Comments: Thanks, Rosa Parks

Yes! All this! And a lot more besides!!

Thanks, Jon.

Posted by Winter Patriot at October 25, 2005 04:06 PM

Extremely well said, and "this black person" thanks you.
If only this appeared in the American consciousness instead of the usual "I know/knew black people" spiel by Bushco...

Posted by The tECHIDNA at October 25, 2005 04:20 PM

Isn't it funny that Rosa Parks should die at the same time American casualties in Iraq hit two thousand?

It's almost as if irony were after us, or something.

Posted by Sully at October 25, 2005 04:58 PM

Winter Patriot,

Thanks, much appreciated. It's hard for me to know with such writing whether or not I'm indulging in my own form of dumb-assery.

The tECHIDNA,

Thanks, very glad you liked it. The tough thing is that for white Americans, this perspective requires a complete reconstruction of your personality. At least it did for me. And most people understandably shy away from this. Everyone hates change even when you'll be happier afterward.

Sully,

I like to think that the human race will be in the end be killed by irony. That way, at least the last person to go will get a good long laugh.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 25, 2005 05:09 PM

Maybe this caveat is unnecessary, but I feel the need to: let's not at all fool ourselves that the work is done. Things are better, but only in degree, not in kind. It's a long way up the ladder still. I see it every day - in myself, in my neighborhood, on the bus, in the words of everyone around me. And this time we have to confront things that are much harder to cope with than institutionalized bigotry. Laws are easy to rewrite. Our own attitudes, class hierarchies and the weight of culture are much, much harder to overthrow.

Posted by saurabh at October 25, 2005 09:11 PM

That feeling the need to keep your boot on someone else's neck is an incredible limitation on one's own life should be obvious, yet we needed Rosa Parks and a host of others to free us from that need. And I keep thinking the illogic of imposing democracy on people at gunpoint is obvious, too.

Posted by Maud at October 26, 2005 07:02 AM

American racism's also crippled the humanity of white people in a profound way.


Frederick Douglas wrote about this in his autobiography. When he first met his master's wife she was sweet tempered, and even tried to teach him how to read and write. When he left the family she had grown nasty and petty towards him, loving her total power over another human being.

Posted by Cal at October 26, 2005 06:27 PM

Rosa Parks was a woman that changed america big!She did a great thing for african americans.She will be remebered.

Posted by Jordan at October 27, 2005 01:38 PM

A truly great American has passed on. Give Dr King our regards.

Posted by En Ming Hee at October 27, 2005 07:48 PM

saurabh,

It will probably take as much time for the U.S. to purge itself of its racial insanity as it took us to do it in the first place. We're just starting the process now, and since we took 400 years to get here, we may have 400 years to go.

Maud,

Yes, but as I said above, humans hate change...even when it's good for them. It's amazing what people are willing to do to avoid changing themselves, up to and including blowing up the world.

Cal,

Thanks for that—I've never read Douglas' autobiography, although I've certainly been assigned to read it many times.

Posted by Jonathan Schwarz at October 27, 2005 08:53 PM