There have been a couple times in my history where authority figures were surprised I listened to them.
When I was 14 a manager of Perkins Restaurant told me I was doing too much. He said that between my dish washing job, playing the cello, playing the trombone and other school activities I needed to quit something. I came in the next day and thanked him for the advice. I quit my dish washing job. He told me that’s not what he meant. (My cello got me a full ride to Baldwin-Wallace College. There was no place on the application about how well I washed dishes.)
Then in college the conductor of the symphony made a statement to the entire orchestra that if any of us weren’t serious and thought there was something else we should do with our life we should get the hell out of music. So the next day I switched my major to English. I was the principal cellist in their orchestra. He called me into his office to tell me he wasn’t talking to me. That’s not what he meant.
I listen to what people tell me.
Once a week, I drive to the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank to get food for our food pantry at Second Chance.
Every week I drive across Rosa Parks Dr. as we get our food for the homeless of Akron. It was named in 2010.
I am a devout follower of Martin Luther King Jr. He is the man I want to be.
I want to be as brave as him.
I want to be as good a speaker as him.
I want to strive to make as much change as him.
I. Love. That. Man.
So when I drive across Rosa Parks Dr. what do you think is going to happen? Do you think I’m not going to listen to her?
Are you going to tell me “that’s not what we meant?”
We don’t want the 381 day boycott she started. We just want to say the words “Rosa Parks” and not listen to her movement.
I am listening.
You told me to listen when you put her name on a street. You can’t have it both ways.
Society is a bus.
Every single person in society has the right to sit on this bus.
Every single person has the right to exist on this bus.
We first have to admit that the homeless are not invited to sit on the bus. They are chased off the bus at every turn.
When you have a city you have a moral and legal obligation to allow every single citizen, regardless of income and net worth, a place on your bus.
Every human deserves a place to exist. It is unjust to think you can kick them into deeper and deeper holes in your society until you no longer have to look at them and think about them.
Rosa Parks means something to me.
The homeless deserve a seat on your bus.