Government Gave Us Jim Crow

When I posted an obit for Rosa Parks the other day, I noted something I hadn't known: that bus segregation wasn't "the way things had always been," but rather a relatively recent innovation. Thomas Sowell elaborates. It seems that in the 19th century, most city transit was privately owned and businessmen had no financial incentive to segregate races. That happened when blacks were disenfranchised and governments, bowing to pressure from the Klan, started to impose segregation.
Private owners of streetcar, bus and railroad companies in the South lobbied against the Jim Crow laws while these laws were being written, challenged them in the courts after the laws were passed, and then dragged their feet in enforcing those laws after they were upheld by the courts. These tactics delayed the enforcement of Jim Crow seating laws for years in some places. Then company employees began to be arrested for not enforcing such laws and at least one president of a streetcar company was threatened with jail if he didn't comply.

Sowell isn't claiming that businessmen were less racist than their peers --but they had a bottom line to worry about, and black money was as good as anyone else's.
People who decry the fact that businesses are in business "just to make money"seldom understand the implications of what they are saying. You make money by doing what other people want, not what you want.

Then the Courts got involved and made a bad situation worse (as is their wont).

Initially, segregation meant that whites could not sit in the black section of a bus any more than blacks could sit in the white section. But whites who were forced to stand when there were still empty seats in the black section objected. That's when the rule was imposed that blacks had to give up their seats to whites.

Legal sophistries by judges "interpreted" the 14th Amendment's requirement of equal treatment out of existence. Judicial activism can go in any direction.

That's when Rosa Parks came in, after more than half a century of political chicanery and judicial fraud.