Civil Disobedience can be a hard topic to grasp when we live in a country that screams “FREEDOM” but at the same time cries “FOLLOW THE RULES”! When facing the argument of whether or not breaking the law can be for the greater good, we need to look back at our history.
Imagine where we would be today had Rosa Parks given her seat up on the bus that day? It would be nice to imagine that the Civil Rights movement still would have pushed forward and broke through the barriers of laws to get us where we are today, but what if it didn’t? Blacks and whites still segregated, forced to live in a world where one is deemed lesser than the other. It seems hard to imagine, but we haven’t even fully broken through the barriers in today’s day and age! While we can all agree that Parks was not the only person fighting for a change, it’s hard to say whether or not her absence would have had a substantiated effect on today’s society. But we can see that her presence most definitely had a prominent effect.
The laws are put in place in order to help the citizens of the United States, but what happens when the laws impede on our rights? A government that makes laws that impede on our rights is not going to back down easily and change them, therefore we must take a grass-roots approach to activism! When Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus that day, she may have broken the law, but she helped push forward a movement that would provide equal rights for African American citizens in the years to come.
While our history shows that Civil Disobedience is necessary in some cases, I don’t think it should be the first route of action. Parks did not start her career of activism with that action on the bus, she was already fighting long before!
“In the 1930s, Rosa Parks joined her husband Raymond and others in secret meetings to defend the Scottsboro boys—nine young African-American men accused of raping two white women in Alabama in 1931. In the 1940s, they hosted Voter League meetings, where they encouraged neighbors to register even though it was a dangerous task. In 1943, she joined the Montgomery NAACP and was elected branch secretary. The job required Parks to investigate and document acts of racist and sexist brutality” (Opinion 2012).
Rosa Parks had a long history of fight in her before she took the path of civil disobedience. We need to make sure we use our resources in an effort to try and change the laws before we break them. While civil disobedience is sometimes necessary, it should be used after all other options have been explored.
Opinion: It’s time to free Rosa Parks from the bus. (2012, December 01). Retrieved November 09, 2017, from http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2012/12/01/opinion-its-time-to-free-rosa-parks-from-the-bus/