Opinion: It’s time to free Rosa Parks from the bus
December 1st, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Opinion: It’s time to free Rosa Parks from the bus

Editor's note: Danielle McGuire is the author of "At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance-a New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power." She is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Wayne State University, and a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She lives with her husband and two children in metro Detroit.

By Danielle McGuire, Special to CNN

(CNN) - In 2011, Rosa Parks was in the news, six years after her death. An excerpt from a breathtaking essay she wrote in the 1950s about a “near rape” by a white man in Alabama was released to the public.  The handwritten narrative detailed Parks' steely resistance to a white man, “Mr. Charlie," who attempted to assault her in 1931 while she was working as a domestic for a white family.

It was late evening when “Mr. Charlie” pushed his way into the house and tried to have sex with her.  Having grown up in the segregated South, she knew all too well the special vulnerabilities black women faced. She recalled, for example, how her great-grandmother, a slave, had been “mistreated and abused” by her white master.

Despite her fear, she refused to let the same thing happen to her. “I knew that no matter what happened,” she wrote, “I would never yield to this white man’s bestiality.” "I was ready to die,” she said, “but give my consent, never.  Never, never." Parks was absolutely defiant: “If he wanted to kill me and rape a dead body,” she said, “he was welcome, but he would have to kill me first.”

Civil Rights icon dies at 92

Does that sound like the Rosa Parks we know?

Some of the guardians of Parks’ legacy have said it is not, and insist the essay was fiction. But by dismissing the writings as fiction, it retains the popular image of Rosa Parks as a simple seamstress whose singular and spontaneous act launched the civil rights movement that brought down the walls of segregation.

This popular presentation of Parks as a quiet but courageous woman, whose humble righteousness shamed America into doing what was right has become a mythic fable present in nearly every high school history textbook, museum exhibit, and memorial.

December 1, 1955: Rosa Parks arrested

She has been imprisoned by this tale, frozen in time as a silent and saintly icon whose only real action was to stay seated so that, in the words of her many eulogists, “we could all stand up.”

This overly simplistic story makes it impossible to imagine her essay about Mr. Charlie as anything but fiction.

But what if we knew more about the real Rosa Parks—a militant race woman and sharp detective whose career as a human rights activist spanned seven decades?

It’s time to free Rosa Parks from the bus.

Rosa Parks had a history of being defiant, and her fierce response to Mr. Charlie in the essay echoes her lifelong history of resistance to white supremacy. She learned about racial pride and self-defense at her grandfather’s knee in the 1910s.

Sylvester Edwards was a fan of the Jamaican-born black nationalist, Marcus Garvey, and delighted young Rosa with stories of Garvey’s greatness.  She was especially proud of her grandfather’s willingness to defend himself and his family from the daily terror of the Ku Klux Klan in Pine Level, Alabama.

“Whatever happened,” she said, “I wanted to see it … I wanted to see him shoot that gun. I wasn’t going to be caught asleep.” This spirit of defense and defiance, she said later, “had been passed down almost in our genes' that a proud African-American can not accept "bad treatment from anybody.”

In the 1930s, Rosa Parks joined her husband Raymond and others in secret meetings to defend the Scottsboro boys—nine young African-American men accused of raping two white women in Alabama in 1931. In the 1940s, they hosted Voter League meetings, where they encouraged neighbors to register even though it was a dangerous task. In 1943, she joined the Montgomery NAACP and was elected branch secretary. The job required Parks to investigate and document acts of racist and sexist brutality.

It was in this context, in 1944, that Rosa Parks investigated the brutal gang-rape of Recy Taylor, a black woman from Abbeville, Alabama.

Parks took Taylor’s testimony back to Montgomery, where she and other activists organized the “Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. Recy Taylor.” They launched what the Chicago Defender called the “strongest campaign for equal justice to be seen in a decade.” In 1948, she gave a fiery speech at the state NAACP convention criticizing President Harry Truman’s civil rights initiatives. “No one should feel proud,” she said, “when Negroes every day are being molested.”

Foot fatigue played no role when she refused to relinquish her seat on December 1, 1955. “There had to be a stopping place,” she said, “and this seemed to be the place for me to stop being pushed around. I had decided that I would have to know once and for all what rights I had as a human being and a citizen, even in Montgomery, Alabama.”

Constant death threats forced her to leave Alabama in 1957. When she arrived in Detroit she continued working as an activist. Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, she worked to secure “Black Power,” fought for open housing and against police brutality, railed against the war in Vietnam, and campaigned for George McGovern. She was an ardent fan of Malcolm X and Robert F. Williams, a militant NAACP leader from North Carolina who advocated “armed self-reliance.” She admired Williams so much that she delivered the eulogy at his funeral in 1996.

Given Parks’ history, her defiance of “Mr. Charlie” in 1931 makes perfect sense and fits within a larger context of resistance to the inhumanity of racism and sexism. Instead of a tired seamstress who tiptoed into history, Rosa Parks was a woman who marched proudly with strength, conviction, and purpose.

It is this Rosa Parks that we ought to celebrate and honor. Her history as an active citizen engaged in the most pressing issues of her time - especially racial and sexual violence –can teach us how to do the same in ours.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Danielle McGuire.

soundoff (604 Responses)
  1. Lois

    You're not "macho" enough to write your insults in English? Some macho man you are!

    December 1, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lois

    Yes, this sounds exactly like the woman I grew up learning about as a child in Detroit during the Civil Rights era. The Rosa Parks I learned about wasn't likely to let anyone do anything to her without her permission.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  3. wrichcirw

    Great article, but the picture of Rosa Parks distracts from your argument.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. dhondi

    "Does this sound like the Rosa Parks we know?" Ha! we never knew her, only what has been said about her.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  5. Guy Baez

    The civil rights movement accomplished historical events and moved the country forward but the author here perpetuates the lie of Rosa Parks. Staying seated on the bus and the fictional "almost raped" stoies are inventions of history. Read up on the true events.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Seola

      I've said this often. Rosa Parks was NOT the first person to "refuse to move", she was just one of many that came before her and it really tarnishes the whole movement of what they ALL sacrificed.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • kamanakapu

      reply to Guy Baez:

      Why didn’t you include your facts so others could factcheck them?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. herchato

    Good article! I learned something about an historical figure that I didn't know and I also learned something else. That something else is in the wide range of replies that this simple article brought about. I believe there is much more to learn from the comments than there is from the bit of history about Rosa Parks.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. T

    I think a lot of people are missing the point. Does it really matter if her act of not giving up her seat was planned or not? No matter what brought about her staying put, she stood up for what she believed was right. I'm an 80s baby so I don't have first hand experience of what people went through during that time. If her stand was planned, then good. When you're facing a situation that could have a very bad out come, you'd be better off planning for it. If it was a spur of the moment decision, then good for her. It just shows that she had more balls then most. I thank her and everyone else involved for how far we come. We still have a long way to go.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • F. R. Eggers

      I'm a white man and I agree. It's good that people will stand up for what is right even when they have to take risks to do so. Mrs. Parks is a hero. However, there are many heros who are unrecognized.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Disgusted

    This is ridiculous, how do you expect our nation to move on a coexist if people are still focused on the past? It is part of history, it shouldnt be forgotten because thats how history repeats itself but instead of teaching your kids "White people are bad because they used to ensalve Black people" you should just be teaching your kids that Racial hate isnt acceptable and that everyone should be treated as equals. White people, you arent better than blacks. and Black people, white people dont owe you anything. Everyone needs to get over themselves and stop focusing on hate. It doesnt matter what subject it is, everyone manages to make it about race. We have a black president, look how far our nation has come from slavery and racism. There is always going to be racism, that is just inevitable

    December 1, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • I Am God

      That is the reason why we teach our children about our history. You can't ignore it and we shouldn't ignore it.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
      • Disgusted

        No one said you should ignore it. Yes you should teach your kids your heritage, thats your right. But instead of parents teaching their kids to hate white people because a long time ago they owned black slaves, maybe they should teach their kids, that yes white people had black slaves but that was also a long time ago and our nation has evolved from that kind of racism and right now, while our country is in the shape it is in we need to be working together to fix it, not divide the nation by race. we are all Americans and we are all equal. No one race, is better than another. THATS what people should be teaching their kids

        December 1, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
      • kamanakapu

        reply to I Am God:

        As historians have long pointed out, history books have so many pertinent omissions that what there is left are distortions and lies.

        December 1, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • weekendpreppers

      Man, I was looking for the "like" button....

      December 1, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • dhondi

      Isn't the whole idea of white people and black people perpetuating the issues of the past....shouldn't we just be thinking about people?

      December 1, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Badger00

        Yes. And let's stop using the term race. Why imply a biological distinctiveness that doesn't exist?!? I'm of mixed European and African descent. My wife is Nisei, but we are both just human beings

        December 1, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
      • dhondi

        We need to stop using the biological distinctiveness that does exist for the same reason you don't allow children to play with sharp objects.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • SeniorMoment

      The end of racism and social flaws in the fabric of our nation is to always teach children that bullying anyone is always wrong and that preventing it is heroic.

