Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg gives keynote address at Human Rights Campaign's gala, Las Vegas, May 11. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg criticized social conservatives and accused some Democrats of playing "identity politics," exacerbating a "crisis of belonging in this country," in a Las Vegas speech addressing claims of white privilege Saturday.

"What every gay person has in common with every excluded person of any kind is knowing what it's like to see a wall between you and the rest of the world and wonder what it's like on the other side."

Context: The South Bend, Indiana, mayor, has been criticized previously for being a privileged white man. April polling shows he has about 2% support among African-Americans. Buttigieg has said his "first serious mistake as mayor" was firing the city’s first black police chief. Taped conversations between officers in the department contained racist comments. Buttigieg has said he's never listened to the tapes.

The big picture: Buttigieg asked supporters last month for help diversifying his mostly white base. On Saturday evening, he noted during his speech to the Human Rights Campaign, a major LGBTQ rights group, that his experience of discrimination was different than others in the community.

"I may be part of the LGBTQ community. But being a gay man doesn’t even tell me what it’s like to be a trans woman of color in that same community, let alone an undocumented mother of four or a disabled veteran or a displaced autoworker."

On social conservatism, he said, "We have allowed conservatives to monopolize the language of freedom, but we know that freedom isn't just about freedom from, it's about freedom to. Not just freedom from regulation, but freedom to live a life of your choosing."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Markets swell as the economy shrinks

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The economy is sputtering, but the markets are thriving — a highly unusual event that shows how the coronavirus has thrown all bets off.

Why it matters: The disconnect adds to the wealth gap. The richest 10% of households — who own 84% of stocks — are getting richer, while millions of out-of-work Americans cross their fingers that pandemic unemployment benefits will be extended.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 10,836,500 — Total deaths: 520,605 — Total recoveries — 5,723,808Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 2,735,554 — Total deaths: 128,684 — Total recoveries: 781,970 — Total tested: 33,462,181Map.
  3. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Regeneron stops trial after drug fails to help patientsWhat we know about the coronavirus immune response — Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  4. Business: Top business leaders urge the White House to develop mandatory mask guidelines.
  5. Politics: Herman Cain hospitalized for COVID-19 after attending Trump Tulsa rally — Biden downplays jobs number, rebukes Trump for ignoring health crisis.
  6. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
  7. States: Texas mandates face masks in public spaces Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, and its most-infected county issues curfew.
10 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Coronavirus surges mark a "very disturbing week" in the U.S.

Fauci testifies to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on June 30. Photo: Al Drago/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told medical journal JAMA on Thursday that it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the novel coronavirus in the U.S.

What's happening: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Caitlin Owens reports.