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A smattering of media figures attacked former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday, suggesting that he used racist language when he called for a president who had their roots in the “American Heartland.”

“It is a dog whistle,” former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien tweeted. “And maybe Mayor Pete isn’t aware of that. There is nothing more virtuous about a vision honed in the Heartland. Again—he should sit with his staffers of color and have them explain this to him.”

The controversy came as Buttigieg’s campaign reportedly disseminated a questionnaire for staff members of color, asking them whether they experienced “microaggressions” in the workplace. The survey was the latest indication that Buttigieg might be encountering issues with his ability to connect with minorities.

Buttigieg had originally tweeted that his roots in the “heartland” were an antidote to the ineffective politics of Washington, D.C.

“Heartland is code. And I’m over it,” tweeted Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “It erases the legitimacy of the experiences and reality of Black mid-Westerners and cloaks white mid-Western communities in a gauzy innocence and authenticity.”

Comedian Andy Richter similarly tweeted: “I’m from the supposed Heartland, and in a political context ‘the Heartland’ does not mean not-Washington. It means the place where white people run things.”

To all you political nimrods on the left, the Hammer and Nigel show is pleased to present the following clip of President Barack Obama:

Those of you on the left are encouraged to shut your pie holes and proceed to the next audio clip. Blessings, from the Hammer and Nigel Show.