Fuss hushed

R.I.P. Rosa Parks (thanks, Razib).

Martin Luther King Jr…. was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, who led the peaceful struggle for India’s independence from Great Britain. King’s work was helped in the civil rights movement by such people as Rosa Parks who served as a catalyst for the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott. [Link]

40,000 people walked, some more than 20 miles, during the Montgomery bus boycottOn Montgomery buses, the first four rows were reserved for whites. The rear was for blacks, who made up more than 75 percent of the bus system’s riders. Blacks could sit in the middle rows until those seats were needed by whites. Then the blacks had to move to seats in the rear, stand or, if there was no room, leave the bus. Even getting on the bus presented hurdles: If whites were already sitting in the front, blacks could board to pay the fare but then they had to disembark and re-enter through the rear door…

“When he saw me still sitting, he asked if I was going to stand up and I said, ‘No, I’m not.’ And he said, ‘Well, if you don’t stand up, I’m going to have to call the police and have you arrested.’ I said, ‘You may do that.’ ” [Link]

“Don’t ride the buses to work, to town, to school, or anywhere on Monday,” the leaflet said… Some blacks rode in carpools that Monday. Others rode in black-owned taxis that charged only the bus fare, 10 cents. But most black commuters – 40,000 people – walked, some more than 20 miles…

Churches and houses, including those of Dr. King and Mr. Nixon, were dynamited… snipers fired into buses as well as Dr. King’s home, and bombs were tossed into churches and into the homes of ministers. [Link]


p>Rosa Parks -> Civil Rights Act + Sputnik -> 1965 Immigration Act -> Harold and Kumar.

The added bindi, Razib’s idea, is homage: ‘… Rosa Parks looked like our grandmothers…’

27 thoughts on “Fuss hushed

  1. “Rosa Parks -> Civil Rights Act -> Sputnik -> 1965 Immigration Act -> Harold and Kumar”

    Good work, Manish. I am glad your brought this up because many people do not know it or choose to ignore the chain of historic events.

    Before 1965, pretty much the doors were closed for Asians.

  2. I know an Indian-origin Professor in Chemistry from Deep South who used to actively take part in marches and lunch counter “sit-ins” during the civil rights movement.

  3. Word. Thanks, Mrs. Parks. We had a close family friend who was a highly decorated Guyanese Indian Korea Vet. The indiginties he suffered in the South during the 50s/60s were only remarkable (considering the time and place) that it happened so often while he was in the American uniform. Not that the Blue states were a paragon of virtue, as his house was vandalized in suburban Long Island when he returned from the theater of combat in a wheelchair. People forget how active the KKK was also in the Northeast.

  4. lol I like how you guys can take almost anything and somehow find a way to relate it to South Asia/South Asians.

  5. lol I like how you guys can take almost anything and somehow find a way to relate it to South Asia/South Asians.

    That’s why they pay us the big bucks 🙂

  6. Interesting that the previous post shows a pic that is the same BMG’s logo (dog listening to phonograph), when BMG and other record comapnies sued Outkast in Ms. Parks’ for $5 billion over the song that is alluded to in this post’s title. Oh what a tangled web you weave SM….

  7. And how is she linked/related to M.I.A ? i am sure if you give me enough time I can show they were related through marriage.

  8. I had breakfast this morning at a working class diner in Eastern North Carolina, a region similar to the deep south economically (bottom land still growing cotton and tobacco) and socially.

    Seated around the counter were eight men in their fifties, clearly long-term friends, trading stories in good southern fashion, and two or three of them were black. Other men, black and white, joined the discussion periodically.

    Thank you, Rosa.

  9. And how is she linked/related to M.I.A ? i am sure if you give me enough time I can show they were related through marriage.

    We should totally have a thread where we can play “The Six Degrees of M.I.A.”- but considering desis, we should probably make it three degrees.

    My aunty’s son’s college rooomate had a fantasy about… M.I.A. There you go.

  10. RIP Rosa Parks. the Montogomerry bus stands in the Ford museum in Detroit and provided my kids a great visual way to learn about the “civil rights’ movement in this country.

    I recently discovered that Martin Luther King was swayed to the tune of Gandhi’s philosophy by Bayard Rustin, who was one of the chief organisers of the Washington march at which King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.

