Saturday, October 29, 2005

An Unique Honor

By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press Writer Sat Oct 29, 1:43 AM ET
WASHINGTON - In death, Rosa Parks is joining a select few, including presidents and war heroes, accorded a public viewing in the Capitol Rotunda. It's the place where, six years ago, President Clinton and congressional leaders lauded the former seamstress for a simple act of defiance that changed the course of race relations.

On Sunday, Parks becomes the first woman to lie in honor in the vast circular room under the Capitol dome.

I haven't said much about this story this week (too focused on celebrating), but the story we were taught back in high school was not the way this deal went down, and when I think about how it went down, and how much more heroic her actions were, it angers me that the truth was hidden.

Rosa Parks was a seamstress, sure. And yes, she was coming home from a long day's work. But she also had been bullied by the same bus driver on the same bus route years earlier, and this time, not only did she refuse to obey an unjust law, but she stood up to the bullies around her.

You have to admire that kind of gumption. Now, I'm sure she felt support from her NAACP brethren helped give her the courage she needed, but she couldn't know whether she'd be shot or lynched on the spot.

Courageous woman. We need more like her.