By Joanne Rosa
Author and Georgetown University sociology professor Michael Eric Dyson appeared on “The View” Wednesday where he spoke about why black voters might resonate more with former Vice President Joe Biden than South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and the key differences between them in the 2020 race.
Although the latest Iowa poll places Buttigieg ahead of the other Democratic candidates, a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 39% of black voters said they preferred Biden as the 2020 nominee compared to 4% of black voters who backed Buttigieg.
“[Biden] hung out with a black guy for eight years,” Dyson said, referring to former President Barack Obama. “Black people appreciate the fact that he did that.”
But Dyson said “Biden had bonafide days among black people before Obama came on the scene.” When speaking about a party that Biden held for Black History Month, he said, “It was lit… Black people were vibing with [Biden], in a way.”
However, Dyson also referred back to the June Democratic debates, when Sen. Kamala Harris called out Biden for his record on race, specifically with regard to forced school busing.
Biden seems to be going through “the typical experience of a white guy trying to grapple with race in America,” Dyson said, adding that it’s “a very mixed bag going on there.”
Buttigieg, meanwhile, hasn’t received the same support from black Americans. Dyson argues that he could still “overcome” that deficit in potential votes.
“What I like about him though, is the fact that when he was scathingly rebuked by a black reporter, he picked up the phone and called him,” Dyson said of Buttigieg’s phone call with “The Root” writer Michael Harriot regarding an article he wrote claiming the candidate is a liar. “[Pete Buttigieg] engaged that.”
Dyson also raised the issue that less than 3% of business contracts in South Bend went to minority- and female-owned businesses.
“It’s not just a physical, psychological thing; it’s also structural,” Dyson said. “What is the money distribution like? How are you making justice a reality in terms of who you’re giving money to?”
“Having said that, I do like his openness,” Dyson said. “I like his ability to be self-critical and introspective.”
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