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Poor Race Relations Plague Pete Buttigieg, Not Homophobia

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Pete Buttigieg is under fire for comments generalizing the Black community for their reluctance to support his campaign. Calling Black voters homophobic, the openly gay candidate has caught the ire of prospective constituents and fellow presidential hopeful, Kamala Harris. Although he maintains the narrative that “socially conservative” party members have been a challenge to navigate, Pete’s claims ignore the past of his poor race relations as mayor of South Bend.

As the first openly gay major Democratic presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg is struggling to gain the positive attention of a base required to secure the nomination — Black voters. The former mayor believes the socially conservative morals of the Black community pose a significant threat to his candidacy. While he is reluctant to outright call the coveted base of supporters homophobic, the language is still there. In a recent interview, Buttigieg was noted as saying “Americans are capable of moving past old habit, moving past old prejudices” but the hurdles he must jump for the support of Black voters are of his own making.

Unresolved Injustice

Following the shooting death of Eric Logan at the hands of SBPD Officer O’Neill, Pete Buttigieg met with Black Lives Matter reps in a disastrous closed-door session. “Rushed” and perceived as self-serving, Buttigieg’s meeting with BLM was more of a courtesy than a step toward justice. Speaking of the experience, Los Angeles chapter co-founder Melina Abdullah said, “He seemed to have already taken a side. It did seem that he was prioritizing who he thought was important, and it didn’t seem to be Black people.” The meeting ended with the local chapter of Black Lives Matter calling for Pete Buttigieg’s resignation as mayor. While the details of the discussion have not been made public, criticism of the failed meeting has.

During the July phone call and subsequent meeting, the largest disagreement between BLM and Buttigieg was the termination of South Bend PD’s Chief Scott Ruszkowski. Brought on after Buttigieg demoted Darryl Boykin, the city’s first Black police chief, BLM found Ruszkowski unfit to serve the community. Citing his lack of care for Black citizens, BLM sought to hold the chief accountable for O’Neill’s failure to activate his body cam. Noting his outright refusal to fire the chief because of perceived community support, activist Jordan Giger asked, “When you think about these issues, who is the public that you’re thinking about? The white public or the Black public?” Giger continued, Buttitieg took notes, but did not have an answer.

Unaddressed Income Inequality

Outside of the tense relations Buttigieg faced in South Bend due to mishandling of the fallout from Eric Logan’s death, disenfranchised citizens expressed they felt “left behind” in South Bend’s poorest neighborhoods. A 16-year-old resident commented somberly that nothing had changed in his neighborhood. “This sh*t looks the same, every time I walk through here.” However, housing in downtown South Bend has never looked better. Highlighting the city’s income inequality issues, residents have expressed their concern with his lack of progress while critiquing his presidential campaign. Shawn White, a South Bend local, says “How is he gonna run the whole country if you can’t get your city right first?” With more than 40 percent of South Bend’s population being Black, Brown, and subject to the burdens of housing costs and unemployment, many carry the same doubts of his potential as the commander in chief, never mentioning his sexuality as a reason for his incapability. Still, South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn insists homophobia is what’s preventing Buttigieg from securing the Black vote.

Perpetuating Stereotypes Doesn’t Bridge Gaps

During an interview on CNN with Dana Bash, Jim Clyburn remarked that the reluctance to vote for an openly gay man residing with his husband was a “generational issue.” Clyburn, 79, believes there’s “no question” Buttigieg’s sexuality is hurting his popularity among older Black voters in South Carolina, but Black voters have spoken out en masse on social media. Pointing to Buttigieg’s troubled race relations, many share Kamala’s sentiments that the presidential hopeful is misinformed.

Attacking assertions of homophobic bias, California Senator Kamala Harris has called out the claims as “misinformed, misdirected, and just simply wrong.” On Monday, Senator Harris pointed out that while biases against LGBTQ+ persons exist, they are not limited one community. She continued that statements singling out the Black community for homophobia and transphobia ignore queer Black persons who are loved, supported, and accepted by those who love them dearly.

