Openly gay presidential candidate and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke July 2 at a the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and Citizenship Fund's annual Business Breakfast event at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.
Buttigieg did not discuss LGBT issues at the event, but spoke at length about race relations and equity issues. The candidate, currently garnering much interest and enthusiasm from supporters on the campaign trail, is nevertheless contending with serious policing issues in South Bendwith the most recent being the shooting of a Black man by a white officer last month.
"Our city's hurt has gone even beyond the grief of the family that's lost one of its own," Buttigieg said July 2. "Even as we wait for outside investigators to deliver their judgment about what took place, we have a pain now that reminds us that our community lives around the chasm, a racial [divide] in which white residents and Black residents experience every facet of life differently."
Buttigieg emphasized work on police-community relations that had taken place in South Bend under his watch, but added, "But events have compelled me to acknowledge that whatever we've done has not been nearly enough. As long as a traffic stop is not a completely different experience for a Black driver than it is for a white driver, we know that we have not done nearly enough. We know that police departmentsand this is true of my owndo not reflect the community they serve in their makeup, we have not done nearly enough."
Buttigieg added, "We accept responsibilityI accept responsibilityfor the work that is left to be done."
He further outlined police-community relations work that has taken place in the wake of the shooting. At the gathering, Buttigieg's other topics included equity, reproductive rights and minority contracts.
Rainbow PUSH founder Rev. Jesse Jackson introduced Buttigieg.