Things That Matter

Pete Buttigieg Supporter Wields Cane At Latino Black Lives Matter Protester During Event

After a Black Lives Matter (BLM) Latino activist disrupted a Pete Buttigieg event led by South Bend’s black leaders, an elderly woman attempted to end the interruption with her cane. Reporter Max Lewis captured BLM activist Igor Rodríguez interrupting councilwoman Sharon McBride to demand, “Who are these black leaders?” Democratic hopeful and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is polling at 0% with black South Carolina Democrats, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released last week. Buttigieg has received just six endorsements from current or former black or Latino elected officials compared to Biden’s 154 endorsements, according to a The New York Times report last month. Buttigieg has come under fire for his response to the death of Eric Logan, a black man, by white police officer Ryan O’Neill, and for the racial makeup of his police force.

With a crowd of protesters holding up BLM signs in the back of a room full of black Buttigieg supporters, Rodríguez stole the microphone from McBride and started to chant, “This is a farce. This is a farce.”

Soon after Black Lives Matter activist Igor Rodríguez started to question the political machination of the present leadership, an elderly woman stood up to hit him with her cane.

CREDIT: @MAXLEWISTV / TWITTER

“Who organized this?” Rodríguez shouted while McBride stood at the podium. “Let her talk!” shouted one audience member repeatedly. “These black leaders are here to talk about Pete Buttigieg when people are having a crisis because of police violence,” Rodríguez continued on. Then, an elderly woman suddenly stood up in an attempt to attack Rodríguez with her cane. Several people crowded around her to block her advances, granting Rodríguez an opportunity to swiftly grab the microphone off McBride’s podium. Without missing a beat, he went on to demand into the microphone, “Who chose these people as the black leaders? Who organized this? We have a police crisis in this town. Why are we talking about Pete Buttigieg?”

“What kind of nonsense is this? What kind of nonsense is this?,” Rodríguez repeats, going on to begin a chant that would be echoed by the BLM protesters in the back of the room. “This is a farce! This is a farce!”

Black voters have spoken out against Buttigieg for his response to the fatal police shooting of Eric Logan, 54.

CREDIT: @JOSHUASHORTWNDU / TWITTER

Officials say that South Bend Police Department Sgt. Ryan O’Neill was responding to reports of a car break-in on June 16 when he encountered Logan. O’Neill maintains that Logan approached him with a knife and refused to drop it, prompting O’Neill to shoot Logan, but there is no video surveillance of the incident. O’Neill did not turn on his siren lights, which are connected to body cam footage. O’Neill told the dispatcher that the “guy threw a knife at me,” but Logan’s family is suspect to believe that Logan would ever attack a police officer with a knife. The family also wants to know why Logan was taken to the hospital, with a bullet to the abdomen, in a police cruiser instead of an ambulance. O’Neill resigned after weeks of protest.

Buttigieg left the campaign trail to discuss race and public safety in the days following Logan’s death. He met with BLM activists and took calls with them, but the activists didn’t leave the conversation feeling heard. “I remember he felt very rushed as if he wanted to check it off a box as something that he did,” Melina Abdullah, the co-founder of the BLM Los Angeles chapter told NBC.

Rodríguez’s comments have sparked mixed reactions.

CREDIT: @MAXLEWISTV / TWITTER

The interaction between Rodríguez and the cane-wielding woman has been cited as “the perfect encapsulation of white liberals who try and tell black people how they should think,” according to one Twitter user. “A white man stealing a mic from a black woman and telling her what to think? I don’t know how BLM thinks that was a good publicity for them,” tweeted one black woman. “He’s Latino… and was standing proudly with and for his black brothers and sisters who were also there making their voices heard. Don’t discount them… Pete already does not.” Rodríguez considers himself a “Bernie bro”, according to his social media. 

Though people are universally united in support of #GrandmaWithCane.

CREDIT: @MAXLEWISTV / TWITTER

I don’t care who you are and what you represent, but don’t be out here disrespecting our elders. They should of let grandma swing that cane just once,” tweeted @__Tiffany__84. “But #GrandmaWithCane is bringing me Joy tonight! Warms my heart!  #Respect!” replied @mcfetsch. “The cane wielder is 100% tired grandparent energy,” another commenter announced. Others are flocking to #GrandmaWithCane as representative of “every fed-up voter.”

READ: Pete Buttigieg Faces Backlash After 2011 Video Claiming Minority Children Don’t Know Anyone Who ‘Values Education’ Resurfaces

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Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Things That Matter

Here’s How You Can Help Daunte Wright’s Family After He Was Killed By Police

Police have taken another Black man’s life, this time it’s 20-year-old Daunte Wright. Protests have broken out in cities across the country as the nation reacts to the killing of yet another young Black man.

But as the nation reacts to the murder, Wright’s family – his mother and child – need all the support they can get right now and thankfully there are many ways that we can all be better allies while helping support the family that Wright leaves behind.

Daunte Wright is the third high-profile police murder in Minneapolis.

