ROSA PARKS, MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. AND ALABAMA Then my thoughts turn again to the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act and I wince at the irony that this law, which threatens the equality and education of so many, has been concocted in Alabama—a state inextricably tied to the Civil Rights movement. It was there that Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, lighting the fuse that would lead to the Montgomery bus boycott. It was there that Martin Luther King Jr. spent nine days in a Birmingham jail for opposing segregation. It was there that police officers wielded water hoses and German shepherds against peaceful protesters. It was there that hundreds of ordinary people braved billy clubs and tear gas and marched from Selma to Montgomery to focus the nation’s attention on voter registration inequities. Today, Alabama is again the vortex of a fight against injustice. It is again a state where a piece of paper can mean the difference between education and ignorance. It is again a place where people are being judged by the color of their skin. It is again the setting for bigotry sanctioned by the courts and brandished like a banner by politicians.