||Last Updated: Oct 25th, 2012 - 16:15:55
An African American camerawoman for CNN who suddenly found herself assailed by peanuts at the Republican National Convention Tuesday reacted as many would. "What are you doing? Are you out of your damned mind?" she said, according to a friend.
"Here's some more peanuts," responded one of two "older-than-middle-aged white men," the friend, Jamila Bey, told Journal-isms by telephone on Wednesday. "This is what we feed animals," they said.
The camerawoman, whom Bey believes to be the only camera operator of her race and gender working at the Tampa convention, was flanked by ABC and Fox News crews as they worked from their depressed area on the convention floor. "She realized she had to be kind of cool about it," said Bey, host of the Washington-based "Sex Politics And Religion Hour: SPAR with Jamila" on the Voice of Russia radio network.
The camera operator then told two African American cameramen from ABC and a white producer from another network what had happened. Two RNC officials came over to apologize. "These must have been alternates. Our delegates would never do anything like that," one of the officials was reported to have said.
Bey said she told her friend that she would not disclose her name, but she described the camerawoman as a "sweet, unimposing looking person . . . a cute, brown thing. She's clearly not there in any other capacity." The friend, clearly shaken, spoke briefly with Journal-isms but said she had to continue the conversation later because she was on the other line with her mother. She apparently decided not to follow through.
CNN issued a brief report online Wednesday but was criticized for not saying more. Television reports on CNN's main channel were preoccupied with hurricane coverage, but on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Huffington Post, the network finally addressed the incident on-air. Anchor Wolf Blitzer said the incident was "truly shocking" and "hit home" for people at the network.
[In an exclusive interview on August 30 with Prince, the camera operator allowed herself to be named and said she wasn't surprised by the incidenr.
Patricia Carroll, the CNN camerawoman who was assaulted with peanuts and called an animal by attendees at the Republican National Convention, told Journal-isms on Thursday that "I hate that it happened but I'm not surprised at all."]
Carroll, who agreed to be named for the first time, said she does not want her situation to be used for political advantage. "This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue," she said by telephone from Tampa.
Yet Carroll was critical of black Republican women who spoke at the convention, such as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Mia Love, a Republican congressional nominee in Utah and a Mormon.
The two Republicans "spoke about the American Dream," Carroll said. "Look around, Condoleezza Rice. Other black sisters are not enjoying the dream with you. There were just three or four black women in that whole place."
Carroll said that no one took the names of the attendees who threw peanuts at her Tuesday on the convention floor and said, "This is what we feed animals." She alerted fellow camera operators, producers and CNN security. The head of the delegation — she was not certain of the state — told her the perpetrators must have been alternates, not delegates.
But Carroll, 34, said that as an Alabama native, she was not surprised. "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 said she wanted to thank CNN, which "has been behind me 100 percent." Although she was stationed on the floor, next to Fox News, the perpetrators "didn't know what I was doing. I happened to be standing there," near one of the delegations.
"I can't change these people's hearts and minds," Carroll added. "No, it doesn't feel good. But I know who I am. I'm a proud black woman. A lot of black people are upset. This should be a wake-up call to black people. . . . Obama being a black president don't mean a damn thing. People were living in euphoria for a while. People think we're gone further than we have."
Carroll said she had received many requests for interviews and was in meetings most of Wednesday. "I was hoping this story would go away," she said. "I'm not interested in talking to any other media about this."
Read more at Richard's column: Including:
Yahoo's D.C. Bureau Chief Fired After Romney Remark
Hurricane Isaac Destroys Melissa Harris-Perry Home
Disconnect Between GOP and Latino Journalists
"We Built It" Speaker Received $2 Million in SBA Loans
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