In yesterday’s seven-hour House debate over the state health insurance exchange bill, House Assistant Majority Leader Brent Crane, R-Nampa, flubbed a historical allusion, building his debate around an argument that Rosa Parks stood up to the federal government, reports Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey. “One little lady got tired of the federal government telling her what to do,” Crane declared, saying, “We need to have our Rosa Parks moment.” Actually, Parks was defying a municipal code when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955.
“Parks’ arrest by Montgomery police is considered the spark that kindled the civil rights movement,” Popkey reports. “The year-long Montgomery bus boycott that followed elevated a young Martin Luther King Jr. to national prominence. The following year, the city’s segregation laws were struck down as unconstitutional, first by a U.S. District judge in Alabama and then by the U.S. Supreme Court. Later, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 to address generations of discrimination against African Americans.”
Crane told Popkey, “If I made a mistake I will own it. She was part of the civil rights movement. I’m sorry if I misquoted that.” He said, “The point I was trying to make is that she said she had had enough and decided to stand up. That’s where I’m at with the federal government.” You can read Popkey’s full report here.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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