America lost an icon Monday, when the esteemed civil rights protestor and activist Rosa Parks died peacefully at her home at the age of 92.
Parks represented the best and worst our country had to offer over the past century. Parks' courageous refusal to stand at the demand of a white bus passenger ignited a movement that would change the course of our country's history.
In the wake of Parks' arrest, a little known preacher named Martin Luther King Jr. would emerge to lead a boycott of the Montgomery, Ala., bus system. King of course continued on to spearhead the civil rights movement that would eliminate the Jim Crow laws of the South and the glass ceilings that existed for blacks and minorities.
Unfortunately, today much of the treatment that Parks and her fellow activists fought against is being reborn in the form of hatred and discrimination against gays and immigrants. Much of the rhetoric being used against these groups is eerily reminiscent of the language formerly saved for blacks.
The passing of Parks should serve as a reminder of how far our country has come in the last 50 years. Perhaps by honoring the woman's life, America can be further inspired to continue the crusade of protecting those who to face discrimination at home and abroad.