named Eric Logan. Black Lives Matter activists followed Buttigieg on the campaign trail and protested him repeatedly.
His attempts to reach out to the black community — including obsequious visits with Al Sharpton — struck many as pandering. In South Carolina, for example,Buttigieg told black voters that he did not have their “lived experience.” He also routinely drew criticism for overstating his black support.
In a statement Tuesday, South Bend-based Black Lives Matter leader Jordan Geiger said: “[W]e urge the rejection of our former mayor Pete Buttigieg, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Rhode Island, Governor Gina Raimondo for Transportation Secretary or any other cabinet position.”