Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Rosa Parks, civil rights icon, hailed by Obama

Rosa Parks after her arrest in Montgomery Alabama

President Obama statement on the 55th anniversary of Montgomery Bus Boycott, as provided by the White House

Fifty-five years ago, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus – an act that challenged the moral conscience of an entire nation. 

The Montgomery Bus Boycott marked a turning point in American history – the moment where we began the march toward the Civil Rights Movement and the eventual outlawing of racial segregation and discrimination. 

Rosa Parks and the many other leaders and foot soldiers in that struggle for justice championed our founding principles of freedom and equality for all, and today, as we commemorate the anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, I encourage all Americans to honor their legacy – the legacy of Americans who marched bravely, worked tirelessly, and devoted their lives to the never-ending task of making our country a more perfect union.      ####

Photo: Gene Herrick / Associated Press (The late Rosa Parks after her arrest for refusing to relinquish her seat on a Montgomery bus).

Comments () | Archives (31)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Rosa Parks never refused. It was all part of a plan made by her and white civil rights movement supporters. Was very smart of her.

Dude. She was alone out there in a world of hate. It was no plan, she was through.

i want to thank ms rosa parks for been the leader in an ever changing society. i'm so proud of her. thanks to her we blacks can sit anywhere on the bus and just a fact that she is an pioneer in the bus boycott. i have told my children that thanks to her we can ride the bus and know we only have to give our seats up to the eldery,pregrant people or handicap.

No, Rosa Parks did nothing more than show the African-American population that is okay to refuse to do anything that they are told to do. That includes following the law and obiding by rules that are made. Now you know why the majority of the prisons are populated by them and why so many of them refuse to work and get on welfare. They don't want equality, they want double standards. When will you idiot liberals ever wake up to see this? Also, don't you think it's about time that other races get as much acknowledgement as our little negro population? I am sick and tired of seeing certain groups licking the tails of African-Americans and not giving any attention to Indians, Japanese-Americans, German-Americans, Italian-Americans, etc, etc, etc. Wake up America......seriously.

How racist is this? Get over it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

How long is this going to go on??? I remember the race riots when I was In Da Nang, Vietnam (67-69). The worst in Vietnam. One black sergeant killed three and wounded two--and on--and on-and far as I know--there was no problem until it broke out in the USA. I'm white--an not ashamed...all this race stuff just pisses me off----Hell ---I've had plenty myself....Semper Fi

I am going to put this out there, so all can hate me equally. Rosa is an example of the "exceptionalism" of American and not the exception. If more stood for anything other than compromise we would not be where we are.

John Meadows you are such an idiot, people like you is the reason why this country is still the same way it is. Give honor to where honor is due.

Mr. Meadows, do a little research on civil disobedience and you will find that it means refusal to obey an unjust law but understanding that there are legal consequences.

Learn something about the history of the era, the violence visited upon those who merely acted to secure basic constitutional rights. Learn about how Blacks were treated in Los Angeles 50 years ago by the LAPD. Learn about racial disparities in the criminal (in)justice system and in treatment of children in school.

More about Mrs. Parks and the Montgomery boycott at

I agree with John, yet I have one problem. Anything before the word American. It does not matter where you came from or what color you are, now you are an American. People self-segregate themselves by using these terms. My family immigrated from mexico generations ago, but I am an not a Mexican-American, I AM AN AMERICAN. And damn proud of it. If more people could think this way instead of labeling I feel we would be closer as a country.

Thank you, Rosa Parks for making an effort to further the progression of racial equality in 1955. Rest in peace. Acts of non-violent protests will be the key to achieving social equality.

John Meadows: thanks for the complimentary trolling.

I will not honor him any further by even attempting to dissect his hideously flawed logic( racist rant).

Such a sobering moment of our time. Thank you Ms. Parks, your commitment to justice and equality paved the way for our freedom as African Americans. We are still engaged in the fight against racism and discrimination, but your work and the work of other prominent civil rights leaders have made our burden much lighter. You are love.

Mr. John Meadows,
I feel that you unfortunately were misinformed of Rosa Parks and the courageousness she had. African Americans want and deserve equality as any other person wants and deserves. There is not an overcrowding of prisons and jails due to the African American population, it is due to the decisions that people make not their race. I can assure you that there are plenty of different races in jail, because JUSTICE knows no color. If you are too incompetent to comprehend that then that is your decision. But I ask kindly that you do not slander certain types of people because of how you feel. An example would be saying Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves for the hell of it. Thank you!
Kirk Montaña

The achievement gap that is present in schools between African Americans and Non-African American students is real. No Child Left Behind has shown that our schools are failing to meet the needs of our African American students. NCLB is the first Presidential Education Reform to assign a number or percentage to achievement of all demographics. It clearly defines what these students are able to perform on standardized tests, with the content that they have attained, and the strategies they have been taught. Mrs. Parks was on her way home to cook her favorite meal for her husband when she made the conscious decision to assert her God given, unalienable rights granted by the Constitution. Her decision, in a time that black men were still being lynched in public, was a genuine contribution to the human race and the pursuit of equality in our society. Not only was it a monumental act of courage, it marked a moment when, collectively and collaboratively, people united and stood firm to the ground that they walked upon. Never dismiss or disrespect her legacy as one of our nations' most renowned hero's. May God grant you eternal grace and bring peace to all in your spirit, Mrs. Parks. We miss you, and cherish the time we had with your humble soul on this planet.

