Rosa Parks honored on the Google logo, controversy ensues
Rosa Parks, the woman who refused to give up her bus seat and helped pave the way toward integration, has been honored with a sketch on Google featuring joyful children getting off a bus, evoking the words of Martin Luther King Jr. "I have a dream that one day ... little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers."
Where's the controversy in that? Patience, grasshopper.
The Google Doodle started out as an insider's joke in 1998. The founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, were going to play hooky and head to the hippie art festival Burning Man. To create a digital "out of office" note, they changed the Google logo to incorporate the Burning Man logo.
Soon, that lark became a holiday celebration, but the popularity of the doodles soon pushed Google into creating logos for all sorts of anniversaries, from Agatha Christie's birthday to the anniversary of the Lego.
In keeping with that grand American tradition of complaining, the doodle has not escaped controversy. Creationists accused Google of celebrating evolution. A Pakistani blogger complained that Ramadan had never been featured. Folks were angry that Google never honored the troops by posting Veterans Day logos. Then, when Google did create a logo for last month's Veterans Day, a national scandal ensued: Was the logo celebrating Islam? (Answer: only if you take a large leap into thinking the red 'e' in Google looks like a crescent moon.)
Now, enter Rosa Parks. It's not the woman who's necessarily controversial. It's just that the date of her famous bus ride happens to coincide with another meaningful day: World AIDS Day.
Google has partnered with (Red), an AIDS foundation, to turn a Google Map world view red, the more people tweet about AIDS, but it did not make any note of the day on its homepage. Complaints have started that Google should have added a red ribbon to its page.
@google It is WORLD AIDS DAY and you guys have not put up the red ribbon. 34 Million people living with HIV/AIDS. Did you know that GOOGLE?
Should Google learn to wield the power of the Doodle more responsibly? Or are these controversies tempests in a teapot?
For more information about Rosa Parks, read this great story about the bus ride that shook the nation's conscience. And for more information about World AIDS Day, see here.
| December 1, 2010; 10:29 AM ET
Tags: Agatha Christie, Burning Man, Google, Larry Page, Lego, Ramadan, Sergey Brin, United States
Save & Share: Previous: 'Project,' first iPad-only magazine, hits app-stands
Next: Playboy on hard drive, Playboy on Facebook, Playboy in China, Playboy everywhere
Posted by: FoodForThought44 | December 1, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: 1821 | December 1, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Melissa Bell | December 1, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jckdoors | December 1, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Clairebell | December 1, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ozpunk | December 1, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pras40 | December 1, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: jake8 | December 1, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mnjimmy | December 1, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse