Republican commentator Rob Smith, an openly gay and Black war veteran, was heckled by a racist, homophobic mob while attending a conservative conference.
Openly gay and Republican veteran Rob Smith has been a victim of a hate crime, being heckled by a mob who shouted both racist and homophobic slurs at him while attending a conservative conference in Phoenix, Arizona.
The event was hosted from Dec. 16 to 19 by Turning Point USA as a gathering for conservative commentators and supporters. Smith shared the footage on his social media of the harassment that occurred on Dec. 17.
Last night in Phoenix, I was confronted and surrounded by some White Supremacists that don’t like gays or blacks in the Republican Party.They shouted “nigger” and “faggot” at me to make their point.However, I served in Iraq. I never back down.Ever. pic.twitter.com/zbZbuFlObM— Rob Smith (@robsmithonline) December 18, 2023
“Last night in Phoenix, I was confronted and surrounded by some White Supremacists that don’t like gays or blacks in the Republican Party,” said Smith in the post to X. “They shouted “nigger” and “faggot” at me to make their point. However, I served in Iraq. I never back down. Ever.”
The video depicted the hecklers yelling “gay sex” at Smith, to which he responded, “Yes, Nick Fuentes loves gay sex.”
Fuentes is a former online media personality known for his far-right rhetoric that promotes racist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, and white-supremacist viewpoints, as well as his involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol Attack.
After mentioning Fuentes, those surrounding Smith then began to yell the slurs at him, chanting “America First” soon after. In light of the incident, which made its rounds on the app formerly known as Twitter, other conservative lawmakers expressed their public support for Smith.
Christina Pushaw, the rapid response director of Florida governor and GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, called the incident “embarrassing.”
“This is embarrassing behavior,” expressed Pushaw. “All I can say is their gutter trash talk gets rewarded online, and some of them are delusional enough to think they can act the same in real life.”
J.R. Majewski, running to represent Ohio in Congress, also commented that the heckling is an “unfortunate reality of a fractured party without leadership.”
— Rob Smith (@robsmithonline) December 20, 2023
Smith is known for his polarizing place in politics, given his sexuality is a point of contention with his conservative ideals, in addition to his Blackness. He has since emerged as a political commentator on traditional news platforms.
Source: Black Enterprise