Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg fully supports erasing the names of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from titles of prestigious annual political dinners around the country, due to their slave-owning history.
The Indiana politician shared his view on The Hugh Hewitt Show Friday after the radio host asked if Jefferson-Jackson dinners be renamed everywhere because both were holders of slaves.
‘Yeah, we’re doing that in Indiana. I think it’s the right thing to do,’ Buttigieg said ahead of his June 15 appearance at the event that is now named the Blue Commonwealth Dinner in his state.
Buttigieg, 37, has spoken about going to every Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Indiana when he was running statewide.
Pete Buttigieg supports erasing names of slave-owner presidents from Jefferson-Jackson dinners across the US
He told The Hugh Hewitt Show Friday that ‘Jefferson is more problematic’ than Jackson (right)
In 2016 Indiana dropped the name from the Democratic dinner in reference to the two leaders regarded as founders of the party.
It followed Utah in 2007 and more in 2015. Then in 2018 Virginia followed.
Jackson is known for signing the Indian Removal Act, allowing tribes to be moved west. Thousands of Cherokees died in what became known as the Trail of Tears.
Buttigieg said the disassociation of Jefferson’s name was more of a pressing matter across the United States.
‘Over time, you develop and evolve on the things you choose to honor … Jefferson is more problematic,’ he said about the 3rd President of the United States, American Founding Father and Author of the Declaration of Independence.
‘There’s a lot, of course, to admire in his thinking and his philosophy, but then again if you plunge into his writings, especially the notes on the state of Virginia, you know that he knew slavery was wrong. We are all morally conflicted human beings.’
He said scrubbing the names of the 1801-1809 President Jefferson and 1829-1837 7th President Jackson from event titles was not an attempt to erase history.
However he regards the move as a way to not only acknowledge the damage of the enslavement of people but to make it clear racism still thrives in America.
‘The real reason I think there is a lot of pressure on this is the relationship between the past and present that we’re finding in a million different ways that racism isn’t some curiosity out of the past that we’re embarrassed about but moved on from,’ he said.
‘It’s alive. It’s well. It’s hurting people and it’s one of the main reasons to be in politics today is to try to change or reverse the harms that went along with that.’
On Friday he also told an Iowa audience that Donald Trump’s support of LGBTQ is merely ‘lip service’ after the President said it was ‘fine’ for the mayor of South Bend to appear with his husband.
‘They’re paying lip service to the idea of – like the president was asked about my marriage, so he could have the opportunity to say he’s fine with it,’ Buttigieg said.
Trump told Fox News Channel’s The Next Revolution with Steve Hilton in an interview airing Sunday ‘I think it’s absolutely fine’ that Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten, are open about their relationship on the campaign trail.