Veronica Roberts

The speeches were nonstop. The Obama-bashing amplified and on a loop. The forced enthusiasm at fever pitch. You see, they had to look like they would buy what they were selling—and that's a tall order.

Then something unbelievable happened. Not unbelievable in context but unbelievable that they would lift those "petticoats" at this specially crafted shindig to air the dirty laundry in public. You would think that the crafting had included rules on etiquette to display; on keeping the ugly hidden until "company" went away.

But for all the careful choreography, a group of the Good 'Ole' Party stepped out of sync and threw some of the dirty, smelly laundry all over the lawn for everyone to see.

Chanting “U.S.A, U.S.A, U.S.A.!” loudly and repetitively for over a minute as soon as she opened her mouth to speak and her Spanish accent came through, a crowd of folks at the Republican Convention prevented Zoraida Fonalledas, Puerto Rico's chairwoman of the Committee on Permanent Organization, from speaking.

It was so bad that the RNC chairman, Reince Priebus, had to come onstage to restore some order and reprimand the shouting group for their lack of … let's call it "decorum," for that other word that comes to mind is so ugly. The flabbergasted female speaker had to stand there nonplussed as the rowdy crowd obliterated her.

It was a stunningly awkward moment for the others in the room. It was similar to a high-brow party where a drunken relative puts the family's dirty secrets on blast.

Click on the video above to see for yourselves: Was it a show of patriotism or a clear case of telling Puerto Rico's representative that she was not part of the “U.S.A.”?

Read one reporter's experience of A Troubling Chant on the Convention Floor—By Jack Hitt (Harper's Magazine)

Written by Veronica Roberts 8.29.12