February 4th, a Day of Freedom commemorates the 100th anniversary of Mrs Rosa Parks birth. Although Mrs Parks and her husband were long-time Civil Rights activists in Alabama, Mrs Parks is best known for her refusal to give up her seat on an Alabama bus. In Detroit, Parks fought against police brutality, economic injustice, and for political empowerment. How many of our Detroit Senior citizens, who lived with Mrs Parks struggle; how many of their children and grand-children who ride DDOT buses will be able to get to the exhibit at the Henry Ford Museum celebrating her life?
In her 1992 autobiography, “My Story”, Mrs Parks wrote “People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day . . . No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
Aren’t we also tired of giving in? Of giving in to having our bus service cut so badly that hundreds can no longer afford to go to work or have already lost their jobs. Of giving in to demands that DDOT employees accept cuts in their wages and benefits, while our tax dollars and bus fares provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses to administrators for providing less and less service. Of giving in to a bus system that puts our Seniors and children at risk-leaving them standing in the elements as bus after over-crowded bus passes them. Of giving in and accepting non-responsive answers as to how our service is “Better”