Archive for Thursday, December 7, 2017

Opinion: Take Rosa Parks’ name out of Trump’s mouth

December 7, 2017

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Here comes the most meaningless sentence you’ll read today: Last week, Donald Trump paid tribute to Rosa Parks.

It’s meaningless because Trump obviously has no real idea what Parks did or what it meant. If he did, he could never have cursed Colin Kaepernick.

Oh, sure, he can mouth the words, as he did in the slick video posted online Saturday. To the accompaniment of swelling music and historical images, Trump narrated Parks’ famous act of defiance 62 Decembers ago, her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white man after the “white” section of the bus became full.

Her arrest ignited the 381-day Montgomery Bus Boycott, the first act of the Civil Rights Movement, and brought to prominence a 26-year-old preacher named Martin Luther King Jr. And yes, Trump spoke truly when he lauded Parks for bravery and a legacy that inspires. But given the source, that praise could not have been emptier.

You cannot truly understand Parks’ legacy or appreciate her bravery and still declare, as he did in September, that NFL owners should say “Get that son of a (expletive) off the field” if a player follows Kaepernick’s lead and kneels during the national anthem. This is not to equate the athlete and the seamstress; her impact obviously dwarfs his — at least, thus far. But it is to say that, in terms of motive, method and reaction, there is little substantive difference between the two.

It’s important to remember that it wasn’t just the indignity of being told to surrender her seat that made Parks say no that day. Rather, it was also decades of living with white people’s abuse, exploitation and violence under a system that assumed, as a matter of policy, that she was filthy, ignorant and unworthy. Which is not fundamentally different from Kaepernick’s frustration with police brutality that kill and wound black people while the courts do nothing.

Yes, his protest is often called unpatriotic and offensive. The same was said of Parks’ protest. Not incidentally, she broke the law; he didn’t. And as Kaepernick is called names and threatened by outraged white people, so was she.

Parks once said she refused to stand because she was “tired of taking it.” The things that made her tired were in plain sight, as obvious as a “Whites Only” sign. Yet, they were invisible to most white people.

Sixty-two years later, we can all easily see the things that fatigued her and other black people back then. We marvel that there was ever a time some of us could not. And Parks, 12 years dead, is unthreatening enough to be “honored” by a Donald Trump.

Well, this is the same Trump who has led the metaphorical lynch mob against black athletes for doing essentially what Parks and her generation did. Moreover, he’s the same Trump who retweets white supremacists and Islamophobes, the one who found moral equivalence between neo-Nazis and those who protested them.

So this “honor” is cynical, hypocritical and deeply insulting to the memory of a great woman. Trump needs to take Rosa Parks’ name out of his lying mouth. He sullies it by speaking it.

Meantime, that football player Trump loathes risked his livelihood because he got tired of “taking” the brutalization of black people. He has faced condemnation and threat for demanding that all of us see what some of us refuse to. Like the seamstress on the bus six decades ago, Colin Kaepernick has ignited a generation because he decided he literally would not stand for it anymore.

He honors Rosa Parks more meaningfully than Donald Trump ever could.

— Leonard Pitts is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Miami Herald.

Comments

Steve Hicks 1 week ago

Never mind Rosa Parks' name: Trump has no business mouthing Jesus' name...unless he decides to repent (there's always hope).

Somebody said it well: "Trump may not be the anti-Christ, but Christ is definitely the anti-Trump."

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 1 week ago

Trump is a hypocrite. He "honors" code talkers in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, the "Indian Killer". Then he insults a senator. Then he puts sacred Native land up for grabs by removing their status as national parks. There are plenty of times that he has shown his racism and bigotry, but his supporters just ignore it. He just doesn't seem to be that charismatic to me, so my only thought is his supporters are bigots too. What other conclusion is there?

Steve Hicks 6 days, 23 hours ago

Democrats honor Jackson as a founder of their party. They don't revere him for his hatred of Indians and blacks.

That's pretty much the position you've recently said is right in honoring the Founding Fathers, and Confederate "heroes," in spite of their being slave-owners, isn't it ?

It's almost like you're arguing that what you consider the right thing to do, is wrong if Democrats do it. But that would be partisan hypocrisy, wouldn't it, BS ?

