Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Hijacking Rosa Parks
In honor of the legacy of Mother Parks, we are calling for all youth, students, civic organizations, labor unions, clergy, educators, artists, professionals and retirees to take a day off from work, school, shopping, etc., and join us at Central United Methodist Church on Thursday Dec. 1 between 1:00pm-8:00pm for a teach-in on the significance of the continuing work of the civil rights and anti-war movements.Hang on. I don't recall Rosa Parks having anything to do with the anti-war movement.
Parks died this Oct. 24, at the age of 92, before she was able to witness this significant milestone in the on-going struggle for the basic democratic rights of Black and other people of color, who are still being treated overall as second-class citizens.Which "significant milestone"?
Along with citing the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott, the National Day of Absence initiative is an attempt to unite various movements that have been fragmented over a number of decades, particularly the civil rights and the anti-war movements. The initiative calls for no work, no school, no shopping—in other words, no business as usual—to bring more heightened awareness about the connection between the heinous war and racist occupation of IraqWhat the? They are "fragmented" because they are not the same issue despite tenuous attempts to join them.
Unsurprisingly, Rosa Parks was unable to comment on the abuse of her memory to support rather divergent agenda to what she was standing up for fifty years ago and until her death.
The Rosa Parks Institute website points out that:
The Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute is sponsoring a 381-day commemorative schedule starting December 1, 2005 in recognition of the 50th anniversary of Mrs. Parks' arrest and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This commemoration will also celebrate her life's work with young people through the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development. The activities and programs planned during this period will celebrate Mrs. Parks' life work and engage young people through the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute.Reading the list of activities and programs one can see they have nothing to do with the stated aims of the other event, which is nonetheless trading off Parks' good name.
So which concerned civil rights group is organizing this? Someone calling themselves Troops Out Now. I have looked at the list of affiliated organizations and individuals and what a diverse group it is.
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, Al-Awda Palestine Right to Return Coalition, Korea Truth Commission, People Judge Bush and various other disparate groups are all there to name a few, but for some reason, I can't see the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, Rosa Parks' Estate or her family listed anywhere.
Could it be they weren't asked? Not to worry, I'm sure "Mother Parks" wouldn't mind if her name was used. It does have a nice ring to it.
Donations to the Rosa Parks' Institute here.