A A
RSS

CODEPINK Statement Regarding Twitter

Posted by Alli -

Wed, Jun 5, 2013

Press

  • Sharebar

We would like to apologize for our recent actions that displayed an undeniable insensitivity to persons of color, especially women of color.

As an organization, we strive to speak truth to power and stand for human rights for all. We respect intersectionality and strive to stay aware of the many forms of privilege among our group. We would like to make an unequivocal apology to Michelle Obama, Alicia Keys, and everyone who took offense to messages we posted on Twitter.

By tweeting about how Michelle Obama “should have” responded to Ellen Sturtz’s interruption, we behaved in such a way that reflected a long history of white women dictating how Black women should behave. Our actions were not in keeping with our own values as an organization. While yesterday’s interruption was not a CODEPINK action, it is exemplary of CODEPINK tactics, and the way we responded to it was insensitive and thoughtless.

When the process of petitioning, lobbying and writing letters fails, and when mainstream media ignores the real issues, interruptions of high-profile officials are one tactic to make our voices heard. Because it crosses the line of agreed-upon civility, this tactic is always messy.

We appreciate all the people who gave us instant feedback over Twitter and it has been and will continue to be a learning opportunity for CODEPINK. We are immediately reviewing our process and criteria for social media use, as an organization, and we invite any of our our critics to speak with us directly about issues of race and privilege in order to prevent a similar occurrence in the future.

Onward to peace and justice,

The CODEPINK Staff

Popularity: 16% [?]

Tags: ,

  • Neener

    It gives me hope when people are strong enough to admit error. I’m proud to support this group.

  • pissed

    You did nothing that required an apology. The first lady acted without class and responded like a bully. I am offended that you would apologize for calling her out on her boorish behavior.

  • mrgiarc

    Pissed you and you followers are racists and an apology was needed. This group are no different from the people who oppose you with that attitude.

  • jen

    I’m glad you apologized but I was completely unimpressed by your tweets and I have to say I now have a poor impression of your organization

  • pissed

    I’m only a racist if you believe that whites can never criticize blacks; in which case you are the true racist.

  • Lisa St. Frank

    Reverse racism? Mm, you might want to re-think your statement.

  • Anonymous

    U were disrespectful to African American women. Lets be specific.

  • pissed

    Racism is racism. It’s discrimination based on race. You’re a racist.

  • mrgiarc

    Sorry racism is at the moment a white American problem and it got worse after President Obama was elected. I am appalled at some of the hurtful comments coming out of the mouths of Caucasian Americans about African Americans. The difference between you and myself is that I would apologize if racists comments where made online by my supporters.

  • pissed

    Wrong. They disrespected an arrogant bully. They regarded her the same way they regard everyone.

  • pissed

    Nothing racist was said by Code Pink. They aren’t responsible for when others jump in a public debate.

  • mrgiarc

    If it were Barbra Bush it would be OK huh! Now know who the real racist his in this conversation.

  • pissed

    Yeah, it would be ok. You fling that word around so much, clearly you have no idea what it means.

  • mrgiarc

    Walk a mile in my shoes sweetheart!

  • mrgiarc

    I live in the heart of Dixie! So you can’t tell me nothing.

  • mrgiarc

    I love everyone gay Americans included but I HATE intolerant people.

  • pissed

    I am a nonwhite, Nonchristian gay man in Texas. Please, cry me a river.

  • mrgiarc

    I don’t believe in god either because the churches are the breeders of hate speech.

  • pissed

    And yet, even though I started with a calm, reasoned comment, you immediately jumped on with the hate. Look in the mirror.

  • mrgiarc

    Because you defended hate speech and is a gay person… hypocrisy at it worst!

  • mrgiarc

    I don’t need a mirror but you might need one for yourself!

  • mrgiarc

    But he sees no problem with that and the bothers me greatly.

  • mrgiarc

    Michelle Obama is not your enemy but the religious right and to insult African American women will not help your cause.

