The Republican National Convention was marred by an ugly racial incident on Tuesday night in Tampa, as two convention-goers were ejected from the floor for reportedly throwing peanuts at a black, female CNN camera operator and saying, “This is how we feed the animals.”
While the woman was not identified, statements from CNN and from the convention spokesman confirm that the disturbing incident did indeed take place.
“CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon,” the statement read. “CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”
The incident was also confirmed by a tweet from Current TV host David Shuster, who wrote late Tuesday night: “GOP attendee ejected for throwing nuts at African American camera woman + saying ‘This is how we feed animals.’”
Ironically the ugliness transpired on the same night that the GOP was trying to showcase its diversity by featuring former Obama ally Artur Davis, a four-term Democratic Congressman who left the Democratic Party after a failed run for Alabama governor in 2010. Davis told the primetime crowd why he deserted Obama.
“There are Americans who voted for the president, but who are searching right now, because they know that their votes didn’t build the country they wanted,” he said.
But the racial incident for many will just confirm stereotypes and suspicions they already had about the openness of the Republican Party to racial diversity.
Convention spokesman Kyle Downey confirmed in a statement that two convention-goers were ejected, though he did not identify them.
“Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior,” said convention spokesman Kyle Downey. “Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”