The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was embroiled in controversy after its stage bore eerie resemblance to Odal rune, a symbol used by the Nazis during the second world war. CPAC strongly denied the allegations terming them as outrageous and slanderous.
The four-day event at Orlando, Florida is being attended by prominent Republicans including former US President Donald Trump. TMZ reported that the symbol Odal Rune, dating back to ancient Germanic languages, was inscribed on the uniforms of Nazi SS soldiers from the 7th Volunteer Mountain Division, based at occupied Yugoslavia.
CPAC Terms the Conspiracy Outrageous and Slanderous
The stage set up at the Hyatt Regency Orlando was designed in a diamond shape with bent extensions going off to the sides. Even the lighting display set up on the ceiling bore the same shape as the stage.
After the images of the stage were shared online, social media users slammed Hyatt and CPAC organisers. 'Hyatt Nazi' was one of the trending topics on social media. "The #CPAC stage is designed to be a rune used by the Nazis. Curious if @Hyatt is okay with Nazi symbols being used on their properties like this?" questioned Morgan J Freeman in a tweet.
Responding to the raging topic on the social media Matt Schlapp, lead organizer of CPAC, wrote on Twitter, "Stage design conspiracies are outrageous and slanderous. We have a long-standing commitment to the Jewish community. ... CPAC proudly stands with our Jewish allies, including those speaking from this stage." Calling the stage 'very pretty', Schlapp added, "Don't listen to the lies about this stage. It is very pretty."
According to Orlando Sentinel, in a statement issued on Sunday, Hyatt said that they 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 their values as a company.
Twitter Rages With Stage's Design
Despite the clarifications issued from both CPAC and Hyatt, the controversy refused to die down on the microblogging site. "I'm about to turn 72, and I gotta tell ya.... This CPAC event is one of most sickening and scary events I've ever seen. I mean, from a golden idol to a Nazi inspired stage, this is horrific. Or is it just me?" tweeted a user.
"Hey @Hyatt: you cool with @CPAC building a Nazi symbol stage in your hotel? Because it seems like you're cool with @CPAC building a Nazi symbol stage in your hotel? So you know, YOU SHOULD NOT BE COOL WITH @CPAC BUILDING A NAZI SYMBOL STAGE IN YOUR HOTEL," tweeted Steve Hoffstetter.
"WTF!!! This CPAC stage design was not an accident. Everything this group of nazi misfits does is intentional and all about the message," tweeted a user.