A couple of historical ones:
“The Civil War was fought to free slaves.”
It’s a lot more accurate to say the South fought it to ‘keep’ slaves than the north fought it to free slaves, at least until the ending of the war. The north fought mainly to preserve the Union. Both sides of course had many other reasons as well, but keeping slavery legal and the Union preserved were the two biggies.
One you hear a lot down here:
“The whole Rosa Parks arrest was a set up.”
It’s true that the NAACP was looking for a test case and that Rosa Parks, their secretary, knew this. It’s true there was already a sort of war game plan for what to do/who to call/etc. when somebody got arrested who was of good moral character and unimpeachable background. (There had been two people they considered using- most famously Claudette Colvin, a 15 year old who before her trial became pregnant by a married boyfriend and thus they knew she’d be torn to ribbons on the stand, an a black professor who it turned out had been a member of the Communist Party and they knew that too would go bad for the movement.)
What was not set up: the busdriver, who was notoriously racist even by 1950s standards (Rosa and other black people knew him and had had run-ins with him before) ordering her to get up when it was completely within his discretion not to do so, and of course the whole law itself. Rosa Parks was not looking to get arrested that day (she wasn’t as tired as she’s sometimes portrayed- she was only 42 and in good shape).
A connection that isn’t as well known to the Rosa Parks case was Emmett Till. The Sunday before Parks had attended a meeting with some of Emmett Till’s Mississippi family, they saw the pictures of his body, and the murderers had already been tried, released, and profited from the murder by selling the LOOK magazine article in which they bragged about it, and this infuriated her and most other black people not just for the acts of two white trash murderers but for the inaction of decent white people who might say “That’s a shame” but wouldn’t do anything more than that. There had also been a cold blooded murder of a black man trying to vote in Mississippi the previous week- in front of witnesses, no indictments. She was understandably pissed.
She did use an existing battle plan for challenging the law. She really didn’t set up 80 years of Jim Crow laws and slip the busdriver a C-note to call the cops. She also paid dearly for rocking the boat: death threats, harassment, being fired, having to move in with her brother and his 13 kids in Detroit, etc., so it’s not like she profited from it or got off on the fame of it all.