The Republican National Committee has one more thing to be thankful for this year: racism is finally over.
On the 58th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ arrest for refusing give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white passenger, the RNC’s official Twitter account celebrated the civil rights icon’s “bold stand and her role in ending racism.”
This news could not come at a better time for the GOP. The party has struggled mightily in recent years to attract support from non-white communities; In 2012, President Obama won 80% of the non-white vote.
Republican governors have also signed dozens of laws restricting voting rights since 2010, and the conservative-led Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act earlier this year. A North Carolina GOP precinct chair was forced to resign after he criticized “lazy black people” while explaining his state’s harsh new voting laws on The Daily Show.
Republican House members led the charge to slash the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps, a move that hit minority communities hard this year. Cuts to reproducive health services in states like Texas will also disproportionately affect women of color.
After the RNC’s tweet, some users contributed some other important moments in the march towards the end of racism. Twitter user @FeministaJones created the #RacismEndedWhen hashtag, which included key moments in history like President Bill Clinton’s appearance on Arsenio Hall’s talk show, the Jeffersons’ historic move to the East Side, and Michelle Pfeiffer’s work with children in the gangster’s paradise of the inner city.
Unfortunately, news of racism’s demise was not as widely reported as msnbc’s Melissa Harris-Perry would have liked.
Update: Three and a half hours later, the RNC responded to the uproar it had caused. “Previous tweet should have read ‘Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism,’” the committee clarified in a follow-up tweet.