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

    The first post was what the GOP really believes to be true.

    December 2, 2013 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  2. woodie

    Rosa Parks ended racism. That is a nice idea the GOP had. Sort of like their ideas about Medical Care Reform. Everybody knows Medical Care in America is the best there ever was. The ones that lived anyway.

    December 2, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  3. Julie

    The goats on the left and sheep on the right and the division of this country is striking – how sad to insult republicans who have always been hard workers and gave to help the poor and needy – and that is why I vote republican – yes, there are bad apples in every bunch. I vote republican because I stand for something – if anyone is getting discriminated against it it christians who will not fold and support what God calls sin – that is more important than anything else I could read

    December 2, 2013 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  4. albie

    this is just about the most absurd overreaction this year – c'mon people – I don't like the republican (right) either, but this is just dumb

    December 2, 2013 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  5. Sonic10158

    I'm sorry, but I don't see what's so racist about the tweet. Yes, it was incorrect in implying that racism is gone now, but how does that mean the gop is racist?

    December 2, 2013 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  6. Rudolf

    RE: Malory Archer @ 5:14 pm

    "God forbid, anyone has a logical civilized discourse..."

    Pot meet kettle. If the GOP & Tea Party want logic and civility, then fine, but first let them clear up their own rhetoric and vocabulary, not to mention their questionable logic and interpretation of history. And this includes you too, Ms. Archer.

    December 2, 2013 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  7. Brendan

    Sounds like it was written by everyone's favorite alternative historian, Michele Bachmann.

    December 3, 2013 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  8. Kansas Slim

    What hypocrisy. The GOP has fought efforts against racism in so many ways over the years, but because they want votes, they pretend to act like they have fighting racism instead of promoting it. It goes back to Nixon's southern strategy, Reagan's ridicule of "welfare queens," Bush One's Willie Horton ads, etc. To borrow from another great Republican, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

    December 3, 2013 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  9. Dave

    Republicans are already trying trick people into voting for their party. They need to quit partying and work to take care of ALL the American people. Vote out the old guard and find people that will serve this country honorably.

    December 3, 2013 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  10. John

    Notice that Black History Month always goes on and on about slavery and the civil rights initiatives, but never about black history of the last 30 years? I don't blame them, it's shameful.

    December 3, 2013 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  11. Grampa

    Okay, C'mon guys. I'm as pro-Obama and anti-GOP as anyone but there's no issue here. The tweet was well intentioned, if laughably naive. Don't ridicule them for trying to be decent.

    December 3, 2013 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  12. David Lloyd-Jones

    The other problem they need to fix is the lie, normal for the GOP: they don't honor Parks.

    -dlj.

    December 3, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  13. K Brown

    Gotta love those Republicans.......they're rich, white and racist. We learned that in the last Presidential election and they haven't been able to "spin" the results in their favor yet.

    December 3, 2013 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  14. JimmyJam048

    See?
    I TOLD you bigots were stupid.

    December 3, 2013 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  15. jj

    Wait 'til they find out she was BLACK!

    December 3, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  16. ready

    the problem with republicans is they think racism ended when segregation ended.

    December 3, 2013 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  17. joe

    just like mission accomplished

    December 3, 2013 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  18. Babs

    People will nitpick over any little thing.

    December 3, 2013 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  19. omeany

    GOP...Here's a thought...We know you mostly represent rich white people so just stop with your attempts to "reach out" to other demographics until you are actually willing to work to make life better for all Americans not just the rich. Then you won't have these kinds of issues.

    December 3, 2013 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  20. bob the buil

    Just more proof that nothing intelligent can be said in 140 charactes

    December 3, 2013 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  21. Forbetter Orworse

    The Republicans are once again trying to get their hands on a sampling of minorities but still haven't figured out what they plan to do with them...

    December 3, 2013 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  22. Forbetter Orworse

    Right now the Republicans will endorse ANY minority who's willing to run on their ticket. I say we should head over to the nearest psychiatric facility and find them a few fresh candidates!

    December 3, 2013 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  23. Cassandra

    This will fit nicely as Chapter 2,947 of my upcoming book, "Greatest One-Liners from the GOP's Minority Outreach Program."

    December 3, 2013 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  24. basedonfact

    If you are not a white male millionaire and vote republican, you just have not been paying attention

    December 3, 2013 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  25. Sparkle Bunny

    Racism isn't over... it's just been flipped the other way now.

    December 3, 2013 03:42 am at 3:42 am |
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