TEMECULA, Calif. - No one disagrees that Rosa Parks was an iconic civil rights leader. Parks showed her courage when she refused to sit in the back of the bus, which remains a critical junction in the battle for the rights of African Americans in this country.
Fast-forward to 2021, a Temecla city councilperson is now under fire after comparing her struggle of not wearing a mask during the pandemic to the challenges Parks faced.
Jessica Alexander made that remark during an Apr. 13 city council meeting held over a Zoom call.
To put it in context, the council was discussing their return to physical meetings in the City Hall and considering if they should wear masks, even if they are safely separated by plastic shields.
Alexander has stated she has medical issues wearing the mask, which she also sees as a matter of principle and rights. So do her supporters, who don’t see anything wrong with her using Rosa Parks' name in discussing her own difficulties with the issue.
Others are pretty upset about her remark. The Inland Director of the NAACP, as you’ll see in our piece, explains that while he doesn’t necessarily see the statement as racist, when listened to in context, it is insensitive.
He would like her to apologize.
The Riverside County chapter of the National Association of Women has criticized her statements, as have angry residents writing to the city hall.
Alexander has not returned our calls for comment. Meetings continue over Zoom in Temecula