October 25, 2005
Stephen Colbert: Yesterday was full of losses for America, the greatest of which was beloved civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks. Which brings us to tonight's Word: overrated.
Now, don't get me wrong. Hear me out. Hear me out. Ms. Parks' refusal to give up her seat on that Alabama bus was the first in a series of triumphs for the civil rights movement.
- Parks Did It First
And more importantly, it enriched our vocabulary by allowing us to call anyone who is the first person to do something the "Rosa Parks" of whatever it is that person did first.
- Stay With Me...
For instance, Michelle Wie is the Rosa Parks of adorable teenage Asian pro female golfers.
Now I know this isn't gonna win me any popularity contests, but am I the only person who remembers that Rosa Parks got famous for breaking the rules? Now, you can disagree with any law you want. Take your pick.
Now, I happen to think--I happen to think that Alabama bus law was terrible. And apparently Ms. Parks agreed with me. I'll give her credit for that. But here's where we part company. Nobody's above the law. That's what we call anarchy. You start disobeying laws simply because they're unjust, pretty soon you got yourself a country full of Gandhis.
- He Drank His Own Urine
No thanks. Look, look, there were other options. How about renting a car?
- Decline The Insurance
If so many people were upset... if so many people were upset, why not start your own bus company? Let the free market do what it does best--bring justice to the disenfranchised.
You know, I was talkin' about this, uh, to a friend of mine last night, Alan--he's a black guy. And, um... let's put Alan's picture up there. Okay? I gave Alan my take on Rosa Parks, and you should've heard the string of expletives he started yelling. Just abou--just as mad about this as I am. The point is, this is a nation of laws. When we start honoring outlaws, aren't we all in the back of America's bus?
- Think About It
So, tonight, let me be the first--the Rosa Parks, if you will--of saying to those malcontents out there, the best way to change the system is to wait till it changes. And that's the Word.