Buttigieg: Biden gave 'bad' debate answer on slavery's legacy

Buttigieg: Biden gave 'bad' debate answer on slavery's legacy
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South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — ObamaCare premiums dropping for 2020 | Warren, Buttigieg shift stances on 'Medicare for All' | Drug companies spend big on lobbying Poll: Biden holds 2 point lead over Sanders nationally Saagar Enjeti: Warren, Buttigieg don't stand a chance against Trump MORE (D) on Sunday said his fellow Democratic presidential candidate gave a “bad answer” about slavery’s legacy effect on modern race relations.

“It was a well-intentioned answer, and it was a bad answer.  The reason that we are seeing racial inequity in this country is that it was put into place on purpose,” Buttigieg told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday.

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“And I'm not just talking about slavery beginning 400 years ago. I'm talking about policy decisions that happened within living memory that excluded black Americans from everything from fully being able to access the G.I. Bill to labor protections. These have consequences,” he added.

Numerous debate viewers were mystified by an answer Biden gave in Thursday’s Democratic debate, which suggested “mak[ing] sure you have the record player on” could ensure children learned more words.

“I think he was trying to get at the issue of how many words infants hear as children.  Interesting issue. There is a much bigger picture here.  And it has to do with inheritance.  It has to do with the wealth gap and the fact that, if you are black in this country, as a consequence of systemic racism, you start out with less,” Buttigieg said.

“In the same way that, if you save a dollar, it compounds over the years and becomes more and more, the same is true of a dollar stolen.  And that has happened to black Americans through generations,” he added.

Buttigieg added that such racial disparities must be resolved through investment, noting his own proposal for an equivalent of the “Marshall Plan” used to rebuild postwar Europe.

‘We have got to be lifting up black entrepreneurs, making sure that federal taxpayer spending … is going to businesses owned by those who have been systematically disadvantaged in the past, investing in HBCUs that are training what could be the new class of black millionaires and a black middle class of professionals in education, law enforcement, medicine,” he said.