      Racism and bigotry starts at home and must be expunged at schools of all kinds. As its generation dies its views are eroded by each subsequent generation. Sooner or later your own children will consider you antiques from another time and value the opinions of their peers more than yours. I am not even a senior citizen quite yet, but I get that vibe from my sons already who consider the kind of work I used to do primitive computing in an age of the icloud, and they will likely consider everything else about be as quaint (as in old-fashioned) before I die.

      Sooner or later they will realize that we older workers value security of data, protection from viruses, etc. very important goals that make us reluctant to store important information is the icloud where security of the data depends entirely on the skill and integrity of another person or company.

      In contrast when we taught them not to be bullies and to want to be helpful to others we assured their futures in the workplace of today where teamwork and team compatibility are crucial employment considerations, especially for college graduates like them. In fact my oldest son has in many ways become an international citizen who can and has worked anywhere. He isn't yet 30 but has friends and collaborates on at least half of the continents. His younger brother is an entrepreneur who will finish his last 2 college classes this winter and had over 200 wedding guests and a wedding party of 22 of his friends and extended family.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • kamanakapu

      reply to Disgusted:

      Racism is based on the falsehood that the white man’s ancestors did not come from africa but from somewhere’s else. And, as a result, the white man is of a separate, distinct and SUPERIOR! race to that of the afro centric human race.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Biologist

        Actually, current evolutionary biology suggests that human evolution did not stop when humans left Africa, and it may have been interbreeding between early humans that left Africa and other hominids such as Neanderthal that gave rise to the europid (white) and asian races that have dominated human civilization ever since.

        December 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bayou

      The history if Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement is taught to all if our children. "Disgusted" you are confused if you think parents are teaching their children to hate white people. White people like you are teaching them that lesson.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Prolixity Split

      Are you white? Because it sounds like you are white. Why? Because you clearly have no concept of white privilege and why racism is a relevant and important topic that should be discussed endlessly, until society at large starts focusing on stripping away the systemic racism in our justice and education systems, etc.

      Did it occur to you that there is STILL racism? That our justice system still punishes a black man more harshly than a white man for the exact same crime? That where you live determines the quality of education you will receive and that blacks are disproportionately affected by poverty?

      Probably not. THAT is why Black History month is merely a starting point.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. George

    White people eagerly accept something bad they read about your non white culture. But if its something nice, they will not rest until they poke holes in that story. They have absolutely no shame in doing that either.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Young

      It's the same with all races. When something is to their disadvantage and they feel threatened, they will try to poke some holes here and there.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Fabian

      I believe most of the world feels white america has zero culture and understand that living in a money hungry bubble it is up to you to see through the propaganda.... Traveling out side the US can really change a perspective about reality

      December 1, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • recycle1970

      Did you seriously say 'a few people's ignorance.'

      December 1, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • dhondi

      Race, race, race......free your mind.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • SeniorMoment

      Those few people today still exist, but they are concentrated in the rural South and in isolated areas of other states, almost like Mormon or ethnic enclaves.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Disgusted

      Yes it did say a "few" peoples ignorance. I dont believe i see the whole white population poking holes in this story, do you? i wasnt talking about the past i was talking about the articles comments

      December 1, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • SeniorMoment

      There is one exception that people do need to remember to your statement.

      Different racial and sub-racial groups are at different risks for various diseases so make sure your doctor is aware of those risks. Sickle cell anemia for example is primarily a disease of those whose families came from "Africa, India, the Mediterranean, Saudi Arabia, and South and Central America. In the United States, it most commonly affects blacks and Hispanics." Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency risk increases with age and with the amount of skin pigmentation because it interferes with the skin's ability to manufacture Vitamin D. White people are at a greater risk of skin cancer (which all races get), but it is easiest to identify contrasted with white skin. Vitiligo (Michael Jackson's disease) doesn't distinguish race, but is merely less obvious against white skin.

      Make sure your doctor is fully aware of your family origin and racial mix, so that he or she is less likely to fail to diagnose a disease. White people sometimes have black babies because of a black person in their ancestry and that is important genetic information to pass on to future generation and your doctor. Children as well may be less dark in complexion than their own parents. In high school I took a young women who was my peer academically to a dance and was a little shocked when I met her father who was as black as night. I was even more shocked when I learned that my father was her father's commanding officer, and it was for that reason I never invited her out again. I had no way of knowing if my invitation was accepted because of me or because of parental pressure and I didn't want to put her in a bind. We had a good evening and my father didn't tell me until after that evening. I got the impression both fathers were amused, but I know both fathers had good children because we went to high school together and shared the same values.

      In the end our risk for diseases is partially determined by our genes and racial factors are in our genes, so be always open with your doctor with what you know of your own genetic history. If you don't trust your doctor enough to share that information, get a different doctor.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. mantirig41

    just followed up on Rosa Parks on youtube. one interview she did is very good and only 27,781 views. That's a shame.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Artdela2012

    Great to hear she wasn't a guileless person. Glad to hear that she stood up for what she believed in and was not a passive and submissive person. Simple-minded people never made history. I applaud you Rosa Parks for being a strong and courageous woman!

    December 1, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. SeniorMoment

    This is a more interesting portrayal of Rosa Parks, but in the end all that really matters is her defiance in keeping her bus seat and thus showing age takes precedence over other social factors in our culture. The support she got from fellow black citizens is what forced the bus company to desegregate its service or go bankrupt, but that support might not have come except for her age. The white citizens of today feel appreciation for her as well because of her age. Had she been a young woman resisting giving up her seat, neither blacks nor whites would have acted the same.

    Death threats are far more common that people actually being murdered, and insofar as I know, are not in and of themselves a crime that is prosecuted in the absence of a murder with narrow exceptions like threatening to kill the President and other designated officials which is itself a federal crime and could be viewed in all cases as potentially extortion.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. George

    What baffles me is that white men continue to suppress everybody else and we pretend we look down upon those suppressers of the "past". Lets see this is what the white dominated media tells you
    Black men are criminals
    Mexicans are illegal
    Arabs are terrorists
    Chinese are evil communists
    Indian men suppress their wives
    People from Africa have a lower IQ

    people from white nations are cultured.

    Isn't it obvious who benefits out of this stereotyping?

    December 1, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |

      Not all white men. Trash comes in many colours and white is one of them. Sometimes you have to rummage through the trash in life to find the ones to hold onto, or to trust, no matter what race.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • weekendpreppers

      Hi George, that is a blanket statement "White men suppress". That actually sounds quit racist. A more appropriate term may be "Some White men" suppress.

      That's like a white guy saying "Black men freeload". While, it's true that a lot of black men freeload, a lot of white men do as well (just like every other race). If you do feel like the white man is keeping the black man down you must not have noticed our president....

      December 1, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
      • George

        Let me ask you this, if you see a couple from India going through a divorce, wouldn't you already know whose fault it is? But you are white man, so its perfectly legal for you to stereotype.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
      • kamanakapu

        The Suppressors are still trying to suppress the blacks as was shown in the just completed 2012 elections. The white women is the key to the race problem through their use of contraception and abortion: no white male baby’s? no racism!

        December 1, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Tangela

      George – I couldn't agree with you more. And as a white woman, I too am paid less than my white male counterparts. Racism is insidious, and while we have come so far, we have decades more until true equality and colorblindness is the majority, not minority belief.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Charles_dongson

      George, stop stealing oxygen, those of us with brains need it to deal with "special" people like you.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles_dongson

      George, I think you just came up with those stereo types along with your stereo type for white folks.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Timie

      Thanks for your honesty George. It's refreshing.
      The saddest thing is that the propaganda has been on for so long that the oppressed are beginning to believe it themselves.
      As a black man, I sometimes find other black people in a group of people who are reluctant to be friendly to you so as not to be seen racist and would rather be openly friendly to the white people in the group.
      Believe it or not, they are sometimes even deliberately unfriendly just to prove the point. Just so that they'll be accepted – it's considered cool. But the reverse is not the case, if you have two white guys in a group of other races you can bet no one will raise an eye brow if they do everything together for no other reason other than their skin colour. It's sad.
      It's the case of 'house slave vs field slave'.

      December 2, 2012 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. adam young

    It is great that we are finally starting to view history outside of the biased western worldview. We cant forget how our democracy would have lost out to white supremacy had it not been for the hero's of the civil/human rights movement

    December 1, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      What a laugh

      December 1, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Prolixity Split

        I'm sorry. What, exactly, is funny about oppressing any member of society and forcing their subjugation as a human who is "less than" another?

