The Republican reliance on ‘identity politics’ has come home to roost this week on the floor of their national convention. The first full day of activities has already seen an African-American CNN camerawoman verbally abused and pelted with nuts; now we can add to that this video of delegates chanting ‘U.S.A.” as the Puerto Rican born chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization took the stage.
Zoraida Fonalledas has been a delegate at every Republican National Convention for 20 years, with an extensive list of achievements and credentials that any true conservative should find admirable. Fonalledas’ story would be a best-selling book in Republican circles, if not for its cover; a woman with an accent.
Harper’s reporter Jack Hitt gives an eyewitness account:
The RonPaulites, whose furious devotion to a single idea have made them the Ellen Jamesians of the right, were protesting a decision by RNC officials not to seat members of the Maine delegation, which was split between Paul and Romney supporters following rule changes made just prior to the convention. 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.!”
Fox News Latino (Yes, that’s really a thing), initially reported the incident as being, “Just a little bit awkward” later provided the official GOP version of events:
“During today’s Republican Convention Committee Reports, the Ron Paul followers exercised their right to free speech and protested the report by the Committee on Credentials. The Report by the Chairwoman of the Permanent Organization Committee followed. The protesters continued their boisterous protest of the Credentials Report which spilled over to the rest of the proceedings. To be clear, the attempt to disrupt the proceedings had to do with the report, not the Puerto Rico National Committeewoman. Puerto Rico and its delegation play a very important role in this Convention, and are an integral partner in the National Committee.”
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