As I walked out of the media center last Thursday at CPAC, I found a tall African-American fellow (Named Greg
Thrasher) berating a young woman. At first I believed she was as CPAC
Staffer, but having met her two days later I now know she is a twenty
year old law student named Jolie Davis (and Judging by her intelligence I will probably be voting for her one day).
HOW MANY BLACK PEOPLE ARE HERE, he was shouting. The poor young lady
was backed into an alcove as he continued. You say you are trying to do
outreach to minority community–HOW MANY BLACK PEOPLE ARE HERE!
Mr. Thrasher and I have a difference of opinion, I believe he was bulling Ms Davis, he disagrees. Nevertheless, reacting more with anti-bully instincts than reporting ones I screamed
back at Thrasher, who writes at a liberal blog called Plane Ideas.
While returning to the Media area a while later I passed the berated young woman once again, which rekindled the anger I had over Mr.
Thrasher’s bullying. I came up to a toned-down Mr. Thrasher was still pontificating-I confronted him again. Javier Manjarres editor of The Shark Tank questioned Thrasher caught only the end of the second confrontation which has since become a “hit” on the Daily Kos as I became (in their minds) the biggest hater since Mel Gibson.
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When I met Ms. Davis I asked her to write down her thoughts about the incident and how it began. She posted her experience on her blog and has given me permission to cross post her words.
My Experience at CPAC 2013
By Jolie Davis
I was enjoying my time at CPAC 2013 when I overheard a heated conversation as I passed through the halls. I ducked into an alcove to allow a beverage cart to pass when I heard one man, Greg Thrasher, call Lt. Col. Allen West a “slave catcher.” As a proud Floridian and an Army brat myself, I was instantly intrigued. I asked Mr. Thrasher a simple question “may I ask you what you are talking about?” He confirmed that he indeed called Lt. Col. Allen West a slave catcher.
I fully admit that I am biased toward Lt. Col. West, but calling anyone a “slave catcher” would not sit well with me. I asked him to explain this statement, but was met with only patronizing questions. Mr. Thrasher said that Lt. Col. Allen West says nothing, and that he has no new ideas to bring. I retorted that West believes in the American dream and that he is telling people that it does not matter who you are, your actions and values will get you where you want to go. Although I was continuously interrupted, I attempted to get across the point that Conservatives do not need a new message. Our message of values is tried and tested and we know it works. Thrasher stated that West wanted to bring black people back, a comment I find relatively similar to Biden’s ”…put y’all back in chains.” I attempted to explain to Mr. Thrasher, that by making such racially charged statements he is contributing to the divisive attitude the Left successfully espouses. The conversation quickly devolved into a heated exchange on race in America and in the GOP.
It is my belief that in America in 2013 race does not matter. I was barely able to get through three consecutive words before Mr. Thrasher would interrupt. Nonetheless, I told Thrasher and will state again, race does not matter. We are not beholden to ideas because of the color of our skin. We need to get passed the racially charged rhetoric before we can address the real issues facing our party.
Mr. Thrasher posed the question “what’s wrong with the GOP that we can’t recruit black people?” “Where are all the Black people?” He asked. I asked him, “Why does it matter what color people are?” I was met with hostile questions and more condescending name-calling. When I told him that the name-calling was not accomplishing anything, he responded by saying “name-calling is good” and that he liked it. While I can get over being called ignorant, I will not sit by while another person racially attacks one of my heroes in my presence. I told Mr. Thrasher that I think it is he and people with similar attitudes that are causing the racial problems in America. By singling out racial groups he is dividing Americans into categories. I told Mr. Thrasher that as conservatives we should not be contributing to the “us-versus-them” mentality the Left thrives on. We should not be a nation of hyphenated Americans. I am not an African-American or a Multi-racial American. I am an American. We should unite behind our ideas and not divided ourselves because of the color of our skin.
It was my impression that Mr. Thrasher believes that race, in America, affects every part of life. I disagree. While Mr. Thrasher looked at CPAC attendees as black or white, I saw a group of people who still had faith in the American Dream. I saw a group of people who were willing to put the well-being of our Country over the opportunity for a hand-out. I saw the people who will lead America back to prosperity.
Since this incident, along with the hate mail from the crazy Kos folks , I have received and responded to comments from Greg Thrasher, while we still don’t agree on most things I enjoy the civility of our continued dialog and believe that each one of us has a clearer understanding of the position of the other I hope that we continue to learn from each other.
As for Jolie Davis, speaking to her last week and reading her heartfelt rendition of the events leading up to the confrontation make me hopeful about the future of this country. There were many young people like Jolie at CPAC (including my own daughter) all of them sharp in thought and with a great love for the America our founders created so long ago.