  • mrgiarc

    I posted this on NPR today.

    I always thought it was rude to interrupt someone while they are talking but when a person can call the president a liar on national tv during a presidential address nothing surprises me anymore. The first lady is not a policy maker and they should focus their attention on the people who actually make policy like the Republicans and the religious conservatives who oppose many measures aimed at gay rights. Gay rights advocates have to realize the you can’t force legislation down the throats of people who oppose gay rights on religious grounds.The first lady handled this situation very well in my opinion.

  • Anonymous

    The nuance you’re failing to grasp here is our nation’s long history of institutionalized racism and oppression of people of color in which code pink, by their own above admission, participated in today.
    In this context, POC cannot be racist and white people cannot experience racism, as that’s not how the historical institutional power slants.

    Hurt feelings ! – racism.
    Black person said something I don’t like != racism.
    As code pink has stated above, it’s not criticizing the First Lady that is at issue, it’s the long history of white (feminist) women telling Black women how to behave. And that’s not okay.

  • mrgiarc

    Well said!

  • mrgiarc

    Two wrongs don’t make a right!

  • Anonymous

    This is absurd, why are you apologising for etiquette standards when your sick fascist government and military industrial complex has murdered millions of people around the world, starting with native Americans, African slaves, Vietnamese children and now Iraqi and Afghan farmers. No aplogies! Death to the Death Machine!

  • The Rancid Honeytrap

    “By tweeting about how Michelle Obama “should have” responded to Ellen Sturtz’s interruption, we behaved in such a way that reflected a long history of white women dictating how Black women should behave. ”

    It also reflected a long history of speaking up to powerful people. What are you apologizing for, exactly? What you said or the way you phrased it? What would have been a better way to address your misgivings about the First Lady’s response to the heckler or can white women never do that?

    At first glance, this just looks to me like a powerful person being immunized from criticism by her supporters with a rationale that is self-immunizing also. I find your concession, couched in insincere boilerplate, cowardly and unpersuasive. Give it all the high-minded gloss you like, but in the end you are dissidents being told to shut up and you’re ok with that. Maybe it’s time to retire the act.

  • The Rancid Honeytrap

    So in light of that history, what would have been the appropriate way to criticize her response to the heckler?

  • Pablo

    Does this mean that black people aren’t capable of behaving badly, or is it just that white people aren’t allowed to point it out if they do?

  • mrgiarc

    Michelle Obama did nothing wrong but because she wasn’t polite to a rude person does not give you or any group the right to leave racists comments about black women. I also find that white Americans don’t think that African Americans deserve an apology under any circumstances which is wrong. This is not going to help your cause within the black community due to the fact that many African Americans are homophobic because they are a church going people. Remember Prop 8? it had an 88% support among Africans Americans also when your group and many racists organizations like the tea party attack the president and Michelle Obama we tend to take it personally. This stupid incident will pass but black Americans don’t respond well to political protest. Your fight should not be with the black community but with the religious right and the Republican party. I am a liberal and I have many friends and clients in the gay community and they were appalled by the comments left by this groups followers on Twitter. Please take the time to research racism and black Americans in America.

  • mrgiarc

    Michelle Obama is not the president and is not paid to make policy and what she did is like you attacking your bosses wife because you have a beef with him. Please many gay people in the black community live in fear of being attacked and killed every day and your racial attacks on the first black president won’t make their lives any easier or do you care. I never thought that gay Americans were this intolerant..I guess learned something new in the past 24 hours.

  • mrgiarc

    Susan B Komen for the Cure misstep should be an example for all groups who deal with potentially sensitive and divisive subjects.” Susan G. Komen for the Cure Cancels Half Its Races” taken from a recent headline.They are now struggling because of the actions of one woman. They made the mistake of attacking Planned Parenthood and it cost them dearly. Barack Obama is the first American president to support gay marriage and the only one with the courage to end don’t ask don’t tell so please keep race out of the discussion.

