Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg expressed his disapproval of President Donald Trump, by referring to the president as a “racist” during a speech Friday at the National Urban League Conference.
“My generation saw this country elect its first black president and then turn around and elect a racist to the White House — and we ought to call that what it is,” Buttigieg told members of the civil rights organization at their annual convention in Indianapolis.
The South Bend, Indiana mayor also discussed his plan to address systematic racism. His proposal, known as the “Douglass Plan,” is named after the abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
“I think for too long we have believed that we were on a path where systemic racism was going to take care of itself in this country,” Buttigieg said. “I’m going to be speaking about these issues not only with mostly black audiences, but with mostly white audiences.”
His plan calls for an investment in health care in marginalized communities, additional funds for programs that boost education, and stepping up civil rights education in schools.
Buttigieg is trying to make gains with black voters, and has done a series of appearances to drum up support in the African-American community.
Buttigieg has previously met with civil rights activist and MSNBC host Sharpton in Harlem. He also joined other Democratic candidates at Essence Fest earlier this month in New Orleans, and next month he’s scheduled to speak at the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Miami, the group announced July 26.
He’ll take part in a candidates forum at the convention on Thursday, Aug. 8, along with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA). More than 3,500 black journalists, communicators, students and influencers are expected to attend the convention.