A session at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) focused on the GOP reaching out to minorities descended into chaos Friday afternoon after a male audience member asked what Frederick Douglass's former slave master had to be sorry for: "For giving him food and shelter?"
As you will see in this story, the individuals involved in this incident may have gone to this year's CPAC with the intention of sparking controversy. The group they are associated with certainly has a history of making offensive comments about race and openly detests the GOP "establishment" and the annual conservative conference.
“It seems to be that you’re reaching out to voters, in the method and program that you're offering us, at the expense of young white Southern males like myself -- my demographic,” 30-year-old Scott Terry of North Carolina said during a question and answer session during a discussion called, "Trump The Race Card: Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?"
He went on to say that as a student of literature, he's come "to love my people and my culture."
"I feel like my people, my demographic, are being systematically disenfranchised," he added.
"My problem is: Why can't we be more like Booker T. Washington Republicans, and his famous statement: Let's be unified like the hand but separate like the fingers," he said.
Presenter K. Carl Smith, of Frederick Douglass Republicans, started to answer by mentioning a letter that Douglass had sent to his former slave master, forgiving him for all the wrongs he had done to him.
Terry then followed up with a reply that dwarfed his previous statements in terms of outrageousness: "For giving him food and shelter?"
The crowd erupted and the people in the room looked absolutely shocked. The far-left website ThinkProgress.org reports that "several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst," however, the video certainly does not reflect that. Other than disapproving gasps and disbelief, just one person can be heard clapping following the statement and it certainly could've been Terry's colleague.
Terry was accompanied by Matthew Heimbach, founder of the White Student Union at Towson University. TheBlaze spoke to Heimbach Friday to verify the statements were in accurate and in context. Terry is also a member of the White Students Union at Towson.
The White Student Union is openly racist and even harbors some seemingly anti-Semitic views. You can read through their blog here. Additionally, here's an excerpt from a blog post on the blog announcing the student union will be represented at CPAC:
The Republican Establishment will be trotting out only the best and brightest to tell the white socially conservative working class base why they need to support homosexual marriage, corporatism, blank checks for Israel, and amnesty for criminal border jumpers. None of us can be surprised that the GOP Establishment has once again decided to declare that the destruction of our people, our nation, and our industrial livelihoods somehow are what the Founding Fathers wanted.
It seems clear that both Heimbach and Terry attended CPAC with the intention of causing a stir and offending people as they openly admit that they dislike the GOP establishment and the conservative conference.
Heimbach told TheBlaze that Terry was not attempting to spread ideas of "racism" but of "race realism."
"He isn't excusing the abuses of slavery," Heimbach said.
However, Heimbach also complained about the disenfranchisement of the white race, saying "freedom of association" is only racist when whites try to practice the concept. He also argued that the left's history of slavery is "propaganda" and doesn't match up with what really happened.
Shockingly, Heimbach refused to say whether he disagreed with the idea of "forced segregation," telling TheBlaze that the states should be able to decide what's best for their affairs.
There are a number of other unverified claims made on ThinkProgress.org, including that Terry muttered under his breath, "why can't we just have segregation." The site also claims they interviewed Terry and he told them he would be fine if blacks were permanently subservient to whites.
Terry, the man who initiated this firestorm, told TheBlaze in a phone interview Friday that he never said he would be "fine" if blacks were subservient to whites permanently, calling ThinkProgress' quote "completely false."
"That is being completely taken out of context," he added.
All Americans should have the "freedom of association," Terry explained. However, he also said he disagrees with "forced segregation," unlike Heimbach who wants the states to decide on the issue. He also said he doesn't support slavery and recognizes that blacks suffered a lot of injustice and abuse during the slavery-era.
Here's Heimbach appearing on Russia Today discussing the "Jewish question":
Jameson Cunningham, a spokesman for the Tea Party Patriots, provided a statement from K. Carl Smith regarding the incident to Talking Points Memo:
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.
This story has been updated.