Pete Buttigieg: Keep the Jefferson Memorial, but Rename Events to Honor ‘Person of Color’

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 11: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg delivers a keynote address at the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) 14th annual Las Vegas Gala at Caesars Palace on May 11, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Buttigieg is the first openly gay candidate to run for the Democratic …
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JOSHUA CAPLAN

2020 White House hopeful and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) on Monday evening said that while he is in favor of preserving the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, political events bearing the former president’s name should be renamed after a “person of color.”

“No, of course not,” Buttigieg replied when asked by TMZ whether he would rename the presidential memorial. “We’re not trying to go back in time, it’s just when we’re having, for example, Democratic Party events, for the future, we’ve got to think about who we’re going to name them after.”

The 37-year-old presidential candidate continued: “I think it would be great, especially since our party so focused on dealing with racial inequity in our time, maybe we name some of our events after a person of color.”

When pressed which figures he would replace Jefferson’s name with, Buttigieg did not name anyone in particular but did note that some events in his home state of Indiana have been named after Presidents John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. “They are also great Democrats, so they named events after them,” he continued. “We’re deciding what to name things for the future and we should make sure we do it in a way that captures our values going forward.”

Buttigieg’s remarks come days after stating that scrubbing Jefferson’s name from Jefferson-Jackson dinners is “right thing to do.”

“Over time, you develop and evolve on the things you choose to honor. And I think we know enough, especially Jackson, you know, you just look at what basically amounts to genocide that happened here,” the South Bend mayor told radio host Hugh Hewitt last Friday. “Jefferson’s more problematic. You know, there’s a lot to, of course, admire in his thinking and his philosophy. Then again, as you plunge into his writings, especially the notes on the state of Virginia, you know that he knew that slavery was wrong.”

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