Mary Theroux at The Independent Institute asks what would Rosa Parks do about the TSA?
What I do know is that standing up for basic human dignity, even when it inconveniences other people, has historically advanced our civilization towards greater humaneness and respect for the individual. We must not abandon Rosa Parks’ example.
Rosa Parks’s dramatic refusal sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and eventually led to governments having to back down across the board, from public buses, to public schools, to rescinding black codes and Jim Crow laws that constrained private commerce and voluntary relations among races.
Today, pundits from the left to neocon right argue that airline passengers give up their rights when they “choose” to travel by plane. They would no doubt have argued that Ms. Parks similarly gave up her rights when she “chose” to ride the public bus.
Ms. Parks in her simple eloquence knew such thinking was just plain wrong. Whether an individual is ordered out of her seat by a public bus driver or made to either “assume the position” or be subjected to unwanted intimate contact by command of a government agent, she is no longer sovereign; she is a subject.
Ms. Parks knew when it was time to say enough. Do we?