Quick American history lesson, BS. Democrats believed in Indian-removal and black-slavery when they were founded. In the past 150 years, their principles have changed 180 degrees.

Republicans believed in America's survival, and equality in America society, when they were founded. In the past 150 years, Republicans too have changed their principles 180 degrees.

Bob Smith 6 days, 6 hours ago

"...That's pretty much the position you've recently said is right in honoring the Founding Fathers, and Confederate "heroes," in spite of their being slave-owners, isn't it ?..." Citation, please? I don't recall stating that position.

Steve Hicks 5 days, 21 hours ago

LOL. As if either of us has time to go back and read all your posts of the past few months.

Easily determined, however. Do you think. BS, that Founding Fathers, and Confederate "heroes," should be honored in spite of their being slave-owners ? Or not ?

Steve Hicks 4 days, 22 hours ago

BS...you still there ? Somebody using your name is still making comments on other threads.

So do you think Founding Fathers, and Confederate "heroes," should be honored even though they were slave-owners...or not ?

Steve Hicks 3 days, 14 hours ago

You there, BS ? Still waiting for your answer, please.

It's a simple question: do you believe we should honor Founding Fathers, and Confederate "heroes," even though they were slave-owners...or not ?

Steve Hicks 1 day, 15 hours ago

You there, BS ?

Simple "yes/no" question: can you handle it, BS ?

Helo...? BS...?

Steve Hicks 20 hours, 45 minutes ago

BS...this is the second CONCURRENT simple "yes" / "no" question you can't, or won't, answer.

There have been others (remember a couple weeks ago: "was it GOOD for America that legally-elected President Nixon had to leave office ?").

Should we take these strange silences as your tacit admission you don't really know anything about topics you pontificate about, on a WIDE range of subjects ?

If that's NOT what you mean by your silences, BS, just say so.

Steve Hicks 6 days, 22 hours ago

Poor dear BS...I clearly said disregard ("Never mind") Pitts' comments. So you of course think that shows I'm chiming in to agree with Pitts' comment.

Poor dear BS. We know that logic thing, and the focus thing, and (most of all) that honesty thing, tend to throw you when you venture into objective reality.

Keep trying, BS. We know you can do it. We're all rooting for you.

Ray Mizumura 6 days, 14 hours ago

I'll chime in to agree with everything that LP says here.

Ray Mizumura 6 days, 14 hours ago

Nice use of the word "boy" for a black man. I'd like to see you say it to Pitts's face, or to the face of any other black man. Coming from someone whose avatar carries the shade of Trump's face, your comment matches his idiocy to a "t."

Bob Smith 6 days, 6 hours ago

There are posters on this very site that use "boy" to describe people they disagree with. Of course, since they are on the port side of the aisle, that doesn't matter to you.

Ray Mizumura 5 days, 18 hours ago

If someone on these boards refers to Ben Carson, for example, as "boy," I will say something about it, and I don't give a damn what side of the aisle they're from. Based on JH's usual bile on these boards, and based on the fact that Leonard Pitts is black, calling him "boy" is just plain wrong. Of course, that doesn't matter to you.

Gary Stussie 6 days, 18 hours ago

Take Leonard Pitts Hate-Filled Crap Out of Lawrence Journal World!

Ray Mizumura 6 days, 14 hours ago

Just as soon as we remove the hate-filled crap from the Oval Office, we'll think about that, Gary.

Steve Hicks 6 days, 16 hours ago

Justin...Gary...you realize that wise people listen to what their "enemies" (that's your first mis-perception) say...because sometimes "enemies" tell you the truth, and it's always GOOD to know the truth ?

Or you can think like a "conservative."

That's a sad, stupid way to live, guys. You can do better.

Anything's better.

Gary Stussie 6 days, 15 hours ago

Pitts is not my enemy ... he is just a hate filled liberal trying to stay relevant!

"think like a conservative ..." or foam at the mouth like a liberal.

Steve ...here is a couple of today's liberal contributions to a strong and united America:

Wednesday morning, as raging fires caused havoc in Southern California, the former “Chelsea Lately” host (Chelsea Handler) hit up Twitter to inform her followers that she was evacuating her home — and to drag President Donald Trump into the conversation.

