Buttigieg made the comments during an interview with known race baiter and MSNBC host Al Sharpton who questioned the secretary about his efforts to address inequality regarding road fatalities, saying "A lot of people don’t understand, even down to road fatalities, it is not equal."
Buttigieg replied, "It’s something that deserves more attention, which is why I’m working to bring more attention to it. We have a crisis when it comes to roadway fatalities in America. We lose about 40,000 people every year. It’s a level that is comparable to gun violence. And we see a lot of racial disparities. Black and brown Americans, tribal citizens, and rural residents are much more likely to lose their lives whether it’s in a car or as a pedestrian being hit by a car.”
"There are a lot of reasons related to discrimination and related to even the ways that roads are designed and built, who has access to a safe street design that has crosswalks and good lighting and who doesn’t have that access. That can drive disparities, and we have a responsibility to act on that," he added.
Last year, Buttigieg launched the $1 billion 'Reconnecting Communities' program for what many ridiculed as “racist roads” in an effort to infuse racial equity into America's infrastructure.
In 2021, Buttigieg said "What we’re doing is we are reconnecting people who may have been disconnected or divided by discriminatory decisions in the past. That helps everybody. I don’t know why anybody would be against reconnecting people who have been divided by discriminatory decisions in the past."
Recently, over two dozen progressive Democrats, including Reps. Jamaal Bowman (NY), Cori Bush (MO), Ayanna Pressley (MA), and Ilhan Omar, (MN) signed a letter to call for reform to "racist traffic enforcement" in the nation’s roadways. The letter stated, "On our nation’s roads and highways, Black motorists have experienced disproportionate scrutiny and excessive force under the guise of traffic enforcement. As Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), we urge you to condemn the status quo of traffic enforcement and develop reforms to reduce racial inequities in traffic stops."
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