The exchange occurred after an audience member from North Carolina, 30-year-old Scott Terry, asked whether Republicans could endorse races remaining separate but equal. After the presenter, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans, answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master, the audience member said âFor what? For feeding him and housing him?â Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terryâs outburst.
After the exchange, Terry muttered under his breath, âwhy canât we just have segregation?â noting the Constitutionâs protections for freedom of association. Watch it:
ThinkProgress spoke with Terry, who sported a Rick Santorum sticker and attended CPAC with a friend who wore a Confederate Flag-emblazoned t-shirt, about his views after the panel. Terry maintained that white people have been âsystematically disenfranchisedâ by federal legislation.
When asked by ThinkProgress if heâd accept a society where African-Americans were permanently subservient to whites, he said âIâd be fine with that.â He also claimed that African-Americans âshould be allowed to vote in Africa,â and that âall the Tea Partiesâ were concerned with the same racial problems that he was.
At one point, a woman challenged him on the Republican Partyâs roots, to which Terry responded, âI didnât know the legacy of the Republican Party included women correcting men in public.â
He claimed to be a direct descendent of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
The panel continued to be racked in controversy, as an African-American audience member repeatedly challenged the racism on display at this event. CPAC is the marquee conservative conference of the year, with speakers ranging from former Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney to Senator Marco Rubio.
K. Carl Smith, the panelist from Fredrick Douglass Republicans, released a statement following the media storm related to the racist outburst in his panel. Astonishingly, he reserves the brunt of his criticism for the female reporter who raised objections to the comments being made in the room:
I was invited by the Tea Party Patriots to conduct a breakout session entitled: âTrump The Race Cardâ and share the Frederick Douglass Republican Message. In the middle of my delivery, while discussing the 1848 âWomenâs Rights Convention,â I was rudely interrupted by a woman working for the Voice of Russia. She abruptly asked me: âHow many black women were there?â This question was intentionally disruptive and coercive with no way of creating a positive dialogue.
In addition, a young man who wasnât a Tea Party Patriot, made some racially insensitive comments, he said: âBlacks should be happy that the slave master gave them shelter, clothing, and food.â 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.