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Buttigieg Challenged by Racist at Iowa Campaign Event

Pete

The out candidate responded after a conservative writer said, "Just tell the black people of South Bend to stop committing crime and doing drugs."

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Campaigning at a Fourth of July event in Iowa, out Indiana mayor and current presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was put on the spot by a racist writer.

Buttigieg was speaking to a small crowd of people at a barbeque in Carroll, when a man identified as Dave Begley spoke up and announced he had the solution to race issues in South Bend, Ind.

"I have a solution for you, and I'd like you to make a comment on my proposal," Begley said. "Just tell the black people of South Bend to stop committing crime and doing drugs."

The crowd booed and Buttigieg quickly responded by saying, "Sir, I don't think racism is going to get us out of this problem."

"No, no," Begley responded, "just stop committing crimes; it has nothing to do with race."

Buttigieg -- whose already-complicated race record has been compounded by the recent killing of a black man by a white South Bend police officer -- then spoke of institutional racism.

"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 systematic racism," Buttigieg said. "With all due respect, sir, racism makes it harder for good police officers to do their job, too. It's a smear on law enforcement."

The interaction ended there, with one man in the crowd chanting, "USA! USA!"

Begley is a writer with the right-wing publication Power Line and frequently challenges Democratic presidential candidates with incendiary questions, according to The Washington Post.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.