Tuesday, October 25, 2005

That's that chick from the Outkast video! Right?!

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Rosa Parks, or that lady who did that bus thing and had the Outkast song named after her, passed away on Monday at the age of 92.

Fifty years after her personal stand got real public, there is very little to add to the story. However there are two things that are particularly interesting about her life that stand out.

  • She did not boldly sit in the "white" section of the bus. She was in the "colored" section of the bus and was ordered to go further to the back and stand in the back so a white person could take her seat. The recap is here. Maybe the Barbershop joke that sparked so much controversy wasn't so wrong.

  • She was robbed in August 1994 by an "African-American youth" as the article puts it. I would use another term.

This second incident is so perversely ironic and indicative of the state of the modern Civil Rights Movement, which is sadly, but honestly, dead.

Blacks have lost all perspective of their historic efforts and achievements. The Civil Rights Movement has been relegated to ancient history. There are people still alive who have survived lynchings.

Segragation doesn't need to be illegal, it has circumvented the law and manifested itself through economic reality and unspoken winks and nods between school boards, governments and surburbia. You're lucky if you still see that one black kid in the class anymore (if you're wondering, I was him. Chris Rock feels me.)

At my old high school's football game this year, there was not one black player on the team. I found out the Black percentage decreased from 5% when I was there to about 3% now. If you don't have enough black people in your school to get one on the football, you have problems.

Perspective time

  • In 1955, after refusing to give up her seat, Rosa Parks received death threats for months on end.

  • In 2005, after marrying a white woman Taye Diggs and his wife, Idina Menzel, receive racist death threats threatening castration and other forms of unpleasantness.

  • Increasing in logic, bi-racial Derek Jeter receives racist hate mail, last September, telling him to stop betraying his race by dating white women (you can't blame him though, it worked out pretty well for his dad.)

It's good to see we're going in the right direction.

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