This year's CPAC is turning into one giant circus. Hm, who could have seen this coming?
This time, the outrageous moment came during the committee's "Trump the Race Card" panel discussion. 30-year-old Scott Terry, asked the panel whether or not Republicans could endorse races remaining separate but equal. K. Carl Smith, the presenter and a member of the Frederick Douglass Republicans, answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master. Terry quickly responded. "For what? For feeding him and housing him?"
That comment was quickly followed with a "why can't we just have segregation," noting the Constitution's protections for freedom of association.
Let me give you some perspective into Mr. Terry.
He wore a Rick Santorum sticker, the same Rick Santorum that once said that "I don't want to make black peoples lives better with taxpayer money." He attended CPAC with a friend who wore a Confederate Flag-emblazoned t-shirt, an everlasting symbol of racist attitudes. He maintained that white people have been "systematically disenfranchised" by federal legislation. And when pressed by ThinkProgress on whether he'd accept a society where African Americans were permanently subservient to whites, he responded with "I'd be fine with that." Not to mention the fact that he also claimed that African-Americans "should be allowed to vote in Africa."
Now, if I were K. Carl Smith, I would immediately release a comment criticizing the nature of these extremely racist comments and how there was no place for such comments at CPAC. So what does he do? Release a statement that does not call out the young man who made these racial charged comments, but instead called out a women working for the Voice of Russia.
In the middle of my delivery, while discussing the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention, I was rudely interrupted by a woman working for the Voice of Russia. She abruptly asked me: "How many black women were there?" This question was intentionally disruptive and coercive with no way of creating a positive dialogue."
I'm sorry, but what?
Let me get this straight. The Republican Party, the same party that is desperately searching for new ways to separate itself from the historical stereotype of racist white businessmen in order to appeal to minorities across the country, had an event entitled "Trump the Race Card" and expected a racially friendly environment. Good intentions or not, individuals like Scott Terry and responses like the one K. Carl Smith issued are the exact opposite of what the Republican Party needs at this point in time. The only thing that was disruptive and coercive with no way of creating a positive dialogue was the idea that "Trump the Race Card" would somehow benefit the Republican Party.