Buttigieg says white supremacy could be 'issue that ends this country'

Buttigieg says white supremacy could be 'issue that ends this country'
© Getty Images

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden seeks to fundraise off fact he's running out of money Biden struggles to reverse fall MORE (D) warned white supremacy could be “the issue that ends this country” in an interview with ABC News Saturday.

"That is the only issue that almost ended this country. … We’ve had a lot challenges in this country, but the one that actually almost ended this country in the Civil War was white supremacy," Buttigieg told the network in Iowa.

ADVERTISEMENT

"It could be the lurking issue that ends this country in the future, if we don’t wrangle it down in our time,” he added.

"The entire American experiment is at stake in whether we can manage to deliver prosperity in a way that your race has no bearing on your income, your wealth, your employment opportunities, your experience with criminal justice [and] your ability to vote,” he added.

"We’re just not there and we won’t get there until we acknowledge that replacing a racist historical structure with a more neutral current one is not enough," he said, according to ABC News.

Buttigieg has addressed racial justice issues on the campaign trail before but has struggled to bolster his support among African American voters, a key part of the Democratic primary coalition.

During the summer, South Bend has been gripped by tensions over the death of Eric Logan, a black man shot by a police officer who claimed Logan charged him with a knife. The officer, who has since resigned, had turned off his body camera at the time of the shooting.

Buttigieg left the campaign trail to address the shooting and was met by demonstrators, frustrated with the pace of the investigation. A special prosecutor has since been appointed.