By Enrique Tessieri
Rosa Parks (1913-2005) is not only a symbol of the US civil rights movement but of countries like Finland as well. In order for history to change you don’t need a lot of firepower but people who lead by example. Rosa Parks is one of these we should not forget as Multicultural Finns and other minorities struggle for greater acceptance recognition in Finland.
US civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
One cannot change the world but one can with his or her example impact those that live around them. That is in a sense the story of Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white person on a bus in December 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. Contrary to other brave blacks who had refused to give up their seat to a white person, Parks’ arrest sparked a bus boycott in Montgomery.
What is even more important was that Parks’ civil disobedience turned into an important symbol of the civil rights movement and against racial segregation.
Blacks were forced to sit in the back of buses in Montgomery and if the bus was full they were required to give up their seat to a white.
Even if this type of racial segregation does not exist in countries like Finland, there are more ingenious ways of forcing people to sit in back of the bus of society. Just like blacks were forced to give up their seats to whites on buses, immigrants and minorities in Finland are the last ones to get employed and the first ones to be laid off.
The ways racism is practiced may have changed but it is still the same ogre that segregated blacks in the United States but created one of its greatest symbols.