RNC clarifies tweet that suggests racism is over
December 2nd, 2013
09:02 AM ET
7 years 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. moon_unit

    "Libs are always complaining about something even when there's nothing about which to complain"
    How about a little intelligence on the part of the RNC? The statement shows they are out of touch, until someone points out their failure.

    December 2, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Montel

    They also forgot to thank her for ending poverty, her victory in the war on drugs (the solution is more prisons), spreading democracy to China, and any other major issue these morons want to look at with rose colored glasses. I'm amazed how attached from reality they are. They have a "let them eat cake" approach to social issues that are eating at this country like cancer and all they come up with is "build bricks with no straw"

    December 2, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Boomer in Mo

    One must remember that a generation or two ago, the southern Republicans were the old Dixiecrats. They have racism in their DNA.

    December 2, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Vic of New York

    " Rots of ruck " GOP... #RacismEndedWhen Reince Priebus became the head of RNC!

    December 2, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  5. P

    The GOP really do live in a bubble. It's not just about racism anymore. It's also about income levels.

    For those of you who believe this is a "tempest in a teapot", try being on the receiving end of racism while at the same time being told by members of the GOP that it doesn't exist. They keep trying...

    December 2, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Andrea

    I don't think racism will ever end. Racism isn't just whites against blacks; it's also black againt whites. We need to quit thinking anythime something happens with white on black crune it;s racism. What about the black on white crime. There you also have the other etnic groups. Racism isn't going to change until people start accepting people for who they are.

    December 2, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. pbernasc

    much ado for nothing

    December 2, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. jimatmad

    All anybody has to do is go to the posts on any story about this president and you can see that the bigoted right-wingers are still out there in fairly large numbers.

    If you really want an education in hateful, ignorant, bigotry, go to a story about the First Lady.

    December 2, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. JLS639

    "the 42-year-old seamstress..."

    Wasn't her more relevant job a secretary for the NAACP? I believe that was her main source of income at the time.

    December 2, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Patrick Portland

    Sick of this story line....here's a clue liberals...no one is listening...how much more can they squeeze out of these things? The only folks obsessed with race is the left.

    December 2, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. USAPeasant

    Pretty sad that the evil DEM and GOP elitists use American Hero Rosa Parks' great story and heroism as a means to take potshots at eachother. Forget racism, this Partyism is destroying the nation much faster.

    December 2, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. JonK

    Once again the Republicans reveal their fundamental problem:


    December 2, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Chicagoan

    Are we really going to bicker and nitpick about "...her role in ending racism" vs "her role in fighting to end racism"?

    I think everyone knew what the original tweet meant. People love to nitpick.

    This is why 9/10 politicians is a lawyer or law scholar.

    December 2, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. kyleselover

    Leave it to the liberal media to spin the RNC's words into something it is not in order to try and ignite a partisan debate over racism. They were simply acknowledging a historical event where a person of color acted with courage for the betterment of her race and our country as a whole. Sadly it seems they would have been better off ignoring the anniversary and not saying anything. At least they wouldn't face this ridiculous backlash of left wing media outlets who jump at any opportunity to criticize the GOP.

    The fact remains that racism does still exist and I would be willing to bet that every single acting politician in DC would concede that fact regardless of their party affiliation. Racsim will never truly go away, there will always be some that think others have an unfair advantage that they have gained purely based on race. As long as we have organizations that only recognize or accept members based on race, this will continue. The Black Caucus, United Negro College Fund, and minority only colleges are all entities guilty of fueling the discussion of some races being given addtional benefits. Also, it has become taboo for any non-minority to side against a minority in a situation where racial tension is involved. For example, during the 2008 election, there were countless times where I was accused of being racist because I supported John Mccain. I was accused of the same thing for siding with George Zimmerman during the Trayvon Martin murder trial. If Paula Deen was black and used racial slurs against white 30 years ago, I GUARANTEE she'd still have a job and all of her endorsments.

    There needs to be acknowledgement on all fronts that resentment exists within all races (not all people though) and until we can do this any potential solution will just be seen as a way to try to appease the other side.

    December 2, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  15. rafterman11

    As much as a despise the right wang, er, wing, I will give them a pass on this one as it was probably just worded badly. While a large number of conservatives actually think racism is over (and, apparently, its blacks who are racist against white now (roll eyes)), I don't think the RNC was actually trying to float that "racism is ended" balloon over.

    December 2, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  16. Shadow

    Say What?: "Racism ended when reverse racism began"
    1) "reverse racism" would be to be without racism, not whatyou implied.
    2) If you get beatings long enough from a culture, a religion or a person, you tend to dislike it, even hate it...rightfully so.
    It is upon the ones who didthebeatings, abuse, etc, to make restitution, not the victims, just the same as it is supposed to bein a courtroom with crimes.
    Scott: "They made an attempt to be more understanding. "
    They made an attempt to sweep things under the carpet and attract Black voters and...they botched that one up bigtime.
    Gatordude: You are free to walk in any neighborhood, so feel free to do so and speak whatever you think, outloud, in those communities you fear walking in and wait for all the hugs and love you will receive and have earned by doing so.

    December 2, 2013 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. Mopery

    Whoops! While our first tweet said what we actually believe, our second tweet was changed simply as damage control so that maybe we'll get a single black vote next election...

    December 2, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    The GOP clown car just can't get any funnier. In my mind, I see them at the Capitol building running around with the theme song to Benny Hill playing in the background.

    December 2, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. The Real Tom Paine

    Yes, and, to top it off, the clown prince of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, has called the Pope a Marxist. Once the GOP has things breaking their way, their own incompetance, coupled with a lack of self-restraint and and a dearth of new ideas, starts to remind people why they don't deserve the reins of power.

    December 2, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. Saboth

    Racism is the GOP's bread and butter. If it weren't for their ability to play off of the fears of old white people that black people or Mexicans were coming to take their jobs, land and daughters, the GOP would have faded away years ago. As for racism: well, it's been around since mankind first appeared on the planet, and has continued unabated today, so I'm not sure when it's supposed to "die out". Seems like man is always looking for some way to prove he is superior to his fellow man, be it in his religion, wealth, nationality or color of skin.

    December 2, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Capp

    It's sad to think that many minorities believe the GOP has changed when the only thing the GOP wants from minorities is thier vote and nothing else. Minorities don't be fooled by these outreach programs.

    December 2, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. jimatmad

    There is no racism within the Republican Party. They're all WHITE.

    It's when they have to deal with the world outside the bubble that they run into issues.

    December 2, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. emma

    They just don't get it.

    December 2, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. David

    Freudian slip???

    December 2, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  25. LWJR

    CNN would really hate for readers to find out Rosa Parks was a devout Pentecostal Christian.

    December 2, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
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