RNC clarifies tweet that suggests racism is over
December 2nd, 2013
09:02 AM ET
8 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. Ruben

    Republicans don't understand African Americans, what they care about or attempting to empathize with their struggle. If they did they wouldn't be Republicans.

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

    If they think racism has ended they should try reading some of the posts on this page. Fox is worse.

    December 2, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. loudmusic

    Not a big fan of the RNC in general, but this is political correctness gone wild, and it really ain't news. Pretty much nothing that originates as a Tweet ever is.

    December 2, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  4. bajadelmar

    Freudian slip with what they want to public to think.

    December 2, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  5. Robert

    For Pete's sake...a well-intentioned gesture and all Donna Brazile and others can do is leap over any little thing they can find fault with. So much for liberal "tolerance".

    December 2, 2013 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. Rick Supples

    The GOP has been successfully uninterrupted by 50 years of progress. Nice job!

    December 2, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  7. Used to be a republican but never Again

    Please stop trying to use Iconic civil right's figures for you own political agenda's GOP ! You have an image problem because you catered your political agenda's away from minorities for many years and now it is hurting you ! You can just look at the crowd at the RNC convention and the crowd at the DNC conventions and it is clearly obvious that the DNC has by far the more diverse crowd ! If you want to try to prove you aren't racist GOP call out people like Limbaugh , Member's of the teaparty , and GOP Politicians when they make questionable statement's ! Then and only then will people care about anything you have to say concerning race !

    December 2, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  8. lilg

    This going to be both interesting and exciting as it seems the Republican party is telling it's members they don't have to be racist anymore. I hope everyone gets the memo. Great news. The big head has spoken.

    December 2, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  9. Harry Pelham

    If my Republican Party is truly SERIOUS about reaching out to Black Folks we did to begin too Offer More and Better Quality "FREE" Stuff than what the Democrats currently offering! SAD to say it is truly really our ONLY chance of ever making any meaningful inroads in to the Black Community being able to gather up our Fair Share of the Black VOTE come Election Time!!!!

    December 2, 2013 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  10. Brian from DC

    Every time the GOP speaks about race all they do is drawn attention to the fact that their party is neither tolerant, inclusive nor welcoming.

    December 2, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  11. faithfulliberal

    Yeah, the old angry rich white guys are now trying to do damage control after an attempt to pander to the non-whites. Often, when people do this, they only dig their own graves.

    December 2, 2013 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  12. Richard Aberdeen

    What we should remember is, in spite of the valiant efforts of Rosa Parks, the Republican Party continues to stand for and promote racism and everything else imaginable that is against human and civil rights.

    December 2, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  13. Dick46

    The Dixiecrats just changed parties in 1964. Now they are right wing Republicans, not right wing southern Democrats.

    December 2, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  14. faithfulliberal

    Now those white boys got some more 'splainin to do

    December 2, 2013 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  15. Tracy

    The only action the GOP has taken to improve its relationship with non-whites is to keep saying they're trying to improve their relationship with non-whites. Meanwhile, their *actual* actions – making it more difficult for minorities to vote, for example – have been quite the opposite. I wish CNN would realize this.

    December 2, 2013 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  16. RichardLB

    They got 6% of the black vote because, like it or not, many black voters voted for Obama solely because he is black not because of his political stance.

    It may not be the right thing to say, but it is what it is. The GOP, in my opinion, shouldn't get all wound up over only getting a small percentage of black voters in the previous election.

    December 2, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  17. Hooligan

    do these people even THINK before they talk?

    December 2, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  18. FrmrMrine

    The Republicans want you to think racism has ended so that you won't look at theirs.

    December 2, 2013 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. Name

    The GOP is such a sad joke!

    December 2, 2013 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  20. shan

    GOP got Jindal, healey , Ted Cruz, Rubio who are minorities
    They use them to show they are party of all races
    do not trust them

    I pray Democrats will win the house in 2014

    December 2, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  21. flecka

    Kind of reminds me of Palin and her history rewrite of Paul Revere's ride.

    December 2, 2013 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  22. Name Honest B

    Why are the GOPers wasting their time trying to persuade the vote of Black Americans???!!! If we were important to GOPers, this strong of an effort would have started a long time ago. Stop trying to persuade and simply educate Black Americans with their message. Let us decide and stop insulting our intelligence!!!

    December 2, 2013 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  23. Drew

    Could these guys possibly screw up their outreach efforts AGAIN? Yup.

    December 2, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. Doc1

    I find it ironic that the party who failed to champion civil rights, and began wooing a known racist element of our society in the 1960s is displaying this type of message. Do they know no shame? Do they take us blacks as fools? Appeal to my moderate/conservative views via your actions and you'll get my vote. Otherwise, you're making fools of yourselves.

    December 2, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  25. Gianni

    I thought it was the GOP who tweeted this nonsense, not CNN;-/

    December 2, 2013 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
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