Pop Corn Shrimp & Manners

“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!


4 thoughts on “Pop Corn Shrimp & Manners

  1. Manners are a pet peeve of mine, the lack of them. I DO have my moments, I can be very snippy when stressed but over the years I have tried to address that when it happens. I do not think it is just the school’s where this needs to be taught… it is up to each person who recognizes the need for mutual respect in the community to live it and to speak up when they see unneeded rudeness. Admittedly, I’m a girl and we can get away with saying things like.. “Didn’t your mother teach you any manners?”.. in a light but serious way. I also live by the guideline that just because someone is rude to me or disrespectful does not mean I am given carte blanche to treat them in the same manner. In fact, then I have to go out of my way to extend the respect I wasn’t given… not to allow myself to be walked over but to stick to my principles no matter what the situation. Who knows, even if you do not see a change in behavior right then, it might stick with them and come to fruition at a later date. Btw, I’ve noticed your in Tampa (I think) – I used to live off of Nebraska near Ybor – it is unfortunate but Tampa was always a sort of rude city in my eyes, 7th avenue after midnight was almost all blinding white and was disgustingly rude. I preferred the people in my ghetto honestly… less entitlement and more real people living day to day. Anyway…people suck no matter what they’re ethnicity, socio economic status or social class – but they can also be wonderful. Damn paradox.

    Be well!

    • Hi and thanks for your response. I used to live on Fletcher Ave close to Nebraska. Kind of a wild area to live in, especially Suit Case City and College Hill and one could never forget the area near Leto High School. My daughter went to school there and she said she kept her head low and went with the flow. Things were so bad, they outlawed colors on school property.

      People from the U.S.A unnecessarily blunt and from a foreigners viewpoint it is over the top and rude. A lot of Americans go to foreign countries and disrespect their culture when easy things like learning touristy German would go a long way.

      I lived in segregated neighborhood as a kid and the blacks lived just over the road and across the fence. The cool thing the fence was broken and we went over to there and played with the kids in that community. The fence being broken is no irony since things were changing and too many whites, even today are answering for things they had no part in.

      When we moved to New York it was rural and we might have had 2-3 black families. One of their children was the first black given a scholarship to University of Virginia. Anyway at supper our dad was dropping the N words repeatedly and we went off on him. All five of us kids!! We were not coached either. We knew he was wrong and I bet my mom was laughing to herself. He was mean to her.

      Again thanks for your patronage and please tell your friends.


  2. I am quite familiar with Fletcher.. I had a little crappy apartment about 3 or 4 blocks north of Fletcher right off Nebraska. This is back in 2000, quite some time ago. I admit I was glad to move and prefer the northwest to the southeast, I’m not a Tampa native, just lived there 5 years.

    I agree about American’s being rude overseas, I’ve only been lucky enough to go once through a family connection but many Americans are very rude unfortunately. It is a lack of some basic common courtesy and empathy that seems to be part of the problem. A sense of entitlement and disregard,

    Be well!

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