Sometimes it’s hard to cover a story when you become the story. Leaving the press area to explore, I found a tall African-American fellow with a camera crew berating one of the CPAC staffers screaming, “HOW MANY BLACK PEOPLE ARE HERE!” The poor girl seemed intimidated. “You say you are trying to do outreach to the minority community — HOW MANY BLACK PEOPLE ARE HERE!”
Reacting more with anti-bully instincts than reportorial ones, I screamed back at the man (whose name, I had learned, was Greg Thrasher, and who writes at a liberal blog called Plane Ideas):
Have you gone inside? There are plenty of black people here. In fact, I am doing volunteer work for a group here at CPAC which is run by a black guy.
“How many?” he shouted back. The discussion was getting louder.
I didn’t count them. They are all Americans; that’s all that matters! ‘How many Jews are inside,’ was my instinctual reply. ‘How many Hispanics and Irishmen are here. Why didn’t you count them?’
I may have put him back on his heels because he responded, “I am a black Jew.”
Well, Tsu gezunt, fellow Yid! That’s when security came and tried to shepherd the bully and his film crew out.
Mr. Thrasher was not at CPAC to learn about what people were doing there; he came with pre-conceived ideas. He didn’t even look inside. He looked for someone to bully. Like most bullies, he picked on someone weaker than he was, a woman whose job at CPAC was to give directions, to show people where the bathrooms were and ask guests if they needed anything.
CPAC is not about ethnicity or race. When one submits an application for media credentials, no picture is required. For the conference guests, all that is needed is filling out a form and paying the money. There are no questions about race, religion, or favorite flavor of ice cream. It is a conference for ALL Americans who believe in a conservative political ideology.
Mr. Thrasher is nothing but a bigoted bully.
While returning to the media area, I noticed a toned-down Mr. Thrasher still pontificating. I confronted him again. Afterward, Javier Manjerres, editor of The Shark Tank, questioned Thrasher. The video of the second confrontation and the interview follow.
Jeff Dunetz is editor/publisher of the political website, The Lid.