Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks dies at age 92

From the AP:
Nearly 50 years ago, Rosa Parks made a simple decision that sparked a revolution. When a white man demanded she give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus, the then 42-year-old seamstress said no.

At the time, she couldn't have known it would secure her a revered place in American history. But her one small act of defiance galvanized a generation of activists, including a young Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and earned her the title "mother of the civil rights movement."
Rosa displayed courage that few people have ever possessed. She had the temerity to demand that she be treated with the same respect and dignity, and possess the same rights, as anyone else. That a large chunk of the Southern population disagreed with that sentiment was shameful.

Fortunately, society has evolved greatly with respect to race relations in the last four decades. Unspeakable acts that would have once been excused by good ol' boy judges or purported "God-fearing" Christians are now roundly rejected by all but a depraved sliver of Americans.

While Americans may still have sharp divisions when it comes to race-related issues such as affirmative action or quotas (or even reparations), and while some race-hustling pimps like Jesse, Al, Calypso Louie, and David Duke benefit from the perpetuation of false racial problems, nearly all of us have to agree that race relations are substantially better and have nowhere to go but forward.

Such gains in race relations are due in large part to pioneers like Rosa Parks, who refused to be treated like some animal. She was better than that, she knew it, and she wouldn't accept it. The world is a better place for her contributions.

Enjoy your new seat in Heaven, Rosa. The view is much more pristine than that of Montgomery or anywhere else.