Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s cheerleading squad on The View, Tuesday, praised the South Bend Mayor for admitting he has white privilege during an appearance on The Daily Show. Behar also contended that even poor “white guys” still have white privilege while the rest of the panel gushed over “Mayor Pete,” whom they “adore.”
Co-host Joy Behar praised Buttigieg for merely “acknowledging” his white privilege, describing his acknowledgment as a “huge step,” and praising him for having the “self-awareness that you’re privileged just because of the color of your skin.” Co-host Abby Huntsman, a self-described “big fan of Mayor Pete,” argued that he “handled that question really well” before describing herself as privileged because she is a white woman “born into a family of privilege,” although she stressed that she was “not going to apologize for being born into the family that I was.”
Co-host Sunny Hostin brought the conversation back to Buttigieg: “I adore him...I really do. I think he’s sort of the antithesis of what we see in the White House because he has empathy, he can seemingly walk in other people’s shoes.” Co-host Meghan McCain approached the conversation from a slightly different angle, arguing that Buttigieg has victim status because he is gay: “I love the fact that he’s married to a man. It’s not something we’re talking about but I also think it’s something that we shouldn’t ignore...He couldn’t legally marry his husband until recently so it’s okay to say that there’s also some privileges that he didn’t have up until recently.”
Believe it or not, co-host Whoopi Goldberg did her best to end the conversation with some common sense, declaring that “white privilege and privilege is a great big phrase but in the day to day stuff, when you’re just trying to pay your rent and they just knock down your hours and you can’t get through, you know, we’re all suffering the same stuff.” As the rest of the panel urged Buttigieg to focus on a unifying message, McCain could not hold back her excitement that “for the first time, we could have a first husband in the White House.”
After McCain talked about how Buttigieg’s husband “said he’s excited to pick out the first China, to be the first man to do it,” Hostin made sure to mention that “his husband’s Twitter account is great.” Those hoping for a discussion on how Buttigieg’s policies might help the country will walk away from this View segment disappointed.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Tuesday’s edition of The View is below. Click “expand” to read more.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Hey, welcome back. Mayor Pete Buttigieg was reaching out to voters in Harlem yesterday and went on The Daily Show last night to admit that he’s coming into this race with a rather large advantage. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETE BUTTIGIEG: One of the things about privilege, especially things like white privilege or male privilege, is that you don’t think about it very much. You know, it’s, it’s being in an out group where you are constantly reminded of it. It’s not when you’re in a majority or a privileged group. And so, I try to check myself and make sure I, I try to understand the, the factors that help explain why things are going well. But I do think that, you know, there’s a media environment that, that kind of pushes people into lanes, whether they comfortably fit there or not. And I do think it’s simply harder for candidates of color or for female candidates and I’m, I’m very mindful of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GOLDBERG: So, he’s acknowledging it but what do you do about it? How do we make this change happen?
JOY BEHAR: Well, I think just acknowledging it is a huge step, you know, to have that self-awareness that you’re privileged just because of the color of your skin, that you can walk into a store…
GOLDBERG: Or because you’re a guy.
BEHAR: And you’re a man. Well, that’s a different kind of privilege too.
BEHAR: But as a white person…
GOLDBERG: But he’s…
BEHAR: …you can walk into a store, nobody’s following you, you know. You can buy an apartment anywhere you want. You can buy a house any neighborhood you want as long as you have the money. There’s all sorts of privileges. And so you say to yourself, gee, I recognize that, and that’s a good thing.
GOLDBERG: Well, he’s, he’s talking about two, two privileges.
GOLDBERG: He’s talking about the male privilege and, and white male privilege.
ABBY HUNTSMAN: But, you know what? He’s not apologizing for it. And I’ve been clear on this show. I am a big fan of Mayor Pete and I thought he handled that question really well…
HUNTSMAN: …because we have these conversations a lot on this show and I think there’s…it’s important to be able to listen and to be able to live in reality and understand where you came from but not be sorry about the family you were born into or the person that you are because I’m someone…I mean, I talk about it on the show. I was…I’m a white woman. I was born into a family of privilege.
HUNTSMAN: I know. I know.
GOLDBERG: My God.
HUNTSMAN: Like, my grandpa came from little but he, he made a lot of himself.
GOLDBERG: This whole time I thought you was a sister. I don’t know what I’m…
GOLDBERG: Go ahead, I’m sorry.