We dont know what it was, only she, and those close to her.
Like John Meadows are you really that full of hate toward african americans that you feel that way.
I feel that everyone gets acknowledgements, but african americans been through so much that they may recieve more praise.
Everyone works hard at everything they try to receive no matter what.
Also your right, african americans do fill more prisons than other cultures, but if you they grew up around folk who discriminate against them, expect nothing more of them but to be low. They will act in violence because thats the first defense mechanism they react on. And the majority live in less fortunate areas where they are basically pushed to just turn to the bad in order survive. It starts in school when the teachers wont even give them the time of day.

Now you try being beaten, enslaved and raped and tell me what you think.
Then come talk to me about blacks and what you think they deserve.

What we don't realize is Blacks are the center of the universe. Racist whites cannot believe Blacks founded America, pray to a Black Jesus and Blacks invented Google. This is ridiculous. She deserves no recognition. She is a criminal who broke the law, just like the millions of illegal aliens who do it now and yet is accepted.

America is going down the drain.

When I read comments like the one left by John Meadow ( if that's he real name) I feel that there is still much we as a race of people still have left to do. When I look back at history I see both White and African Americans standing for the same thing justice. Like many we have struggled to make a way in a nation of people that in every way has told us that "we do not want you hear". Our ancestors, yes, like many other races of people have build this country one crop, one railroad, one invention, and one brick at a time. When you look back I see a great many people having to cry and bear the pain, whipping, separation of families and other indigenous events White Americans never endured simply because of the color of their skin. If, Mr. Meadows wants to judge then the fair thing to do would be to look at the both the positive and negative of course of history. According to him fairness is what he is asking for... funny though, I thought that was what the Civil Rights Movement was all about. And what is automatic for him came with a great price for the rest of us.

You want to honor Indians? Iraqis as well? Or did you mean Native Americans by Indians? Should we also honor Mexicans who we stole essentially everything west of the Mississippi from? You spew only that of which your conservative history text has taught you. Wake up John...seriously.

Rosa Parks I believe was strong, but she was definitely not alone.

John: Rosa Parks did not show us this. It it human nature for people to interpret things in different ways. Unfortunately some did interpret it like you said, but at the time, that is not the way they would have seen it.

oh well i think she should have never done it

You ask America to wake up when in reality you my friend needs to wake up. Your racist is nothing more but stupidity. On a lower level I can agree with you when it comes to your statics on the number of African-American men in prison, but I do not agree on your number of African-American y0u believe that are lazy and want "double standards." Now I really pity you if you choose to believe Rose Parks’s act of courage was nothing more than inconsequential teased. Because without her audacity and many others like her; African-American would still be treated as if they were dogs. Now you sir have just prove yourself to be ignorant and dim. Now I'm a black woman with TWO doctoral degrees who was reared in a poverty home. In order for me to come this far I used government assistants, so as many of my classmate that were Asian, Caucasian, and Italian. NEWS FLASH: GET THE HECK OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE .

"Rosa Parks did nothing more than show the African-American population that is okay to refuse to do anything that they are told to do. That includes following the law and obiding by rules that are made. Now you know why the majority of the prisons are populated by them and why so many of them refuse to work and get on welfare."

1- anyone can challage a law since we all have the right to do it. Specially if the law makes no sence.
2- not all African-Americans are in wellfare I seem to many white trash here in the south that is on it.
3-your right on the last one, many dont want to work because if there are jobs to get they need to move. Many people dont want to migrate from their home city ..sorry to say it ..but many americans hate the idea of migrant work. Does not matter if they are white , black ,brown , yellow or in between ..many of us want stable jobs in the city we want ,doing what we want, and dont want to go to the jobs outside their confort level . And then we shout to the 4 winds that mexicans are taking our jobs ...really? ....go get some work on the fields then after that migrate to another city do a temp job there , then go back and do it again for 30 years with no retirement plan or moving expenses,,,sounds fun ?? ...

@John Meadow
That definitely was not her intention, obviously. It's called civil disobedience. Ever heard of John Locke? This "acknowledgement" you're referring to, it's called affirmative action, and it's used to remedy the past effects of discrimination for many other cultures as well. Not just our "little" African-American population. What statistics told you most prisons are filled with African-Americans?

German-Americans? Seriously?

Racist? That's nothing but the truth.

Wow. How quickly history disappears from the mind of those whose brained are washed clean of intelligence.
The reality is that even after segregation was illegal white people still imposed it illegally and imposed violence on blacks illegally.

There are some ways of treating people that are illegal by a higher law than those any country has made some of those are shown at the beginning of this video. Or by researching Emmet Till or watching Four Little Girls or actually studying the events in civil rights protests or under slavery or even going back to the wars to steal the land of native people. Looking at writing from multiple perspectives, looking at photographic evidence, looking at those things which were proven untrue, etc.

I just looked at the other comments again. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat of her own accord; however, she was not the first. The history that is being confused in Smash Adams' comment is that there was another woman who did the same thing before Rosa Parks did and the Civil Rights Movement (which was absolutely not white-led) knew that this first woman didn't have the proper character and; therefore, would not be a good person to focus on in compelling desegregation. Rosa Parks was, on the other hand, a goodhearted and respectable woman so she could be upheld as a leader in the Civil Rights movement.

time to move on. it's a wonderful thing miss parks did but it's in the past. we should be thinking about pulling together and live in peace in the world.

this website is flippin awesome and i just love it !

Happy Birthday Mrs. Parks. Your contributions to man-kind and our modern society will live on forever. We are today blessed because you desired a better life and respect from your local and national government through responsible public laws.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: