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During their annual winter retreat in southern Virginia, House Republicans attended a morning session titled “Coalitions: Successful Communication with Minorities and Women” – in a room named after a former slave plantation. We’re not making this up. 

Organizers had the bright idea to hold a sensitivity training and communications meeting in a room called the “Burwell Plantation.” And according to a Salon.com report, the Burwells owned several slaves and other plantations in colonial Virginia. Williamsburg is home to the swanky Kingsmill Resort, where the GOP had aims to discuss a myriad issues such as the debt ceiling, the recent gun control measures and other important matters. To tie it all together, the resort is also the site of a former slave plantation as well. Wow.

Rachel Campos-Duffy, former member of MTV’s reality series The Real World: San Francisco, served as the moderator. Joining Campos-Duffy was CNN commentator Ann Navarro, and Representatives Jamie Herrera Beutler, Adam Kinzinger, Scott Rigell and Frank Wolf. The session serves a necessary function, as Republicans have been coming up short in connecting with the shifting views of the country in the wake of the election.

House Republicans have been under fire in the media for their ham-handed approach to the Hurricane Sandy bill and other recent snafus, but this latest slipup might trump them all.

Check out the photos of the meeting notice and photos of the participants after the jump.

Photo: Los Angeles Times

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