Daunte Wright was driving to his older brother’s house with his girlfriend on Sunday afternoon, when police pulled him over for expired tags. Police said they found an existing warrant for Wright’s arrest and attempted to handcuff him.

Bodycam footage revealed Officer Kim Potter shot Wright when she claimed to be reaching for her taser. He died on the scene, just 10 miles from where former police officer Derek Chauvin is on trial for the death of George Floyd.

According to CNN, Daunte’s death is at least the third high-profile death of a Black man at the hands of police in Minnesota in the last five years. And Daunte Wright’s death comes less than a year after the police killing of George Floyd, which sparked protests around the world.

Daunte Wright leaves behind a family still struggling with such an immense loss.

Daunte’s mother, Katie Wright, spoke out about the fear he experienced before his death. Daunte called her after the police pulled him over, at the suggestion of his older brother. “I know my son was scared. He’s afraid of the police, and I just seen and heard the fear in his voice. But I don’t know why, and it should have never escalated the way it did,” Katie told Good Morning America on April 13.

According to Katie, Daunte believed he was getting pulled over for his hanging air fresheners, then she heard “scuffling” and an officer told him to hang up the phone. “I tried to call back three, four times and the girl that was with him answered the phone and she said that they shot him and he was lying in the driver’s seat unresponsive.”

If you’d like to help support Daunte’s family and demand justice, below are a few resources and action items:

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Pete Buttigieg Highlights Job Opportunities And Economic Benefit Of Infrastructure Plan For Minority Communities

Things That Matter

Pete Buttigieg Highlights Job Opportunities And Economic Benefit Of Infrastructure Plan For Minority Communities

The U.S. is in need of major infrastructure investment and the Biden administration is ready to do it. The $2 trillion plan includes targeting water systems, transportation infrastructure, and broadband among other aspects of America’s infrastructure. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg spoke with mitú about the ambitious plan.

The Biden administration is poised to deliver one of the most ambitious infrastructure investments.

President Biden and his team want to give a post-pandemic economy a chance to recover. The way the administration plans to do this is by investing like never before into the infrastructure. The infrastructure plan unveiled by the Biden administration is focusing on more than the physical infrastructure in the U.S.

“The first thing I would say [is different] is the scale of it. We’ve built up about a trillion-dollar backlog just in terms of fixing things up like roads and bridges in this country,” Secretary Pete Buttigieg says. “Of course, it’s not enough to fix up what we have. We have to be ready for the future. This is a bill that understands that digital infrastructure is part of the infrastructure. There are a lot of Americans without broadband in rural areas, but a lot of Black and brown Americans in our cities lack internet access and that cuts you off from opportunity the same as if you don’t have a road where you live. We’re thinking about the future.”

The plan will invest money into the nation’s infrastructure in multiple ways.

The plan will give $621 billion toward the traditional infrastructure like roads, bridges, public transit, as well as the latest need in electric vehicle developments. Around $400 billion will be delivered to help care for elderly and disabled Americans. The administration’s plan includes $300 billion to focus on water systems, expanding broadband access, and upgrading electrical grids. Another $300 billion will be used for retrofitting affordable housing and upgrading schools. The last $580 billion will be going towards manufacturing and job training efforts.

Secretary Buttigieg says that the plan is looking towards the future.

It’s about more than creating an infrastructure for today, it is about future-proofing our society. This means investing in broadband so rural and minority communities have reliable access to the internet. It also means addressing infrastructure for the changing climate.

“It also means dealing with the fact that the future means a different climate. We are going to fight climate change,” Secretary Buttigieg says. “We also have to deal with the realities we have right now. If a road gets washed out because the sea level rose, putting it right back so it can get washed out again is probably not the right answer. We have to think about what it looks like in the future.”

The plan will also provide good-paying jobs.

The plan would require employing people to help build the bridges and roads and the broadband infrastructure. Jobs that come with good compensation, unions, and don’t require college degrees to get. The jobs would spread across the country as the U.S. modernizes the outdated infrastructure. However, there are more jobs that will be unlocked for people who have been disadvantaged by the current infrastructure system.

“Your commute is going to be better because we’re going to have better transit. Right now, when you have to commute two-hours both ways because you don’t have a car and the transit system is not very good, that’s really hurting economic opportunities for individuals, worker, families, often lower income workers,” Secretary Buttigieg says.

He adds: “Part of how we create more of an opportunity economically in the future is to just make it easier to get to where you need to be. So, yes, there are jobs working on the projects, but there are also just the projects that we are going to unlock by making it easier to get around.”

The Biden administration proposes an increase to 28 percent. The current corporate tax rate is 21 percent. Secretary Buttigieg says that the proposed corporate tax rate might seem like an increase but it was only recently dropped to 21 percent from its usual 35 percent. The reason for the increase is to pay for the plan without it falling on the shoulders of people making less than $400,000 a year.

“Somebody has got to pay for this and if it isn’t these giant corporations on their billions of dollars in profits, then it might be ordinary Americans,” Secretary Buttigieg explains. “We think that ordinary Americans are paying enough.”

READ: Joe Biden Has Outlined a Robust Plan to Rebuild the Economy Devastated By COVID-19

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