Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks, 92

Dear Mrs. Parks,

I am not your countryman, so several people will think it pretentious of me to be writing to you when we have so many other heroes. But it doesn't matter, because I think you're too big a hero for just one country. You're a hero for the world.

When you refused to be bullied around that December of 1955, did you have heroism on your mind? I don't think you did. You were tired and your feet were sore. All you wanted was to get home. And here come these men telling you to move to the back of the bus. I can imagine the indignity!

But you're a hero to me because you calmly stuck to your guns. Your three other seatmates, not wanting any trouble, shuffled along as they were told. You didn't. You didn't start a scene, but you didn't budge either.

And what did they do to you? They arrested you and they fined you $14. What would they call it in my time and in my country? "Upholding the rule of law." Yes, that's it. Upholding the rule of law.

Mrs. Parks, you're a hero because you refused to budge. And you're a hero because you did so in a calm manner. You're a hero because you stood up for your rights. There are folks just like you down where I live, though I wish there could be more.

Vaya con Dios, ma'am.

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