The Sanitizing of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks
There is no question that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great orator and an We all know about Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat. Rosa Parks was a leader in the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott, which demonstrated Martin Luther King, Jr., was elected its president and Rosa Parks served on the .. The same year, he became director of industrial relations for the St. Paul . and Uganda, conferring with African leaders and providing advice on civil. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Alabama at Leona McCauley's advice to “take advantage of the opportunities, no matter The couple joined the local chapter of the NAACP and worked quietly for.
A couple years later, the SDLC delivers a petition with three million names on it. No action from Congress. Throughout the s, people are trying to get Congress to act.
I think a couple things happened. One, in trying to convince Congress, what you see is the images of King are getting more universalized. And he comes to see the idea of signing the bill for the King holiday as useful to show kind of how progressive he is.
Right, and so this, I think, is a signal moment in terms of the realization, right? These kinds of things. And, I think, the change is he starts to see how this could be politically useful for him, and we start to see in the language that he uses this mythology about how the civil Rights movement, in many ways, proves how great America is. Or, so this idea that I talk about in my new book, of America as a kind of self-cleaning oven. And I think we see a similar thing with Rosa Parks.
Both in the national funeral rehab for Rosa Parks following her death inless than two months after Hurricane Katrina, right? Why do we have a national funeral for Rosa Parks? Look, look who we are! This woman who was denied a seat on the bus! And that reaches this apex with the election of Barack Obama.
And that this is the dream being fulfilled.
It is excruciatingly hard to act in the moment. I mean I think we saw that a few months ago. What did take to the Pope?
Inspired by Rosa Parks
An extraordinarily gorgeous present. I would like to take that to the Pope, too. Right, so, the ways that it becomes politically useful to sort of say, look at the civil rights movement. He just seems to be doing great things. You know Trump, Trump brings up, you know, Frederick Douglass out of nowhere and clearly has no concept of who Frederick Douglass was or his writings. And yet, you know, once again using it as — I mean, he fumbled it tremendously there, to talk like Trump.
But still he was, he learned that tactic.The True Stories Of MLK, Rosa Parks, And Muhammad Ali - AJ+
So, this, from Reagan to Bush one to Bush two to Clinton to Obama to Trump, right, the use of the civil rights movement is kind of over and over taken on a way of making, of kind of elevating kind of our sense of selves and not taken seriously as what does it actually ask of us today.
And, in many ways, what I try to do in the book is sort of get us past this fable. To a much more sober and fuller history and kind of what that shows us, right? When you look at sort of, again, what people would do in this city, in New York City, around school over and over and over and over and over and over and over, we never get comprehensive desegregation in New York City ever.
Brian Stephen talks to us about how history needs to make us feel uncomfortable. I was just curious about the, you know, what is beneath it. You know, she had been a communist and then ultimately became an anarchist, pacifist, Catholic. George Bush cited her in a speech she gave it at Notre Dame, you know, because she said a lot of catchy things.
And it sounds, oh, it sounds good, this saintly woman. She was a militant! So one of the one of the things that made me crazy, last summer, as the protests after Philando Castile and Alton Sterling were killed by police and we see this upsurge of protests all around the country. King would never take a freeway. What do you think the Selma to Montgomery march is? This is what the civil rights movement was.
It was, it was meant to disrupt civic life, government life, commercial life. What it means is understanding that US domestic and foreign policy are linked. What it means is calling out not just sort of southern conservatives but northern liberals.
What it means is making a moral and religious witness against racism and poverty and the interlinkages between those two in the United States.
What it means is getting arrested over and over and over, thirty times, right? What it means is having to call out your allies.
What it means is using a whole variety of strategies that people call violent, that are actually disruptive. I mean this is a country filled with people who sit on their couch during the national anthem munching on nachos and eating junk food during the play of the national anthem and only seem to care about it when black people are doing it.
I think to really look at ourselves, right, is a much harder thing. And I think one of the ways that the civil rights movement becomes so like useful in the ether, right, is that it allows us not to look at ourselves.
This fable of the civil rights movement and not the actual civil rights movement.
But he is talking about sort of that the United States has lost its way. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. So that I think that King, but that King demands something of us, right?
Whereas like cuddly parade balloon King just only is like, you know, happy and cheerful and like just bobbing along with us. And seems to just be like: The need for reparations.
Rosa Parks - Academy of Achievement
The need for material redress for what has happened, right? You know that America signed a promissory note to black people and that they have, and we have defaulted on that and therefore people are there to collect that.
You have Trump putting, you know, overt white supremacists in key positions in the White House. Trump himself, really encouraging and enabling and emboldening really vile elements of society. But in a way, those elements are more reflective of the history of white people in this country than sort of the allies are. So what that means to be Rosa Parks in the s, or Rosa Parks in the s. And then we might think about abolitionists inright? I mean is a horrible moment in this country in terms of the kind of re-upping of slavery, right?
So, so the danger I think, and one of the things for me about this history, is to not exceptionalize this moment, and to see that partly we stand on the shoulders of people who have been huge long distance runners, right? And the need to be a long distance runner.
- Standing Up For Freedom
And the continuities of, sort of, many of the people we admire and the kind of way that they summoned a courage over many years and many decades.
This is sort of parenthetical, but there is this sort of rehabilitation going on among some Democratic pundits and activists and others to rehabilitate the image of George W.
Of course race was at the center of how he responded to Katrina. But you have this kind of Russia stuff has united the neocons with the Hillary Clinton Democrats, in many ways, and part of it is the rehabilitation of George W.
Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks by Becky Smith on Prezi
And I find that utterly despicable given what Bush did. So that people can both be — and our ideas of racism, Right? Which has been so, and again in my new book, I talk about this phenomenon of kind of that we need to get beyond this idea of redneck racism or this kind of, that most racists were polite.
They used political means, bureaucratic means, discursive means, sociological means, and to understand. Or just right, like George Bush … Certainly he was more polite at moments, right? Certainly he understood a certain sense of responsibility of what it meant to be president.
The injustice inspired civil rights activists to boycott the city's buses for more than a year, until finally the city repealed the law. In the years since that act of defiance, Rosa Parks touched the lives of countless citizens and fellow civil rights supporters. Some of us were inspired from afar, while others proudly met Parks and worked alongside her in the struggle for equal rights for all Americans. For many, it was an experience so unforgettable that it even made its way into their obituaries.
Today, we honor Rosa Parks by meeting some of the people whose lives she forever changed. Civil rights activist Johnnie Carr didn't have to look far to find her Rosa Parks inspiration: She and Parks were childhood friends, and like Parks, Carr became an integral part of the civil rights movement.
Zelma with her 3 young children, participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for days.
She marched with Martin Luther King many miles in her efforts to gain equality for all. Vera was instrumental with the bus boycott, in Montgomery Alabama, working closely with Rosa Parks. Having met Rosa Parks at Montgomery Fair, Rosa was a seamstress there and Vera operated the elevator, she was familiar with both sides of the boycott movement.
Willie Barrow spent decades on the front lines of the civil rights movement. Known as the "little warrior," she was an advocate for issues ranging from women's rights to AIDS awareness.