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Pete Buttigieg’s Douglass Plan: Some Key Takeaways

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks on stage at the 2019 Essence Festival at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 7th, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Democratic presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled new details of his Douglass Plan, a comprehensive program to combat racial injustice in the United States, on Thursday morning.

Buttigieg, who is polling at 6 percent (behind four other Democratic candidates) and recently announced a $24.8 million fundraising sum over the past three months, has been struggling to gain the support of black voters. His record on racial issues has been under particular scrutiny since a white police officer shot and killed a black man in South Bend last month. In the first round of Democratic debates, Buttigieg acknowledged his lack of success diversifying the South Bend Police Department, but through the Douglass Plan, he expresses his commitment to fighting for racial equality in the U.S. through policing reforms and much more. (He said in a recent speech that his extensive policy plans are not centered simply on courting more black voters.)

In an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition on Thursday, Buttigieg stressed the importance of making efforts to address generational harms to the U.S.’s black population—particularly for white candidates and white Americans generally.

“If you’re a white candidate, it is twice as important for you to be talking about racial inequity and not just describing the problem—which is fashionable in politics—but actually talking about what we’re going to do about it and describing the outcomes we’re trying to solve for,” Buttigieg told NPR.

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