RNC clarifies tweet that suggests racism is over
December 2nd, 2013
09:02 AM ET
12 months ago

RNC clarifies tweet that suggests racism is over

(CNN) – As the Republican National Committee has been working to expand its outreach to African-Americans, it now finds itself playing defense after a well-intentioned but unpolished tweet honoring the legacy of Rosa Parks seemed to ignite some backlash.

The RNC on Sunday, commemorating the day Parks was arrested in 1955, sent out a tweet to recognize the civil rights activist.

"Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in ending racism," its Twitter page read. Attached was a photo of a young Parks.

A few hours after the original tweet, the RNC tweeted a clarification on the latter end of the statement.

"Previous tweet should have read "Today we remember Rosa Parks' bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism," the tweet stated.

But the initial tweet had already sparked reactions from people who took issue with the phrase suggesting that racism has ended. Some people on Twitter started using the hash tag "#RacismEndedWhen," with many taking a sarcastic tone.

Also on Sunday, roughly around the same time as the original tweet, the RNC sent out an email with a message celebrating Parks. The statement included a similar line as the original tweet, but more accurately stated Parks played a role in "fighting racism and ending segregation."

"We remember and honor Rosa Parks today for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation. At the same time we rededicate ourselves to the causes of justice and equal opportunity," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said.

"Rosa Parks was a hero of the civil rights movement," he also said. "On this day 58 years ago, the 42-year-old seamstress took a bold stand-by staying seated. Her arrest ignited a bus boycott that challenged the injustice of segregation and in turn helped to change this nation for the better."

After GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney won only 6% of the African-American vote last year, the RNC has actively worked to change its tone and message to appeal to more African-Americans this year.

Just last month, it launched an African-American Engagement effort in Michigan, after starting similar outreach campaigns in other states, including New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia.


Filed under: RNC
soundoff (397 Responses)
  1. Jerome

    Yawn. CNN gives more attention to unintentional slights by the GOP than they do blatant lies from Obama and his cronies.

    December 2, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  2. Clavos

    If the GOP is interested in gaining minority votes, why don't they create policy that minorities will vote for? Do they actually believe people are stupid enough to vote against their best interests? Do they realize that minorities comprise a majority now? It will take more than some almost clever tweets to win their votes.

    December 2, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Phony is what phony does.

    December 2, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. Danko Ramone

    Not surprising. The GOP mindset, and that of wayyyyyyyyyyyyy too many of its followers, is that once blacks gained civil rights, racism ended.

    December 2, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  5. slawson

    The GOP sure are stupid and dumber than dumb, seriously.

    December 2, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. james cool

    Really? The GOP (and/or its members) has said some stupid things in the past, but we're really getting mad over this? Holy cows guys, they're commending Rosa Parks on a life well spent. And technically, she did help to end racism-on the government level at least. And while we're on the topic, you think racism is ever gonna be gone for good? Sorry, no way no how. You simply can't legislate thought, that's the first freakin lesson they teach you as a political scientist; there's always gonna be the crazy ones in society.

    December 2, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  7. PuzzledInPeoria

    Then why didn't the GOP push Civil Rights legislation in the 60s?

    December 2, 2013 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  8. Pete

    Only the Democrats are perpetuating racism in America.

    December 2, 2013 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  9. transmitterguy

    It doesn't take the RNC too long to remind me of why I Left.

    December 2, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. NFL1

    "At the same time we rededicate ourselves to the causes of justice and equal opportunity," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said."
    What? They are fighting justice and equal opportunity at every turn!!!

    December 2, 2013 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  11. 66rock

    The GOP realizes racism has not ended. They just messed up their wording being that they are not the sharpest knives in the drawer to begin with, that Liberty University education you know.

    December 2, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  12. Name

    The GOP has ignore people of other races and less income for so long that every attempt seems less than honest or heart felt.

    December 2, 2013 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  13. Foxrepublican

    Not every Republican is a racist, but every racist is a Republican.

    December 2, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  14. Nathan

    Does this mean the knockout game is over???

    December 2, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  15. Lenny Pincus

    Everything the GOP tries to do backfires.

    December 2, 2013 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  16. Larry

    Being a white kid growing up in a multi-ethnic, poor, neighborhood section of Portland, Oregon I can testify that racism exists in the history of your personal heritage no matter what your ethnic background or geographic location. That is just a bigger picture of not trusting people that are different than you for your personal safety.and can extend into other cultural match ups (neighbors, foreigners, in-laws, etc.). Ultimately its about the Ego and the Id.

    December 2, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  17. geez

    Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in a lot of these comments calling Republicans racist, bigots and judgmental? See you like you all are living in a bubble of your one. Equally murky and confining.

    December 2, 2013 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  18. pdxdave

    If the DNC had tweeted the exact same thing, there would have been no story. No comment from the left.

    But a Republican tweet suggesting that Rosa Parks helped eliminate racism (whether the job is all done yet or not) causes professional victims to cry "racism!"

    How ludicrous you all look. Sad. Very sad.

    Thank you, Rosa Parks, for helping to eliminate racism in America. It's too bad there are so many racists left in the Democratic Party (the party of hate.)

    December 2, 2013 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  19. tet1953

    Everybody should lighten up. It is clear to anyone with a brain what they intended. Both sides of the political spectrum engage in this pettiness. - a lib

    December 2, 2013 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  20. Name

    max says:
    December 2, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm
    The GOP is proving they are “down with the Internets and Twitters.”

    December 2, 2013 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  21. Larry38363

    The Republicans are nothing but a bunch of dirty, racist old men. There mentality can't even meet their age. Fortunately, they are slowly dying off.

    December 2, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  22. John

    "ThomasE

    Has everyone forgotten that it was the republicans who pushed for civil rights and inegration?"

    You can repeat this stuff as often as you care to, it won't change what the republican party of today represents. Only a fool such as yourself, is fooled.

    December 2, 2013 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  23. Jim8

    Sometimes they show their real thoughts if you listen. Racism isn't any concern to them. It ended way back there somewhere.

    December 2, 2013 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  24. sam111

    RNC: "Open mouth, insert foot"!

    December 2, 2013 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. George

    Proving once again that Republicans really don't have a clue.

    December 2, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
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