Some things are best left untweeted. On Sunday morning, the Republican National Committee’s @GOP account tweeted this in commemoration of the 58th anniversary of Rosa Parks’s arrest after refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man: “Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism.”
Of course, there’s nothing controversial about celebrating a woman today who played a big role in the American civil-rights movement. What is bothering some people today, though, is the suggestion that racism has been, you know, ended.
It’s an idea that most Americans just don’t have.
A survey from Pew Research this May shows that a majority of white and black Americans believe there is a least some discrimination against African-Americans. Eighty-eight percent of black Americans saw discrimination against African-Americans, with 46 percent saying that there is “a lot” of it. The percentage of white Americans who see discrimination against African-Americans is smaller but still a majority: 57 percent say there is discrimination against African-Americans, with 16 percent saying that there is a lot.
A 2008 Gallup Poll found that 56 percent of adults nationally believe that there is “widespread” racism against black Americans. That includes 78 percent of black Americans who held that belief.
And it’s not just that Americans hold a vague sense of discrimination. Nearly 70 percent of black Americans believe that the U.S. justice system is biased against them, according to recent Gallup polling. A quarter of white Americans, and a third of all adults nationally, agree.
So while it’s definitely fair for anyone to give credit to Rosa Parks for her role in improving the lives of black Americans, it is a bit of a stretch for the national Republican Party to suggest that she helped to “end” racism in America. Unless they just know something that the majority of Americans do not.
Update: A Republican National Committee spokesperson emailed over a statement noting that the RNC meant to celebrate Parks’s role in “fighting to end racism,” not just ending it. The @GOP account has since tweeted out something to that effect.
- 1 The Net Has Never Been ‘Neutral’
- 2 Congress Says NIH Should Have Spent Money on Ebola Instead of Puppet Shows and Rabbit Massages
- 3 Obama’s ‘Privacy Bill of Rights’ Gets Bashed from All Sides
- 4 Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland to Lead U.S. Fight Against ISIS
- 5 The Forgotten, Radical Martin Luther King Jr.
What We're Following See More »
President Obama became a surprise topic of contention toward the end of the Democratic debate, as Hillary Clinton reminded viewers that Sanders had challenged the progressive bona fides of President Obama in 2011 and suggested that someone might challenge him from the left. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama,” she said. “Madame Secretary, that is a low blow,” replied Sanders, before getting in another dig during his closing statement: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.”
It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”
It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.
Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.