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. MIA

    We Muslims in America, along with our African-American, liberal white, Jewish (yes Jewish), Mexican, and other minority supporters will never vote for a republican president. If you think a white male republican is ever again becoming a president of this great nation, you are in dreaming.

    December 2, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Hugh J'Ardonn

    Mitt Romney won only 6% of the African-American vote because of African-American's racism, not because of the GOP's. The vast majority of blacks voted black, pure and simple.

    December 2, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. Rudolph

    Repubtards strike again!

    And again, and again, and again in the comments section!

    Personally, I like it when the GOP lets its intelligence show-great for the Dems! Progressive Liberals Unite!

    December 2, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    What a yawn... Just another contrived, so-called race issue raised by the Democrats against Republicans. I see the "tolerant" liberals are thrilled at another forum on which to hurl nasty, biased, unsubstantiated accusations of racism against their opposing political party. Oh, if only these open-minded liberals would take some time to learn the facts about the political parties, instead of relying on pundits for their opinions.

    December 2, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Floydzepp

    The GOP has no future. It's aging, anachronistic and a dying party.

    December 2, 2013 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    steve
    Fact – Blacks do better when Republicans are in office. How well are they doing under Obummer?

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Any chance you can provide PROOF of your so-called "fact"? No? Didn't think so, but thanks for playing!

    December 2, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. DUH!

    Brad

    There's nothing wrong with the original quote. "Ending racism" describes a process, a goal. Let's worry about the sad state of affairs our economy is in and the people running it into the ground rather than picking apart some random tweet by the other party.

    You should at least quote the quote correctly. The first tweet stated Racism had ENDED not was ENDING. Keep twisting the truth as you and the rest of the GOP twist in the wind.

    December 2, 2013 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. maggie

    No surprise that GOP still has foot in mouth disease, to the tune of "still racist after all these years" (you can spend all your time making money, you can spend all your time making love). GOP; "still crazy after all these years". Cheers, Maggie

    December 2, 2013 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. steve

    And how well are blacks doing under Obama? Better or worse?

    December 2, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Tim

    Only the blatantly racist Liberals would take offense at this statement. It is sad that the Democrats and the Liberals are so deeply invested in prolonging racism and hatred.

    December 2, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. sparky

    The first tweet was what they're really thinking. I like that it took four and a half hours for someone to tell them that they shouldn't have said that.

    "Well, it's ended, right? What? Why are you looking at me like that?"

    December 2, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    Hewpie
    Rosa Park's opponents, of course, in the battle against racism were the Democrats. Why didn't the RNC point this out? When you are battling the sleaze bag racists in the Democratic Party, you have to go on the offensive.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++

    Honestly hew, you REALLY need to learn history before you embarrass yourself again.

    December 2, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. gusm

    Hahahaha...RNC still out of touch with reality. These people are in need of brains.

    December 2, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Jez

    Hugh J'Ardonn
    Mitt Romney won only 6% of the African-American vote because of African-American's racism, not because of the GOP's. The vast majority of blacks voted black, pure and simple.
    -------
    Blacks didn't vote for Romney because of his racist LDS religion. Until the 1970s, when the government was on the Mormon church's back, black people were not "allowed" into their version of heaven. Mormons are racists, pure and simple.

    December 2, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Ian

    You can't fix stupid but you can vote it out of office....Come 2014, Vote these GOP buffoons to the curb...

    December 2, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. Malory Archer

    As-if
    Wow, let the CNN bash on Republican party continue. And let all the sniveling whiny name calling misinformed liberals come out their closets. God forbid, anyone has a logical civilized discourse on government spending, the economy, healthcare, immigration, energy, agriculture, national defense, healthcare, or the like. Let just act like children and name call. That should really help move things along. And while we're on the subject of "racsim" 50% of White voted for Obama first and second time, 95% of Blacks voted for him both time. Who's racist? Clearly Black are far more racist than whites, so by your own logic since they vote for the Democratic Party, it must be the party that embraces racism.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    LOL!!! The irony in the above post is so thick that it's impossible to cut through with a light saber!

    December 2, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Bill

    Liberal girly men getting bent out of shape over nothing.......and nothing new about that.

    December 2, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. mary

    I hate the GOP.. Everything they stand for..
    But a simple statement that was said wrong ..Is hardly a reason to go into a tirade…
    Good grief.. :(

    December 2, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  19. Danno

    Racism only exists today because it is invented and exacerbated by hatemongers. In other words – racism could be gone if people would stop shouting "THAT'S RACIST!" Come on people, we're all human. We all live on the same planet, share the same DNA, and bleed the same blood. Get over yourselves.

    December 2, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. Chet

    The only way racism will end is when everyone looks like everybody else. Except... we will just find something else to separate us. We are truly sad beings. Teach tolerance and respect, then practice it.

    December 2, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. M

    I'm most certainly not a Republican, and I think that many things the GOP does ends up driving minorities away, but, in the grand scheme of things, this one strikes me more as unintentional bad phrasing than as a deliberate statement. If they'd used the term "segregation", which may have been what they were going for, the tweet would have been fine. I'd chalk this one up to either the tweet's author not getting someone else to review it or having both the original author and reviewer simply missing the bad phrasing.

    December 2, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. dave

    Some of my best friends are black...

    December 2, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. rosethornne

    Funny how they want to think racism is ended, when it was the rise of their very own christofascist extremists in conjunction with the election of a melanin-enhanced President that set off an outbreak of some of the nastiest things I have ever heard in my life. And I grew up in the south in the '60s.

    December 2, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. tidho

    Once again its the Republicans reaction rather than their action that is flawed.

    "...her role in ending racism" is open to interpritation. It could mean that racism is over, but it can also signify a belief that racism will end.

    The response should have been as simple as, "Racism isn't over, but we believe it will eventually be overcome and support and appreciate all efforts, including those of Ms. Parks, toward that end.

    Instead we have a platform that allows The Democrat Party to self serve by promoting racial divisiveness.

    December 2, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. MarkinFL

    Agree with Mary. The GOP may be last haven of old white racists but this was clearly a simple misstatement while trying to shrink a thought into a tweet.

    December 2, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
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