South Bend African American Leaders Praise Buttigieg Amid Protests

Dec 5, 2019

An event to show support for presidential candidate and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg Wednesday night verged on chaos at moments as a handful of protesters disrupted speakers. The South Bend event was held for local African-American leaders to talk about their experiences with the candidate. 

Local city council members and pastors who support Buttigieg expressed appreciation for his administration’s efforts to improve the city. One of the speakers, Gladys Muhammad, says she wanted to combat national media reports that Buttigieg had no black supporters in South Bend.  

“Well there are plenty of people in the community that do support Mayor Pete and we need to change that dialogue,” she says. 

But while they spoke, protesters holding signs shouted and interrupted with anti-Buttigieg messages. One protester, Igor Rodriguez, even stopped the event when he grabbed the microphone and began chanting “This is a farce.”

“Who chose these people as the black leaders?" he yelled in the microphone. "Who organized this? We have a police [problem] in this town! Why are we talking about Pete Buttigieg?”

Buttigieg did not attend the event and his campaign has not yet responded to a request for comment. 

Contact Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.