24 October 2005

A hero passes

Rosa Parks
Civil rights mover

Let me remind you that she took her stand by refusing to stand in 1955. That's still in living memory; I had breakfast with my father Saturday, and he was twenty-six at the time she was arrested. If you look at her mugshot, you don't see an oil painting of some Historical Figure in a corset or a sunbonnet, you see a photograph of someone who wouldn't look conspicuous sitting next to you on a bus tomorrow.

A lot has changed in that very short time. It's a little hard for someone my age to entirely believe that separate entrances and segregated buses were real, but at that time most Americans never thought they would see them change ... and many Americans fought hard to keep them from changing.

I imagine that we'll get a few days of America congratulating itself for turning that part of itself around. A little bit of celebration there is a good thing — it is an achievement — but let's not break our arms patting ourselves on the back, shall we? Let's take this moment not as a marker of the justice we secured yesterday, but as a challenge for the justice that will already be overdue tomorrow. There's still lots to do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just heard from Indri's Mom who is watching the funeral (uninterrupted by commercials since she is in Detroit). Not one Republican of note, either from the administration or the Congress, is present there.

And I paraphrase I's Mother with: the great unifier (GWB) along with his unifying party give not a passing glance at a woman who helped solidify and unify an entire civil rights' movement. Hmmmmmm, as if we needed more reasons to disbelieve their mouthings.


J's Mom