Monday, September 14, 2009

Boorish America

Over the course of the last few days we have seen blatant examples of this country's loss of civility and a lack of respect for each other. Rep. Joe Wilson of S.C. heckled the President of the United States during the President's speech to a joint session of Congress. Congressmen have had physical confrontations over the course of this country's history, but never has a member of Congress stooped so low as to yell out "you lie" during a president's speech before Congress. Wilson, half-heartedly apologized, then immediately used his actions to raise money, making one wonder if he planned the incident.

Saturday, Serena Williams uttered a profanity-laced stream of venom at a line judge during the semifinals of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. The call was a bad one, but not worthy of such a venomous response. John McEnroe and Illie Nastase before her were prone to yell at officials, but never in such a threatening and callous manner as displayed by Ms. Williams. The the worst of profanity and the threats which Ms. Williams used were totally out of line. She claimed not to believe that the judge felt threatened by her actions, but a large, muscular woman, carrying a tennis racket and yelling such threatening profanity would have made me want to leave the area. Her public statement contained no apology for her sorry actions.

Last night, someone named Kanye West interrupted a young woman's acceptance speech at a music awards show to protest that someone else should have won the category. How boorish can you get? The young woman was 19 years old and proud to have won an award, yet this guy ruined her moment with his rude behavior. Breaking news: President Obama called West a jackass in an off camera moment during an NBC interview. Good call Mr. President.

Since the presidential election several "men of God" have openly prayed for the death of the President. Some have actually said that they hate the man. Can you imagine a preacher actually praying for someones death? I would bet that preachers did not even pray for Hitler's death during WW II. I cannot fathom a preacher saying that they hate someone. Unbelievable!

A scant few years ago, no one would have dared step over the line of civility in public, lest their reputation and careers would have been ruined. In today's world people are almost rewarded for such behavior. Joe Wilson has had his line picked up already by Obama haters around the country and thousands have been contributed to his campaign. Serena Williams will continue to compete in tennis tournaments. Her wrist has been slapped with what for her is a pocket-change fine. Kanye West will probably suffer no consequences at all for his rude behavior. In fact there are probably many who revere him for speaking his mind.

We see rude behavior daily on the street, in gatherings, at sporting events and now in town hall meetings and the halls of Congress. No one, it seems, is adult enough to act civil towards their fellow man. As a child, I was taught to call any adult, Mr. or Mrs., say thank you and you're welcome (not "no problem"), and always respect the feelings and property of others. Few people today seem to have any regard for each other and such feelings will not change, when people in the public eye act as the aforementioned boors have done. Apologies seem to have little meaning. The old adage, act now and get forgiveness later, appears to be the rule.

1 comment:

Diane J Standiford said...

Yes, Sir! I agree. Pitiful. I treat others with respect. It is just so much easier. (Not to say I don't have an Irish temper...)