  • mrgiarc

    You are white and are considered part of the problem also your opinion doesn’t hold water with blacks and Hispanics who live with intolerance every day. You can’t imagine how hard it is being black and gay in America and I hope you never will.. Vote that down will you!

  • Carlos Morales

    But you are the one who has inserted race in this topic. You suggest a woman is not permitted to criticize the behavior of the FLOTUS (is the first lady happens to be black). How silly have we become, and what an insult to black people. To think they need “extra protection” from criticism.

  • Carlos Morales

    The postings have been removed; can you provide an example of these “racist” comments. Thank You

  • Carlos Morales

    Racism (n)The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as…
    Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief.
    I guess when you can make up your own definition for racism then you can determine what is and what is not racist.

  • mrgiarc

    No Code Pink did I just called them out on it. Look trying to make me look intolerant will not work because I did not leave nasty comments about black Americans on Twitter. I have no problem with white people or gays but when white people leave racist comments and they get called out on it they automatically label that person or group as intolerant when they created the controversy in the first place.

  • mrgiarc

    But they were there and thats the problem. We have good memories sir!

  • Ben Solis

    I knew nothing of your organization before, and you made a horrible first impression. This apology is obvious back pedaling, and it’s most likely too little, too late. Thanks for my daily dose of schadenfreude.

  • mrgiarc

    This is the internet anything posted don’t simply just disappear!

  • Taisia

    this is going to be two steps back for CodePink which means a dozen steps back for equality.

  • Taisia

    ie. Susan G. Komen…getting caught in the minute things and you’ll forget the larger picture.

  • Casha Cameron

    Amen.

  • Carlos Morales

    As I said before, they have removed all the twitter posts (or they are someplace I can not find them). I may agree with you if I saw what was said. From what I see here, people saying that a white woman criticizing the FLOTUS for how she reacted to a situation are racist because white women have a history of telling black women how to act; well that is a bit insulting. Anyone can criticize me and I will defend my own actions. If someone said do not criticize me because I am hispanic, well I would be insulted.

  • Carlos Morales

    I have really tried to find what was written, including going to the history folder on CodePink and checking tweets. They are all deleted, the folder not just the tweets. If you can direct me someplace to find them I would appreciate it. I am hearing two very different stories and would like to see the tweets so I may call out the one who is being dishonest. Did CodePink mention or allude to Ms Obama;s race?
    I now see MSNBC saying people who oppose the IRS abusing their authority are racist and it bothers me that we may be using a very powerful word too flippantly.
    one thing I have realized, I have always been suspicious of the establishment. It goes back to my college days when Bush SR was President. There was some hope when Obama was elected, but honestly his term(s) have been a bit of a let down (Especially in the 1st 2 years of his 1st term when his party controlled the house and senate. When I express my disappointment I have been called racist. WTH? I want to see if there are any similarities with the Code Pink situation.

  • Carlos Morales

    Hi: Which do you feel is a bigger set back for CodePink, the original posts (which I still have not seen or been given an example of) or their retraction saying”… we behaved in such a way that reflected a long history of white women dictating how Black women should behave”. I may be disgusted by what was said (though once again, I have not seen the since deleted tweets) but it bothers me that they viewed their members expressing disappointment at the First Lady for how she handled a heckler as a racial issue and not as one woman disagreeing with another woman.
    as for Susan Komen organisation, there is not one group of whose views I agree with 100%. I survived stage 3C cancer thanks to the many organisations that raise money for the study of the disease. To think that people would not donate to Komen because they are against policies of planned parenthood is upsetting. I hope those individuals find other ways of expressing their generous support for their causes.

