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Going it alone

Melvin B. Miller

Opinion polls in New Hampshire and Iowa elevated Pete Buttigieg to the group of four candidates who are leading in the race for the Democratic Party nomination for president. The only problem for Mayor Pete is that the black vote usually accounts for about 25 percent of the primary total, and Pete has zero black voter support.

Many pundits have tried to explain this shortcoming, but to no avail. The easiest explanation was that blacks are not fully supportive of gay marriage. However, blacks voted for Lori Lightfoot, a black lesbian woman, against Toni Preckwinkle, a straight black woman, for mayor of Chicago. So an anti-gay attitude fails as a reason.

Another observation is that Buttigieg has very few endorsements from prominent blacks, and that might provide some explanation for Pete’s lack of black support. He has not cultivated a substantial number of black friends and associates over the years. He is now paying the price for failing to expand his contacts through racial diversity.

There is a belief that ending racial discrimination and promoting diversity benefits blacks but is of no consequence to whites. There might be insufficient time for Buttigieg to get sufficiently known to blacks to get their votes in 2020.

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