Thursday, October 27, 2005
Point of view
On the passing of Rosa Parks I was commenting to my son how she helped start the ball rolling in the civil rights movement in the 1950's. I have always tried to tell my son to look at the other person's point of view, listen to their argument, then make his own decisions. I have also always lectured him about obeying the law, doing what is right, even if you don't like it at the time. He told me that he had heard a commentator on television talking about Rosa Parks, how she was held up as a hero to young children. The commentator said that maybe this was not someone we should teach our children to look up to because, after all, she broke the law. I was happy that my son is exploring other opinions (than mine) but I was sad (in a way) that he is so young that he did not experience such intense racism. I have never questioned that Rosa Parks did the right thing by breaking the law, I never even thought about it. My son pointed out to me that if we don't like a particular law, that doesn't give us the right to break that law. I was befuddled. I am lucky that my boy goes to a school that has black, white, hispanic, and gay students. Interacting everyday with each other has made many of them color blind, and this is a good thing. This gives me hope that the younger generation are actually judging each other "by the content of their character" and not the "color of their skin".