In a surprise turn of blame-giving, CPAC panelist K. Carl Smith, a representative from the Frederick Douglass Republicans who unfortunately ceded the floor to an anthropomorphized pile of racist vacuum cleaner gatherings during the panel discussion, managed somehow to reserve most of his criticism for a female reporter who interrupted him to asked how many black women actually attended the 1848 "Women's Rights Convention." Smith seemed pretty pissed that the reporter interrupted him, more pissed, say, than he was at North Carolina CPAC troll and amateur peruser of English literature Scott Terry, who suggested that slavery was good for African Americans because they scored free food and shelter for all their backbreaking labor and completely dehumanized status as chattel. Yup, that seems like a fair trade, if you're a racist lunatic.
Terry said lots of other terrible, terrible things, such as when he wondered out loud, "Why can't we just have segregation?" and then made the (fingers crossed) dubious assertion that all Tea Partiers are concerned with the same racial issues. When a woman in the audience challenged Terry on the roots of the Republican Party, he quipped, "I didn't know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public."
Terry seems like an opportunistic troll who conceived his narrow worldview in a cesspool of bigotry. It would have been so simple for Smith to upbraid Terry in front of everyone, or at the very least, dismiss Terry's views as the racist refuse they truly are after the panel. Smith, according to an update on this story from Think Progress, didn't quite manage it:
I was invited by the Tea Party Patriots to conduct a breakout session entitled: "Trump The Race Card" and share the Frederick Douglass Republican Message. 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.
In addition, a young man who wasn't a Tea Party Patriot, made some racially insensitive comments, he said: "Blacks should be happy that the slave master gave them shelter, clothing, and food." At the conclusion of the breakout session, I further explained to him the Frederick Douglass Republican Message which he embraced, bought a book, and we left as friends.
The best (and this is really, really optimistic) way to spin Smith's statement is to believe that Smith is trying to show everyone that racial differences, even in extreme cases, can be overcome with a little dialogue. Hey, a black CPAC panelist and a racist jerkoff entered a room enemies and emerged friends! Progress, right? Of course, Smith didn't say that, and the only possible reason to extrapolate such a sentiment is to hold onto the misguided belief that one of this country's two ruling political parties isn't actually infested with people holding on to views that are literally more than a century old. If Republicans are really just misunderstood, misquoted, and unfairly maligned for the behavior of the fringe crazies who have latched on for political gain, the sort of asshattery Terry demonstrated should be easy for Republicans, members of the party that abolished slavery, to dismiss. Clearly, that isn't the case.
CPAC Participants Defends Slavery At Minority Outreach Panel [Think Progress]