The Republican National Convention had a surprise performance Tuesday night after former Republican candidate, Ben Carson’s speech.
Just one day after two members of the grassroots organization, Code Pink, were escorted out of the Quicken Loans Arena for holding up signs in support of refugees and against war, another member was thwarted in her efforts to send a message of peace.
During a musical interlude following Carson’s speech, Code Pink cofounder Jodie Evans, stood to reveal a bright pink sign with the message
“No Racism. No Hate.”
The GOP attendees around her were quick to react and, in efforts to hide the message from cameras, they covered the sign with an American flag.
A man standing behind Evans even went so far as to hide her face. He reportedly wrapped the flag around her head, covering her face completely, and pulling her head backward in the process. Another attendee tried to wrestle the sign from Evans’ fingers.
Three security guards were present and, after momentarily watching the scene unfold, they escorted Evans out of the arena.
As several on Twitter have stated, the irony of the situation is sadly blatant: to suppress someone’s freedom of speech by literally quelling their message with the American flag.
In a convention rich with undertones of racist sentiment and anti-immigrant policies, it is no surprise that a sign in blatant opposition to these messages would be quickly obstructed in attempts to hide it from the public eye.
However, by causing such a scene, a message of hypocrisy was conveyed loud and clear. The Republican Party’s notorious praise for hard working individualism, personal protection and freedom of speech is in direct conflict with the message that attendees sent on Tuesday night, by silencing someone with the universally patriotic symbol of the American flag.