Sunday, December 04, 2005

A History Lesson and Statuary Hall

   The President has suggested that the rules of the Capitol's Statuary Hall should be amended so Rosa Parks can be honored there. Cardinal Martini doesn't like the idea one bit; if you stick with him, he makes a fair point:

The system Rosa Parks fought against was racist, discriminatory, evil.

Yet, please consider this: not only will hers be a special and unique addition to Statuary Hall, Rosa Parks' statue will be the first of a black American in the Hall. Is she really the most important figure in the history of black Americans' struggle for civil rights? I think not. In fact, what is happening here is what always happens to us. We always prefer to honor recent figures rather than more deserving historical ones. And the reason is simple; people are nearly totally ignorant of our history.

People are idiots. What else can explain the Discovery Channel's list of the top 25 "Greatest Americans"? What are Bill Clinton and George W. Bush doing on this list, but not John Adams or Alexander Hamilton? Why is Oprah Winfrey on this list, but not Clara Barton, nor Susan B. Anthony, nor Abigail Adams. For that matter, what is Rosa Parks doing on this list but not Frederick Douglass?

(emphasis mine) Read the whole thing. He does recognize the work Rosa Parks accomplished in her lifetime, but makes a forceful case for why, if there is to be but a single African American honored in Statuary Hall (something, to my mind, which is long overdue), the honor should go to Douglass.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Cardinal Martini said...

Thanks for reading my blog!

2:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before I even read past the first sentence of your entry, I thought, "Rosa Parks over Frederick Douglass? Wha?"

Great minds, I guess.

-Lady Exile

1:03 PM  

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