HUNTSMAN: I’m just…I’m not going to apologize for…
BEHAR: Why would you apologize?
HUNTSMAN: …being born into the family that I was. I’m so proud of that. That being said though, I think we all need to be aware of the world we’re in and that we do have opportunities other people don’t, right, and that we don’t need to apologize for it but I think he handled it very well in saying let’s, let’s listen to each other more. Let’s have these conversations.
BEHAR: Do you remember John Kennedy…
HUNTSMAN: Let’s understand.
BEHAR: John Kennedy famously said, I believe, the Kennedys believed this. They said to, to whom much is given much is…
SUNNY HOSTIN: …expected.
HUNTSMAN: I love that.
BEHAR: …and that, that’s basically it. You know, you take a… I think that we have a problem in the country sometimes with white guys who don’t have a lot, who are struggling and they don’t see themselves as having any kind of white privilege so that’s where, that’s where the conversation needs to go with, with people like that who don’t really see that. And it is…even though you’re, you’re having a hard time, you still have a privilege if you’re white, even if, if you’re poor, only because of the things I just said. If you have some money, you can buy a house wherever you want. You can shop wherever you want. You can go to the school in the neighborhood…that is a good neighborhood for you. And that’s something that I think is hard to convey sometimes to people…
HOSTIN: And it’s great that…
BEHAR: …who are suffering.
HOSTIN: And it’s great that he can empathize as well through that acknowledgment saying, you know…
HOSTIN: Pete. I, I, I adore him, I just…I really do. I think he’s sort of the antithesis of what we see in the White House because he has empathy, he can seemingly walk in other people’s shoes and to just acknowledge the fact that there are other candidates that aren’t getting the coverage he is getting.
MEGHAN MCCAIN: So I, I need you guys to bear with me on this one. I totally agree with everything everyone’s saying that it’s important to recognize privilege when you have it, like Abby, being white, being from a family that was successful…
HUNTSMAN: She’s also white.
MCCAIN: …et cetera, et cetera. I’m also a white woman at the table. I know.
MCCAIN: I’m like the whitest girl ever, but okay.
HUNTSMAN: No, you are one percent black, Meghan.
MCCAIN: But I will say, Mayor Pete couldn’t get legally married until a few years ago so is being gay not considered an oppressed class anymore?
MCCAIN: That’s my question with this is that he also, like, I’m okay with him talking about…I love that he and his husband, it’s tot…America is, he’s, by the way, neck in neck in New Hampshire according to a Boston Globe-Suffolk poll, 12 percent with Bernie Sanders right now so he’s up and rising and I love the fact that he’s married to a man. It’s not something we’re talking about but I also think it’s something that we shouldn’t ignore meaning that he, I was an LGBT advocate. I think everyone at the table is. For a long time, he couldn’t legally marry his husband up until recently. So it’s okay to say that there’s also some privileges he didn’t have until recently.
GOLDBERG: Well, you know what, the, the thing, I guess, to do is know that we are all hindered in some way. No one actually gets off. White women, you know, you’ve had some privilege but not a whole bunch or you all would be much further ahead. Do you know what I mean? Black women, same thing. Women have had a tough time, ceilings, all kinds of stuff. I mean, you know, listen, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t questioned where they’re going or how to get there, and white privilege and privilege is a great big phrase but in the day to day stuff, when you’re just trying to pay your rent and they just knock down your hours and you can’t get through, you know, we’re all suffering the same stuff. So maybe the thing to do is to look at folks and not say, hey, here’s what you don’t have but here’s what we’re going to have, maybe, moving it forward, you know, saying, yes, this is a man who is, who is going to change the world.
HOSTIN: And, and unite us and…
GOLDBERG: And unite us.
HOSTIN: …here is where we have commonality.
GOLDBERG: You know…
HOSTIN: And he has that message as well.
MCCAIN: Right. And for the first time, we could have a first husband in the White House, who he, by the way, he said he’s excited to pick out the first China, to be the first man to do it.
GOLDBERG: I like it.
HOSTIN: His husband’s Twitter account is great.
GOLDBERG: So there we go. Life is changing, baby. It’s happening. It’s changing whether you, whether you are on board or not. The world is changing and we have to be on board with it because our children will leave us behind if we’re dragging them down. We’ll be right back.