Would Rosa Parks support Black Lives Matter? | The Tylt
Would Rosa Parks support Black Lives Matter?
Zeba Blay argues in Huffington Post that many people misremember the legacy of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. While some view the Civil Rights movement as the perfect example of peaceful protest, the reality is it was disruptive and often violent. The Civil Rights leaders of the 1950s and 1960s were treated in the same way Black Lives Matter activists are treated today, and Parks would undoubtedly have supported the BLM movement were she still alive.
Parks has become one of the great, mythic figures of the Civil Rights era ― a kind of sanctified figure who feels worlds away from the current, volatile era of social justice. But she isn’t... People believe #BlackLivesMatter has failed and will fail to replicate the successes of the Civil Rights era because its overriding message is one of frustration, not “peace and love.” But this perception of the 1960s Civil Rights era as “respectable” and #BlackLivesMatter as disruptive is far too simplistic, disregarding the nuances of both movements.
Parks was a deemed "radical" in her day just like many deem BLM activists and kneeling NFL players as "radical" today. The Black Lives Matter is just an extension of what the Civil Rights movement started, and they share the same goal: racial justice for all. To change the status quo is to disrupt the current order.
Parks was not passive, she was not meek. Indeed, the incident marked the second time she had been kicked off the bus, by the same driver, in a time when these kinds of public protests were not only frowned upon, but incredibly dangerous. Parks was defiant, she was inconvenient, she was disruptive.
But others argue Black Lives Matter has no right to claim Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. as "radicals" when they had such different approaches to protest. Alveda King has argued that to downplay her uncle's commitment to peaceful, civil disobedience is wrong, and his legacy shouldn't be used to justify bad behavior today.
Civil rights hero Martin Luther King Jr. famously pursued equality through peaceful protest, but many 21st century activists have said they want to "reclaim" him under a different image: as a forceful "radical."
King's niece, the activist, author and Fox News contributor Alveda King, said protesters should not push his civil disobedience successes into the background. "Let's discuss racism from a peace with justice perspective," she tweeted ahead of Martin Luther King Day.
Many still argue there is no way Rosa Parks would support the Black Lives Matter movement of today.
62 years ago today, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, and unofficially started the Civil Rights movement. She stood her ground without using violence, rioting, looting local businesses, or disrespecting her country. That's a true American. Take notes.
No matter what people do for civil rights, it's always the wrong way to go about it. Always. Rosa Parks, I mean gosh she started something but she shouldn't have made a scene. Black Lives Matter? It raised awareness but gosh, wasn't that marching disorderly? https://t.co/rc8JNgV2dO