Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Rosa Parks what now?

Rosa Parks was a Civil Rights icon, and people gathered all around the country to commemorate her life today. And that's great, but I just wonder if they couldn't have come up with a name for the event that was a little less, well, confusing...
''We're trying to make sure that young people begin to carry the mantle of Rosa Parks, that they start to see hope and start to stand for dignity," said Tony Van Der Meer, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Van Der Meer is co-organizer of the Rosa Parks National Day of Absence Against Poverty, Racism, and War, which is leading a rally and march from Dudley Square to Boston City Hall. ''We can only teach them by action."
Huh? Is the "absence" in the title meant to refer to the fact that Parks is gone, or are we talking about the participants being absent from their jobs and/or schools?

It seems I'm not the only one who's confused about how to celebrate Parks' legacy, either:
No one can agree on the right way to memorialize Parks, said Darnell Williams, president of the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. ''We really have to find what is the most strident way that her legacy will be not only remembered, but implemented in our time," said Williams, who plans to spend the day trying to raise more money for youth programs. ''Pointing a finger and name-calling is not what Rosa Parks did. Rosa Parks made a statement with her quiet stature and demeanor and sparked a revolution."
Um, maybe it's just me, but stridency seems a bit incongruous with a tribute befitting Parks' "quiet stature and demeanor," no?

No comments: