In an interview, Ms. Parks explained why she had refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus: "The more we gave in, the more we complied with that kind of treatment, the more oppressive it became."
Thanks to her courage, many of the Jim Crow laws that dated back to the 1890s were eventually overturned. And as Americans reflected on how Rosa Parks' actions 50 years ago helped to restore the rights of Blacks, another recent report revealed how the constitutional rights of another segment in our society are being systematically eroded.
"Time to Defund Feminist Pork - The Hate-Men Law" is the title of the hard-hitting exposé by columnist Phyllis Schlafly. With surgical precision, Mrs. Schlafly dissects the Violence Against Women Act and reveals how lawmakers have been duped into believing they are doing something good for women.
Some people ask, Who could possibly be against protecting women? That chivalrous attitude has allowed VAWA to escape the scrutiny of civil rights advocates since it was first signed into law by President Clinton in 1994.
For starters, we should ask why VAWA-funded programs only serve women? After all, we live in a society that abhors sex discrimination. And male victims need our help.
"Studies by the leading domestic violence researchers found that half of all couple violence is mutual, and when only one partner is physically abusive, it is as likely to be initiated by the woman as the man," explains Mrs. Schlafly.
Then there's the word "violence." Most people think of violence as someone battering and bloodying their partner. But in VAWA lala-land, violence has morphed into abuse, a much broader and ill-defined term.
So under many state laws, everything from name-calling, controlling the household finances, and even making certain facial expressions now qualify as abuse. So men, think twice about furrowing a brow and telling your wife to not over-spend the credit card limit. She could take out a restraining order and send you packing.
Abuse of these orders is not an isolated problem. In Massachusetts, about 30,000 domestic orders are issued every year. One analysis by the Massachusetts Trial Court found that fewer than half of these restraining orders involved even an allegation of physical abuse.
Once Joe is out on the street, Jill files for divorce and custody of the kids. "What VAWA does is to promote divorce and provide women with weapons, such as the restraining order and free legal assistance, to get sole custody of their children," Schlafly warns. And sole custody equals many years of tax-free child support checks.
Another troubling piece of this law - clearly unconstitutional -- is its "mandatory-arrest" provisions. Let's say you get into a marital tiff, your wife or girlfriend calls 911, and the cops come running. But in the meantime, things cool down and she asks police to leave. Fine, but don't forget your toothbrush, because you will be going out in handcuffs.
It gets worse.
Let's say your wife, who was well-lubricated that evening, later realizes she took the first swing and wants the complaint to be dropped. Sorry, VAWA bribes local law enforcement agencies to implement "no-drop" policies that require prosecution, even though reconciliation has taken place.
This issue came to light a few years ago when former football star Warren Moon was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife. Afterwards Mrs. Moon requested the charge be dropped. But because the police were required to prosecute the case, Warren was taken to trial. At that time Felicia Moon was forced to admit that she, not Warren, had started the fight by throwing a candlestick.
Is this beginning to sound like a totalitarian nightmare?
It's no surprise that this $1 billion-a-year anti-father juggernaut eventually takes its toll on families. Highlighting the fact that almost 40% of our nation's children now live in a home without their own father, Schlafly urges Congress to "conduct an investigation to find out how much of this fatherlessness is the result of bad government in the hands of a small radical group that is biased against marriage and fathers."
Currently the U.S. Congress is mulling the fate of a five-year extension to the Violence Against Women Act, a law that has caused the basic civil liberties of hundreds of thousands of fathers and men to be casually disregarded.
And come to think of it, where has the ACLU been all this time?