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   Undertoad  Saturday Oct 27 01:09 PM

10/27: Rosa Parks' bus

This bus sold on Ebay on Thursday for $492,000.

Antiques Roadshow ain't got nothing on Ebay. This bus sparked the civil rights movement when Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of it, in 1955. It had been in use as a tool shed.

blowmeetheclown  Saturday Oct 27 03:06 PM

I actually read that there are questions to the authenticity of this. It stated something along the lines of there was no documentation of which bus it really was. This might have a few more facts -

blowmeetheclown  Saturday Oct 27 06:22 PM

I just realized that the above link is not static, and will be different tomorrow. Here's the text:

"Compiled by Emily Quigley
Austin American-Statesman

Saturday, October 27, 2001

Museum buys icon of civil rights movement

A Michigan museum has paid $492,000 at an Internet auction for a bus that is said to be the one on which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man in 1955.

Steve Hamp, president of the Henry Ford Museum, called the bus "the most important artifact in civil rights history," even as some wondered if it is the actual vehicle.

Parks was fined $10 for violating a city ordinance when she refused to give up her seat. Her arrest set off a yearlong bus boycott and helped forge the civil rights movement. But no bus number was written down on police records when Parks was arrested, and there have been questions over the years as to whether it would be possible to identify the vehicle. "

elSicomoro  Saturday Oct 27 08:26 PM

If it is indeed the real thing, it's a shame that it has fallen into such disrepair.

God bless Ms. Parks, but everytime I hear her name, the Outkast song starts up in my head...

"Ah ha! Hush that fuss! Everybody move to the back of the bus..."

I'll have to break out that CD now...

warch  Saturday Oct 27 09:55 PM

It is really interesting when a everyday thing, junk, becomes so resonant. Even if its not possible to definitely authenticate it, the story of Parks is so powerful, the museum must be thrilled to have new means to retell it. It adds an emotional element- like a saint's bone (maybe) in a reliquary box.

Part of the famous lunch counter is in the Smithsonian (I think)

It reminds me of an exhibit at the Holocaust museum in DC. It's a display of victim's shoes.

warch  Saturday Oct 27 10:33 PM

I just thought of another thing I recently heard.
There is a home for veterans, in Holland I believe, where this guy I know was working with the elderly residents. There is a museum attached to the place and they display all sorts of things. As a resident dies, his belongings are reviewed to see if there is anything to add to the military museum's stuff. There are the usual medals,photos armorments, souvenir things from foreign lands.
On one occasion, a vets stuff was being culled and there was an old unopened coffee can to be tossed. One of the elderly residents,surprised to see the can, told the story. He had been in a WWII prison camp with the deceased vet. They had buried the coffee can and kept it a secret during their entire internment. Nobody touched it. It became a symbol. They knew it was there. This old guy had kept it all these years, unknown to his comrades. The can was taken out of the toss pile and added to the collection.

Xugumad  Saturday Oct 27 11:21 PM

Just as a side note:

The story that people usually hear about Rosa Parks is 50% wrong. Her sitting in the 'wrong' place, and the resulting riots was probably planned and co-ordinated in advance by the NAACP.

Rosa Parks had worked for the NAACP for more than a decade prior to 1955; just shortly before the Parks incident, the NAACP tried to use the case of a 15-year old girl doing the same to challenge the then-current laws, but decided not to, as the girl was pregnant, and unmarried. The NAACP was worried that her illegitimate pregnancy and 'dubious' moral status would compromise the trial, which would not focus on the unjust segregation laws.

Rosa Parks also made a point of choosing a bus driver who she disliked, as he had offended her personally prior to that incident; this ensured that there would be a major incident, with the bus driver not backing down.

A lot of people are quite unaware of the exact circumstances, as the story they are usually told focuses on Rosa Parks being an honest middle-aged woman who nobody could say anything bad about. That's the reason why the NAACP concentrated on her so much.

Her permitted phone call from jail went to a NAACP lawyer.

There was some debate on just how planned the whole thing was; it's become very unfashionable and unPC to suggest that it was set-up. No matter, it became a pivotal point in the civil rights movement.

In addition, I find it almost incomprehensible how courageous you have to be to face down a system that is almost entirely geared towards making you a lesser person. Many of us today behave like rebels, smoking dope and buying 'fair trade' coffee and beating on nepalese drums or whatever, feeling mightily rebellious. Someone like Rosa Parks puts all of our postmodernist bullshit in perspective.

<img src=""><BR>Rosa Parks in 1999</a></center>


jaguar  Saturday Oct 27 11:56 PM

Well said.
Interesting stuff. Even if it was a setup she is still one hell of a woman to stand up to such a system. Particuarly she wasen't jsut black, she was a woman making it even harder at the time.

Undertoad  Sunday Oct 28 11:13 AM

That's very interesting, Xu - thanks for posting it.

I wonder if today she would have been prosecuted under RICO.

jaguar  Monday Oct 29 02:44 AM


dave  Monday Oct 29 09:27 AM

Originally posted by jaguar

Xugumad  Monday Oct 29 10:19 AM

RICO is a law that is meant to protect against racketeering and corrupt groups. Specifically, you don't need to have committed a crime yourself - you can be guilty BY ASSOCIATION.

Example: Pro-life protesters outside an abortion clinic were arrested and charged as 'racketeers' under RICO. The Supreme Court upheld that charge, ruling that pro-lifers can be charged as being part of a corrupt organization.

(the key word in RICO is actually 'extortion', which is what the city of Hartford vs. Pro Lifers was using in that particular case)

Thus, anyone trying to force a group or people to do things they don't want to do, even through non-criminal means (peaceful protest, for instance) can be charged in a court of law for trying to extort. Pro-life protesters are comparatively peaceful, but certainly threatening and intimidating.

What Tony was referring to, I believe, is that Rosa Parks could have been charged not just for a minor misdemeanor (paying $14 for breaching city regulations) but for a felony as a 'racketeer' if RICO had been available. Right now, any peaceful protesters can be charged by any city or state under RICO.

Of course, you may be thinking that imprisoning pro-lifers is a good and just cause, and quietly cheer in front of your monitor. But then, maybe it's the anti-war protesters next; or the civil rights protesters; or the anti-SSSCA protesters. Who knows? The fact of the matter is that RICO gives the US a *very* strong weapon in dealing with GUILT BY ASSOCIATION.

Sure, you may be thinking that it'd be silly to prosecute lots of patently innocent people through such a law. Unfortunately, "between 1970 and 1985 there were only 300 civil RICO decisions, and the Department of Justice prosecuted only 300 criminal RICO cases between 1970 and 1980. In 1986, 614 civil RICO suits were filed; 957 were filed in 1988; the average is now well over a thousand per year."

Relevant link:
<a href="">RICO</a>


jaguar  Monday Oct 29 10:01 PM

I wasent' silly enough to be cheering =P
To be happy over such a thing would be purely becuase i value one cause higher than another, which would be avery silly thing to do indeed.
Highly questionable law indeed.

juju2112  Tuesday Oct 30 02:37 AM

Wow.. I had no idea such a law existed. I thought peaceful protest was a protected form of free speech.

D***it, this is b*******!!!! I really am living in George Orwell's 1984, aren't i?

Now I feel like an old timer.

"This country is going to hell in a handbasket, laddie".

"Yeah, whatever grandpa..."

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