  • mrgiarc

    I am a black American trying to change the attitudes of my fellow African Americans to be more tolerant of Gay rights and to try and ignore the church and its position. Black Americans aren’t racists but extremely homophobic and comes from the church. I overhear black males threaten the life of any gay person they ever made a pass at them and this is wrong. I know that this is not their intention of the church but this is the result of constantly criticizing gay people based on bible principles in the church community. I raised my boys outside of the church and they share my values and they learned to be tolerant of all races and that includes gay Americans. I am proud that Mr. Obama supports gay rights but he can’t change attitudes alone but he has started the momentum.

  • Taisia

    My personal opinion is that the voice of one person within an organization like this shouldn’t reflect the view as a whole, nor should it have an impact like that with Susan Komen and Planned Parenthood.

    What I think is important in the comparison, however, is that individuals within any/all organizations–particularly those dealing with something as emotional as our RIGHTS–need to be aware that when they speak, they must leave behind any nuances and choose very carefully how to represent the group and mission as a whole.

    If you read the feed, this has become an issue that each person is taking and coating with this or that individual viewpoint. Stertz has created a distracting domino effect. Whether these conversations are political or racial in nature, or sinking to the level of sheer hatred, one thing is for sure: the conversations that this situation has sparked are not related to the LGBT community in any productive way and serve only to distract those involved. Like Susan G. Komen, even backtracking can’t take away the wasted energy and distraction that is the effect of emotion over reason.

  • Carlos Morales

    Mr Giarc:
    Wouldn’t we be better served speaking human being to human being, without consideration of race or sexual orientation. Gay rights is a human issue not a gay issue, racial equality is a human issue not a race, nor religious nor political affiliation issue. There are the foolish, even evil spirited individuals who we must call out, however if we create a fear among good people with differing views we will not make any process but will create resentment among people who feel unjustly persecuted.
    Just one persons view. Thanks for being decent about discussing the situation with me.

  • mrgiarc

    You are welcome my brother!

  • Liz

    The problem is not only with your Tweets but your “target”…the First Lady is not an official with influence over policy-making.

    Why on Earth would you target her instead of a Congressperson who has opposed legislation in support of your rights and political stance? It’s like if you were in England and you attack the Queen instead of members of Parliament.

    I can’t see how any of your members thought this behavior would give you positive press coverage. Yes, it raised your public profile but in a highly negative way…people who never your group existed now have a negative view of you.

    This statement helps though…I’m glad I read it and know more about where your organization stands.

  • Lasse Holmberg Josephsen

    HAHAHAHAHA! What a bunch of pussies you are! Michelle Obama has more influence and money than all of you combined, yet you’re sorry because you “behaved in such a way that reflected a long history of white women dictating how Black women should behave.”

    That’s the most ridiculous excuse for cowardice I’ve ever read! The left is truly dead.

  • Anonymous

    Well, you guys lost an ally. Period. Apologies are great, but this one is too little too late for this Black woman — y’all are always apologizing after the fact as if you didn’t know you were wrong, even as Black women have been telling you up front you’re wrong with this type of behavior and destroying any chance at meaningful coalition for decades.

  • Anonymous

    P.S. I see that you just tweeted William Rivers Pitt’s defense of Sturtz/Benjamin’s behavior. So which is it: are you sorry or just fronting with this apology? Looks like your true colors on this issue of white woman privilege are showing — and they appear far more fake than your hot pink.

  • Elizabeth Jones

    Fuck you. You behaved in such a way because you are white. No matter what you say about injustice and so forth, in the end when the black person DARES to express an opinion, stand up for themselves and demand respect, or do anything out of the ordinary your whiteness will inevitably come into play. Why? Because you have always benefited from a system of white privilege. You have always benefited from not really understanding or nor care about how REAL racism works. It is embedded in your being and no apology in the fucking world can erase who you people truly are. Because if you would have known better, those tweets would have NEVER surface in the first fucking place.

  • arn

    What bullshit, Michelle Obama is the First Lady of the United States and was on the board of a hospital before she came to the White House. She has more privilege than most women of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and anyone in Code Pink. If you told an average Black woman how she should respond in any situation, critics would have a point.

