Saturday, December 2, 2017

Rosa Parks, President Donald Trump and the power of nonviolence.

Rosa Parks and the power of a nonviolent moment

Before the 1960 lunch counter sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. there was Rosa Parks.  On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama sitting in the back of the bus [the area reserved for African Americans during Segregation] the "white" section having been filled to capacity with a white man standing the bus driver told Rosa Parks to stand up and give her seat to him.

She said "no."

Rosa Parks refused and a nonviolent moment that would generate a movement that would tear down legal segregation was mobilized. She was arrested, finger printed, photographed, jailed and fined $14 dollars for refusing to give up her seat.

Rosa Parks and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Her nonviolent action created a nonviolent moment that brought Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. into the movement and mobilized young men such as John Lewis.

Both Rosa Parks and John Lewis would live out full lives dedicated to civil rights and public service. John Lewis is currently a U.S. Congressman. Sadly, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

Coretta Scott King watches as President Reagan signs MLK Day into law

But his death, in defense of civil rights, decades later in 1983 led Ronald Reagan to declare a public holiday in King's name.  Today, President Trump on the 62nd anniversary of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat, honored her memory and the good that she has done for the United States.

This is the power of nonviolence and its capacity for good, decades after the initial action.

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