Pete Buttigieg Slams 7th U.S. President Andrew Jackson For Genocide Against Native Americans

Written by Dana Sanchez
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg addresses supporters at a campaign event Thursday, May 9, 2019, in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg wants to rename Democratic events that include former slaveholding presidents Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson to acknowledge that racism persists and slavery continues to cause damage.

Renaming the prestigious annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner is the “right thing to do,” said Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Friday on The Hugh Hewitt Show.

The names of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Jackson are in the titles of prestigious Jefferson-Jackson dinners — annual political dinners around the U.S. held for fundraising. Both presidents owned plantations and slaves, and both are credited with founding the Democratic Party. Their names don’t belong in the title due to their slave-owning past, according to Buttigieg.

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Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, forcing tribes to move west. Thousands of Cherokees died in what became known as the Trail of Tears.

In Indiana, the event is now named the Blue Commonwealth Dinner, Daily Mail reported. Utah and Virginia have also changed the name.

Of the two presidents, founding father Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence (No. 3, 1801-1809) is more problematic than Jackson (No. 7, 1829-1837), Buttigieg said.

‘There’s a lot, of course, to admire in his thinking and his philosophy,” Buttigieg said. “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.’

Racism is alive and well, Buttigieg said. “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.”