Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson mocked Pete Buttigieg after the Transportation Secretary said his agency would use infrastructure funds to address ‘racism’ in highway designs.
The controversy began when April Ryan, a reporter for The Grio and contributor to CNN, fed Buttigieg a question on racist roads and the need to address them.
“Can you give us the construct of how you will deconstruct the racism that was built into roadways?” Ryan asked.
Ryan and Buttigieg have collaborated on this narrative in the past when last Spring, the former mayor of South Bend argued “‘there is racism physically built into some of our highways.”
Buttigieg was all too happy to address the idea of racism being built into highways across the United States.
“I’m still surprised that some people were surprised when I pointed to the fact that if a highway was built for the purpose of dividing a White and a Black neighborhood,” he began.
“Or if an underpass was constructed such that a bus carrying mostly Black and Puerto Rican kids to a beach, or that would have been, in New York was designed too low for it to pass by, that that obviously reflects racism that went into those design choices,” Buttigieg continued.
The infrastructure bill Buttigieg is discussing, just passed days ago, includes a program called “Reconnecting Communities” which addresses perceived racism in highway design.
“Too often, past transportation investments divided communities … or it left out the people most in need of affordable transportation options,” a White House fact sheet reads.
“In particular, significant portions of the interstate highway system were built through Black neighborhoods.”
The administration touts the infrastructure deal as creating “a first-ever program to reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure.”
Carlson had a field day with the Ryan-Buttigieg interaction, noting that bridges built too low for busses are going to be too low no matter who is riding the bus, and suggesting there are far more important things for the Transportation Secretary to focus on.
“You may have wondered what would happen if the dumbest people in the world gathered together in the same room and tried to have a conversation,” he surmised. “For one thing, hilarity would ensue. It happened today.”
“We don’t know exactly what’s happening, but we agree with Pete Buttigieg 100 percent that it’s morally wrong. It’s not who we are!” he declared sarcastically.
“So thank heaven he’s got a trillion dollars to get to the bottom of the racist road problem.”
Fact-checkers such as Politifact have said Buttigieg’s argument that there is racism in highway designs is true.
Oddly enough, however, their ruling also notes that the divide seems to have been compelled by income levels rather than race.
“In city after city, highways of the Interstate era and before have prompted the demolition or fragmentation of Black neighborhoods — due, historians say, to a combination of racism, lower acquisition costs for real estate, and weaker political muscle to oppose the projects,” they write.
“Mixed neighborhoods and those inhabited by lower-income white Americans were also divided, or at least targeted, by highway planners,” adds Politifact.
Buttigieg has consistently been a source of mockery as he focuses his efforts on paternity leave, free pre-school, and now, racist roads, as opposed to the supply chain crisis which has advanced under his purview.
Supply chain issues have become so prevalent of late that White House officials admitted in regards to Christmas shopping this year, “There will be things that people can’t get.”
Businesses nationwide are short-staffed and food shortages are becoming all too common.
Amazon, meanwhile, has a documentary being released in three days that claims Buttigieg and his husband Chasten “changed history” during the 2020 presidential campaign.
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