Commentary: The GOP’s Fantasy About the End of Racism

The Republican National Committee sent a tweet saying that Rosa Parks’ role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott led to “ending racism.”

Posted: 12/02/2013 01:36 PM EST

Poor Republicans. They never seem to be able to get this race thing right.

The latest faux pas came this past weekend when GOP officials commemorated the anniversary of the start of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which began in December 1955.

“Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism,” the Republican National Committee tweeted on Sunday. Ending racism? It seemed pretty clear that the historic bus boycott in Montgomery paved the way for the end of segregated seating in public transportation. But the Republicans seem to believe that it was the event that created a rose-colored utopia where all racism no longer exists.

For a party that emerged from the 2012 election vowing to do a better job of outreach to the African-American community, the Republicans seem to be having more than a little trouble making good on those promises.

With Christmas approaching and so many Americans feeling economically pressed, the Republicans have been the champions of slashing the nation’s food stamp program, which helps to provide a safety net for millions of Americans, many of them Black. And Republican leaders are intent on making even deeper cuts.

This Republican Party is the group that is still pressing for restrictive voter identification laws in a number of states in order to depress the African-American vote. They continue to insist that the need to revise voter laws is prompted by their sincere desire to rid their states of voter fraud, although they don’t seem to be able to point to any real instances of such abuse at the polls.

This is the party whose leaders continue to vilify every policy decision and initiative undertaken by the nation’s first African-American president, even when President Obama seeks to enact ideas that started as the Republicans’ very own.

More than anything, the recent tweet reveals again how out of step the Republicans are from the rest of the country, how they somehow live in some fantasy world. The folks at the Pew Research Center conducted a poll earlier this year that indicated that a majority of Americans — both Black and white — believe that there remains some level of racial discrimination in the United States.

So, their belief that racism is now a thing of the past is yet another example of the continuing tone deafness of the Republican Party. One can only hope that they might one day recognize that Rosa Parks’ work symbolized just a beginning to the fight against racism, rather than reaching the goalpost.

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(Photo: GOP via Twitter)

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