By refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in 1955, black seamstress Rosa Parks (1913—2005) helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States. The leaders of the local black community organized a bus boycott that began the day Parks was convicted of violating the segregation laws. Led by a young Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the boycott lasted more than a year—during which Parks not coincidentally lost her job—and ended only when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bus segregation was unconstitutional. Over the next half-century, Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation. (Source: Black History, The History Channel)
We as Americans today need to learn from leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King and citizens like Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks taught us there is a right way to make our voices heard and to stand up for what we believe and for our rights as citizens-a way where the rights and welfare of others is respected and dignity is preserved. It is a way without hate speech and violence. Yet, so many choose the way of hatred and destruction, never considering the rights, feelings, or needs of others who may disagree but who certainly have the same human rights as themselves.
What has our nation become? Have we as a people forgotten the values our founding fathers and Christian leaders have laid down for and taught us? Have we lost our dignity and all respect for our fellow citizens? We, as Americans, need to earnestly PRAY for God’s mercy, forgiveness, wisdom, and guidance in the days ahead. Let us look to and learn from the lives of those who have stood for the rights of citizens and have done so without hate-filled speech and violent demonstrations. Let us pursue our causes with loving hearts and with Almighty God as our guide and remember the sacrifices of the brave men and women who risk their lives every day for our freedoms and protection. There is a better way!
Zacheriah 7:9: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another.”
Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
2 Samuel 8:15: “So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people.”