    To you partisans on here: the Obama administration is expanding the Bush doctrine, even Obama himself compared his record to Reagan’s. What about the POC that Obama is droning around the world. In that context, who cares what CP said to MIchelle Obama, a prominent member of the ruling class.

    You owe no apologies, Code Pink.

    If this is the “left” we are fucked.

  • arn

    Blacks and Hispanics live with intolerance every day, but the Obamas have privilege that most people of all races will never possess.

    Get your priorities straight, mrgiarc. I do not know your race or gender, but it does not matter, I am saying that to you regardless.

  • arn

    She supports her the actions of her warmongering, drone dropping husband who is dropping lethal weapons on POC in the Middle East.

    Michelle Obama is an elitist jerk, get a political analysis FFS

  • arn

    More concerned about a slight on Marie Antionette than war crimes?

    Christ, this is why the Left is dead.

  • arn

    “Human to human”
    Wow, what a novel concept?

  • arn

    That’s right, everyone who points out M Obama’s elitist entitlement as a member of the ruling class is a racist. Yawn…..

    Black unemployment has shot through the roof during Obama’s tenure. There are Black and brown men in prison and black and brown women in the workforce (they disproportionately are payed the lowest and they are the last to get hired and the first to get fired) they could use some of your concern, but no, you care about the elitist Michelle Obama.

  • arn

    The Teabagger attacks on the Obamas ARE racist and many of the people you are attacking have most likely condemned them, and you would probably know that if you actually engaged with people instead of calling everyone on here who disagrees with you a racist.

    Appauled? I am appauled that liberals cheer on this administration as it expands on the Bush doctrine drops bombs and rockets on POC in the Middle East and violates the civil liberties of all people here and the plight of POC in the US continues to deteriorate. This is Bush’s fourth term.

    In fact, I have turned completely against liberalism long ago because of stuff like this and embrace radical thought.

  • pissed

    There was no hate speech, except what spewed from your lips.

  • arn

    If it were Barbara Bush, I would advocate an even more militant disruption as she is evil.

  • mrgiarc

    The tea party is a racist organization.You are a idiot

  • mrgiarc

    I am done with this whole conversation!

  • arn

    I know that the Tea Party is a racist organization, I just said that their attacks are racist, what part did you not comprehend? I have protested them numerous times and have called them racists over and over again.

    I’m an idiot? How old are you, four?

  • arn

    Yeah, because you can’t argue substance and issues you can only call names like “racist” and “idiot”.

  • mrgiarc

    You don’t want to piss me off!

  • arn

    Yawn, whatever.

    Anger management. Try it.

  • mrgiarc

    You try it asshole!

  • arn

    I’m not angry and I am not calling people names. I’m very calm, albeit surprised.

    Try to learn to co-exist with people who disagree with you.

  • arn

    The apology was for Code Pink’s tweet, not for the actions of Sturtz and Benjamen.

  • Anonymous

    The Queen should be attacked, being the largest landowner in the World and part of a monstrous bloodsucking family of imperialist vampires.

  • Anonymous

    Fight the Power, Black, White, yellow, Brown, Gay or whatever kind of politicians makes no difference, they are all scum getting rich off the backs of the 99 %, they deserve all the shit they get and much more besides, as in a Firing squad after being judged by the people’s court. What the hell happened to all your Black panthers and Weathermen, don’t Americans have cojones and ovaries anymore?

  • mrgiarc

    I am still wondering what you were complaining about? I will never agree with you or anyone that intolerance is the way to go. The tea party was formed to stop president Obama’s agenda. Code Pink on the other hand needs to choose their battles wisely because Michelle Obama is admired by the black community and attacking her is a big mistake and you won’t gain any among sympathy black Americans. People like you seem to be unable to determine who your friends and enemies are. I am for ALL human rights and I am against all forms of discrimination. The next GOP administration will not be so open to gay marriage or rights. Please do me a big favor and read the numerous posts and determine my position on this subject before you attack me just one posting. Please accept my apology on the last negative post. I am surrounding by a people who dislike gay Americans because of the church and it going to take finesse to overcome that.

