Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg repeatedly touted the “equity” aspects of President Joe Biden’s “infrastructure” proposal during a Thursday speech to the National Action Network.
After praising Al Sharpton as “a moral leader,” Buttigieg said black Americans now have “a White House that has made vaccine equity a pillar of the response” to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We need to overcome four years of damage and 400 years of injustice, a mountain of mistrust built over the centuries and still growing today,” he claimed.
He called the death of George Floyd and the trial of police officer Derek Chauvin “yet another painful reminder of America’s racialized inheritance.”
“The work ahead is daunting but it is heartening on the national stage today, we’re discussing how much progress we can make, how big we can go and no longer just how much damage we must deal with,” the transportation secretary said.
Buttigieg said National Action Network has “partners in Washington who believe equity is not a program, it’s not a department, it’s a profound value and a lens that must apply to every program and every department and every decision.”
He alleged “racism is responsible for more destruction and injustice than any other force in American life.” Buttigieg added “anti-racism is policy in a Biden-Harris administration.
The transportation secretary went on to say transportation “is an expression of our values” and advancing “racial equity” is among his “highest priorities.”
“The transportation decisions we make can either exacerbate inequity or build a better future. We’re clear on the path this department will take,” Buttigieg told the group.
He said equity is “central to how we spend taxpayer money.”
“We’re also looking at how DOT [Department of Transportation] can help address inequities in our criminal justice system so that a traffic stop is no less safe for a black person than it is for a white American,” Buttigieg said.
He said the transportation department is also looking at how it can “support voting initiatives as the sacred right to vote comes under attack in states across the country.”
Buttigieg said the American Jobs Plan will create “millions” more jobs, a claim he was previous challenged on when he erroneously said the spending plan would add nearly 20 million jobs.
“The plan includes $20 billion for road safety. That’s important for everyone, but it’s certainly a matter of equity. On our roads, the fatality rate of black people is twice that of white people. We cannot accept this,” he claimed.
Breitbart News attempted to obtain the data from the Department of Transportation that Buttigieg used, but it did not respond.
Data from 2006 showed blacks accounted for 10 percent of motor vehicle fatalities, while whites made up 59 percent of the deaths.
Buttigieg told Sharpton’s followers that the Biden administration will “rebuild our infrastructure in a way that is not only more resilient, but actually helps fight climate change.”
Biden addressed National Action Network on Wednesday.