The CPAC Nazi stage controversy is batsh*t crazy. We know because we were there.
When some people on Twitter insanely decided the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) stage was designed to emulate a Nazi “rune,” the media and some on the left pounced, using it as a chance to discredit all conservatives and CPAC attendees with a false white supremacy narrative. The Hyatt hotel chain released a ludicrous statement expressing “concern,” as if it was actually possible that CPAC designed its stage as some kind of Gestapo salute.
That’s nuts. You have to harbor complete contempt for conservatives to seriously entertain this idea as possible.
In addition, the media and Twitter users dishonestly left out parts of the stage to make the design better match the Nazi runes. The real stage was not a perfect match at all.
Convention organizer Matt Schlapp was put in the ridiculous position of having to deny the stage was designed as an ode to the Nazis, who heinously murdered millions of people.
This revealed an elite media truth: Utter derision for conservatives (how objective!). It’s about derailing President Trump’s comeback by convincing people that being conservative is synonymous with hate or white supremacy. It’s dangerous nonsense designed to make it socially unacceptable to be a mainstream Republican or conservative.
CPAC shifted the conservative discussion from the appalling Capitol riots to serious policy differences between conservatives and the left. The Nazi rune idiocy is really about obscuring the fact that serious policy discussions were held at CPAC, and that millions and millions (we think most) Americans prefer most conservative policy positions (even if some weren’t sold on Trump’s personality). It was about switching the narrative back to the media’s favorite (false) line about conservatives: Look at those wackos!
This is the CPAC stage design below. It is a rune which was used by the SS.
This is the stage from which @tedcruz screeched “freedom.”
— Ben Jackson (@BJacksonWrites) February 27, 2021
Who is trafficking in conspiracy theories now?
When Mandalorian actress Gina Carano compared the political divide in the U.S. to Nazi Germany, she was swiftly cancelled. Yet it’s apparently OK for the left and media to make spurious Nazi analogies when it comes to CPAC’s stage.
When a pastor ridiculously claimed he found a Satanic symbol in the Democratic National Convention’s logo last August, the media treated it as insane, largely ignored it, or correctly described how the pastor was “roasted” for the absurd claim. Yet they took the Nazi claim seriously or semi-seriously.
I suppose it’s “just a coincidence” that the #DemConvention logo turned sideways has the EXACT same design and measurements as another familiar logo. Satanism is alive and well. pic.twitter.com/zkyuNjOxmg
— Pastor Greg Locke (@pastorlocke) August 21, 2020
We attended all four days of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando. Not once did we ever think the stage looked like a Nazi rune. It never occurred to us. We were too busy covering the substantive policy discussions. How full of hate do you have to be to see such a thing in a conglomeration of lights?
CPAC has become the premier annual event of conservatives from around the world who gather in a unique opportunity to exchange views, trade information, get updated on policy, hear legislative reports and get re-energized by listening to inspirational speeches by American and foreign conservatives and assess hopeful candidates for president.
We listened to the entire event. We heard from people of many races, religions and nationalities from around the world. Not once did we witness anything said or done that could possibly be considered “racist” or “white supremacist.” In fact, we found the convention to be very inclusive of all races, religions, and nationalities. There was a substantial Jewish attendance. There were Jewish prayer services at CPAC three days in a row. The Young Jewish Conservatives held a Shabbat (& Purim) Event. The media didn’t seem interested in any of that.
It’s worth remembering which party is the staunch supporter of Israel since people are going to throw Nazi analogies around. It’s not Democrats.
There were many black, Hispanic, and Asian panelists during CPAC. We ran into this gathering of black Republican political candidates from around the country.
President Donald Trump, of course, made historic inroads into the black and Hispanic communities. Fox News contributor Lawrence Jones, who is black, kicked off the welcome reception on the first day of CPAC, to an admiring crowd.
That is not the narrative the media wanted to tell.
The conversations at CPAC were so policy-substantive that they were almost boring at times – there were serious discussions about economics, foreign policy, law enforcement matters, and immigration. The militia/QAnon/white supremacist fringe, which should be denounced, was not in display or even present, as far as we could tell.
But of course, on cue, the batsh-t crazy media, obsessed with trying to extinguish conservative thought, figured out a way to destroy the positive messages that resulted by ridiculously comparing the stage design to a symbol once worn on some Nazi uniforms.
Schlapp, American Conservative Union chair, called the comparisons “outrageous and slanderous.” In a tweet, he said, “Cancel culture extremists must address antisemitism within their own ranks. CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage.”
We were on the floor of CPAC; we photographed and live-streamed the event. Never once did we recognize any Nazi symbols. But why would we? All attendees were seated on the floor, and the media were raised up slightly on a bandstand. However, the shape of the stage was still not obvious.
The stage picture which is being spread around wasn’t visible to attendees or the media present. Only a camera mounted to the ceiling could have taken the image. Then, and only then, could a sick and devious imagination try to extrapolate the stage into a Nazi symbol.
We are disgusted at the media and shocked they would actually stoop this low. But sadly, we are not surprised. Shame on you.
There are two versions of the Nazi symbol the media and some on the left are trying to compare to the CPAC stage, the Odal Rune and the Othala Rune.
The design of the stage does not exactly match either of the two versions of the Rune symbol. One was reportedly seen on at least one banner at the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
In this version, they dishonestly cut off the “feet” of the stage design to create the Othala Rune symbol and compared it to the symbol as seen on a banner in Charlottesville.
Neo-Nazis have been using the Odal Rune sign in place of the swastika for several years.
CPAC's stage is the same shape.
The pic on the left is from Charlotteville in 2017. pic.twitter.com/6Ylt2U4U3C
— Kimberley Johnson (@AuthorKimberley) February 27, 2021
Then there is the comparison to the Odal Rune symbol. Again, not the same symbol, where the feet only extend halfway along the edge of the sides of the square. The CPAC stage design shows the “feet” extend almost to the corner of the square.
Is that where we will go next in society, scouring our political opponents past and present for symbols that look like satanic and Nazi symbols?
The Hyatt Hotel chain then released a crazy statement that appeared to take the controversy seriously.
“We take the concern raised about the prospect of symbols of hate being included in the stage design at CPAC 2021 very seriously as all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company,” the Hyatt said.
Yes, Nazi symbols are abhorrent. White supremacy is abhorrent.
No, clearly the CPAC stage wasn’t designed to emulate a Nazi symbol.
To the left and the media: Grow the F up!
According to Forward.com, Design Foundry, a stage design firm based in Hyattsville, Maryland, said it “had no idea that the design resembled any symbol, nor was there any intention to create something that did.”
In a statement to Forward.com, Design Foundry said it was “saddened and horrified at the accusations that this was a deliberate act. Design Foundry denounces all hate speech and acts of racism, prejudice, or bigotry in all forms.”
Ian Walters, director of communications for the ACU and CPAC, said the design firm “provided several options for us to choose from and what we ended up with was the most workable of the options they submitted.”
The organizers of CPAC have announced that it will not use the design firm for future events.