Buttigieg joined by South Bend activists alongside voters in Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa – While Pete Buttigieg is trying to rally voters right before the Iowa caucuses, there are others who say they are trying to shed a different light on his campaign.
The South Bend chapter of Black Lives Matter followed Buttigieg to Iowa to send a message to voters.
They say that their goal is not to sabotage the former mayor’s campaign, but to educate others who are considering supporting him.
Buttigieg was joined not only by prospective voters as he made a stop in Iowa, but by activists from his hometown.
“We just want people to look at the data. We’re not trying to persuade anyone to vote for anyone. We just want them to know that there’s two sides of a coin. He makes it seem as if like you know stuff has been taken care of here in South Bend and we know that’s not the truth,” said Katherine Redding, South Bend Activist.
Katherine Redding and Emmanuel Cannady are members of the local Black Lives Matter chapter who have been traveling to numerous campaign stops in protest.
“We pretty much decided wherever Pete was we wanted to show up. It was an educational mission where we’re giving people more information about Mayor Pete. We had a couple of protest events,” Redding said.
Cannady says that while he is vocal about his disdain for Buttigieg, he was actually once move by his campaign.
“Initially I was incredibly excited. Here’s a smart, young guy who’s also academically trained and academically minded. He understands that systemic racism is a true issue here in our country but also local,” Cannady said.
Cannady changed his mind after the officer involved shooting of alleged theft-suspect Eric Logan back in June of 2019 by SBPD Sergeant Ryan O’Neill.
The shooting sparked outrage in South Bend in the months that followed.
“After the Eric Logan shooting and watching the response and the failed attempt after attempt and even acceptance of not addressing the real issues in the community after the community was crying out to him to solve them in specific ways. It really showed me what his true colors were,” Cannady said.
Buttigieg took time off of the trail following the shooting in an attempt to ease the tensions at home. He attended protests, hosted a town hall to discuss policing, and ordered and independent investigation into the SBPD.
Yet, members of the South Bend Black Lives Matter chapter say that it wasn’t enough.
“He just disappeared and dropped the ball and was so focused on what he could do on his campaign run. There was just so many things that he just left to the responsibility of the citizens or the incoming mayor.” “We would have loved to see Chief Ruszkowski removed, a civilian review board, some implicit bias training,” Redding said.
Buttigieg released the Douglass Plan as part of his campaign, which was aimed at addressing systemic racism in the United States, but many said it was too late.
“There’s so many people that we talk to on a day-to-day basis that say well where is our Douglas Plan? Why did that only come out when you were running for president? We wanted people to know Mayor Pete’s record,” Cannady said.
The South Bend Black Lives Matter group has plans to continue to follow Buttigieg on the campaign trail out of Iowa to further educate potential voters on Buttigieg's past actions.