Friday, October 28, 2005

Rosa Parks

Like most of America, I'm saddened by the death of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, the woman whose inaction (not moving from her seat) lead to great action (the Civil Rights Movement).

I shudder to think what the United States might be like today if Rosa Parks did not take her stand. It's a shame that many minorities around my age and younger don't realize that the rights they have had to actually be fought for. We had to fight for the right to sit anywhere we want on public transportation, the right to be able to eat where we want and shop where we want. We had to fight for the right to be considered just like everyone else.

As I think about the legacy of Rosa Parks and that of the Civil Rights Movement, the one thing that stands clear is the blessing that I have not yet experienced any overt racism in my nearly 25 years on Earth. No one has ever called me a "nigger." I was able to be the only black employee at my first job (working in my high school's bookstore) and never have to worry about being screwed over by my boss or other employees hating me based on the color of my skin. If anyone has ever had a problem with me based on my race, they have never said so much as one word directly to my face. I know that other black people have not been as lucky as I have been in regards to race relations and I also know that I will undoubtedly deal with overt racism sometime in my life. However, the fact that I have been able to live even this long without encountering racism head on is something that I can attribute to Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement. Thank you, Ms. Parks.

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