As hurrican Isaac headed toward New Orleans, a storm of a different kind was brewing at the Republican Convention this afternoon. Around 4pm Tampa time, Puerto Rican Republican party functionary Zoraida Fonalledas took the stage to give her report. The floor was already a bit lively, with the energy of southern racists and nativists chomping at the bit for something (or someone) to rail against.
When Ms. Fonalledas began to speak, her Spanish accent prompted simultaneous chants to burst forth of "USA, USA!" and then, "Get them out!" Some of the biggest offenders were those in the Texas delegation. It was obvious from the Lone Star button-down shirts and straw cowboy hats the Hank Williams Jr. wannabes sported. They shouted her down vigorously for nearly a full minute as she stood in shocked silence. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus had to come to the microphone and scold the offending delegates.
He asked the floor to give Ms. Fonalledas the respect she deserved as the Puerto Rican delegate to give her report while she stood behind him looking confused, saddened, and angry all at once. She maintained her composure in the face of blatant racism, and it's a wonder that she and her fellow Republicans can continue to support a party platform that is so filled to the brim with people who show their disdain for anyone non-white.
It doesn't matter that the GOP trotted out Mia Love, Artur Davis, Nikky Haley, Marco Rubio, and other minority politicians during the televised event. The fact remains that a group of thuggish jackasses thought it would be fun to taunt and shout down a Republican delegate representative from Puerto Rico because she talked with a Spanish accent.
This is what the Republican party is, folks. It isn't about taking back the country from some horrible secret Muslim/socialist/communist dictator. Nope. It's about taking the country back 100 years to a time when immigrants had no rights, when women were still stuck in the kitchen with a baby on the hip and one in the belly. They've already gotten a head start on pregnancy out in Arizona, where Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill into law stating that pregnancy begins two weeks before conception, making it even more difficult for a woman to obtain abortion, if necessary.
The GOP, as much as it wants you to believe, doesn't give a damn about jobs. The president offered a comprehensive jobs bill which was firmly shot down in Congress. And yet, they're blaming him for high unemployment.
It doesn't matter that Rick Santorum's daddy came over from Italy on a ship named "Providence." It doesn't matter that Mia Love, an African-American from Utah, skewed Martin Luther King Jr.'s words to fit an anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-working class platform. It doesn't matter that Artur Davis decided to switch from the Democratic party to the Republican party. None of that matters.
What matters is the fact that in one minute at the Republican Convention, the GOP's adherents showed their true colors, and it wasn't a pretty sight.