From Parting the Waters by Taylor Branch. Copyright 1988 by Taylor Branch. Published by Touchstone, $16.00. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Late in the afternoon of Thursday, December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat on a public city bus to a white passenger. Over the weekend, leaders of the black community organized a bus boycott to begin on Monday morning. On Monday afternoon, December 5, Martin Luther King, Jr., the young pastor of Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, was chosen to lead the ongoing boycott and to speak at a mass meeting that evening at the Holt Street Baptist Church. King had less than half an hour to prepare his first political address.
I talk to folk [Muslim Americans] all over the country and I think there is a sense of disappointment. They don’t want to hear the word ‘tolerance’; they want to hear the word ‘respect’. They want to be treated with the same dignity and respect as every other American. They are asking, ‘Why isn’t there more outrage when Donald Trump is attacking a religious community? What would happen if these things were being said about another religious community, any religious community?’ There would be outrage on both sides of the aisle. There is concern about how this trickles down to kids at school being bullied.