        December 1, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • dhondi

      There you go again....crying about racism while being racist.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Disagree.. I think the media goes out of its way to prove it is color-blind, often to the detriment of society. For example, look at how crimes are reported in the media. Often, if the suspect is black, they won't identify him as such to avoid appearing racist. I think it's absurd myself but it is nonetheless a common occurrence.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mari

    JB you are absolutely correct. You should see me, or my deceased mother for that matter. You would think I'm bi-racial, but not my mom with her green eyes, straight hair and pale skin (no sun for her!). I had the hardest time convincing my youngest son that my mom was not a white woman, but in fact was black. But you know how it goes, if the gene pool is tainted with one drop of black blood, then the person is considered African American. Yes, that's the case and so be it, because I'm so very proud to be a black woman.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Young

      Hey, everyone should be proud of their race and heritage, no matter what race they are. Many so-called "black" people have all kinds of different blood in them. I was even surprised that Naomi Campbell was something like quarter Chinese. It's both the strength and curse of the United States.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  16. Young

    Many blacks have mixed heritage, and if you study history, you will see how many of them have Indian and Spanish heritage also. As an example, when African slaves ran away, often Indians were the only group willing to take them into their group, so the African slaves stayed and lived with them, etc. There was one article that said that Obama's white mother descended from a pretty well-known black slave man who married a white lady. I found it very symbolic that Obama is a descendant of both an American born black slave and African born man.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  17. Sherry

    Rosa Parks refusing to get up on the bus was a very well PLANNED event. AND she wasn't even the first woman to refuse to give up her seat. Claudette Colvin was (nine months before Rosa), but she wasn't right for the civil rights movement. You can read about it in "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" by Phillip Hoose. After Claudette, there was one other person who refused to give up her seat before Rosa too. Reading the book about Claudette certainly changed my perception of what I thought about Rosa. In school, we were always taught that it was a spontaneous thing for her not to give up her seat.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  18. Shee

    Thank you for a wonderful insight into Ms Parks. Long may she stand tall or sit proudly in American History.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  19. adam young

    Only an ignorant conservative would define"ancient" as the 1950,s

    December 1, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  20. lakesfan

    And your point is?????

    December 1, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  21. Moses

    The crimes against black folk in the past were committed by people of the past, not your "white" neighbors and co-workers. The crimes of today are perpetrated by young black gang members killing other young black gang members, children, elderly, or anyone caught in the cross-fire or possessing something they want.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • I Am God

      Crimes of today are committed by Asians, Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, and so on and so forth. Get your head outta your butt and get back to reality.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • ctbtx67

      Really? How about Jasper Tx a few yrs ago...Bunch of white loser kids dragged a black man behind a truck and killed him. It is happening today, and to deny it is your white guilt showing. I have it too....Just make the world better....stop whining about what the "white man is not" sounds like the Germans saying they are tired of hearing bout how they put Jews in Nazi camps. Still makes us look like crappola.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  22. annoirw

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

    December 1, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  23. I Am God

    If you do not know your history, then you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes again and again and again.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  24. dasae

    Rosa Parks is a bad model for resistance to modern street warfare against current police tactics. In fact such a bad model for survival and wit in modern street demonstrations that she could be seen as the perfect anti-type. Never meet police with force, instead divide yourself and spread a thinly and mobile mass as posibble. To use the opponents strength in phalanx team against them by exposing their total numbers. Rosa Parks has made people think "SIT IN" and complain a good method of change. It truly is not.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  25. Calm seas

    She is black per the US government definition. Lets not change the facts now. Biracial by birth, black by American standards, she nor Obama can check the white box.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  26. I Am God

    I'm glad CNN took the time to talk about Rosa Parks. I forgot that she was a beneficial part of the civil rights movement in that time period. It was great reading about the history of the civil rights movement.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  27. Young

    In the history of the U.S., many ethnic groups have been discriminated and taken advantage of. In my opinion, the Native Indians is another group who have been screwed over most loyally by the growth of the United States. I am not a Native Indian, but I shake my head at what what they went through. And they are still not represented in the US government.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Softship

      They can choose to be represented – all they have to do is not live in a reservation.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Young

        You fail to see that they didn't want to be holed into a reservation but this system was created and then dwindled down to a very small area. I am sure there are Native Americans who live outside the reservation.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
      • kamanakapu

        Stupid is a variable you’ve somehow converted into a constant.

        kamana – another native victim of the white man.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  28. Charlie

    I think my post got lost,so I am posting a more detailed statement. I don't want to rant. I am not mad. Everyone has their own way of getting through this life, and as long as it doesn't involve hurting others, I respect that. I am just curious. If you believe what you posted, then, wouldn't you be going against that belief by posting something? Also, does you position mean that, in your opinion, the phrase "We are all in this together." is a lie somehow designed to get people in trouble?

    December 1, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  29. theoldfool1950

    Those of us who have studied the times and lived in them, as I have, know of Rosa Parks' activism and lifetime commitment to racial equality. Thank you for bringing it to the forefront. I would like to be able to take today's young racists on a tour of the 50s and 60s that I lived through. From a 21st century perspective I think even they would find it appalling. We have come a very long way from those days, but we still have miles to go.

    December 1, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  30. Ittakesbutone

    It takes but one to make war, not two. And those who do not take up swords can still fall upon them.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  31. MarkinFL

    I'm not even sure what point the post was supposed to make. If you were saying that she should have minded her own business then well that was what she was doing. Her business was to be recognized as a person. She was not worried about being safe.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  32. OvernOut

    The bus that figured so prominently in this story has been restored and is on display at the Henry Ford Museum. It's kind of cool to sit in the same seat. as Mrs. Parks.

    This article left out the incident when Mrs. Parks was mugged by an intruder in her own home. She was such a tiny woman, she was 81 years old, and some clown smacked her around and took about $50 from her. The guy sounds like he has come to his senses (he's still in jail), but the incident did not shock the rest of the community enough to clean itself up, and that's just sad. There are commercial areas coming back strong in Detroit, but the residential areas still need a lot of work.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |

    Was this article was to defame a woman who was tired of the rape and abuse from the white man? Well, it gives me a even greater longing to want to meet her personally,shake her hand and sit next to her in those meetings. Anyone who has ever been raped or abused would feel the same way. No matter what race you are. We are Black African Americans and are proud of our heritage and fight against what is right. To see our people, men, women and children hanging from trees for no reasons but to be evil against our race. To have men rape and beat our women just because you were white and could get away with it –someone -sometime will take a stand. And she did. I thank Rosa Parks and many others for their fight, because of them-we are where we are today.


    December 1, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      In what possible way did this article defame?!?!?!?!

      This article validates the reality of a strong woman that fought hard for her and her entire race's civil rights. The author of this article clearly feels that the truth of her life is far more powerful than the myth. She is clearly a remarkable woman who deserves even more respect than she has been given. This article bolsters that position.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      You are either an "American" or you're "African". There is no such thing as an African-American, Irish-American, Italian-American, German-American, Polish-American, Mexican-American, Chinese-American, Korean-American....... Rosa Parks was an "American" citizen.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • George


      December 1, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • dhondi

      "The white man" There is no "the white man"

      December 1, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • AS

      You are so educated you let your knee jerk reaction overcome your reading comprehension. The article does not defame ROsa Parks, but makes her out to be a bigger hero than the myth-makers portray her as.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  34. Swooooooooog

    Well I's a out in da woodpile a watchin you!

    December 1, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  35. Jon

    Lol. "We... why, gosh, we simply didn't -realize- it was frustating for users! We had no idea! Send Haroldson over to the computing machine to perform magic hocus pocus to understand and contemplate for much time to discover simple easy answers that would at least remove some of the .. more.. what is the word? Frustrating? Frustrating elements for our users! Posthaste! And GIVE HIM ARRAAAAISE" Make sure you give that guy a raise that basically says that you have a character limit on your posts, so half of them aren't people just complaining that someone is censoring unfairly.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      That may up your "bottom line" a bit. I know, us young 25-34 year old single males in the country, the largest section of the unemployed last I checked, can be jerk-y at times. I get it.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Hope it's fixed soon. Will improve your user discussion, like, of course. Because you'll have less frustration in use. I can't see why it hadn't been. Hate to be the guy who said it, needed to be said. Glad an employee will read it.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      That took what, 20 minutes?? I bill 1800 an hour. Thanks.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Anyway, first world problems.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Anyway, for a very fair point, and apologies if my comments seemed antagonistic. They were not meant to be, it was more for humorous empathy. I do not believe a gentlemen working for CNN called Haroldson exists, nor does he computr magic spells. My casual estimation of the cost of one of the ideas to solve a.. invariably and undeniably frustrating communication issus, even with a simple measure, so as to improve this overall publication, was about $300 ish? $300 US American Dollars. I believe that 10x this amount would begin to encourage the people capable of solving this problem.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  36. live4grace

    She never stayed in the back of the bus – she was the one who wouldn't. To-the-death defiance is exactly what the movement called for. And .. for the record and for all history – she WON. As did all who WERE killed, raped and otherwise abused in the struggle. For sure it goes on.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  37. Martin

    In my entire life, I have considered Rosa Parks as a hero. I am a white person and I have had great friends and many coworkers that were black and IMHO, nicer and friendlier than the majority of white people. In college, I remember going to parties that were very integrated and everyone was friendly to all the party people. Unlike some weird family members, I prefer to live in a neighborhood full of different races and diverse from different countries, languages, and cultures. I always surprise people that only speak Spanish when I talk to them in their native language.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  38. Bobby

    Because she is stating an opinion and trying to make a case for it.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  39. USA

    We are all equal. : )

    December 1, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • ldean50

      yep. just some more than others 🙂

      December 1, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  40. ldean50

    I happened to meet Mrs. Rosa Parks in the early 90s at the Nashville Airport. She had been a hero of mind since childhood. She was somewhat frail sitting in a wheelchair waiting to board a flight. I was able to introduce myself, shake her hand and thank her for her service to Civil Rights. I even teared up a little bit when I held her hand. I grew up believing that she was a solitary seemstress who spontaneously revolted against giving up her bus seat... I was always amazed at her courage. Years later I learned what I had thought all those years wasn't the whole truth when an old English college professor of mine who had worked at the Highlander school in TN told me she was "trained" there. I realized her courageous revolt had been planned and anticipated. It doesn't negate her work, put it does negate what I perceived as her courage... because there were many untrained, courageous Black people who actually DID draw a line in the sand during those times. They were not trained, they were not supported by a network, they took real risks and we will never know their names.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Ambrogino

      Not to stray too far from your point; but I want you to think about your statement for a moment because, to use your line of thinking, means that if we imagine that Jesus Christ:
      1. Supposedly knew he was god
      2. Knew what awaited him if he died on the cross
      Then that means that his sacrifice is diminished because that makes him a selfish individual who knew what he was getting... Then it was all just for show and it delegitimizes him.... Wouldn't you agree?

