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WATCH: Black Lives Matter Activist Disrupts Buttigieg Event, Thrown Out, Nearly Hit With Cane

By  Hank Berrien
Democratic presidential candidate South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks to guests during a campaign stop at Cronk's restaurant on November 26, 2019 in Denison, Iowa.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

At a sparsely attended event for South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg in his hometown of South Bend, an activist in a Black Lives Matter t-shirt seized the microphone from one of the speakers, yelling “Who chose these leaders as black leaders?” and leading attendees in chants of “This is a farce!”

Councilwoman Sharon McBride of the 3rd District was speaking when the man started to interrupt. She stated, “I can handle that. I can handle that,” then segued, “Some of the things that I’ve always, also in the 3rddistrict, is not gentrification, it’s revitalization that begun in the 3rddistrict. We have built and sold two homes with 466 workers. We have also built homes — ” She turned to the protesters, saying, “I’ll address you guys in a few minutes if you give me my time and the respect I will do the same thing.”

The activist started shouting, “Where are the black leaders that don’t have three-piece suits, leather jackets, and nice jewelry. Where are these black leaders? Who chose these people as black leaders? These black leaders are here to talk about Pete Buttigieg while there is black – people are having a crisis because of police violence. Who chose these black leaders as black leaders?”

Seizing the microphone, the man yelled, “Who chose these people as black leaders? Who organized this? We have a police crisis in this town.” As people wrestled him to get the microphone, he cried, “Why are we talking about people – what kind of nonsense is this?  What kind of nonsense is this?” Bereft of the microphone but still held by various people, he yelled,    “This is a farce! This is a farce! This is a farce!” As he repeated the sentence he clapped his hands and others joined in.

The event was billed this way: “Today, on Wednesday evening, prominent African-American South Bend leaders and elected officials will hold a press conference at the Charles Martin Youth Center where they will make a special announcement regarding Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.”


A black council member from South Bend, Henry Davis Jr, sued the Buttigieg administration and city for not representing him after a libel suit was brought against him by four police officers. The Guardian reported that after the two sides settled, “Davis charged that Buttigieg tried to sweep the case under the rug by including a gag order in that agreement.”

Davis said, “The same guy who’s on a national stage asking to have the Sandra Bland case reopened, calling out Trump for not being transparent and talking about police brutality is the same guy that is ordering his legal staff to kill the free speech of an African American elected official.”

Buttigieg has been trying desperately to gain a foothold in America’s black community since reports surfaced in mid-November that indicated Buttigieg falsely claimed to have endorsements for his plan to reach out to the black community, used a stock photo from Africa to depict African-Americans, and falsely claimed that the plan had support from hundreds of black voters who were actually white. Buttigieg’s campaign had started promoting a list of 400 black South Carolina voters that it claimed supported his plan, but it turned out that nearly half of the list was white.

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