Friday, June 03, 2005

I've Been Thinking About Rosa Parks

I've been thinking about how radical it was of her to go against "the rules" and conventions of her time. She knew she could be arrested. But she knew there was a greater "right" and she was being wronged and she decided ... in a split second ... she decided to be brave and make it clear that it was NOT OKAY to put her down.

The courage to act on your convictions is incredible, BUT, the courage to think in a new way seems more incredible to me. It's very hard to stop thinking the way everyone around you is thinking and let your thinking go way beyond the reality you see.

"By violating the Jim Crow statutes, she sparked a yearlong black boycott of the city buses. It also served notice throughout the South that blacks would no longer submit meekly to the absurdities and indignities of segregation. Parks knew that what she was doing was against the law and she would be arrested. This did not matter to her. Parks, like many other blacks, was tired of the treatment they received from whites. What separated her from those other blacks was that she had the courage and bravery to take action."

My highlight is about that fact that these absurd "rules" of segregation were only set up by whites to benefit them. They had the power to enforce them -- mostly by threatening and terrorizing blacks. They weren't laws that came from some fair or divine place. They were the laws of cowards and tyrants. She saw right through that and imagined a world that was not biased but fair, and by not moving her seat in the bus, she CREATED that world.

It's about power. About taking it. You don't ask for power, you take it. And it's especially about NOT "taking it" anymore.