Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg paid a visit to Atlanta Monday night (Nov. 18) to campaign for more Black votes.
The South Bend, Indiana, mayor spoke at Morehouse College to announce his plan to boost historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) if elected.
Buttigieg spoke to about 250 people in the auditorium of the historically Black, all-male college. According to WABE, he discussed his plan to dedicate $50 billion to HBCUs if elected, because systemic racism and chronic underfunding leave these institutions vulnerable.
“There’s no way we can just wash our hands of this and say that ‘well, now we’ve torn down a lot of these structures of discrimination so equity will just take care of itself.’ It won’t because the harms compound,” Buttigieg said, according to WABE.
The Washington Post reported that Buttigieg made point of a large showing in Iowa to persuade Black voters that he can win. He also discussed his Douglass Plan, named after Frederick Douglass, which works to redress generations of inequality in education, housing and health care.
He urged students to research the Douglass Plan as it is “the most ambitious vision and the most comprehensive vision put forward on dismantling systemic racism in the United States,” reported 11Alive.
Despite Buttigieg’s campaign receiving recent backlash after he used a stock photo of a woman from Kenya for his website, many students were still impressed following his visit.
Kaori Anderson-Walker, a Morehouse sophomore who attended the event, told the Washington Post that Buttigieg was “phenomenal” and that “the way he’s looking out for the Black community is much needed.”
And another attendee, Kristen Hope Wilder, told the Washington Post that it was important for Buttigieg to show up at the historically black college.
“I think a lot of people coming in tonight didn’t know where he stood on certain issues. This gives people the initiative to look more into him and keep an eye on him on the debate stage,” said Wilder, president of the Young Democrats of Spelman College.
Other presidential candidates have also made recent appearances in the Atlanta area. Buttigieg’s speech comes just two days before the next Democratic presidential debate, which takes place at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta on Wednesday (Nov. 20).
(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)