Monday, June 24, 2019

Blacks Unload on Mayor Pete Buttigieg (VIDEO)

Well, there goes that presidential campaign magic. The dude's not doing too well with the black folks back home.

At the Los Angeles Times, "Black residents of South Bend unload on Mayor Pete Buttigieg":

A town hall featuring Mayor Pete Buttigieg broke into near chaos Sunday afternoon as the Democratic presidential candidate tried to respond to community anger over a white police officer’s killing of a black man.

Buttigieg was solemn, somber and circumspect as he tried to explain how officials will investigate the shooting. He said he would ask the Justice Department to review the case and for an independent prosecutor to decide whether to prosecute.

“We’ve taken a lot of steps, but they clearly haven’t been enough,” said Buttigieg, who is in his second term as mayor of South Bend, Ind.

The largely black audience of hundreds was having little of it, frequently interrupting and shouting over the mayor. “We don’t trust you!” a woman hollered at Buttigieg.

The tragedy unfolded in Buttigieg’s hometown on June 16, and it would be difficult to imagine a domestic crisis more nightmarish for a mayor and a presidential candidate who has enjoyed a largely carefree rise to the top tier of Democratic contestants.

Buttigieg’s lack of popularity among black voters nationally — a crucial demographic for winning the Democratic primary – was already one of his biggest weaknesses in a contest in which racial injustice is a key issue. Buttigieg had recently been laying the groundwork to win over some of those skeptical voters in states such as South Carolina.

But now the shooting has highlighted the racial tension right on Buttigieg’s home turf, revealing for a national audience the pain and resentment that have long festered among South Bend’s black residents.

Buttigieg’s introduction drew a mix of applause and vigorous boos. Michael Patton, NAACP South Bend Chapter president, was onstage with Buttigieg and lobbed gentle questions at the mayor, which drew loud complaints from the crowd. But audience members sometimes scolded one another for being disrespectful to Buttigieg and the other speakers.

When a pastor representing Al Sharpton Jr. was the first from the audience to take the mic during the town hall’s question-and-answer portion Sunday, the crowd jeered at the outsider. John Winston Jr., a community activist, walked up to the front of the stage to confront the pastor as Buttigieg watched, taking the microphone to air his own grievances about the city’s relationship with its black residents.

“They keep begging us to reach out and bridge this gap and whatever else,” Winston, who is biracial, told the audience, recounting the time he tried to host a cookout for police officers a few years ago. “And we reached out, and they said no.”

Then, with a defiant flourish, Winston dropped the mic onto the floor...