Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jack Hitt (Harpers) - 'Republicans Chanting "USA" is Racial Code'

Why is it that journalists assume that everything Republicans do is because they hate minorities? That is a rhetorical question, and I think these comments tell us much more about the people who think and utter them then they do about the people they are talking about.

"Meanwhile Jack Hitt at Harpers rolls out a Republicans-are-Racist charge that involves ignoring all the relevant facts.

[A]s 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.

Hitt should have left it at “I honestly didn’t know what was happening.” And his editor should have read that line and decided not to publish the baseless insinuations.

Here’s what happened, Jack:

RNC Chairman Reince Preibus had called for a voice vote to approve the Credential Committee’s report. Ron Paul delegates objected, because the committee had refused to seat half of the Paul delegates. When the voice vote came, the “Noes” clearly were louder than the “Ayes.” (Ron Paul backers are pretty good at shouting.) Preibus ruled that the Ayes had won, and then he ignored many yells of “Point of Order.”

The Paulites began chanting “Point of Order,” trying to stop the proceedings so they could have a roll-call vote or even a debate. They also chanted “Seat Maine Now,” in this period.

Some Romney backers from delegations near Maine responded – for better or worse – by chanting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” over the Paulites’ chants.

Preibus, meanwhile, was just trying to steamroll ahead, and so he brought on Puerto Rican Republican Zoraida Fonalledas, who tried to speak over the parliamentary objections of the Paulites – and thus over the “U.S.A.!” chants of the Romney backers.

I took a rather liberal quote from source, so be sure to head there and poke around a bit.

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