Civil rights movements have often sought out figureheads with unblemished pasts. The Montgomery bus boycott would have started nine months earlier if Claudette Colvin, who refused to yield her seat to a white person, just as Rosa Parks was to do, had not turned out to be pregnant out of wedlock. Forty-two years later, similar sentiments led legal strategists for gay rights to downplay the fact that John Lawrence and Tyron Garner, of the Lawrence v.
The Catholic Church’s “Rosa Parks Moment”
February 13, 2012
Will Barack Obama lose the votes of Catholics in November over the contraception contretemps, even after Friday’s attempt at “accommodation”? Well, it depends on what on-the-fence, churchgoing Catholics make of rhetoric such as this, which they’ll apparently be hearing for weeks to come: At St. Brendan Church in San Francisco, the Rev. Michael Quinn compared the church’s opposition to the contraceptive rules to the civil-rights fight waged by 1950s activist Rosa Parks, who refused to give her seat up to a white man on a bus.
Supreme Leader: The Arrogance of Anthony Kennedy
June 16, 2007
Jeffrey Rosen on Anthony Kennedy's moralistic tendencies.
Celebrating Dr. King's Birthday
January 30, 1984
In his belated support for a day honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Ronald Reagan predictably recalled the man as an inspiring—and innocuous—advocate of good will, brotherhood, and harmony. Such a carefully cropped portrait of Dr. King has gained wide popularity, perhaps because it enables the nation to create a comforting icon out of the career of a political iconoclast.
"What Shall Become of His Dreams?"
January 01, 1970
This piece was originally published on August 24, 1968. William Faulkner located Mulberry Street so precisely and described its major industry so vividly in one of his early novels that lustful visitors from the rural mid-South memorized the passage and used it as their guide to the rows of dingy houses where three-dollar whores did business until the military authorities forced the city to clean up the neighborhood during World War II. Before virtue was imposed, white customers had access to white girls and black girls-in different houses, of course.