TAMPA – Jack Hitt, writing about the convention for Harper’s, is shocked when delegates shout down Puero Rican Zoraida Fonalledas, chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization, who’s trying to move the proceedings on from a vote on rules.
As she began speaking in her accented English, some in the crowd started shouting “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” The chanting carried on for nearly a minute while most of the other delegates and the media stood by in stunned silence. The Puerto Rican correspondent turned to me and asked, “Is this happening?” I said I honestly didn’t know what was happening—it was astonishing to see all the brittle work of narrative construction that is a modern political convention suddenly crack before our eyes.
Later, this correction.
Editor’s Note: After this post was written, it was reported on Buzzfeed and elsewhere that the “U.S.A.” chant on the convention floor began as a response to chants of “Point of Order” by Ron Paul supporters. An RNC spokesperson denied to Fox News Latino that the chanting was related to Zoraida Fonalledas’s nationality.
You have to love the citation here, describing something that was obvious to anyone watching the floor. One: “U.S.A.!” has been a go-to STFU chant at political rallies since the release of the second Rambo film, at least. Two: Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Three: Fonalledas herself joined in on the chant, because she, too, wanted the Paul delegates to be quiet.
On the other hand, though – hey, Republicans yelling “U.S.A!” That’s got to be racist or something.