During CNN‘s post-Democratic presidential debate coverage on Friday night, political commentator Van Jones addressed Pete Buttigieg‘s approach to racial issues and compared him to the iconic animated character, Scooby-Doo, Breitbart reports.
“He doesn’t have the feel of it. When asked tough questions, why the heck are they putting more black people in jail the minute you walk in office he sounds like Scooby-Doo,” Jones said, pointing to Buttigieg’s evasion when pressed with such questions.
“You know, ‘rarr, rarr, rarr, rarr.’ That doesn’t work. You have to answer the question. I did that because I was scared of black kids killing each other. I was doing the best I could. Come out with it, man. He can’t deal with those questions.”
Per The Hill, ABC News correspondent and moderator Linsey Davis pressed Buttigieg during the debate on the reported increase in arrests of black residents for marijuana possession in South Bend, Indiana, during his eight-year stint as mayor. Although Buttigieg claimed the overall arrest rate was lower during this period, Davis pushed back.
“No, there was an increase,” she said. “The year before you were in office it was lower.”
In response, Buttigieg suggested that he employed strategies to target areas with gang violence and gun violence that were disproportionately affecting black teenagers. He claims his approach of enforcement took aim at cases that were linked to the “most violent” gang or group connected to a murder.
Here is Pete Buttigieg's answer when pressed on why black people in South Bend were four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white resident.— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) February 8, 2020
He tried to explain it by saying there was some type of scourge of gang violence in South Bend. #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/c6MgbG0DmY
Some took to social media to suggest his answer was racist, while others — agreeing with Elizabeth Warren‘s subsequent remark — claimed it was not a sufficient answer and did not address the question.
Buttigieg has struggled to garner support from African-Americans for the duration of his campaign. As The Inquisitr previously reported, a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa, was crashed by protestors in January. The protestors were chanting “anti-poor, anti-black” and “black lives matter” to draw attention to his controversial record in South Bend. They confronted Buttigieg and claimed that they attempted to speak with him back in South Bend while he was mayor but were unsuccessful.
The complaints of the protestors mirror the findings of a report jointly published by The Root and The Young Turks, which claimed that Buttigieg ignored evidence of racism in South Bend’s police force. The emails, memos, and complaints examined in the report reportedly provided evidence that black officers repeatedly brought the issue up to the South Bend Common Council.