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Tuesday, October 25th 2005

10:55 AM

In Honor of Rosa Parks.

Tallk about mugshots.  What a contrast between Rosa Parks's mugshot and Tom Delay's.  The one thing they hold in common is they were arrested.  Yes it's true both were breaking the law.  However the main difference is what Ms. Parks did was a simple yet noble deed for all humanity.  What Delay is accused of is  conspiracy and money laundering.   Rather ignoble deeds to yours truly and many others.

History shows Parks was found guilty of her "crime".  It's too soon to know the former Majority Leader's fate in the court.  The African American woman's  illegal act was  to complain when asked to move to the back of the bus.  The rest is history.   This is not only civil rights, African American history.  It's US history as well.   That one small act was one of the beginnings of the civil rights movement.    She was the impetus for the Montgomery County Bus boycot. Lastly  the tragic lynching of 14 year old Emmett Till by Klansmen  for whistling at a white woman, 1955.  

In essense I believe what she did was to say I had enough. What ever happens to me I will suffer the consequences. In other words she was willing and able to finally make a stand against discrimination, inequality, unfair treatment.   I won't be treated as less than human. I am a human being and I deserve to be treated equally.   Whatever her motivation her defiance helped spark a movement which believes everyone regardless of race, religion, gender, whatever are equal.   Being a disability activist in my local community I am of the firm belief this includes people with disabilities.   This happened 12/01/1955.   By 12/21/1956 one can see a smiling, triumphant photograph of her riding a desegregated bus in Montgomery AL.  This after the US Supreme Court ruled bus desegregation was unconstitutional.   During this time was the Supreme Court striking down of the Seperate but equal law.   See Brown vs Topeka for more information.   

Found out in a bio. from Time magazine by former US Poet Laureate  Rita Dove, Rosa Parks was not the first black person to refuse to give up her seat to a white individual.  There were two other females before her.  One was a fifteen year old teen.  The other was a young woman (age unknown)f Mary Louise Smith.  What was significant about Rosa Parks was she was chosen by the Montgomery AL NAACP to make a test case.
The reason she was their choice was she had a good reputation, a  decent enough job. (seamtress).  Perhaps most importantly she was willing to go through the arrest, booking etc for the cause.

Throughout her long life Ms. Parks received many awards including 79 NAACP Springard award.   96 Pres. Medal of Freedom. 97 Congressional Medal of Honor.  She herself started the "Rose Parks Institute for Self Development".  The foundation was for underpriviledged youth. 

Speaking of  RPISD  one of the stipulations of the court case against the group "Outkast" was the members agreed to work for the Institute she founded.  The grounds for the legal action was her name was used in a song recorded by Outkast" "Rosa Parks."   There's some controversy whether or not she really sued or was manipulated by greedy lawyers.  Quite unfortunately by that time in the late 90s she had a form of  dementia.    The rest of her working life was as a congressional aid  in Detroit MI. She moved there when she found it difficult to get employment after her notoriety.

This one woman shows no matter who you are you can make a difference.  You need to believe in yourself.  Remember   what one small act accomplished for so many people.  The effects of the civil rights movement is still being felt today.
2 Comment(s).

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