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Opinion

Opinion

Americans are losing their civility

August 15, 2010

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Can we be candid here? Can we just say this plainly?

The public is a bunch of rude, obnoxious jerks.

OK, so I overstate. A little. Yes, there are exceptions. I’m not such a bad guy and you, of course, are a paragon of civility. But the rest of them? A cavalcade of boors, boobs, bums, bozos and troglodytes.

So it is small wonder the tale of Steven Slater has hit a nerve. The precise sequence of events is still being sorted out at this writing. The initial story was that Slater, a flight attendant for JetBlue, got into it with a woman who cursed him when he asked her not to stand up to retrieve her bags while the plane was still taxiing. At some point, Slater was apparently hit in the head; his attorney says the woman slammed the storage bin on him.

This much is certain: Slater went on the plane’s public address system and, as quoted by one witness, declared, “To the passenger who just called me a motherf—————, f——— you. I’ve been in this business 28 years and I’ve had it.” He then grabbed himself a beer from a service cart, deployed the plane’s evacuation slide, slid down to the tarmac and drove home. He was arrested soon after.

To concede the obvious: Yes, it was a dumb stunt. He’s lucky no one on the ground was injured by the slide.

But still ... it resonates, doesn’t it?

Some people are framing what happened as a cautionary tale of workplace stress. It seems to me, though, that the episode speaks more pointedly to something larger: the growing incivility of all our daily lives.

If the initial account stands up, we’re talking about the incivility of the passenger. If an alternate account turns out to be true — some passengers say Slater ignited the confrontation with his own brusque behavior — we might find guilt on both sides.

But either version vindicates a belief that simple courtesy has become a lost art. I’m reminded of how, when we kids would ask my mom for something, she would prompt us: “What’s the magic word?” The magic word was “please.” And when you’d received what you’d asked for, there was another magic word: “thank you.”

In the olden days, we thought manners mattered. Apparently we no longer do. And while that observation can’t be quantified, it is one many of us share. A number of surveys, including one from Rasmussen Reports in 2009, find that an overwhelming majority of us (75 percent, according to Rasmussen) think Americans are becoming ruder.

I certainly do. The other day I’m at the cable company and there’s this guy whose service has apparently been shut off for nonpayment. He’s paid his bill and the woman at the counter says she can have someone out the next day to reconnect him, “if you wish.”

“If I wish? That’s a stupid-ass thing to say!”

“Well, sir, we need to make sure someone will be home.”

“You didn’t need to make sure I was home before you f——- up my s—-.”

Those of us in line pretended not to hear. But if that woman had gone Steven Slater on that guy and shoved his cable box where the sun don’t shine, I think she’d have gotten a standing ovation.

From that cable office to Rep. Joe Wilson hollering “You lie!” in the middle of a presidential speech to the banal meanness of the average Internet message board, people seem to have gone utterly bat poop. So on behalf of you and me, let me tell the boorish public this:

I don’t need to hear you on your cell describing your skin rash. Don’t curse at me when I’m crossing the street on a green light. That thing next to your steering wheel is called a turn signal. I paid $7.50 to hear the movie, not you. Obey your flight attendant. Other people have feelings, too.

Please remember those things and nobody gets hurt.

Thank you.

— Leonard Pitts Jr., is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. CDT each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com. lpitts@miamiherald.com

Comments

monkeyhawk 4 years, 4 months ago

It all began with "call waiting", then there was road rage, and now we have Obama.

dontcallmedan 4 years, 4 months ago

He may well have told Senator Reid (and just about everyone) that, but the famous incident was with Senator Leahy.

irnmadn88 4 years, 4 months ago

The author has most likely not officiated, refereed, or umpired, youth sports. The abuse those people get in front of children, no wonder...

yankeevet 4 years, 4 months ago

Thats for sure...............I am sure the author stays away from those areas.....

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

Which neighborhoods? Please tell us of one time that you encountered anyone saying that as part of civil discourse in any neighborhood or home.

You can't. You know why you can't? Because you are a racist, pure and simple.

This forum just gives you the opportunity to spout your stupid, racist sayings. Just a quick glance at your comment history demonstrates your clear hatred for people who aren't white. Amazing that things like you still exist.

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

Believe he's referring to the New Black Panther party member who was taped saying those things, bea.

rbwaa 4 years, 4 months ago

Look who is calling who a broken record.

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

"Pitts is the racist; he hates whites. Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are cut from the same cloth as Pitts. Taking your hatred out on whites via costly legislation is the problem, not white on black racism. Whites are powerless right now. Pitts fails to recognize this." http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/apr/22/tea-party-anger-has-racial-tone/#c1220470

Remember writing that one Tom? I remember, and we all know who the racist is. Only a racist would ever come up with a line like "Whites are powerless right now," all because of ONE Black man elected to high office. That is just purely stunning, and you continue down the same path day after day. Tom, you are the racist. It drives your thinking, and it is why once before, under your previous user name "right-thinker" you posted a link to a White Supremacist group's website to support a claim you were making. I remember that one too. You are White and you are angry because a Black man is in office, and you are "powerless right now." Guess what? If Obama wasn't in office, you wouldn't have any more power than you already do. It is all in your mind.

