America’s New Civil Rights Movement


In 1950, the action of one individual in Montgomery, Alabama began a movement that would forever change the course of our nation. Rosa Parks, a 42 year older Black seamstress, refused to give up her seat to a White man and move to the back of a city bus. She was subsequently arrested and jailed. Her action, as history now denotes, was not about a seat on the bus but respect as an American citizen. The genesis was not revolution but restoration. The restoration of rights granted by the Almighty and codified within the mission statement of His nation of freedom: to be respected, valued and treated equally. 

Throughout the early 1900’s, the Democratic Party wielded its political power throughout the South with fear and retribution. The Party’s Jim Crow laws dictated every aspect of interaction between Black and White Americans with the goal to minimize any influence Black people could have within the collective community. From segregated schools, businesses, neighborhoods, restrooms, and transportation to the most mundane actions, ie: drinking from separate water fountains, these demeaning edicts were controlled by politicians with a lust for power and a disdain for empathy. 

A minor decision of nonviolent civil disobedience by Rosa Parks can serve as a reminder of the power single acts of courage have. Her act sparked a collective movement that challenged our nation to continue its journey to be a “more perfect Union”. Black citizens throughout Montgomery chose to walk and car-pool instead of utilizing the convenience of riding a bus. It should be noted that this decision came with great cost; many lost their jobs, as they were viewed by their White employees as “uppity, trouble makers”. Local organizers of the bus strike were harassed and threatened by renowned terrorist group: the Ku Klux Klan. Through these difficulties, this movement came to represent the power of the American free market system and the true essential factor in this dynamic equation: the consumer. In the end, it was committed, principled, and traditionally disenfranchised Black customers who forced a change among decades old racist policies created by powerful, local bus companies. 

These citizens demanded and were eventually granted equal treatment. Due to their courage to say ‘NO’, one aspect of freedom endowed to us by Our Creator was restored.  The bus segregation policies in Montgomery ended within 13 months, and the remaining remnants of this evil would be uprooted in the coming years. 

Our nation has now reached our own modern-day Montgomery Moment. Covid 19 has allowed our nation to see firsthand the bureaucratic overreach for power. In several short months, we have watched the Biden administration strip away freedoms once taken for granted, with no concern for the constitutionality of these actions. Through the lens of fear, we have recently seen the Department of Justice weaponized as they attempted to intimidate parents and stifle their voices of advocacy for their children’s education and wellbeing.

The Radical Left wing of today’s Democrat Party continues their mission to systematically erode the fabric of our country through policies that bankrupt our economy, benefit the wealthy and build up bureaucracy. However, the most sweeping overreach thus far has been Biden’s vaccine mandate. This unconstitutional edict essentially demands the firing of millions of Americans who do not comply. It does not allow for any exemption whether it be natural immunities, pre-existing conditions, religious exemptions or advice from a personal physician.

I was blessed to have been raised in a community that taught me that at the core of freedom is individual agency – It is the God-given, self-determined liberty to make informed choices for our families and ourselves. This freedom is guaranteed to every American and should be fiercely protected. I received my vaccination earlier this year and, after consulting with my doctor, determined it was the right decision for me. This is a personal decision that every American is entitled to make that should never be surrendered to a monolithic government.

Due to the Biden administration’s continued disrespect for Americans’ Constitutional rights, we’re seeing chaos and lawlessness nationwide. Unfortunately, this has become the norm on many of our national fronts: from open borders and super inflation to Marxist indoctrination of our children and a flippant disregard for the Rule of Law on all levels of government. As we concurrently address a broken supply chain, emboldened international enemies, and racial divide not seen for decades. 

Fortunately the most egregious of these policies, the vaccine mandate, can be addressed immediately by “We the People”. The movement begun by Rosa Parks allowed us to see that collective single acts of courage are more powerful than those of any want-to-be dictator. 

As has been its historical stand against the evils of slavery, Jim Crow and the issuance into law the passage of the 1960’s Civil Rights Act, the Republican Party once again stands ready to provide a safe haven for freedom-seeking Americans. To the millions of essential citizens throughout our nation, our military, first responders, truck drivers, business owners, and all those who have chosen to say “NO” to the tyranny of government bureaucrats, you will find the words of LA Congressman Clay Higgins reassuring.

“Let me be very clear to all you oppressors…be prepared to defend your position. If you want a vaccine, get it! If you don’t, don’t! That’s called freedom….On Jan 3rd 2023, Republicans will be sworn into the majority… On that day, myself and many of my colleagues will introduce legislation to reinstate my military brothers and sisters with full pay back, into your rank, so stay hard, stay strong, stay in shape. We’re going to get you back in your slot. 

….to my business brothers and sisters, do not comply. Put your attorneys to work….you have one year to survive. You can do it…stand for freedom….”  

Within 13 months, Rosa Parks’ simple act of courage began the restoration of freedom to her community. Over the next 12 months, our actions will do the same. If you want a vaccine, GET IT. If you don’t, DON’T. Regardless of your decision, my friends, those of us in the Republican Party will continue to fight against the unconstitutional edicts sent forth by this Administration. This afterall is and will continue to be America: the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.

Burgess Owens is the U.S. Representative of Utah’s fourth congressional district.  

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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