    You can read more about his here


    which tells us there was support and cooperation between Americans and Gandhi long before we think the brown identity was formed.

    There are people in NYC who were close to this action who are still alive and have a deep understaning of Indian history.

    Some of them even read things here.


  11. Kush

    I know an Indian-origin Professor in Chemistry from Deep South who used to actively take part in marches and lunch counter “sit-ins” during the civil rights movement.

    That is amazing. would love to know he views the kind of issues of brown identity we read about here?

    Would he write/share his POV? Am not sure about others, but I(and am sure others here) would be interested in knowing what he thinks.


  12. Sumita,

    I haven’t kept touch with the professor otherwise I would have definitely requested him to write. I do not live in Baton Rouge anymore.

    He never talked about it – it is others who told all of us about his active role in civil rights movement with great respect.


  13. RIP Rosa Parks.

    There’s not even the slightest doubt in my mind that the civil rights movement is related to the freedoms we enjoy.

  14. I grew up in rural Mississippi. You don’t have to look all that hard to find direct links between Rosa Parks (or practically anyone in the civil rights movement in the 1960’s) and us South Asians.

    For starters, to quite a few Mississippians (god, they need a shorter name), anyone who is not white is…colored. That means expect liberal misuse of the n-word. Rule: when in doubt, it’s a nigger.

    When I was a mere third-grader, our school bus would take us from our school (fairly far in the countryside) towards the center of town. If you didn’t live on the route, then the final stop was a Western Auto (think Pep Boys or Trak Auto, you Yanks) parking lot. My sister and I would get off there along with 10 or so other redneck kids and wait for mom or dad to come pick us up. It could be a long wait in the summertime, and Mississippi ain’t got the dry heat, so we’d hang out in the Western Auto in the wonderful air-conditioning.

    One day after school my sister and I were walking around in the store, cooling off and waiting for mom. I was admiring the dune buggies and three-wheelers (yeah, even then I loooved my motorcycles), and then the store manager came up to us, tipped his trucker hat up, and said, “Hey now, how about y’all get on outside? Y’all don’t need to be in here.”

    He was an adult, so my sister and I obliged politely. But I didn’t really notice that we were the only ones sitting on the curb until my mother pulled up and asked us why we were sitting outside on a 100-degree day like that.

    Racism lived then, and lives now. We may not sit in the back of the bus, and I may now be able to walk into any auto-parts store without being asked to leave, but it’s still quite a ways from being right just yet.

  15. Necessity is the mother of all invention. Fatigue and tiredness in this case was the catalyst for an entire nations civil rights movement. I think i speak for all my desi brotheren when i say “thanks for all that u’ve done for us miss Parks”

  16. All de time we cry foul at racism(meted to us)and all we tend to forget wots happenin bek home.What we are referring to as a sick thing in a civilised world does exist in India and we dont give a damn about it.”Hypocrites We”. Dalit ain’t mean a ting back home and who gives a damn abou tribals and dem culture,we are civilised,we build dams and sink dem villeges and kill dem culture.”Hypocrites We”. How many “Desi Rosa Parks” do we need to get inspired and put an end to the desi variant of racism?

  17. Word to that, Dr Keshav.
    The segregation of pre-Civil Rights America has waaaayy too many similarities to the mechanics of the caste system in India. We left India, but it still rings true in the back of many an old-school NRI’s mind. Until this attitude is eliminated, we will still be purveyors of segregation, albeit a Desi variant.
    Segregation was justified as a tradition in the Southern culture – it was just “the way things were”, the subjugation of one group to benefit another. There was resistance to integration because of the fear of change. The Civil Rights Movement brought black and white communities together against all odds, yet until the South Asian community can look at it as an example of previously separated groups co-existing successfully, the sacrifices of Rosa Parks and Dr King will be in vain.

  18. Rosa Parks story is similar to our own desi dawg, M.K.Gandhi, getting thrown off a train in South Africa. The ripple that started there turned into a tsunami that wiped off the British Raj from India. What Rosa Parks did was give the colored people in the US of A, the conviction to stand up for themselves. Good job, Rosa. RIP.

  19. “Parks died Oct. 24 at 92. Days later, Congress approved resolutions allowing her body to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, the first woman to do so.” (Link)