The news comes as the South Bend Mayor continues to struggle to appeal to black voters amid reports that he ignored evidence of racism in the Indiana city.
Buttigieg attempted to deal with the protestors by emphasizing the importance of speaking about issues respectfully, according to The Washington Examiner.
“Can I hear it one more time for the idea of respectful, honest, open, and transparent dialogue?” Buttigieg reportedly said in response to the incident.
The approach didn’t appear to work as protestors suggested that Buttigieg was not as receptive to such dialogue back in South Bend.
“We’ve been trying to talk to you in South Bend, Pete,” one activist shouted.
“We’ve been trying to open that dialogue,” another said.
“You actually only fixed five houses, but you demolished hundreds in the urban and black communities,” one protestor said to Buttigieg about his mayoral record.
The confrontation eventually sparked chants from the protestors, to which Buttigieg’s supporters allegedly began chanting “USA! USA!” However, some Buttigieg supporters reportedly said that the chant was actually, “Boot-edge-edge.”
Eventually, the protestors were escorted from the venue, and Buttigieg again emphasized “respectful” conversation.
“Can we hear it one more time for the idea of respectful, honest, open and transparent dialogue?” Buttigieg said — again — as the protestors were escorted out of the event.
— Gary Grumbach (@GaryGrumbach) January 13, 2020
The incident comes on the heels of a Los Angeles Times report noting protests of Buttigieg’s appearance at a homeless shelter in Watts, Los Angeles, on Friday morning. According to the report, the protests stem from Buttigieg’s record on homelessness and housing, as well as the death of Anthony Young, who died sleeping on the street while Buttigieg was mayor.
Buttigieg’s mayoral record has become a focal point for critics. A recent report jointly published by The Root and The Young Turks reveals that letters, lawsuits, and complaints documenting racism in the South Bend police department went unaddressed by the candidate. The allegations come after secretly recorded tapes revealed a reported scheme concocted by white South Bend police officers to push Buttigieg to fire the city’s first black police chief by pressuring him via his donors.
Buttigieg is fourth in the Democratic presidential primary polls with 7.5 percent average support. His support has been on a gradual decline over the last month as Sen. Bernie Sanders continues to surge.