Pete Buttigieg Campaign Surveyed Staffers of Color for Microaggressions

Democratic presidential candidate former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, left, jokes with anchor Chris Wallace, right, during a commercial break at a FOX News Channel Town Hall at the River Center, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg boasts of his commitment to a racially diverse staff, but a recent staff survey demonstrated that people of color on the campaign were still struggling.

The survey was first reported by the New York Times, detailing a question about microaggressions that was strictly limited to people of color.

“Please only fill out this survey if you identify as a Person of Color,” the survey read. “The answers are anonymous and will be used to inform our white colleagues about privilege and microaggressions.”

“Think of a moment, or moments, during which you experienced microaggressions. Without naming names of the people, can you name the microaggression?”

One said there was a daily “emotional weight” on people of color who felt they were employed in order to help the campaign meet its ambitious diversity targets. Some Hispanic employees felt disrespected when managers asked them to translate text, even if they didn’t speak Spanish.

Current and former Buttigieg staffers of color told the Times that senior officials did not listen to them, asked them to translate Spanish even though they did not speak it, and felt an “emotional weight” for working for Buttigieg who was struggling to earn support from black voters.

“We’re proud of the staffers who stood up and made their voices heard to help our campaign improve and be more inclusive,” Buttigieg said in a statement to the Times. “We realize that we can always do better and these honest discussions are how we make progress, and we will continue to provide our staff the safe space to have them.”

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