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Sat Feb 29, 2020, 06:22 PM

Prominent SC African-American Abe Jenkins talks about Pete


Jenkins, who’s now in his mid-60s, paid attention when President Obama name-dropped former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in 2017 as part of a new generation of Democratic leaders. Last year, he met Buttigieg in Charleston and came away impressed. On his own, he started a Facebook page to galvanize support among black voters for Buttigieg. Soon afterward, the campaign asked him if he’d serve as the political director for South Carolina.
. . .
I caught up with Abe Jenkins on the day before the South Carolina primary. We talked about why he chose Buttigieg, what obstacles he saw to Buttigieg’s winning over black voters, and why his grandfather Esau would have supported Pete’s candidacy. . . .
"I worked on Obama’s 2012 campaign in Philly. And then I remember someone asked President Obama before the end of his administration: What’s the future of the Democratic Party? And he mentioned Pete. That’s when I started saying, 'Pete? Who is this guy Pete?'”
How did you come to work for Pete’s campaign?
"I started watching him, and then I went to a fundraiser in Charleston, probably one of the first ones. I didn’t have the money because it was a high-priced fundraiser but I got invited in just to be there. This guy was just good.
The next day, they had a meeting with community leaders, myself and Rev. Nelson Rivers from the National Action Network and some others. We all met over lunch. Pete really just listened. You could see he processes things so fast — I’ve never quite seen it like that. When he gives an answer, it’s like he’s thought everything out.
I did a Facebook page called African Americans for Pete. Then, out of the blue, I get a call asking would I consider being the political director. I said, 'Hell, yeah. Sign me up, man.'”
You talked about how sharp he was and that he listened to you and the others. What else drew you to Pete?
"To me, he represents the future, a new era, new leadership, a new generation. Somebody who understands the technology changes that are happening, he understands the climate crisis, he understands the gun violence issue. It’s his era. He’s passionate about it.
It’s time for a fresh new approach. There’s really no question about qualifications, and you can keep that experience crap. For the life of me, I just don’t get why we come up with the excuse that “Oh, he doesn’t have the experience.” You mean to tell me we have to go with somebody who is damn near 80 to lead the country because he’s got experience?"
. . .
Who do you think would you grandfather, Esau, have supported in this race?
"I don’t know who he would’ve endorsed. I just know that he was the type of leader in his lifetime, and I might get this from him somewhere down the line, that always looked to raise up young people and put them in positions where they could help their community. Who he would have endorsed I can’t say. But I do know that he would respect a young man who is trying to bring younger people together. “Love is progress; hate is expensive.” He had no problems during his time working with Jews or Greeks or whoever could help him in his community was what he was about. I know that he would respect Pete and the type of positions he’s taking. I believe he would respect the fact of here’s a young man with high religion and moral values because that was important to him as well."

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Reply Prominent SC African-American Abe Jenkins talks about Pete (Original post)
MBS Feb 2020 OP
Celerity Feb 2020 #1

Response to MBS (Original post)

Sat Feb 29, 2020, 06:34 PM

1. thanks for posting!

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