      December 1, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
      • ldean50

        No, not really. I think, instead, that you DID indeed stray far from my point.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
      • ldean50

        ... to clarify and elevate the question to universal, all incompassing levels not suited to an Internet discussion... after studying many Abrahamic religions, I tend to believe that the actions of Jesus were born of agape, did not require courage because He is incapable of fear.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Ambrogino

        You established in your statement that now that you are armed with this knowledge that it dimishes her courage and potentially her contribution, because it was "planned." I just put it to you in a different light.

        Personally, any and all contributions are important, from the ones we know about to the ones that have faded into history. Celebrate the human spirit!

        December 1, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
      • ctbtx67

        It does diminish his sacrifice. He knew what was going to happen afterwards. He was a great man/spirit/demigod, but he had no real fear of the ending. I call mulligans on the whole cruxifixion. His words should stand as valid, regardless of his end. Matthew is the narrator of jesus, and Paul and everything after should be abolished.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
      • ldean50

        Ambrogino... I feel you are merely consumed with being "right" that you fail to read/absorb what I said. We have no argument. I stated, "It does NOT negate her work," and I disagree that I negate "her potential contribution." I do celebrate the human spirit and I DO agree with you. I made a comparison that I see more courage in the ones who stood alone, than the ones who knew they were supported. Read it as an aside with no negation of Mrs. Parks' work. I meant it as a reminder that when we think of Rosa Parks, think also of those who deserve quiet reflection on the fact that THEY were never celebrated because they stood alone, unseen. If you still need to find an arguement, lets stay on point... Do you DISAGREE that ones who stand alone require more courage than ones who stand in a group?

        December 1, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harin

      You make a point. She was trained, she was prepared and there was back up for her if things got ugly. It was a pre-planned mission. Still, it is nothing a soldier in our own military does not do. He is trained, prepared, provided backup, but that individual soldier still must find the courage to overcome his fear to enter combat. She overcame that fear, entered combat against overwhelming odds and never looked back. Her training gives us some idea of just how dangerous all this was. How scary it was for a small black female to sit on a seat in a bus that was not meant for her. It should really teach us that we have no idea how bad it really was then. It was an act of war for her to refuse to surrender her seat. In that war people died, sometimes horribly at even most damning, those people died at the hands of their own countrymen.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
      • Charles_dongson

        Harin, Rosa Parks did good things and all... but sitting on a bus seat aint combat buddy.. please don't confuse the two..

        December 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      How is a life long struggle for civil rights, with the constant threat of violence, rape and lynching just for thinking that way, any less courageous than suddenly one day deciding not to move to the back of the bus? If anything, she is far more heroic for her life long struggle against oppression.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
      • ldean50

        RTDT Brian "Read the darn thing"... I wrote, "it DOESN'T negate her work, but it does negate her courage – comparatively speaking... a soldier who stands alone is more corageous than one who stands with a battalion... I went on to give recognition to the many Black "soldiers" whose work was not supported, recognized and celebrated and truly did stand alone. My point being – THAT is superior courage.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
      • Young

        I think that's the point that the writer is trying to make. And it doesn't surprise me that some people are misreading the article.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • dyanamason

      Why does preparing to take a stand make a difference on her courage? To me, knowing about Mother Parks' real life creates a truer picture of her work and sacrifice. She was a real person, not the mythological character painted by so much of history. She deserves to have her full story known, as she was so much more than a single act of defiance. She had been risking her health and safety for decades before she refused to give up her seat – being a part of the NAACP in that time was an invitation to the KKK. Does that make her less courageous? Was Rep. John Lewis not a civil rights hero because he had been trained in non-violence before he tried to walk across that bridge? Were not the freedom riders courageous for risking their safety by daring to travel interstate in an integrated bus? Was not Dr. King a hero when he faced death threats and his home was bombed just because he "knew" what he was doing? Intent does not make you any less courageous. It's being willing to do what is right, regardless of the consequences.

      December 1, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Jon

    It took me like five minutes to figure out. I'm not even an employee.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
  42. Jen L

    Actually, the real question is: why do people who can't think logically complain about the logic of people who do, in order to justify attacking them for not having the "correct" opinion?

    December 1, 2012 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  43. tpobrienjr

    I don't believe that Rosa Parks' act was as spontaneous as the writer says. I believe that she was (as secretary of the local NAACP) asked to do this act as part of a carefully crafted plan of civil disobedience. That does not, in my mind, lessen her courage. It took some very strong and brave people to get us (the US) where we are in civil rights. It's not all the way, but it is a long way.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Seyedibar

      The bus seat protest was indeed carefully planned. Parks has spoken before about how they attempted it first the week before, but it did not work in her favor and she didn't have her full support team. The next attempt was a week later on a different bus route.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Ashley Hamouda

      You're wrong in that it wasn't spontaneous, but you're right in that choosing Rosa Parks was a carefully crafted PR move by the movement. There had actually been two women before her who did the exact same thing—refuse to be moved from their bus seats. However, both women had criminal records and that hurt their ethos to become the character the movement needed. Then Rosa Parks came along & she was easily turned into a hero. They needed someone who would look really good to the public, about whom nothing negative could be said.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  44. Bobby

    Yes, you're summarizing the piece and agreeing with it. I think you need to read it again. She's saying let's appreciate her as a civil rights champion rather than a quiet person who chose one time to be defiant and made history.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  45. AS

    I recommend most people that read this editorial put away their knee jerk reactions. Why is it people that read editorials lack reading comprehension? This article does more to enhance Rosa Parks in my estimation than all the myths about her. The editorial writer is trying to prove that Rosa Parks had a history of standing up for herself and her race. She's trying to prove that the myth Rosa Parks only sat down because her feet hurt does Ms Parks an injustice. Rosa Parks' knew what she was doing and had courage to do so. It takes more courage do something knowing the possible consequences.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      The most intelligent comment on this board. You got it right!

      December 1, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  46. Jaxthekat

    Thank goodness someone else is pointing out the fallacy of the 'spontaneous' refusal to give up her seat. It has longed bothered me that history presents the story that way.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Young

      I like Rosa Parks more because she was a tough fighter who planned to do what she did. Makes me admire her all the more. I always admired Malcolm X more than MLK,

      December 1, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  47. Manny

    Yes, Rosa Parks is a hero in the sense that her defiance served as the rallying cry for the civil rights movement. However, let's not forget she became the focus only after the higher ups within the movement decided that she was going to be "it". Claudette Colvin, many months before, refused to give up her seat as well, and was just as defiant. However, since she was an unwed pregnant teenager, it was thought that she couldn't represent the movement.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkinFL

      Right, its time to recognize that to win civil rights for an oppressed minority it takes planned, in your face activities, by people with strong wills. It is tough and dangerous to go up against the establishment. Especially when it involves race or religion. It is not the act of sitting on a bus that was so important. It was the struggle to make it a right afterward that mattered.
      I keep reading comments from people now about how various minorities would gain acceptance faster if they weren't so in our faces. Problem is that they do not need our acceptance, they just need their legal rights. And reality is that without heavy pressure and constant reminders, it just will not happen. Rosa Parks did not start a movement, she helped propel an existing movement into the national consciousness. She endured much, willingly, to do so. A symbolic act was not enough. The actor had to be someone ready to personally fight for their rights.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  48. 13directors

    She secured a place in history and knowing this about her doesn't change my admiration for her.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  49. Name*Ritter Curtis

    We all need to lets go of all this hate we have against each other and think about are young generation. We need to come together in pray because God is not happy with us.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  50. Dmac

    Well behaved PEOPLE rarely make history.

