“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.” ~Eric Hoffer
Last night I was sleeping in my car (because I am a homeless vet) and all of a sudden I woke up and there was a man leaning up against my driver’s side door smoking a cigarette. To say I was startled and confused was an understatement and so I tapped on the window loudly and asked what he was doing?
I am sure he was genuinely startled but come on, that is my car and you are leaning on it and I do not know you. My parents would have yelled at me just for touching another person’s car and if the owner yelled at me they would have said, “what do you expect, you shouldn’t be doing that. I told him that I was a vet with PTSD and he startled me.
His response to get all loud and obnoxious, a trait he is probably used to and gets away with. I wanted to get out and confront him face to face but thought better of it. Not because I was scared but this could have gotten out of hand. I do not know him or his cohorts but the situation was fluid and I did not wanted a ride in a squad car. He even said something about getting my butt whipped and again that urge to go out there and act menacing. Again my frontal cortex indicated this would not end well.
He eventually boarded the bus and it left and I was just laying there hoping he wasn’t going to start some kind of riot. A decent human being would have apologized for startling me and for leaning on my car. But no!! This is the Jerry Springer generation where rude behavior gets you a silver star and $10,000 cash.
So what has gone so terribly wrong in this country? Why do people expect a pass over totally ignorant and rude behavior? And I do not believe in situational ethics. Wrong is wrong no matter what color the package and yes, he was black. And there is nothing wrong in bringing that up, because I see it, our society has sat on our hands and said nothing.
What does this do? Well it rewards a bad behavior and perverts common courtesy and relegates it to the dung heap of ‘old school ideas’. Many whites are afraid to complain because they are afraid. I didn’t serve my country nor my black brothers who feel the same way I do.
But who is teaching our kids ‘right values’? Acting ghetto is not a way to get a job where employers will summarily excuse a thug and hire a person with some moral compass. It kind of reminds me of a kid who has an older brother and whenever the kid harasses another person he hides behind his big brother when he started it. Bullying!
How are we to teach our kids to be nice when adults do not? When did we stop being decent and showing deference to age, or disability? I wonder if his mother would have been proud of him? I seriously doubt that, because most working blacks would either roll their eyes or just turn away.
For this to change we need the schools to teach right values and right values are not determined by being black or harkening back to the Jim Crowe era. Adults of children should not be afraid to stand for something. Be proud of living here and extending every courtesy possible and stop cheering bad behavior on shows like Maury and Springer and ladies who fight and flash for the audience.
Just entertainment? No, we need to stop that too. It have come about that society is reflecting art. That shock is preferable to consideration and putting each other down an art form.
We can do this. Like Patrick Swayze said in ‘Roadhouse’, just be nice!