I don't care if you admit it to us, just admit it to yourself.

scott3460 4 years, 4 months ago

The inordinate power of large corporate interests is, of course, the single thread that connects all of this. Perhaps if there were a way to make them act in the public interest since they don't seem interested in doing so when left to their own devices.

davidsmom 4 years, 4 months ago

This column had nothing to do with racism. I've ignored national news lately and I never read the story he's retelling, so I had no idea what color the flight attendant or the woman were. He is absolutely correct. Americans have become a lot more rude and uncivil than they were a generation ago.

bondmen 4 years, 4 months ago

Top honors go to the lamestream political entertainers on MSNBC for non stop shouting of ignominious indignities from their sewer gutters.

overthemoon 4 years, 4 months ago

Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Pat Buchanan and that's only the tip of the iceberg. And most of them were huffing and puffing long before Obama even started campaigning.

scott3460 4 years, 4 months ago

Indeed, name one liberal radio show.

40% of this country votes reliably Democratic, yet there are no left talk radio shows in the vast majority of the country. This was not always so and coincides with the consolidation of media in to fewer and fewer hands over the last 20 years. With each passing day, more and more citizens are indoctrinated by the right wing. The hysterical cries of "liberal media bias" are only the distracting tactics of the professional propagandists.

They do not fool me.

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

Naaaaw, that's only 'cuz you're already fooled. No progressive radio shows in the majority of the country??!! That's just flat out bs. And just today on CNN w/ Zakariah the panel was talking about the vast majority of liberal leaning papers, reporters, and magazines as compared to conservative. Talk about delusion.

scott3460 4 years, 4 months ago

Name the talk radio show, jay.

There may still be balance in TV (for now,) but the consolidation of AM radio and control of message to the vast majority of the country is complete. Name the talk radio show.

overthemoon 4 years, 4 months ago

You're right, and no one is going to name the show because it doesn't exist. There is NOTHING in the center or left that compares with fox and its allies in terms of message control. They even admit this. What is perceived as 'liberal leaning' in this day is anything that is not purity tested ultra conservative. And anything that touches on the reality of an issue is attacked as 'far left wacko liberal'.

Thing is, if anyone were to stop and think this through, they would have to realize that the 'left', or the non-right may be a better term, is not the cohesive, single minded machine that the right has become. It is impossible for us to be that as we have no single issues, no purity tests, no Frank Luntz character churning out the daily scary talking point words. We just aren't that organized.

I wish folks would remember their history and realize that control of the media is one of the foundations for fascism or totalitarianism. They're just not realizing that they are being used by a machine they would have nothing to do with if they were paying attention.

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

Seriously? You and overthemoon?

Colmes has been on the air since the '80's. Stephanie Miller, Matt Rothschild, The Progressive Radio Network, Thom Hartmann, Mike Malloy, Bernie Ward, Ed Schultz, Imus and Leikus, Democracy Radio, Air America, Randi Rhodes.....

The list goes on. Yeah, there's nothin' out there.

overthemoon 4 years, 4 months ago

Air America is gone. Imus is progressive? Hardly. Have never heard of most of the others. Don't see them included in Democratic conventions or planning sessions nor featured or quoted on any news or information programs. There are some local issue shows like Shannyn Moore in Alaska, but there is NO ONE with the range, influence and disruptive capability of Limbaugh and his cronies.

Again, ;there is no centralized media control like Fox news and its affiliates. And they lie, fabricate, exaggerate and incite on a regular, daily basis. And this is where those who are 'terrified for their country' are getting their daily dose of fear mongering and misinformation. Tragic. To say the least.

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

I never said nor implied there was anyone w/ the range of Limbaugh, and yes, Imus is considered liberal though I've never really listened and I don't think his show is predicated on ideology. Nor have I claimed that conservative talking heads aren't a bane for this country, I definitely believe they are; Hannity in particular makes me vomit in my mouth. The argument we're having is over progressive voice on the radio, and whether or not you've "heard of them" doesn't take away from them being well represented and available nationally.

overthemoon 4 years, 4 months ago

ok. point made and well taken. I do not listen to and am not aware of them and they seem to have marginal impact. I'm glad they're out there trying.

jaywalker 4 years, 4 months ago

Believe me, you're hardly missing much no matter which side you'd be able to find. I've spent alot of time on the road so a while ago I turned to talk radio to pass the miles. Started in the mid-90's when Clinton was in the WH and Limbaugh really started makin' his bones. And the one thing that readily apparent was that NOTHING positive was ever going to be said about the President or anyone on the left. Didn't matter what someone did, it could be twisted, shaped, or parsed to fit a particular talking point. And now liberal radio does much the same thing though overall and generally I think they're more fair. I would say that I've heard much more unbelievably crazy stuff from left leaning pundits (UFO conspiracy theories that'd make a 4 year old roll their eyes, for example), but all in all they're all about the evil apparent on the other side. There are a few worth listening to from both sides as well, but it's usually slim pickin's.

uncleandyt 4 years, 4 months ago

what a poor and woeful view I must have, I feel bad about all of my misinformed comments. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I guess that I have more to learn.