    Live free or die.... it's a defining American trait that continues to make this country great.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  51. Zaggar

    Above post is proof positive that no matter how much a white worships a black, it'll never be enough.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  52. Reemo

    Wow, a lot of people seem to have a problem with this article. I thought it was very interesting and I never knew about this attempted rape. Just because this article happens to be about a Civil Rights figure doesn't mean the person writing it is trying to stir up racial tension. This is interesting new knowledge on a popular figure and I definitely think it's worth a read.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • it is

      I don't feel that there was any racial tension involved in her wanting for freedom. If it was right with God for her to be raped than I would say I should be raped too. But because God wants liberty for all his children, then we should work on ways to get out of pits. Like Joseph he was a slave his own brother sold him into the enemy's hands but he stayed with God and God deliver him out and he rescued his family in times of need. It is good to know in a personal way that you are special in whatever level you are in at the time. She knew she was special and never gived up so today we are reaping what she planted. Every one in the human race is currently being liberated. Our hearts are becoming free once and for all.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  53. woodie

    I find it ironic that white people are the least racist of all races. In fact, white males are the most loathed and least racist of all demographics. The paranoia of non-whites and non-white males consistently amazes me. Ask yourself, if you were the only person of your race on a street, which you feel safer or less safe if everyone else where white?

    December 1, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • diggingellen

      How do you figure white men are the least racist? There is no indication that that's the truth. In fact, white men are the ones in society who continue to benefit from a social structure that assumes that they are in the right, that they are natural leaders, and that their concerns are the most important.

      Well-recognized scientific studies have shown that white men get the lowest offered prices when they go buy a car, that they are likely to be hired with a criminal conviction than a black man without one for a laboring job, that they routinely get offered higher starting wages and benefits. Who is making those decisions? White men who still disproportionately control positions of power in this country.

      Stop making up assertions that reinforce your preferences about how the world should work – nonwhites aren't paranoid, they are realists.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
      • shamrock26

        Any links to your claims?

        December 1, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
      • diggingellen

        Of course black men are most likely to be killed by black men. White men are most likely to be killed by white men. White women are most likely to be raped, beaten, or killed by white men. Black women are most likely to be raped, beaten, or killed by black men.

        That's because, in general, crime is committed against people and by people in a single neighborhood or community, and American communities are fairly racially segregated. It does not in any way discredit my points, which are that white men continue to have most of the economic, political, and social power in this country, and that our society is structured to advantage them to the detriment of nonwhites and women.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  54. Reemo

    I believe we should tie Mike to the front of the bus so that the bug splats don't mess up the paint.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      My wallet would probably be safer out there.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  55. Magwah1

    rosa parks shouldn't be viewed as a black hero.....by sitting down she stood against injustice for all.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • ldean50

      ... except for one, small point... she wasn't rebelling on behalf of the Chinese, the Irish, Latinos, the disabled, mentally challenged, women or any other abused group. Her action may speak for equality for ALL people; but her message and speeches were in support of Blacks only.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
      • Young

        True, although the effect of the Civil Rights movement, ended up benefitting all races. As an Asian-American, I still appreciate that the blacks (and some whites) fought for the Civil Rights. I am very impressed by non-blacks (whites and Jewish Americans) who joined the Civil Rights movement, because in some sense, they were moved to action by their conscience.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  56. Basil Fawlty

    Homer Plessy pre-dated Rosa Parks by decades (in 1892). Plessy v. Ferguson went straight to the Supreme Court and was the FIRST civil rights call to action on segregated public transport.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Ronald

      No one is a saint and let's just lock all minorities up and/or keep a close eye on them so that the majority can continue their gluttonous ways in secrecy while of course...using the minirity as an escape goat because the minorities are the ones breaking all the laws...funny. I enjoyed this piece on Parks. Shows us another view of an iconic women.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
      • Watching You

        It will not be that long before the whites will become the minority along with the blacks if our borders remain open.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • 13directors

      He lost. She won. Therein lies the difference.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
      • ldean50

        I disagree. The differences are many – time, context, action; but the "idea" was the same. Perhaps she "won" only because of the path that many had begun to lay down for her. Parts is parts and courage is courage; although I do share some sadness with those who have come to realize that Parks' actions were planned and she was trained for it when so many other we will never know truely acted with "spontaneous" and unrecognized uncelebrated courage.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • kashbmaryd

      Yeah she was 12 years old when he died, so she may have even heard of him while she was growing up during his life. That may have even inspired her to do what she was doing. It let people know that it was possible to overcome anything.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  57. Larry

    She didn't break a legal law! She stood up for her god given rights. A very brave woman.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  58. Mark in Atlanta

    Same could be said foe Washington, Adams, and Jefferson. Should we also forget them?

    December 1, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  59. e

    I like learning more about Rosa Parks, and gaining a greater understanding of the workings of the events of the Civil Rights fight.
    If you don't care than don't read the article and comment on it.

    December 1, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  60. Columcille

    People have been slaves for thousands of year...all nationalities and races.The Vikings took slaves as did the Romans and most others. St. Patrick was a slave as was many others both famous and unknown. Embrace your history as slaves, be proud of the country that has fought to end it and above all...shut up about it because it just comes across as plays for power, control and money.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Samar

      Wow. I guess you would say the same thing to the Jews about the Holocaust, right?

      December 1, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
      • Ej

        Samar....i notice a number of post who suggest the rape, murder and enslavement of blacks should just be forgotten. I would bet these same people would feel different if it where their family members who where the victims. They say it should be forgotten but could they forget it if they were a minority voting in the recent election or the mother, father, brother or sister of the many unarmed blacks gunned by whites who are allowed to go free. Would they say forget it if they were on the recieving end of work-place discrimination, if they were the last hired – first fired? Those who say blacks should just forget about it or really saying blacks should just accept the inhuman or second rate human treatment as a convenience for them.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
      • Samar

        Ej, I will never forget my history and I will teach it to my son. It's important that no one forgets where they come from no matter who they are. Whether good or bad, history can teach us many things. My husband is White and he is just as proud of his heritage as I am of mine. These are the values we want to instill in our child.

        December 1, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vance

      I agree, it is a part of our history. However the U.S. participated in it for 400 hundred years and needs to be shamed by it for 400 years. Secondly, as an African American man, I WILL NEVER SHUT-UP about it. Like you said, "it is part of our American history" and it is important we teach our children about it. White, black or whatever they need to know the history of our country. It should not only be taught in the schools, but in our homes like so many other American historic facts are taught.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
      • Bobby

        And although slavery stilll exists today, the period of time that it existed in this, what has become the greatest nation, also makes it unique and will always remain it's biggest black eye. I hope anyway.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
      • tchrider

        Vance, the US put up with it for 87 years, not 400. Rosa Parks did a great service. We should treat all with respect

        December 1, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
      • C Miller

        Just for clarification, the U.S. participated in the disgrace for 89 years(1776-1865). And even then, please remember the U.S. did not govern itself exclusively until 1783. By 1804, all northern states had abolished or set the path for ending slavery. Also do not forget the sacrifice of the Union troops and families. The point here is to not diminish the 400 year experience, obviously every single year was one year too long, but rather it is to show the dramatic change that occurred once the U.S. governed itself.

        December 1, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Ronald

      The statement "I'm in control" assumes that you are an elitist(I doubt). They are the ones controlling not you! Your a subordinate like everyone else.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  61. Zaggar

    So where's the evidence that this alleged assault took place?

    It fits the pattern of anti-white media lies, so some evidence would be nice. Not that there's likely to be any.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Keith Hebert

      Zaggar: Didn't you just run for Senate in Missouri?

      December 1, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark in Atlanta

      Anti-white media lies? Yikes. Zaggar, I don't claim to know if Ms. Parks wrote the letter or if there was a real Mr. Charlie. But you don't think this stuff happened in the years we are talking about? Perhaps you should visit the Strange Fruit exhibition, where you can see the festive pictures white families took in front of hanging black corpses and turned into post cards to send to their friends. As a white guy from the North, I prey to God my children never forget that slavery and racial hate are not our destiny but they are certainly a part of past. Thank goodness fro Ms. Parks and all the other heroes, white, blackm Muslim, whatever, who have had the courage to help us become a better nation.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
      • Zaggar

        Truth be told, most lynching "victims," black or white, were guilty.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  62. Anne S.

    I admire 'Rosa Parks for what she did. Funny it must be how you are raised. I was never raised to hate black people, and until this day I still feel the same way. Over my life time I have met some wonderful black people. Even when I went to high school there was no racism. In my graduating class of 375 students the person who got the most applause was a black male student. In the North black people aren't hated like they are in the South. Black people are human beings, and should be treated that way. And after all if it wasn't for some greedy white man selling them as slaves, maybe there would have never been any. But slavery not only applied to the black people either. My great grandfather who needed work heard there was a job on a ship. He missed boarding the ship and later on found out the men who were on the ship were all sold as slaves and they were white men and so was he. Regardless of what color our skin is we are all children of God.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Samar

      Great comment, but the difference between the when Whites were slaves and when Blacks were is the Whites were normally set free after their servitude was complete. Blacks were enslaved for generations and oppressed even after slavery ended.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Har Har

        Because you were there. You witnessed it. You're not generalizing or anything.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Samar

        No, Har Har, but I did listen in history class when my WHITE teachers taught it to me.