  • mrgiarc

    You know what they say we are a angry people…LOL

  • mrgiarc

    Only with rational people!

  • mrgiarc

    I no problem with dissent but when comes to intolerance then I draw a line because if you are born white,black,male or female you can’t change that but stupidity is something that you as individual can control.

  • Anonymous

    These comments make me laugh. Black folks lose their minds anytime anyone gets uppity with them. It’s become a minstral show how blacks use anger and charges of racism to silence any and everyone into subservience.

  • Anonymous

    Black folks like you make me laugh. You lose your mind anytime anyone gets uppity with you. It’s become a minstral show how blacks use anger and charges of racism to silence any and everyone into subservience.

  • Anonymous

    Well, you lost an ally in the fight against anti-black racism.

  • Anonymous

    Black folks have been doing the same thing for decades.

  • mrgiarc

    I don’t know any black panthers but I know klan members and tea party members also the black panthers are a Fox news creation to scare dumb voters.

  • mrgiarc

    Because we had civil conversation!

  • mrgiarc

    huh?

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, guys. No really. Funniest shit I’ve read in a while. Please continue groveling. Please.

  • Anonymous

    No, fuck, YOU!

    That’s right—fuck YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    NOW what?

  • Anonymous

    Fuck. I’m sorry. I apologize. Please forgive me. I’ll jerk off to your forgiveness.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I’ll jerk off to your condemnation, too. Either way. It’s a win-win.

  • Anonymous

    Realizing the error of my ways, I’m now telling myself to fuck myself.

  • Joe Hargrave

    Its nice to know that all you have to do to get away with imperialist warmongering, or being the unapologetic wife of an imperialist warmonger, is to be born black.

    If you could hear yourselves through my ears… for a brief moment I really respected your organization, as a Ron Paul supporter who has always wanted allies on the anti-war left. That moment is gone forever.

  • Anonymous

    If you write that a Bush “should have” said something, then you can write that an Obama should have said something. A position that blacks are never to be criticized is not in the interests of blacks or anyone else. For one thing, most people would not want to give power to a person, of any race, who cannot be criticized.

  • Anonymous

    I am constantly amazed by the depth of knowledge about contemporary US History acquired these days at American Schools and via Fox news.

  • Nathanwartooth

    I love how you guys still got raked over the coals even AFTER you apologized.

    Welcome to dealing with an accusation of “racism”.

    If you grovel, they take it as a sign of weakness and guilt and they will never stop attacking. You will never live this down.

    If you get accused of “racism” in the future, give them the middle finger, never back down and NEVER apologize.

    You could always let them know you would be happy for more Black volunteers. Except that Blacks don’t volunteer much at all, for anything. There is a huge organ and bone marrow shortage for Blacks because they don’t donate that either, not even after death.

  • Anonymous

    Are you guys fucking serious? You can’t argue with a black person without becoming a slave owner?

    Listen to yourselves!!!

  • Rx only

    MIchelleO’bama will never have her picture on the dollar bill like barbara Bush so suck it!

  • Rx only

    Yeah Jim your whiteness went a long way in keeping you out of prison.

  • Rx only

    NOT! Me neither!

  • Anonymous

    No Skanikkka, non-black woman (and men) have been telling you up front you’re wrong with this type of behavior and destroying any chance at a meaningful coalition with whites, Asians, Hispanics, Jews, gays, etc, etc for decades. Get over yourself.

  • Anonymous

    I am constantly amazed by the depth of knowledge about contemporary US History acquired these days at American Schools and via Fox news.

Latest Flickr photos
IMG_0300Pink marching BaltimoreMargaret Flowers on Oct 6 actionSpreading the Dirty TruthIMG_3471Medea Making new friendsDSC01117IMG_2337.JPGCodePink Vagina Monologues 937

Lifestream