As the 2020 election heats up, Democrat presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg released a commercial earlier this week invoking Matthew 25 to stir up potential voters in South Carolina, according to the Christian Post.
“In our White House, you won’t have to shake your head and ask yourself: whatever happened to ‘I was hungry and you fed me. I was a stranger and you welcomed me’?” Buttigieg said, referring to Matthew 25:35.
The only gay candidate continued to lay out his plans for unification in the country.
“We have to unify the American people. It doesn’t mean pretending that we are all the same,” he said. “It means unifying around issues from wage and family leave to gun violence and immigration.”
Buttigieg hopes that his administration would encourage “an American experience defined not by exclusion but by belonging.”
The $2 million ad started airing Tuesday to spark discussion in South Carolina voters who head to the polls on Feb. 29 for the state’s primary. According to CBS News, the southern state, where black voters dominate the Democratic primary electorate, is considered “a gateway to African-American voters.”
The millennial hopeful ranks fourth in South Carolina behind Vice President Joe Biden (35 percent), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (16.3 percent) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (12.8 percent). Though Buttigieg launched a compressive plan to fight racism called the Douglass Plan, he has failed to garner support amongst black voters.
“Mayor Pete appears to have a heavy lift in front of him to convince black voters to support him,” said Paul A. Djupe, a political science professor at Denison University. “Polls already indicate very weak support for him among African Americans, though I would not want to chalk that up solely to prejudice since there are arguments available about how his mayoralty has affected the black community.”
Over the weekend, Buttigieg visited Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Rev. William Barber II, who is also an activist and NAACP leader, welcomed the candidate and spoke from the pulpit on the candidate’s sexuality.
“You can’t understand the LGBT community without understanding black folk, you can’t understand black folk without understanding the LGBT community,” he said.
But Pastor Joe Darby of Nichols Chapel AME Church in South Carolina disagreed. He told CBS News that southern black churchgoers “tend to be very progressive when it comes to issues of advocacy, equity and justice” but are often “socially conservative on issues of the flesh.”
“There’s slight discomfort that I’ve learned, with someone simply being LGBT,” he said. “It’s unfortunate because he’s got a good message … and he does an excellent job in articulating his faith.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Win McNamee/Staff
Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.