Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks was not a White Republican

...no matter what George Bush tries to tell you today.

Civil rights icon Rosa Parks died in her home yesterday at the age of 92.

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks being fingerprinted by a white police officer on March 1, 1955 after her arrest for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passengerToday Bush and other prominent Republicans will exploit the occasion of Parks' death to promote their ongoing campaign to hijack, whitewash, and rewrite history; they will co-opt the language of the civil rights movement in order to be seen as racially sensitive by white soccer moms; all the while that they attack and undermine every inch of progress accomplished by Rosa Parks and her generation of civil rights activists. Now that Parks is safely dead, she will be the Republicans' newest oldest best friend--but while she was alive, you can bet that Bush et al showed her no more respect than Bush shows the NAACP. And while the Parksploitation takes place in DC, the conservative hate speech troops and surrogate attack dogs will be busy simultaneously smearing Parks' character and discrediting her role in the civil rights movement, or else using her death as a pretext to schill for their pet causes, such as school vouchers, jingoism, and the corporatization of America.

There will of course also be some Republicans who speak of Rosa Parks with the respect that she deserves, and I applaud them. If any of those Republicans take umbrage at what I've written here, I invite them to look at how other members of their party are behaving today.

Regardless of what the front or hind ends of the Republican propaganda machines spew out today, the documented historical facts remain: Rosa Parks is indeed an icon of the civil rights movement and we are indebted to her contribution to social progress and the fight for equality in America. Please don't stand by in silence as the people who perpetuate the same bigotry, discrimination and injustice that Rosa Parks fought against dishonour her memory.

Further Reading

Detroit Free Press
LA Times
New York Times
Voice of America
Washington Post

This article is cross-posted at The Blogging of the President.

A slightly more in-depth version of this article is cross-posted at BlogsCanada.


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