Shuttle boycott honorable, but misguided

Joe Pelletier

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.