According to Pete Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation, racism is part of the U.S. highway system. He made this shocking claim during a recent interview.
Buttigieg responded to an allegation made by April Ryan, a White House correspondent, who claimed that the U.S. interstate system was designed based on a "racist system" that was intended to "keep certain groups in and certain groups out."
Buttigieg confirmed these allegations by saying,
"There is racism physically built into some of our highways."
However, he also claimed that the problem was caused by neglect, which is "why the jobs plan has specifically committed to reconnecting some of the communities that were divided by these dollars."
Buttigieg explained that he was told that the highway was built at the expense of communities of color in the D.C. area. He also mentioned that Robert Moses famously saw through the construction of many highways in New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.
Recently, President Joe Biden promoted his huge $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, and he said that it was not about fixing for today but building for tomorrow.
He pointed out that years ago, trains were not traditional infrastructure until the country decided to lay down tracks and that highways were not traditional infrastructure either until the decision to connect roads across state lines was born.
According to a report by theGrio, "there are efforts to correct America's racist wrongs," and that equity was "being built into the soon-to-be updated black-and-white road maps of the yesteryear."
As Anthony Foxx, former Obama Transportation Secretary said:
"Much of this infrastructure was paid for and designed before the Voting Rights Act of 1965… That was a time before Black people were at the table."
Therefore, this time, it is not just about fixing potholes, bridges, roads, airports, schools, and power grids, but also about fixing the racist wrongs built into the country's infrastructure.
Curious Comments By Buttigieg On Biden's Infrastructure Plan
Buttigieg faced ridicule on social media after he demonstrated that he was open to the idea of taxing motorists for each mile driven to help pay for the huge infrastructure budget proposed by President Joe Biden.
While commenting on the plan, he argued that it "shows a lot of promise." He made these comments during an interview with CNBC.
Buttigieg claimed that the gas tax that was used to achieve this goal was no more, and therefore:
"A so-called 'vehicle-miles-traveled tax' or 'mileage tax,' whatever you want to call it, could be a way to do it."
A lot of people thought this idea would be an unnecessary burden on the poor, and they blasted Buttigieg for backing it.
Even though Buttigieg agrees that racism is built into the interstate system, there is still the issue of funding the expensive process of fixing this historical problem. From the look of things, not many people are willing to get behind the idea of taxing drivers to make this happen.