Skip to comments.Where's today's Rosa? Civil rights movement started with Parks, but ended with King.
Posted on 11/03/2005 7:49:32 AM PST by .cnI redruM
There's a reason thousands of people turned out for Rosa Parks' funeral yesterday. On Dec. 1, 1955, when she refused to lift her bottom from a bus seat in Montgomery so that a white man could put his down, American history was cut into two parts - before the civil rights movement and after it.
Parks had no idea that her refusal would become a standard by which the nonviolent movement would judge itself as it grew to take on all of the grand dragons of Southern segregation. Yet it is important to understand that Rosa Parks, the young Martin Luther King Jr. and the many others whom we came to associate with the civil rights movement were not the petulant adolescents we saw take over most protest movements within 10 years.
The civil rights movement was a shooting star that brought much light, but it really only lasted until Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. By then, King was already losing ground to the separatist and "revolutionary" fantasies that misled younger black people into laughable obsessions with Africa. Ethnic identity became largely cosmetic. There was also the camouflage gear that has yet to leave us, and the addled admiration of mush-mouthed "leaders" like the Black Panthers.
It is almost 50 years since Rosa Parks took her position in the pantheon with Abigail Adams, Harriet Tubman and all of the rest of the remarkable American women who fought for women's rights, abolition, public education and the endlessly important aspects of the public good that could not come into existence unless people stood up to all that held them back. We have come a long way and are still behind the eight ball because the civil rights organizations are largely ineffectual, and the tribal impulses that had nothing to do with the civil rights movement have become, once again, a threat to the hard facts of what will get us out of this ongoing mess.
Affirmative action and the diversity hustle are now well established responses to bigotry. However important such policies might be for now, the irony is that they make it possible for our nation to continue to avoid the big, raggedy elephant in the room - inadequate public education. Hidden behind quotas and set-asides, the idea of providing high-quality education across the lines of color and class remains in the shadows.
We need a movement focused on this problem. Quality education is central to our getting as near as possible to equality, which actually means an equal chance to compete, not equal privilege.
Things are surely much better than they were when Rosa Parks declined to get up, but with a much clearer understanding of what we need in order to develop our population - which is always our greatest natural resource - we could do much, much better right now.
First of all, I am a Rosa Parks fan because I believe she was fairly conservative, and she was a big fan of JC Watts.
Having said that, I heard on a conservative talk station that the whole incident was something of a set-up. She worked for the NAACP and the plan was to have her refuse, then use this incident to sue the city.
I have no problem with the tactic really, but if this is true, it bothers me because of the mythology that has arisen around the incident. As I have gotten older, I realise that much of Liberalism is based on Mythology, thus I consider it a religion.
Content of character over color of skin is supposed to actually mean something.
Interesting if true. The NAACP was actually a lot more skillful and careful back then. Perhaps it was out of dire necessity.
I usually do not agree with Stanley Crouch, but on this subject he hits the nail squarely on the head. American Blacks are totally lost and are going down further. A small item such as the tossing of Oreo cookies at Shelby Steele speaks volumes of the current plight of American Blacks. No sense going into detail here, but unless American Blacks get rid of their racism, their current leaders and the Democrat Party, they are going nowhere fast. Assimilation, assimilation, assimilation, Education, Education, Education. Crouch is right, when MLK died, and now Mother Parks, all that is left for American Blacks is hatred of the white man and economic slavery from Black leaders and the Democrat Party. What a waste of humanity!!!
>>>>A small item such as the tossing of Oreo cookies at Shelby Steele
Sad. Steele should have asked them if they had any Double Stuffs and a glass of milk.
"First of all, I am a Rosa Parks fan because I believe she was fairly conservative, and she was a big fan of JC Watts."
While I do applaude the actions of Rosa Parks on that bus, I cringe when I think about her demands a couple years ago to be paid because someone used her name in a song. Come to think of it, it was probably her handlers demanding to be paid.
Today's Rosa Parks is the woman whose case leads ultimately to the reversal of Roe v. Wade.
My (white, military) family started to go into a restaurant, mid-`60s somewhere outside Montgomery, Alabama, and the old man saw the 'Members Only' sign on the door, so we went down the road. We did that a lot.
She was a brave woman. The NAACP needed someone to say 'No', and she did it. So you would think the Democrats could bury her with some dignity, let her rest in peace, but of course they turn her funeral into another `breast-beating' political propaganda session, though muted without the outrageous Wellman histrionics.
Over on DU the other day they were nearly swooning over how great it was to hear the "First Black President" again, how wonderful everything was back when he was in the Oval Office, and that President Bush and conservatives--and pretty much everything now--well, it just sucked you know?
I'll say this much: Rosa Parks deserved better company than the crowd of vampires that put her to rest the other day.
Todays real civil rights movement is with conservatives who believe that all people should be treated equally and not judged or given preference (as is the case) based upon the color of their skin, gender or private sexual practices.
Conservatives are the true harbingers of equality, liberals are the purveyors of hate and division.
Parks was an activist long before she was CHOSEN to make her stand on that bus. More power to her, but don't for a minute think that incident wasn't planned. I am glad it worked!
Hey Hillbilly....her name was PARKS...not PARK...idiot.
I heard that as well, but I haven't seen any evidence of it. It would not surprise me, however. Having said that, reading the accounts of how they treated blacks back then makes me shake my head in disbelief. I am glad that is all in the past.
A few brave people changed the world.
As with many things, the good news rarely gets out, just the squeeky wheels get the attention - many Black Americans would live no other place than the south.
That calls for even more courage, in my book. Apparently, many people were refusing to move as ordered. The NAACP chose hers as a test case because she was willing and able to fight it through to the end. That fight, and not her mere refusal to move, is what commands our respect.
I completely agree. I just like to get the real facts straight.