The GOP seems confused Sunday morning. The official GOP Twitter account told people to remember Rosa Parks for "her role in ending racism." The implication here is that racism is already over. At least, that's how many people understood the message online.
Rosa Parks is undeniably an American hero. On this day in 1955, Parks refused to sit at the back of a Montgomery, Alabama bus. She was arrested, and quickly became a leader in the civil rights movement. She "fought against" racism, and helped end segregation. But she did not, in fact, end racism.
Unfortunately racism still very much exists. In fact, racism exists within the Republican party. Sometimes Republican racism is accidental. Sometimes Republican racism interrupts a major conference. Sometimes Republican racism can't be explained away with tired cliches.
Prominent black Republicans know racism is still a huge problem — especially within the party.
Given the stakes, and who the message was coming from, the tweet was sure to catch fire. And, not shockingly, it did. The response was swift and damaging. A hashtag was created, #RacismEndedWhen, so people could guess the exact moment in history when it happened — a moment missed by most, apparently.
The GOP's social mistake was nothing more than a misguided attempt to remember a great American woman who deserves at least a moment of your thoughts today, likely written by a 20-something social media intern. For some reason the Tweet is still up almost two hours later.
If you're still wondering how to properly remember Parks, here are some examples:
This is police report on Rosa Parks, Montgomery, Alabama, today 1955: pic.twitter.com/QQeGXABH94— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) December 1, 2013
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.