GOP: “Rosa Parks…Who Dat?”

Lafe Tolliver

By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
Guest Column

If the ban the books hysteria, which is running amuck in Florida under the GOP Trump Lite wannabee, Ron DeSantis, has its way, the GOP will be on track to create an educational White Ghetto in history and literature classes for its students.

Apparently, most of the White parents in Florida have no disagreement with keeping their kids mentally dull when it comes to knowing and understanding  American history.

One of the banned books that appears troublesome for many White parents to read and digest is one concerning the civil rights icon, Rosa Parks.

Imagine if you can, legislators and parents in Florida being critical of any history taught to students that includes the heroic story of Rosa Parks.

I mean, if you cannot even read and discuss Rosa Parks in any grade level for fear of making “White students feel ashamed or embarrassed” about the acts of their parents and grandparents towards people of color, America is in serious denial about itself.

When the powerful can, with a stroke of a pen, eradicate in their history books, the stories and achievements of Black people, Indigenous People and Brown people, America is dangerously toying with ideologies that warp the very fabric of what makes America… America.

What dangerous thinking does Rosa Parks inspire in White people that they feel fearful and alarmed about a tired seamstress not wanting to give up her bus seat to a white man; and she willing to go to jail for such an act of courage?

Tell me the dangers of fourth and fifth graders learning how Rosa Parks was one of the pivotal personalities in birthing the modern day civil rights movement?

Tell me of the grave concerns White parents in Florida will have if their Johnny or Suzie comes home and ask their parents pointed questions about why Rosa Parks was arrested and why there was the Montgomery Bus Boycott?

Is White America comprised of so many “snowflakes” that the mere thought of engaging in direct racial dialogue about, discrimination, lynching, Jim Crow, red lining, George Floyd and a host of other subjects, gives them the shivers?

The racial divide in this country is both gaping and widening because White America is profoundly and morbidly fearful of taking a gut punch when they are rightfully accused of being the enforcers and beneficiaries of apartheid policies.

It does not take a lot of conjuring to understand that if Rosa Parks is the first sacrificial lamb on the altar of White guilt, it won’t be long before other civil rights luminaries will be  excised out of American history books.

America has never been “at ease” in discussing the racial quagmire in America for fear of rightfully being called out as hypocrites and exploiters regarding the lack of racial parity in America.

Fundamentally, we are, at the bottom line, talking about the redistribution of natural resources and the allocation (through the tax code) of wealth so that those who have been denied, have a chance to be compensated for the injustices done to them.

One of those glaring injustices is in the re-working of American History books, which, if the Ron DeSantis model was to be adopted elsewhere, Black American history would only register as an afterthought or a dusty footnote.

America will not be making any progress in racial healing or reconciliations without first a tearing off of the racial band aid that prevents a serious look at the underlying festering cancer.

The Donald Trumps and the Ron DeSantis’ of the US of A are feverishly working to make sure that Make America Great Again is an America that holds in a historical death grip the accomplishments and achievements of Black Americans.

Both men have shown that their allegiance is to their MAGA GOP base in the hopes that such a base will infect others with their ignorance and fear of a multi-cultural America because it appears they do not wish to have any sustained debate and a set of resolutions that would dilute their racist whistles and cat calls.

Both men (among many others) are reprehensible in their debasement of Black History which is American History.

And what is equally sad and profoundly important to note is that these two personalities are simply avatars that represent an America that has been given political and cultural permission to act upon their worse impulses against people of color.

The offensive underbelly of America which has been somewhat in check for a period of time is now being given a green light to come out of the shadows and do their dance in the public square; and there seems to be no condemning consequences for such a vulgarity.

Rosa Parks is only the parakeet in the coal mine. More to come.


Contact Lafe Tolliver at