Disney’s Epcot Center features a world showcase, where different countries are featured and the employees reflect the culture being featured. But Pennsylvania delegate Mark Harris and his wife were shocked and offended to find someone unexpected in the American section — a Mexican employee.
“It was neat seeing each country and the employees were from that individual country,” Harris’s wife, Irene wrote on the couple’s blog. “Then we visited America . . . one would think you would find American employees. We were offended to find a person from Mexico working in America. Mark spoke up and told them he was highly offended after visiting the other countries and seeing employees from that country and then come to America and find a Mexican.”
The comments were swiftly and categorically condemned by members of the Republican party in Pennsylvania. Snyder County Republican leaders blasting the former GOP committee members.
“The statements made by Mark and Irene Harris are uninformed and highly offensive,” said country commissioner Malcolm Derk. “The Harrises’ comments show their ignorance as they cast judgment on someone they do not know. They do not speak for our county or party.”
Harris contacted a local newspaper after hearing officials and residents were offended by the statements. “This is getting taken out of context,” he said. “What we said is that in Epcot we saw a man that had a name tag that said ’Eddie, from Mexico,’ and we felt that in the America section of the park, there should have been Americans.”
The Republican National Convention, which sought to reframe Americans perception of Mitt Romney and the party as a whole, was marred by several incidents that highlighted the issue of race in a negative way.
A black camerawoman from CNN was the target of an incident where two delegates threw peanuts at her and said, “This is how you feed the animals.” The delegates were removed from the convention.
Additionally, an RNC chairwoman from Puerto Rico was also caught in the middle of a situation whose “optics” looked very bad as the crowd chanted “USA! USA” while she walked up to the podium.
“We are a nation of immigrants that allows each of us to achieve success through hard work,” Pennsylvania commissioner Derk continued.
“Americans are people of any race, color or heritage. Cheers to the individual working at Epcot for showing what a true American looks like.”