“Just evacuated my house. It’s like Donald Trump is setting the world on fire. Literally and figuratively,” Handler wrote. “Stay safe everyone. Dark times.”

...or how about

Rep. John Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he is canceling his trip to the new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum because he doesn't want to share a stage with President Trump.

Ironic that HRC's butt kicking so clearly identified the real "basket of deplorables".

Ray Mizumura 6 days, 14 hours ago

Yeah, Chelsea Handler and John Lewis, their takes on Trump are one and the same. A celebrity takes a shot at Prez on Twitter (don't see you whining when Trump throws fits on social media, Gary) and that's just exactly like the dissent by a civil rights leader who has won the Dole Leadership Prize, and who had his head literally busted open during the march on Selma. Comments like yours prove that Pitts goes way, way too easy on the President and his followers.

Gary Stussie 1 day, 14 hours ago

Is that the same civil rights leader who just resigned from Congress for using taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual harassment suit?

Steve Hicks 3 days, 14 hours ago

Hello ?....Gary ? Waiting for your answer.

Does honest consideration of evil in our current society bear out your contention that it all comes down to "liberals" and "conservatives" ? Or not ?

Steve Hicks 1 day, 15 hours ago

Hello...Gary ? You there ?

Wanna give us your irrefutable proof that all reality comes down to the difference between "liberals" and "conservatives" ?

If you can't, that pretty conclusively shows there's no such proof, doesn't it ?

Want to prove otherwise, Gary ?

Gary Stussie 1 day, 14 hours ago

Trump backs the police, he is a racist ... Trump tries to get immigration under control, he's a racist. Trump wants border control, he's a racist. He gets the economy moving and makes jobs available, he's a racist. Now he reaches out to the African-American community he is a racist. Appears the only way one can avoid being called a racist is to embrace the liberal agenda. Myself, and apparently 63 M other Americans, had enough of spineless "leadership, fiscal irresponsibility, stifling political correctness and unilateral policy making. We conservatives voted for Trump and are not racists!

Having worked for, and with, the Federal Government from 1965 until last January, I was vigorously opposed to just about everything President Obama did while he was in office.. I was particularly concerned with his withdrawal from IRAQ, his reckless and ineffective deficit spending and most concerned with the politicizing of the Federal Government under his watch ,,, and yet I wrote but two comments in the 8 years he was in office. He was the elected President and I felt it was not my place (in my limited capacity) to make his job any harder. Trump was not my first choice but had it come down to Crooked Clinton or XYZ, it would have been XYZ for me.

You Lefties preach tolerance and it is amazing how little tolerance you ever exercise.

Steve Hicks 20 hours, 28 minutes ago

Uh-huh, Gary, yeah, yeah, I know: "lefties" are the total evil of all reality.

But your opinion (which we've all heard before) is your personal conclusion how reality is: that wasn't the question. I asked what "irrefutable proof" (from the real world, Gary) do you offer to support your opinion ? If your opinion is your personal conclusion how reality is, and how reality works, surely reality shows some evidence of the truth of your opinion ?

Careful, now: the questions get tougher. If you don't have some good real-world evidence for your opinion/conclusion about reality, I'm gonna ask you next to consider there may be a disconnect between your opinion and reality.

But let's take it slow: one step at a time, O.K. ?

Steve Hicks 6 days, 5 hours ago

I put "enemies" in quotes, Gary, to indicate "so-called:" I'm glad you agree that Pitts is not your enemy. It would be a serious misperception to think that every person whose opinion differs from yours is hateful and evil, and deserves to be destroyed, wouldn't it ?

Must say I get some of that sense from your rant against "liberals," though: as if everything comes down to evil "liberals" and righteous "conservatives" (or "them" vs. "us").

It's a false and destructive mindset, Gary. That's because it's not an honest view of reality. And it sets you up to be used by manipulators...for their purposes, not for your good.

But start with the fact that people are not the enemies: that's (literally) gospel. It changes everything else once you realize that evil is the real enemy, and that evil is spiritual...things like lies, arrogance, hatred, selfishness, violence.

Looking honestly at reality, Gary, does a factual consideration of evil support your belief that everything comes down to "liberal" and "conservative" ?

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