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Politics

Donald Trump Wore a Mask for the First Time in Ages

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On Saturday, President Trump was caught wearing a facemask for the first time (basically) ever. 

The president has consistently resisted wearing a mask in public, seeing it as a weakness. He has frequently flouted the advice of well-respected doctors, choosing to implore his constituents to not wear a mask. On Saturday, we found his tone changed as he was caught wearing a facemask during his visit to Walter Reed Military Medical Center.

“I’ll probably have a mask. I think when you’re in a hospital especially in that particular setting, where you are talking to a lot of soldiers, people that in some cases just got off the operating table. I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask. I’ve never been against masks but I do believe they have a time and a place,” the president said.

By now, we all know POTUS has been very outspoken against masks, so the sudden change in rhetoric is surprising and, perhaps, too little too late. Trump’s poll numbers are historically low especially being an incumbent president less than 4 months away from election day. According to some, he’s polling at 30% favorability. That’s terrible.

If history is any indicator of what’s to come, Trump will lose “bigly” in the upcoming election. No president has rebounded from such negative polling and won. Hell, the last time anyone other than an incumbent president won a delegate in the Iowa caucuses, that president lost. 

Things aren’t looking good for Trump, let’s all cross our fingers.

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Keisha Lance Bottoms Lectures Black People Again; Contracts COVID-19

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It’s a lot, chile. But we’re here to walk you through it. After a morning of social media backlash regarding her comments on the tragic shooting of an 8-year old girl, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced that she has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Mayor Lance began the day with a lecture. “These aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta,” she rattled, “these are members of the community shooting each other.”

Black Twitter was unimpressed. They quickly pointed out that this sounded like the White supremacist rhetoric that has long been lobbed against civil rights activists and Black people who are concerned with their well-being as it relates to police violence.

Some even brought up the fact that communal establishments in Atlanta have been reopened, which has resulted in a transmission spike in her city, and will inevitably cause harm and death to more Black and Brown people. Her response to that matter? Another scolding:

Now, we here at KingOfReads.com aren’t pandemic experts, but we can only assume that one of two things is true, given that Miss Keisha now has the virus, herself. Either she isn’t following her own orders or this virus, much like violence perpetrated against Black people by Black people, is much more complex than she is willing to admit.

Coincidentally, (or not) Governor Kemp (R) has suddenly declared a State of Emergency in Georgia and called in the National Guard. According to NPR, he had this to say:

“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda,” Kemp said. “Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot and left for dead… Enough with the tough talk, we must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”

Quote Taken From NPR

Just after this announcement, came Keisha Lance Bottoms’ big COVID-19 reveal, which seems to have shifted the narrative away from the morning’s seminars and the fact that the state of Georgia is now becoming even more militarized. We’ll keep you updated as the situation evolves.

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LGBTQ

Trump Administration Cuts Protections for Transgender Americans

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On Friday, the Trump administration announced it would be rolling back an Obama-era rule protecting transgender Americans from discrimination in health care. 

Under the Obama administration, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act expanded the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination based on one’s gender identity. Under a revised version of the rule, the Department of Health and Human Services will enforce Section 1557 “by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology” beginning in mid-August. In other words, doctors and insurance companies receiving funding from the Fed can legally refuse any patient needing transition-related medical care.

Of course, as quickly as the rule was finalized, many LGBTQ+ organizations including the ACLU,announced intentions to sue the Trump administration over this new language. “The Trump admin has issued a rule that will embolden health care discrimination against transgender people.. All while a global pandemic is occurring.” said the ACLU in a tweet. 

Forget a global pandemic, ACLU. Friday’s announcement came on the fourth anniversary of the Pulse nightclub tragedy, a mass shooting at a popular Florida gay nightclub that left 49 people and the shooter dead.

President Trump has made it clear how he feels about the nearly 1.4 million transgender people in this country, his fellow Americans – he doesn’t feel anything.

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