Shuttle boycott honorable, but misguided

Imitation may educate, but also devalues the concept of boycotting

By on January 26, 2011

We can’t forget the Montgomery bus boycotts of 1955.

To do so would be disrespectful to our civil rights today and the very people who boycotted those buses in hopes of equality and civil rights legislation.

These people saw something wholly discriminatory in the public transportation system. Despite a daily reliance on such buses, they employed a staggering amount of dedication and spent distances and dollars avoiding prejudiced bus practices. There was something wrong, and these people wouldn’t stand for it.

And so we thank them. The world would be a far different place without such dedication and vision toward a goal.

A bus boycott to remember the bus boycott is honorable. But it is also misguided, because it minimalizes the commitment to a goal that drove the 1955 boycott in the first place.

“We are by no means protesting against the Quinnipiac shuttle system,” Black Student Union President Crystal Cook said. “We are trying to take necessary precautions to make sure it is not perceived that way.”

We wouldn’t be boycotting the Quinnipiac shuttle because it is discriminatory. This boycott will not call attention to greater equality or grand moral difference. It is merely an imitation of the mechanics of the event.

But the Montgomery boycotts were not about the cars, buses, gasoline, or taxi fares. They were about commitment to avoiding discrimination, and a commitment to a resolution that created greater equality.

Direct imitation of the boycotts will educate students on the troubles that minorities faced when they didn’t have the benefit of public transportation – and that is the hope of BSU. But it in no way reflects the genuine desire and hope to make a change, because frankly, we don’t want a change in the Quinnipiac transportation system. Especially on snowy days like today, the system is God’s gift to mediocre drivers.

Imitation may be the greatest form of flattery. But flattery isn’t the best form of memory.

Comments

About Joe Pelletier

2 Comments

  1. Caleb Gindl

    January 26, 2011 at 11:22 am

    LOL this is hilarious. Way to go, BSU!

  2. Quanita Jones

    January 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Dear Joe,
    Just to begin, I will say that article was disrespectful. Being an African American, knowing members of my family tree who died so that I could be a student at Quinnipiac, so that I can freely sit on a Quinnipiac shuttle wherever I’d like; it hurts me to the core to here you publish such ignorant things.
    “[The shuttle boycott] may educate, but also devalues the concept of boycotting.” The concept of the Montgomery boycott was not merely an act of not hopping on the city bus. It was a statement, a movement, and a fight; so when you publish things that say “[BSU] is minimalizing that commitment”, you are the one devaluing the fight that my family endured. Yes, opinions will always be made, but how dare you publicly disrespect the honor I’m giving my family because you don’t understand it. But because you don’t understand the sole purpose of today’s boycott, let me take a step back and do as Martin Luther King Jr. would have done, and try to explain it to you:
    Our Quinnipiac shuttle boycott, was to pay tribute to what our country went through, not only in the 1955 boycott, but in the Civil Rights Era as a whole. Today’s celebration should be a personal praise from everyone, no matter your race; this isn’t about color anymore this is about exaltation. If a person never takes the time to try and feel what our country’s brave men and women felt during that fight, they will never humble themselves to it. Did you try to boycott the shuttle today, or pick up a button in support of it? Did you read the facts about the boycott that we were giving out to educate and remind everyone about the struggle? Did you even take a moment to look outside today, at all the snow, slippery roads, blocked sidewalks; and think to yourself, my family walked in this for miles and miles, day after day, for a whole year to get to where they had to go-where they had to go that day, and where they had to take us today. Did you think that today? I did, and it brought tears to my heart that they did that just for me, and all that BSU was asking of us was to do it for them; just one day to remember them. It is not flattery, it is honor; and MLK and Rosa Parks were indeed smiling down on us today for remembering them in just one simple way that we could. So when you try to make a mockery of our celebration today, you made a mockery of the ones we’re celebrating.

    Quanita Jones

    PS. Was the Quinnipiac Bus Boycott necessary?… Is it necessary for us to remember our veterans? Is it necessary to remember our 9/11 heroes? Is it necessary to remember our lost love ones? If you dare to say no, your heart is indeed misguided.

  3. No seriously

    February 5, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Quanita, please learn the difference between “boycott” and “historical re-enactment.” What BSU did is the latter. Basically, your group failed miserably in marketing this little event by calling it the former. Figure it out.

    By the way, the Montgomery bus boycott back in the day was a part of the civil RIGHTS because it was involved tax-subsidized PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION. Do you get it yet? It wasn’t about all buses and little shuttles everywhere, including a private university shuttle service in some corner of Connecticut. Shouldn’t you, especially you, know these kinds of things?

    Another problem with so many QU students is that they just think way too small. Why didn’t your group try to go out into the community in Hamden or New Haven and have an actual re-enactment of the boycott with the substantially large Afro-American population of both cities? THAT would have been impressive. What you guys at BSU did was… well, surely well-intended, but ultimately nonsensical.

    Lastly, if you can’t take constructive criticism and can respond to such with a hysterical tantrum, then maybe you shouldn’t participate in a public forum. Just a thought.