“She sat down in order that we all might stand up – and the walls of segregation came down,” civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said.
Who will sit down
and talk sense
to the powers that be
To give us the freedom of choice
that we crave
at each match we go to see
We want to be erect
loud and proud
upon our feet
we’re told in no uncertain terms
to get back on our seat
We’re upstanding, when we pay our respects
to Rosa Parks, Hillsborough, Valley Parade
and the many, many more, gone to the grave
But why the discrimination
of enforced seating
when the majority behave?
Racism is being confronted
tackled and sometimes shackled
hopefully to be driven from our game
But the freedom of choice
no matter how much we voice, for terracing
is persistently denied : shame
Echoing the sentiments expressed by Parry, in paying respect to the central figure in a seminal moment in the fight against racism.
And then using the converse imagery from Jesse Jackson’s quote, to push it on to another topic that bugs many of us in football fandom.
STAND UP SPEAK OUT
“Rosa Parks, the black woman whose 1955 protest action in Alabama marked the start of the modern US civil rights movement, has died at the age of 92.
Mrs Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white man on a bus prompted a mass black boycott of buses, organised by Baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr.
His protest movement brought about the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial discrimination in the US.”