Thursday, October 27, 2005

Rosa Parks And History

by Thomas Sowell - Oct 27, 2005 -
The death of Rosa Parks has reminded us of her place in history, as the black woman whose refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, in accordance with the Jim Crow laws of Alabama, became the spark that ignited the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.

Most people do not know the rest of the story, however. Why was there racially segregated seating on public transportation in the first place? "Racism" some will say -- and there was certainly plenty of racism in the South, going back for centuries. But racially segregated seating on streetcars and buses in the South did not go back for centuries.

The most important point made in this article is that racist practices were not instituted by a majority of whites, but by a political plurality. Few people are aware that private bus systems in the South remained integrated long after the laws for segregation were passed. The political dialog about race that has resulted in African-Americans being so virulently anti-Republican are in many cases based on a lack of information about the true history of who passed the Jim Crow laws.


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