Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is alleging that the US highway system has racist undertones inherently built into its construction.
The conversation started when White House correspondent April Ryan commented that the national interstate system was built on racism, claiming that it was designed to keep certain types of people in and out. Buttigieg agreed with this assessment, saying that it was not always just neglect that led to the system not being as accessible for some minority groups.
Buttigieg Promoting Infrastructure Plan
It is not a surprise that Buttigieg is suddenly jumping into this controversial conversation. As the secretary of transportation, it is Buttigieg’s job to promote President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan. The plan is intended to repair and replace many of the country’s most critical transportation systems, including upgrades to the interstate network.
Buttigieg said that Biden’s new plan will be intentional about reconnecting the underserved communities that may have been divided during the interstate system’s initial construction decades ago.
Buttigieg Under Fire
While he was once a media darling when he mounted an unsuccessful bid for president in the 2020 election, Buttigieg has recently come under fire for a variety of comments that he has made in his new role in the Biden administration.
The latest gaffe came when Buttigieg suggested last week that part of Biden’s infrastructure’s budget will be funded by taxing travelers for each mile that they drive. Detractors of Buttigieg pointed out that this plan would only serve to further alienate the poor by making it cost-prohibitive to travel on the nation’s highways.