        December 1, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • lagergeld

        You can always spot a liberal. They're willing to question the biases of everything except their school teachers.

        December 1, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Samar

        Yes. I am a liberal, but that doesn't mean I'm ignorant by any means.

        December 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dixie

      If the North is not as prejudiced against Blacks as the South, why are all of the major slums and poverty in the North? We southerners today did not cause slavery nor do we believe in it today. The southerners who caused all of the trouble during the civil rights era are not the southerners of today. They are in a minority today because our children were taught better. They were taught that slavery and prejudice were evil. When my boys were young there were as many Blacks as Whites coming to our house after school for the baked snacks I provided. When my husband loaded up the truck for a ball game there were as many Black kids in it as there was Whites. It's all in how you raise your children. They learn by example. The 60's were a scary time for us white kids too.My friends in school couldn't believe the things we saw on TV, the riots the beatings the other atrocities against the Blacks. My parents did not teach prejudice in our home and would not have stood for it and their ancestors had been in Florida since the early 1800's. Black and White parents have the responsibility to stop this prejudice in their homes when children are young. It is perpetuated by parents who will not let go of the hate! I live in a very small town where Blacks are regarded with respect and dignity.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
      • Head of FEMA

        I have seen, saw, and done the things you are posting about. I coached little league baseball, and had kids of all color in my backyard.

        December 2, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Kristeen Bruun

    I have been telling this story every chance I get for years. People are always so surprised! Thank you, Danielle, for giving it a wider audience than I have been able to muster!

    December 1, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • dmcguire13

      Thanks, Kristeen!

      December 1, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • lagergeld

      Hi, Kristeen. Just wondering, do you also tell of how Rosa was a Communist Party member who wanted to intiate the Red Terror in America?

      December 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Sandra

    23,000 rapes reported by white women against black men? Yea, right! And you think thats fair and cccurate considering not long ago more than triple rapes were commited by white men against black women. What makes me sick is that if your statistics are true then there are plenty of jails for these rapists. .. and there should be.There were plenty of jails back in the day too. But guess what; not one white man has paid for his rapes, murders and any other kind of evil you can think of. because when you deny a certain people (black people)equal protection under the law, then the beasts usually are never punished. Not one case will get any attention. Not one and that makes me sick. What a wonderful thing it would have been for white people to still hate black people but draw the line on crime, no matter what race they are. And these white people sit their rotten ass in church and just 5 minutes out of church they are thinking how they can hurt or kill someone who looks different from them. I am not saying all white folks are like that. I am talking about the filth from the KKK and other racists.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  65. Carrie

    My feelings have not change for Rosa Parks she was great leader and believed in fighting for her beliefs. Without strong black leaders I would not have the opportunities as I do now. Whoever thought in our life time we would have a black president. We would not have one if it had not been for our ancestors beginning the fight for us. We still must continue to fight injustice not just for ourselves, but for our children’s future.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • lagergeld

      Carrie, what a lovely narrative. You do realize, of course, that Parks was a radical Marxist agitator who wanted to unleash the Red Terror in this country. I would suggest you do some reading into who you hold up as a moral standard instead of jumping into the stream of propagandistic fecal matter than the mainstream media and campus agitators serve up. You're being had.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Jon

    I also want to make it very clear that majority of people will continue to, forever and ever, as long as the human race exists, exercise it's ability to spraypaint obscenities all over anything and everything it can get it's hands on. Forever. Amen.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • lagergeld

      Jon, agreed. Especially when mainstream journalist activists intend on (again) presenting a Marxist agitator as an angelic moral stalwart for us to conform to. Someone has to pull the wool OFF of the sheep's eyes.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Marc

    Don't know about anyone else, but I have had more racist crap thrown at me for being white with blonde hair and blue eyes (also for being jewish ironically enough, got both ends on that) then I've ever seen pointed at African Americans or hispanics etc.. Don't try to blame people who weren't alive during segregation for our parent's and great grandparent's mistakes or misdeeds. All racism is is an excuse to divide the working class.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Helenolai

      I am young, have blonde hair, and blue eyes. People have literally wanted to touch my hair. I have not experience racism directed toward me. I think because I am white people feel comfortable confessing their racism to me, as if I agree with them, which I don't. I would say, on average, somebody confesses their racial bias to me at least once a month. So I can tell you that racism and racial bias is alive in 2012. This saddens me greatly because my two children are mixed.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Ej

      You would see the racism directed toward blacks if you would place yourself in their shoes. If you would do this you would then see the same practices your fore-fathers practiced against blacks are being practiced in some form today.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
      • Marc

        All I can say to that is when I worked in and around Patterson, if I wasn't driving a truck with AAA on the side of it, there were times I would not have left the neighborhoods I was in alive.

        December 2, 2012 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankley

      What makes you think he has a privileged position just because he is white? That is a racist stereotype. There are millions of white American living below the poverty line, and many homeless. Being white is no guarantee of getting anything in life. The lie of white privilege is akin to the blood libel leveled against jews. The very idea of 'white privilege' is an example of anti-white racism.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Jen L

      "I've had more racist crap than I've ever seen directed at minorities." That's because people have the most experience with the discriminatory crap thrown at members of their own group. Claiming that your experience with discrimination is "more real" than the experiences of others solely because it happened to you and not to them is discrimination.

      The sad thing is that I've had to explain to 5 people this week that it is discriminatory to discount the reports that members of other groups give in regards to their life experience without even listening to the reports to evaluate the severity of the cases in question.

      And in EVERY case, the person that I had to explain that to was a white male– the statistically least discriminated against group in the US. Not only do they feel the right to discount the words of other groups in a discriminatory way, trying to get them to stop acting in a discriminatory manner is what they refer to as discrimination.

      December 1, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Marc

        II'm not saying it's more real or less. Being white, REALLY white, and Jewish, I saw it on every side and it sickens me. What I am saying is people have to move forward in order to put it BEHIND us as a species. All focusing on and feeding racism, even in the form of an article like this (while not racist, it is ALWAYS going to bring up the argument) does, is keeps the people in power pulling the strings and watching ALL the rest of us dance.... The easiest way to control a population is to give them something to hate aside from the way the society itself is structured.

        December 2, 2012 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  68. john smith

    actually, the Real Rosa Parks was part of several PLANNED demonstrations. She was not simply some "housekeeper" who was sick and tired of being sick and tired; she was a member of the NAACP, which she joined through her husband (already a member).

    Others had resisted giving up their seats in the past, but Mrs Parks was chosen to represent the movement because she was an upstanding member of the community: married, employed, law-abiding, etc.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Realityblowz

      I remember reading how they first picked another woman that they planned to not give up her seat on the bus, but they found out that she had a child out of wedlock, so they recruited Mrs. Parks instead, due to the anticipated public reaction from the initial choice.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  69. Gregory H. Smith

    This was most insightful. I thank you Ms. McGuire. Thank You.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • dmcguire13

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to post, Mr. Smith

      December 1, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  70. Dierdre

    Kevin, Get your facts straight. Published by our federal government and the government of New Mexico was a justice statistics report. It demonstrated the racism in our so-called justice system and media that creates the perception for many that blacks commit more crimes than whites which is not true (although being kept poor through oppression might certainly put one in a situation where they might be more desperate). Those statistics show that for every 6 arrests of whites, blacks, and Latinos for the equivalent alleged crime (not necessarily committed), 5 out of 6 blacks are charged, 3 out of 6 Latinos, and only 1 out of 6 whites - most whites are let off the hook by a justice system comprised of predominantly white police, judges, prosecutors, and lawyers. Comments like yours are a great example of why more white women might be choosing black men... 🙂

    December 1, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Zaggar

      The FBI crime reports are based on victim surveys, so any alleged bias in prosecutions is irrelevant.

      Interracial rape is, statistically speaking, a non-white on white phenomenon.

      And the overall criminality of blacks is evident from living among and near them. It's ideologues and cowards who deny this reality.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Cap'n Rita

        I, begrudgingly, have to agree. As someone who, prior to moving to this area 20 years ago, had NO racial prejudice I am struggling with a growing dislike of Blacks. I live 90 minutes northwest of Detroit and the crime rate in my city is unreal and almost exclusively perpetrated by Black males. Shootings and robberies have become an almost daily occurance. A trip to the mall has become nearly impossible because the behavior of young Blacks make it uncomfortable to shop. Wasn't white kids randomly throwing french fries at people in the food court.

        December 1, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Zaggar

    Not exactly zero, but statistically zero. Around ten, compared with thousands of black on white rapes.

