Whenever a political rally is held, it is normal for some sort of protest to happen, such as when a group of protesters recently interrupted a rally for Senator Elizabeth Warren by chanting their opposition to her policies.
However, when such rallies turn into scuffles and wrestling matches, we can’t help but wonder what is wrong with people.
Such was the case of a rally in South Bend, Indiana, on Wednesday for Mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg.
Several prominent black community members led the rally with the purpose of showing their support for their mayor as president and rallying others to join them in that support. And as usual, the rally was open to the public, and therefore contained a few protesters. But one particular protester took things a little further than most.
A Hispanic man wearing a Black Lives Matter (BLM) t-shirt suddenly started shouting out his opposition during black city councilwoman Sharon McBride’s speech of support from the front of the room.
He shouted, “Where are the black leaders who don’t have a three-piece suit, leather jackets, and nice clothes? Where are these black leaders? Who chose these people as black leaders?”
People in the crowd tried to shut the man up by shouting, “Let her talk!” But this man was having none of it. He only got louder, yelling, “These black leaders are here to talk about Pete Buttigieg, but there are black people (who) are having a crisis because of police violence.”
Mayor Pete became a headline name during the first Democratic primary debate after admitting that he had made some rather big mistakes with his South Bend police force. Mainly, that he had failed to make the department as diversified as it should be.
With mostly white officers and detectives, many in the community started to believe that he and his force were racist, especially after one of his white officers shot and killed a black suspect earlier in the year.
Obviously, this man is of the mind that things need to be done about the police force in South Bend, and he isn’t a fan of Buttigieg as a result.
It was at this point that an elderly woman later revealed to have been featured in a #TeamPete video ad, jumped forward and raised her cane as if to hit the interrupting protester. However, before she could do any damage, some of those in the crowd around her pulled her back.
And the protester used this commotion to steal the microphone from McBride and the podium so he could continue his rant.
He shouted into the microphone, “Who organized this? We have a police crisis in this town. Why are we talking about Pete Buttigieg? What kind of nonsense is this?
A man from the crowd then wrestled the microphone away from the protester, who just began shouting all the louder.
“This is a farce! This is a farce!”
As he was shouting, several in the crowd helped to shove the man towards the back door, where he was removed from the room. It was then that his companions, other protesters in the back of the room, began taking up his cause, also shouting, “This is a farce” and clapping loudly.
Buttigieg, who was not at the rally, responded to the attack the next morning. According to NBC News, he said, “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.”
He continued, “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.”
Pete’s campaign called the woman wielding the cane, Ms. Bernice Freeman, a “hero” and “Mother of South Bend.”
And as for the protesters, they were called out as Bernie Sanders’ supporters, especially after the lead protester’s profile picture was found to include the phrase, “Just Another Bernie Bro.” Buttigieg’s senior communications adviser even accused the Sanders’ campaign of harassment by Bernie Bros.
Naturally, Bernie supporters did not take kindly to such accusations, and instead tried to pin the actions solely on BLM, which they happened to be supporting.
Whatever the case, it is clear that a battle has begun for the black Democratic vote. And if this is any indication, things could get real ugly, real fast. Just another example of the constant Democratic in-fighting.