Mayor Pete Buttigieg denounced some advice from a man identified as Dave Bagley at a Carroll County, Iowa Democratic Party barbecue on Thursday.
“Mayor Pete, there has been some controversy in South Bend between the police and the black community, and I have a solution for you, and I’d like you to make a comment on my proposal. Just tell the black people of South Bend to stop committing crime and doing drugs.”
Replied Buttigieg: “Sir, I think racism is not going to help us get out of this drama.”
Begley continued: “No no, just stop committing crimes. It has nothing to do with race.”
Buttigieg replied: “The fact that a black person is four times as likely as a white person to be incarcerated for the exact same crime is evidence of systemic racism. It is evidence of systemic racism and with all due respect sir, racism makes it harder for good police officers to do their job too. It is a smear on law enforcement.”
“Sir, when black people and white people are treated the same by the criminal justice system, it will be easier for black people and white people to live in this country,” Buttigieg added, “but racism has no place in American politics or American law enforcement.”
The challenge Buttigieg has faced in handling the South Bend shooting situation comes alongside another challenge, his low numbers among black voters. Buttigieg recently met with Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, who told reporters, “He’s handled an awful situation well by being transparent.”