    You can't give the white-hating ideologues here any reason to jump on you. The pure truth is enough.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  72. JohnBorg

    We attempt to water-down central figures in our history and try to incorporate them into our civil religion. We do this for we do not need to encounter the true revolutionary spirit of these figures. We co-opt them instead. MLK Jr was an ardent critic of capitalism. WEB DuBois was a communist who saw race and economic class as tied together phenomenons. Its hard to be an activist and not see social problems in a holistic manner. So, do we reject people like MLK for being "radical" or do we learn to think about their questions. I beg for the latter.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Jonathon Fiverson

      This is an attempt to respond to your post. Prior attempts are not showing up. The ToS states that comments are not pre-screened before they post, so I'm clueless.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  73. thedarkelf

    Agreed but women love to rehash and make drama where ever they can. And this writer is looking to make a name by stirring up controversy over a black woman everyone knows

    December 1, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  74. coffee

    Was Rosa Parks part Spanish? She looks it as does her name. It would be good for this story to stand for this community as well. All races have racists, I have learned as I age that it infects the thoughts of all just as strongly. Remember we are all gods children and he is the only that will judge in the end.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  75. scout

    Years ago, I had thought Rosa Parks was just happened to be seated in the front of the bus and decided not to move ( on no real basis). In an Adult Education program I learned about Myles Horton (Google that name) and Highlander school. In Myles's class was Rosa Parks, along with a who's who of the Civil Rights Movement. She was more then a person refusing to give up her seat.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  76. J R Brown

    So, your contention is that rape stats involving black perpetrators is completely overblown based on the word of your friend, "the cop"...so explain the "black on black" violence stats. Are they "overblown" as well?

    December 1, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  77. Joyce

    I admire Rosa Parks. But can any of us get over slavery for goodness sakes? Yeah, it happened, and it wasn't nice. But slavery is a thing of the past, and can we please just deal with what's going on today? What's all this about black on white rapes got to do with anything.....oh yeah, I forgot....that isn't racist behavior at all.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • phoenix86

      Unfortunately, liberal ideology needs mob mentality for its very own survival, so we continue to have American ideals attacked by liberals for acts long past; while liberals demand immediate "forgive and forget" of all of liberals atrocities and vanities imposed by them on others.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Magwah1

      There exists more slaves today than at any time in the history of the world.....not a thing of the past. Still ugly and still not openly spoken of. All races suffer from slavery....all humanity.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Samar

      It seems like Blacks are supposed to forget about slavery, but tragedies that effected other groups are remembered all the time.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
      • Har Har

        Blacks are not supposed to forget about it, however, everyone else shouldn't be forced to eat and swallow it everyday with no regard to it actually being racist in itself.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
      • Samar

        No one is forcing you to read about or listen to anything regarding slavery. If you don't like it, don't read it or turn the channel, it's that simple.

        December 1, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pkk

      I'm sorry but the facts don't support your rant. First and foremost it was black African tribal chiefs who enslved blacks, broke part families, sporting parents from children and selling them into forced slavery in the slavers markets. This factual information can be easily found so please don't accept my representation without doing your own research.

      Secondly neither I, nor any member or my family was living in this country in 1928 . When we arrived we were subjected to racism, religious intolerance, discrimination,social and economic injustices, criminal actions of a violent nature, including murder, while forced to live in tenements and ghettos. So please don't spew your racist hatred toward me and my family for those acts we had no involvement in. And while you are at it perhaps you could acknowledge that of the millions of people living in this country today more than 60 percent of the population arrived after 1875 , with perhaps 40 percent post WW II with the vast majority having no ancestors of American birth. Reading your rant I see you as an individual who insists on holding a population of blameless individuals responsible for injustices suffered and while I understand your anger I can not accept it as rational in origin. Instead I see your hatred as a racist doctrine that elects to place blame on the blameless perpetuating the divide between races as opposed to seeking a peaceful coexistence.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • debra

      You need some therapy. "Evil Ancestors"? "country you stole"? Really? First of all, black men winking at white women and getting in trouble happened years ago. That is over. Second, YOU were not taken from anywhere. Blacks from Africa as well as whites from other countries were forced into slavery. Obviously you like to pretend the past is still today. Why? Can you not function in a world that has improved? The world was an uncivilized brutal place. I can remember that without letting it dictate my life. That is why people say get over it. If you are a stable person, there should be nothing "to get over", but obviously you have issues and dwell on the past like it happens now and to you.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Robert

        Salient point. Being a perpetual victim is part of the agenda because it is financially advantageous.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
      • lagergeld

        Race mixing is anti-diversity. As such it shouldn't be promoted. It was morally proper for white men to object to white men being hit on by blacks, and blacks should be objecting to it as well. Respecting diversity includes preserving diversity and one of the steps of preserving it is to discourage destruction of diversity via miscegenation. This isn't calculus. If you pour all cups into a bowl, the distinctness of each cup vanishes.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Har Har

      Exactly. What. He. Said. Co-existence.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      That's the problem with white people. You all want blacks to just "get over" slavery. IF IT HADN'T HAPPENED, THERE'D BE NO BLACKS IN THE UNITED STATES. It's never going away; it's a permanent scar on the country. Every racial problem we have in this country can be traced right back to slavery. It had a hand in forming the Electoral College (research it), clearly the Civil War and the creation of certain states - even so far as having Congress moving possession of a waterway to a state that supported the union and punish the one (Arizona) who did not, and the many race riots that took place since 1865.

      December 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Sabina

    I care and so do many others.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  79. Adam4x4

    Growing up I thought the bus incident and the lunch counter sit-ins were spontaneous and that people like Martin Luther King Jr. were trouble makers, communists, womanizers, spies, etc.. These are ideas that older white people and sometimes even the media spread. When I got older I found out that there were many black people involved in the struggle in quiet dignified ways and that a lot of the protests were long in planning to include checking the bacgrounds of the "freedom fighters" to avoid having their efforts side tracked or worse backfire.
    Thank you, Danielle McGuire, for your work.

    December 1, 2012 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
  80. Chuck

    Keep tossing that race-bait out there, it seems to work for dividing the country

    December 1, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  81. jim - Tampa

    I believe that stories like this illuminate the reason why philosophers like Foucault abandoned the idea of history and sought to replace it with genealogy. History is a single viewpoint that does not look critically at events. History gives us myths and fables, not reality and always from the viewpoint that benefits power and authority.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  82. jayb18

    Muslim women worldwide,who are being abused by their master husbands should look up to Rosa Parks as a guiding light.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  83. GenericMan

    Liberal Arts is smarts.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  84. brianmwhitelawyer

    This article reminds me of how we are taught a very sanitized version of the life of Helen Keller. We know that she was a sweet blind lady who was an advocate for the disabled. No one ever mentions that she was a socialist who advocated mightily for the poor.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
    • J R Brown

      I don't know why her being a socialist is something to be ashamed of anymore...it seems to be getting mainstream acceptance in America these days

      December 1, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
      • lagergeld

        Perhaps if people weren't uneducated (or miseducated) about what Socialism is (actually she was a card-carrying Communist), they may understand the issue. You certainly aren't going to be educated on the matter if you rely on campus or media pinkos. You need to take the initiative and read on your own.

        Due to the media, people interpet Socialism as being welfare state capitalism. It isn't. It also extends deeply into culture, family structure, and social relations. Marxism and its offshoots are all-encompassing. Think of a secular liberal version of Islamic law. Islamic law reaches into every aspect of social relations, as does Socialism/Marxism. The only difference being that pinkos and Reds don't threaten you with hellfire if you don't wipe your hiney properly.

        December 1, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Judith

      Helen Keller a "Sweet, Blind Lady"? Well you got the blind part right: However Helen Keller was fiesty, blunt and often rude. She did not become the Helen we know and love by being sweet, she got there by strong willed, detemined and not letting anybody tell her she could not do something. I know what drove Helen because I was born with Congenital Rubella, though I have only partial loss of sight and hearing. Like her I lived most of my life being told that I could not do things and although I achived a lot as I am a retired registered nurse in General, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities nursing: However had my confidence not been shaken and leave me with some self doubt, I would have gone straight into law rather than waiting until I was two days short of fifty before qualifying as a lawyer.

      Like Rosa Parks I have always considered that what you do for your community, rather than how much you pay in tax (Which I have paid a few hundred thousand dollars), shows your real worth to society and much of my 61,000+ hours of vomuntary work has been to enable people to stop relying on the state and work which makes them independant.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
    • e

      Her political views are well known and not secret in any way.

      December 1, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  85. italia

    While I admire your profession as a professional historian and your viewpoint is to be considered, I ask only one thing. Please do not TELL us how to view Rosa Parks and/or her place in history. We know how to view Ms. Parks in her totality as an African American female who lived as most of us did as descendents of our forebears through one of the most brutal times in American history. I think we know a little more about that through experience than you do Ms. McGuire and we know how to view our heroines and heros. I don't mean to be rude, but we do not need a white woman telling us how to view Ms. Parks. I personally find that very offensive. It would be as if we told you how to view Eleanor Roosevelt, who could be characterized with all of her accomplishments as being a weak woman who chose to stay with a philandering husband rather than strike out on her own as any black woman would have done.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • karengautney

      If you have a theory about how we should view Eleanor Roosevelt, please write an essay and get it published. I will take it into account, but I won't perceive it as you "telling me what to think" any more than I think this essay "tells me what to think." It's a well reasoned opinion by a respected historian. That is all. Please pass that on to the massive chip on your shoulder.

