On Sunday, the Republican National Committee sent out a tweet to commemorate the day that Rosa Parks took a stand in 1955 and refused to move to the back of the bus, helping to spark the civil rights movement. The tweet congratulated Parks on her “role in ending racism.” Below is the exact tweet:
Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism. pic.twitter.com/uxIj1QmtkU
— RNC (@GOP) December 1, 2013
Well, pretty much immediately, people took to Twitter and other social media lambasting the RNC for suggesting that racism ended in 1955. Twitter started trending with #RacismEndedWhen where people would mockingly suggest events that let you know that we were in a post-racial world. A few hours later, the RNC decided it needed to play some defense and sent out another tweet in an attempt to ‘clarify’ its position.
Previous tweet should have read “Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism.”
— RNC (@GOP) December 1, 2013
The fact is, this is just another example of the Republican Party’s tone-deafness on matters of race. The RNC honestly thought they were putting out a really nice, non-controversial tweet honoring Rosa Parks on Sunday morning. Nobody within thought there was anything wrong with the message. Obviously racism is dead and died a long time ago, right? Hell, we have a black president. No way we can have that with racism still alive in well in the good ol’ U. S. of A!
The only reason they had to backtrack and take the whole ‘misquoted’ position is because people rightly took them to task for their completely naive and idiotic suggestion that racism has ended. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus sent out a statement later on Sunday that also tried to pretend that they didn’t suggest that Parks ended racism but instead just helped fight it and bring an end to 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. Rosa Parks was a hero of the civil rights movement. 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.”
That is a perfectly acceptable statement honoring Rosa Parks. But it is hollow coming after the committee’s idiotic tweet. And even if the tweet was never sent out, and this was the only statement made, it doesn’t really constitue much of an outreach to African-Americans or other minorities in this country, much like Priebus has claimed his party needs to do. In the end, black voters will continue to avoid the Republican Party like the plague. In the foreseeable future, the GOP will continue to get less than 10% of the black vote and the minority of the Hispanic, Asian, LGBT and female vote. No matter how many transparent platitudes they throw out, the bigoted underbelly of the party will always be exposed.