Just Say No: Ms. Rosa Parks’s great refusal as an exemplary tactic for the age of online consumption

From The Village Voice:Parks

The only real power we the people possess, as individuals and en masse, is our deafening power to resolutely say No to the bullsheet. All those prescient and very pregnant Afrikans who tossed themselves overboard during the Middle Passage figured this out while sailing across the Atlantic in boats only built for Cuban links, as did the self-liberated captives aboard the Amistad who made the epiphanal discovery that sharp steel can tear open throats of any color. Midway through the last century Rosa Parks reminded us about the power of No all over again in far less dramatic, bloodthirsty, and self-annihilating fashion coming home one night on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 1, 1955. Defying a post-bellum social custom that decades of bowing down had transformed from a rule of law into a robotic law of the father, Ms. Parks said No loud enough for the Supreme Court to hear. She held her ground when convention commanded she clear out so some self-inflated kracka could assert his nobility among the animals. The history of African Americans is full of small, quiet acts of resistance as personal and fundamental as Ms. Parks’s, but few so resonant as to become a liberation movement’s creation myth.

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