Disgustingly Racist Incidents Reported on Tampa Convention Floor--And This Was Only Night One
This post has been updated. See below.
CNN has the report of one of its own camera operators being horribly taunted in a racist incident by two convention attendees:
Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention Tuesday after they threw nuts at an African-American CNN camera operator and said, “This is how we feed animals.”
Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and RNC security and police immediately removed the two people from the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Meanwhile, another incident struck a Harper's journalist very awry, during some scuffling by and between Ron Paul delegates:
There were energetic shouts of “Aye!” and “Nay!” as a Puerto Rican party functionary—Zoraida Fonalledas, the chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization—took her turn at the main-stage lectern. As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!”
The chanting carried on for nearly a minute while most of the other delegates and the media stood by in stunned silence. The Puerto Rican correspondent turned to me and asked, “Is this happening?” I said I honestly didn’t know what was happening—it was astonishing to see all the brittle work of narrative construction that is a modern political convention suddenly crack before our eyes. None of us could quite believe what we were seeing: A sea of twentysomething bowties and cowboy hats morphing into frat bros apparently shrieking over (or at) a Latina.
Today this blog post has an addendum:one later report indicated that the chant may have been mostly the result of a Paulite feud over delegates (if so, as the Harper's blogger noted, it was extremely rude and a reflection of privilege nonetheless). Okay. So while the directly racist intent here is less clear-cut, what disgraceful optics the convention has projected already!
UPDATE:A growing chorus of bloggers is calling for CNN to release the full details of the nut-throwing incident.
UPDATE 2: The second incident is now the subject of some strenuous debate.
I think the Puerto Rican lady got caught in the crossfire between the Ron Paul people and the Romney people during the whole roll call brouhaha. Then again, maybe they really were just being racist assholes to her.