More comments from Fark
2004-12-06 06:39:15 PM
I think what monster87 is expressing his disillusionment to the mythos of Rosa Parks. In school we weren't taught such a blindly obvious applicable piece of information like that she was a member of the NAACP. We aren't taught an image of a politically active woman. We are taught the image of a much simpler but determined woman who out of nowhere suddenly got fed up and changed the world. The iconic story is about an any-woman, how anybody could change the world given a just cause and deterimination.Of course the fact she was politically active prior was never _hidden_, but for some reason it is commonly omitted. You can't help but think it's to help support that pop image of her. It does affect her 'icon' status, on a personal level, to be disillusioned in such a way.Especially when you consider that the NAACP in the region may have already been considering a bus boycott, her personal act, while still important, doesn't have that same air of mystery and magnitude. It seems plausible that it was orchestrated to put things into motion. That's -definitely- not the kind of Rosa Parks that has been iconified.Also, lawyers suing over the use of her name for billions? What the? That's pathetic. How are we eventually going to stand up to these lawyers? Boycott law? Hrmm.
I think the fact that she was active in the civil rights movement beforehand makes her story even stronger, because it makes it more of a guiding point for us who do want to be politically active. The idea that you just go along cow like and maybe at the right moment get fed up is a charming myth, but if you actually want political change, you're going to have to work for it. I'm not saying I'm miss political action of the year, but the whole myth that has been built up around the civil rights movement and other movements that one or two people did one thing and everything changed is a pretty destructive mind set.
It's almost as bad as the mindset that says a right once granted can never be taken away. Basically I think both of these myths make us sort of passive, sort of 'well, everything's fine" and that's not the way we need to be. I read about and see people trying to make revolution everyday.
I'm reading No More Prisons and the author is like "You know what? I'm hitchhiking cross the country, I'm walking in the country's ghettos" and that's a revolutionary act- to be able to face your fear and say to others "there is not so much to be afraid of in this world as we suppose". That is a valuable lesson, I guess. Although I still get the heebie jeebies if someone walks behind me...