Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg criticized the disruption of a gathering of some African American supporters and blamed it on the political “climate that we’re in,” NBC News is reporting.
The supporters for Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, had rallied in his city on Wednesday night when they were interrupted by a protester in a “Black Lives Matter” shirt.
"It shows kind of where politics has come to, especially for somebody to interrupt an African American woman who was speaking about her truth and in her experience," Buttigieg told NBC News.
"But this is the climate that we're in and we need to continue making sure that everyone is empowered to speak their truth, their experience, and in particular, when it comes to South Bend's story.”
Sharon McBride, a South Bend Common council member, had been speaking about Buttigieg when a man in the audience began shouting over her.
"Where are the black leaders who don't have three-piece suits, leather jackets, and nice clothing?" he yelled, according to the network news.
"Who chose these people as black leaders? He then approached the front of the room, grabbed the microphone from McBride and shouted, "Who organized them?"
NBC News noted an older woman stood up, raised her can above her head, and gestured toward the man, who was later escorted out of the gathering.
Buttigieg, who has struggled to win over African American voters, did not attend the gathering.
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