Following Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, called for stricter gun laws and condemned white nationalist ideology.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg expressed concerns Saturday that the U.S. is “under attack” by white nationalists carrying out mass shootings — and those white nationalists have been encouraged by President Donald Trump.
Buttigieg was one of 19 Democratic presidential candidates speaking at a forum in Las Vegas sponsored by the public-sector labor union AFSCME. During the event, co-moderated by HuffPost’s Amanda Terkel and The Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston, news broke of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, in which at least 20 people were killed and 26 others injured.
Unconfirmed reports indicated the suspected shooter, a 21-year-old from the Dallas area, posted a manifesto to the 8chan message board hours before the shooting, in which he allegedly professed his white nationalist ideology and his belief that Texas is under “Hispanic invasion.” Law enforcement officials said they are aware of the document but have yet to confirm the shooter did, in fact, write it.
Buttigieg, in his opening statement at the forum, condemned the shooting and the as-yet unverified motivation of the alleged El Paso shooter.
“America is under attack from homegrown white nationalist terrorism,” he said. “White nationalism is evil. And it is inspiring people to commit murder, and it is being condoned at the highest levels of the American government, and that has to end.”
When asked if he believes Trump is a white nationalist, Buttigieg said the president “at best condones and encourages white nationalism.