Buttigieg: 'The racial divide lives within me'

Buttigieg: 'The racial divide lives within me'
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South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegFive top 2020 Democrats haven't committed to MSNBC climate forum Abrams helps launch initiative to train women activists, organizers This is how Democrats will ensure Trump's re-election MORE (D) responded to a Democratic presidential primary question about U.S. racial tensions by referring to a recent police shooting of an African American in his city, saying "the racial divide lives within me."

Asked by CNN's Don LemonDon Carlton LemonCNN, NY Times to host next Democratic debate in October CNN climate town hall finishes last in viewers among cable news broadcasts CNN correspondent: We could do a climate town hall every day and it wouldn't be enough MORE about how he would convince black voters to support him, Buttigieg responded that his city has come together repeatedly in the face of violence in the past.

"As an urban mayor serving a diverse community, the racial divide lives within me. I'm not saying that I became mayor and racism or crime or poverty ended on my watch. But in our city, we have come together repeatedly to tackle challenges," the mayor said. "Like the fact that far too many people were not getting the help they needed in their housing and so we directed it to a historically underinvested African American neighborhood."

"Right now, in the wake of a police-involved shooting, our community is moving from hurting to healing by making sure that the community can participate in things like revising the use of force policy and making sure there are community voices on the board of safety that handles police matters. I proposed a 'Douglass Plan' to tackle this nationally because mayors have hit the limit of what you can do unless there's national action," he added.

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Buttigieg went on to add that "systemic racism" was part of every aspect of American life, and needed to be addressed as a nation.

The 37-year-old mayor, who surged in some polls earlier this year, has seen his numbers hover around 4 to 7 percent nationally in most surveys ahead of Tuesday's debate.