      December 1, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Frank Y

      So.. wait.. was she black or african American? I get confused.. what do you call a black person in China, for example African-Chinese?

      December 1, 2012 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
      • jack paulden

        Good Point....a more correct description could be, "A brave woman of African descent"! This is the United States (of) America the continent....Not United States (is) America....so you could also add, A brave woman of African Descent whose ancestors were kidnapped for slavery by White Christians. According to Howard Zinn's writings the suggestion to kidnap and enslave Africans was suggested by a Catholic priest or bishop who was raping children in South America.

        December 1, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
      • Keshalaws

        It is okay to be confused as a lot of people who refuse to put logic first tend to do. Black is a race, African American is a nationality. As in, Naomi Campbell is Black but not an African America because she is British.So the answer to your question is, yes!

        December 1, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
      • T Lig

        Frank Y,….what do you call a black person in China? The same that you would call a black person in France. A NIGERIAN, or a KENYAN, or an ETHIOPIAN, or a SOUTH AFRICAN, …etc. The difference is they knew where they are from and have pride in their heritage. We “blacks” in America, because of the atrocities of slavery, (which I’m sure you refuse to even research or acknowledge), were stripped of all heritage. (Not to mention stripped naked to be whipped and raped.) The children were separated from their parents before they could even be taught any of their heritage.
        I don’t want to persist with such a negative reply, but the first step for us ALL to move forward is to stop denying what has happened in the past, as well as what is still happening in the present. If we only viewed ourselves as “blacks”, then our history began on a slave ship from Africa packed in like sardines…. But as “African Americans”, then we can take pride in descending from mighty kings and warriors such as Zaka Zulu, etc. Yes, you are “confused”, but so are some of us. That’s why some of us call ourselves by the same “N” word that the oppressors called us. But the majority of us take pride in who we are. (Not to mention, Whose we are…) And that is what has enabled us to overcome everything from slavery, to Jim Crow, and being forced to sit in the BACK OF THE BUS!

        December 1, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
      • pazke

        T Lig! Awesome post! 🙂

        December 1, 2012 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      So LCSW, white Americans can't inform other Americans about MLK? Does this mean that a black American history professor/teacher shouldn't teach about George Washington or the other Founders?

      December 1, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
    • chill

      History is history, who cares about the race or the ethnicity of the writer? as long as the essay is based on the facts, we can all learn somthing. I am a Chinese, and if you know something about my culture, I would be more than happy to learn from you and your perspective. No matter who tells the story, the more we learn about each other, and listen to one another, the more we can be more understanding and compassionate toward one another.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
      • Har Har

        There will never be compassion. Just finger pointing. The key is not compassion it's acceptance and tolerance. Human nature and natural instinct can be observed on any playground. Races will huddle with the same races before racism is even learned of. Same thing happens in nature all around us. Again, the key is acceptance and tolerance.

        December 1, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
    • lagergeld

      I'm sorry but if you think a segregated potty chair was the most "brutal time in American history," I have an iceberg in Florida to sell you.

      The problem with the author's presentation of Parks is that she intentionally sanitizes the history. She leaves out that Parks was a well-known Marxist agitator and her membership in the Communist Party was her motivation in doing what she was doing. She and her comrades wanted to initiate the Red Terror in this country.

      Rosa Parks was no hero, she was a butcher-in-waiting and that is no exaggeration.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • Deanna

        Im young and I know that but I think I have a right to answer. I have friends of all races white, spanish, chinese, italian, indian etc but when we hang out together there is race we r just ppl.We just come together as one race maybe we r all black or all white the point is we work together and defend each other. Im mean just from these post we seem so divided. so go on a trip around america or around the world and learn that we r all human not one of us are barbaric creatures we r all people. And reading these comments scares me Im only 14 is this the America that I live in? Its ppl like you who cut down and destroy my history and I won't let you. grown up look around you its 2012 and black ppl are here to stay. What rosa parks did in her past is in the past everyone makes a mistake but that day she sat on the seat she shows them that we r not your slaves anymore that I have a voice and Im gonna use it . so dont insult her for speaking up like you are about ur opinions. word of advice if a teenage girl is more tolerant and educated then an adult like u there is a serious problem.

        December 9, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  86. Rich

    A great lady...

    December 1, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Its Bubba

      What do you mean...She's an Awesome Lady...Stood her Ground and Voiced her postion without fear...Integrity my friend...
      I wish I was their with you Rosa Park at that time... I would sit with you anywhere on the bus

      Its Bubba

      December 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • lagergeld

      Great at being a Communist Party agitator, you're right. Just imagine had she gotten her way and we'd have a Red Terror in this country. I don't think you'd be singing praises like media-fed livestock.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  87. nytw

    Why do liberals have to hate everyone and everything American?

    December 1, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • wombattesting

      Wasn't Rosa Parks an American?

      December 1, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
    • J R Brown

      George Washington owning slaves was in every history book I had in school...what schools did you attend?
      George Washington having extremely large holdings in the hemp market was also in the history books.

      Since liberals are generally in control of our public education establishments, maybe you should be asking liberals and not conservatives why our educational system is now so "whitewashed".

      December 1, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • e

      Actually George Washington did not own slaves, Martha did. He used their services but had no legal ownership.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • e

      Who in this article is not American?
      You realize descendants of slaves have been American longer than most white people? They are more American than all of the people who came into Ellis Island.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
      • lagergeld

        Hi, e. Two things:

        1) Rosa Parks was a Marxist agitator.
        2) If most white Americans haven't been here as long as slaves, why are all white Americans told to pay reparations?

        December 1, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  88. jonnyg

    There is no point in stirring the race pot daily in the liberal media, unless it's to keep relations between the races from getting better. That would seem to be the motivation with liberals

    December 1, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  89. Angela

    It is enormously interesting to find out more about Rosa Parks – and I am sure many already have. But it is no question of freeing anyone from the bus or any such glimmick presentation. Can we just be adults about our approach to history? Someone is famous for one outstanding courageous act. Naturally this is a person of substance. Let's find out about that substance. This kind of presentation is heavy with undergraduate breathlessness.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Manoti Tietie

      Just to agree with you, Angela. This professor of history just found out that there is something about Rosa Parks' activist life that she did not know, and she, apparently, assumes that other people, including those that she contemptuously labels "eulogists" of the Civil Rights icon, did not know it either. I do not envy her students one bit.

      December 1, 2012 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
    • lagergeld

      Let's indeed discuss this "person of substance." She was a known Marxist agitator and all of her actions were based on this ideological foundation. Why is this not discussed? She and her comrades wanted to unleash the Red Terror in this country. Why is this not discussed?

      I think it is clear why: The media leans left and wants to cast her as a heroine, and to do that, they have to lie whole-cloth about her.

      December 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  90. D. Franklin Estes

    After reading posting by Tyrone, Kevin and J,it becomes apparent we as a society haven't advanced much in terms of gender and racial equality since the days of Rosa Parks.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • jonnyg

      That is exactly what the liberal media wants you to think, whether it's true or not doesn't matter to them as long as they have enough stooges to believe it their pot stirring

      December 1, 2012 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  91. Taleigha Burroughs

    It's a fact. It's like a melting pot. One drop of Irish, Cherokee, Norwegian, African and German. Rarely you'll meet someone who is 100% pure of 1 nationality. Ask around – "Are you within 1 nationality?" You'll get more no's more than a yes.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Will S

      Race nationality.

      December 1, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  92. NHop

    These revelations cause me to admire Rosa Parks even more. What a woman!

    December 1, 2012 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  93. Markisamoron


    December 1, 2012 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  94. jackson

    was she a champion for ladies moustaches? Look at that, better than Groucho Marx' stache.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  95. Taleigha Burroughs

    Well, in this society, light skinned black people can be mixed with other races, not just white.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  96. Crystal

    It's great to learn more about Rosa Parks life. Thank You.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Humberto

      How much did Rosa Parks make on this article. ?

      December 1, 2012 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  97. Amaurys

    Nice article. However I think your missing one BIG point. Yes she admired,Marcus,and Malcolm,but her ACTIONS manifested in the NON VIOLENCE movement that lead the way for righteousness to conquer evil.

    I have seen a trend in the past 20 years to somehow compare the African American civil rights movement to others. There is NO comparison. Slavery was the rawest form of evil.

    December 1, 2012 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  98. Courtney

    great article...so often history is romanticized because that version is easier to digest. America isn't perfect but I believe its' generally headed in the right direction...No person nor country is perfect.

    December 1, 2012 at 6:59 am | Report abuse |
  99. phil swinford

    The textbook and the myth wind up offering one dimensional images of nearly all of us. There is always a before and an after to "defining moments". The mug shot is as important as the "tired feet". Maybe more so. Thanks for offering more flesh and blood to the story of Ms. Parks.

    December 1, 2012 at 6:57 am | Report abuse |
  100. J

    Lets see if we can shoehorn Rosa Parks in to global warming pet causes too.

    December 1, 2012 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Call Me Crazy

      Give them time, they will find a way.

      December 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
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