If the Republican party's covert appeals to far-right fascist circles weren't already enough, some are speculating that organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida this past weekend literally set the stage as a welcome mat to neo-Nazis.
As speakers glorified violence against protesters, mocked transgender people, and praised the antics of former President Donald Trump, eagle-eyed viewers noticed the ground on which they stood had quite a distinct shape.
The CPAC stage's shape was identical to an Odal rune, which was a Nazi symbol that, according to the Anti-Defamation League, Nazis adopted to glorify an Aryan past.
This is the CPAC stage design below. It is a rune which was used by the SS. This is the stage from which @tedcruz… https://t.co/o13dKSbVLV— Ben Jackson (@Ben Jackson)1614442471.0
Curious choice by CPAC 🧐 https://t.co/CZ7OOq2GBX— Jamosa (@Jamosa)1614374766.0
People pointed out that the Odal rune on the stage had serifs—a variation on the rune uniquely belonging to the SS.
Having worked with Norse and Elder Futhark iconography for years, I’m quite alert to the glyph shapes and their ass… https://t.co/XLjAZOpZiH— Hami (@Hami)1614357277.0
@MarkTLive This is a Nazi symbol at the CPAC: This is the Odal rune with wings or feet (serifs) was the emblem of… https://t.co/5qmwEbI4AW— Joy Williams (@Joy Williams)1614470423.0
Given the right's history of employing dog whistles and subliminal messages to those who know to look for them, CPAC faced immediate pushback, as did the Hyatt hotel chain, whose Orlando location hosted the event.
Soon, the chain put out a statement condemning the symbol—a day after the event had ended and the custom-built stage deconstructed.
"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."
Though CPAC chair and devout Trump supporter Matt Schlapp dismissed the concerns as "outrageous and slanderous," the controversy comes only weeks after the deadly siege of the United States Capitol, where Nazi iconography and sympathy was on display.
As for Hyatt Hotels, many thought the condemnation was too little, too late.
I call bullsh-t on @Hyatt hotels. The chance to take your stand was while this stage was in use. Hyatt chose to le… https://t.co/0KXAKyQ7cA— Fred Guttenberg (@Fred Guttenberg)1614612425.0
The @Hyatt chose Nazis. I’m gonna be choosing something else! https://t.co/bBjkJLvnMC— Pam Keith, Esq. (@Pam Keith, Esq.)1614641752.0
As promised I’ve dumped my stocks in @Hyatt today. A small drop in the bucket for Hyatt? Probably. But the Oce… https://t.co/14SkGpgAEL— 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🌊 Patriotic Moose&Lamb 🌊🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🌊 Patriotic Moose&Lamb 🌊🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸)1614611869.0
Critics said the hotel chain was warned of the ideologies it as welcoming with its embrace of CPAC.
it’s not like everyone didn’t warn Hyatt abt hosting CPAC https://t.co/MmC01BXEs4— Eric Boehlert (@Eric Boehlert)1614609846.0
Hyatt bigs want us to believe they didn’t know who they were dealing with, which isn’t even a little credible, but… https://t.co/rHHRMNE3Cm— Brian Beutler (@Brian Beutler)1614626432.0
@Hyatt should if thought of this before allowing the insurrection party to hold their insurrection/white nationalis… https://t.co/Gxirk9jSg3— Jean Mulrine DeMange (@Jean Mulrine DeMange)1614603950.0
@Hyatt everyone warned you and asked you not too host. Too little too late. This super voter Family will no longer… https://t.co/0w6YC9rdZt— Dino (@Dino)1614617866.0
People continue to announce their boycotts of the chain on Twitter.