"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Sunday, November 06, 2005

From Icon to Pawn

Having watched a good chunk of the Rosa Parks funeral service on CSPAN one particular observation bubbled to the surface. All of the "public service" eulogizers struck me as opportunists rather than mourners. One after another they took to the podium to deliver canned speeches, most or all mentioning the famous bus event igniting the Civil Rights Movement. There were the two democratic senators from Michigan, the democratic governor of Michigan, Bill and Hillary, Sen. Barak Obama (D-Ill) and others. Of course the Supreme Justice of the Court of Opportunism--Jesse Jackson--was there too.

An undeniable fact in winning a close political race as a democrat is to "get out the black vote." The aforementioned eulogizers seemed not to have any personal relationship with Rosa Parks otherwise they would have reminisced a bit. One can't help to think that appearing at her funeral was nothing more than pandering to a constituency without having to buy air time. Building up political capital for the "next race." This goes for President Bush as well. It's likely his handlers too stressed the importance of honoring "Mother" Parks. If they really wanted to honor her, certainly some of these politicians would have respectfully passed on speaking at her funeral, to allow time for her real friends and family an opportunity to reflect on her life.

I think if I would have met Rosa Parks I would have liked her. I certainly didn't learn anything about her watching her funeral.


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