Rosa Parks’ niece says there’s no way the United Airlines passenger being dragged off a plane has any similarities to her aunt’s planned action of not giving up her seat in Alabama during the height of segregation.
David Dao is a Vietnamese doctor who was yanked off a United Airlines flight Sunday, April 9 when he refused crew orders to abandon his seat. His lawyer said he received an email Thursday from someone who proclaimed Dao is the “modern-day Asian Rosa Parks.”
Parks was a longtime member of the Montgomery, Ala., NAACP when she refused to give her seat to a white passenger on a bus in 1955.
“Is Dr. Dao the modern-day Rosa Parks? I would say no,” Parks’ niece Urana McCauley tells TMZ Friday, April 14. “Unfortunately, what happened to Dr. Dao is definitely wrong and it was definitely a mistreatment of him. But, as someone who is her niece and grew up with Rosa Parks and knowing her on a personal level, knowing all that she endured and knowing what Black people in this country have endured at that time, I feel that you cannot compare the two.”
McCuley noted Dao will likely change United’s policy for removing passengers, but Parks “changed history.”
“There is no comparison,” she says. “On a personal level … these things weren’t in a textbook, the death threats my aunt was getting all the way up until 2000. You can’t say that what happened to [Dao] is what happened to people like my aunt, who helped change history forever.”