Harris Slams Buttigieg for Claiming Being Gay ‘Connects’ Him to Black Voters
Democratic presidential candidate slams Mayor for comparing struggles
After Mayor Pete Buttigieg said his experience of being a gay “stranger in my own country” allowed him to connect with black voters, fellow presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) poured cold water on the notion.
“I welcome the challenge of connecting with black voters in America who don’t know me,” the mayor of South Bend said Wednesday during the Democrat candidates debate.
Harris was asked by CNN'sDana Bash what she thought about his remarks.
”One of the points that Mayor Buttigieg made tonight was that in his attempt to kind of bridge a divide that he has between him and his candidacy and African-American voters according to the polls, is to equate his experience as a gay man with African-Americans’ experience in this country in terms of, you know, civil rights and not being judged for who they are. How did you think—what do you think of that? Is that a fair comparison?" Bash asked.
“I don’t —I’m never going to engage or allow anyone to engage in comparing struggles. I think that is just misdirected.”
“So we’re going to now say that my pain is worse than your pain? We had 400 years of slavery in this country."
"We had years of lynching, which involved, black men, in particular, being dragged from their homes and hung on a tree, often castrated," Harris added.
"We’ve had the years of Jim Crow and institutional racism that included redlining and systemic racism that lingers today," she continued.
"And then, you know, we also have our LGBTQ brothers and sisters who still, under the law, do not have full equality."
"These are all injustices, but to start comparing one group’s pain to the other is misguided, and I think that anyone who wants to actually build the coalition around the country and bring people together should not be in the position of saying that one group’s pain is equal to or less than or greater than another’s.”
Last month, Harris blamed her faltering poll numbers on her race and gender, asking if America was “ready for a woman and a woman of color to be president of the United States.”
In an interview with Axios on HBO posted on YouTube on Sunday, the senator called the issue of her electability the “elephant in the room.”
“There is a lack of ability or a difficulty in imagining that someone who we have never seen can do a job that has been done 45 times by someone who is not that person,” she said.