The CNN camera operator who had peanuts thrown at her and was called an “animal” by RNC delegates earlier this week has spoken out to Richard Prince’s Journal-isms blog about the incident, saying, “I hate that it happened, but I’m not surprised at all.” Patricia Carroll, 34, said that the ugly episode shows that our country has not made as much progress as people think it has on the delicate, but highly combustible topic of race.
MSNBC commentator Goldie Taylor sees much to admire in the way Carroll has handled the incident, and that while it may not be good that the incident happened, the fact that the RNC removed the delegates speaks to the progress that has been made in our society and the power individuals have when they speak out and stand up for what is right.
Taylor said in an interview with Raw Story, “That young woman did the right thing. She held her head up and she did her job. She reported the assault — and it was an assault — to the RNC and they ejected the delegates.”
However, she wishes the Republican Party “would do more of that,” she said, “that when people raise voices of racial animus, not just the dog whistle, but the bull-horn, I wish that they would step up more often, and I’m glad they did in this incident.”
In the wake of the incident, Carroll told Journal-isms that as an Alabama native, she is not entirely unfamiliar with racism and its manifestations.
“This is Florida, and I’m from the Deep South,” she said. “You come to places like this, you can count the black people on your hand. They see us doing things they don’t think I should do.” She stressed, however, that this kind of disrespect could happen anywhere.
“This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue,” she said.
When asked whether she as a woman of color in journalism has ever faced situations in her professional life where she had to force herself to stay cool in the face of naked racial or gender discrimination, Taylor said that there have been occasions like that, and while she likes to think looking back that she would do everything the same, her responses have varied according to the circumstances.
At times, she said, she has followed her mother’s advice, to “Keep it moving, shorty,” by keeping her mouth shut and letting her work speak for itself. Other times, including an instance when she and another woman of color were hustled out of a tony Democratic fundraiser because campaign workers thought they were with the catering staff, she has felt it incumbent upon herself to speak up.
“Some moments are more teachable than others,” she said. “Some are meant as a lesson for me.”
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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