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

on a side note, I can't stand olbermann either, thats why I don't watch MSNBC, but lets not forget that other people can freakout too....

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

You may be right about the timeline.

But, it was also the reactions of the existing social order that created the problems - do you remember the students at Kent State who were killed?

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

I said nothing of the sort.

Rejecting traditional values creates a backlash (and is not illegal or immoral, in my view).

Without the backlash, we wouldn't have had the experience we've had since then.

It happens with most social change. Feminism created an anti-feminist backlash, the granting of rights to blacks created a backlash, etc.

Our history is a patchwork of the conflict between existing social orders and challenges to them.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

I generally agree, but I also understand the frustrations of a group that has been enslaved and discriminated against for over 100 years - I can understand Malcolm X, even if I disagree with him.

It was the students who were killed by law enforcement while peacefully protesting.

I haven't "blamed America" - the hippies were Americans, as were the feminists, civil rights protesters, etc. You seem to be saying that only those who wanted to continue the existing social order are "America" - therein lies the conflict I mentioned.

I have seen incivility in all groups of people.

jafs 4 years, 4 months ago

Generally agreed.

But there is also a conflict between an existing social order and new challenges that has been played out over time as well.

And, I'm not sure that no other country is correct - what about Canada, for example, or England, or other advanced democracies?

scott3460 4 years, 4 months ago

What a nice display of civility this has been!

scott3460 4 years, 4 months ago

My comment was not directed at you Tange.

If pointing out an obvious spelling error is insufferable arrogance, I wonder what I'd be called for pointing out that the incivility may stem from the right wing's execution of anyone who was pushed too hard or too effectively for social change in the 1960's. Since then our political "leaders" sure seem to have gotten the message and acted accordingly.

Our bad behavior may just stem from the dissatisfaction of living under the heel of a boot.

scott3460 4 years, 4 months ago

Well, my words were a bit mixed up, I see, but I was alluding to the executions of the Kennedy's, MLK, Malcolm X, and others pushing for social justice. All of those leaders were pretty systematically eliminated.

Michael Throop 4 years, 4 months ago

applejack-right on, thank you. I am an 'average age" baby boomer, and back in the late 1960s, I had to put up with the crowd insistant on walking out on class in college, calling for 'strikes" and "shutdowns", never mind the rest of us were there to complete our education, and we'll determine what our politics will be, thank you.These were, invariably, the rich kids, the kids whose dense parents gave them everything, and everything wasn't enough. They learned, ascertained, actually, that the way to get your way was to be loud,crude,and pushy. The left-wingers on the faculty, suffering from a lack of maturity and common sense, egged these jokers on.They couldn't be disrupters in the 1950s, but, hey, here's our last chance. Fast forward to the 2000s. The punks spawned more punks. And, here were out with odious adults (with a 6 year old's sense of right and wrong) as obnoxious and demanding of their "rights' as they were in the sandbox 20 years previous. Interestingly the teenagers of today are much better mannered and, horrors, want rules, decorum and boundries and, worst of all, structure and a faith life. Gotta shout that down, right??

grammaddy 4 years, 4 months ago

We did have Vietnam up close and personal on the 6 o'clock news in our homes every night,That was a lot of violence. You don't see that kind of war coverage any more.And I believe a lot of the protesting came from our Presidents lying to us about the expansion of the war.First Johnson and then Nixon.The 60's gave social unrest a voice. We just never stopped screaming.

thinkagain 4 years, 4 months ago

It may have started with call waiting but it certainly proves itself true in this newspaper's comments section. And who knows what race any of you are. Americans have not only become increasingly rude, but increasingly bitter and whole lot less educated due to the rude, mocking of intelligence.

Ryan Wood 4 years, 4 months ago

These anonymous comments are usually so nice, too. I wonder what Pitts is talking about.

snoozey 4 years, 4 months ago

Point well made - though I rarely agree w Pitts. Latchkey childrearing, TV babysitting, lack of social structure and so on have resulted in a decline of manners among those generations of young adults & children. If one had to delineate social class in America it may be accurate to do so based on the quality of manners - more so than dress, speech and appearance. If you travel much, particularly out of the country, this is even more obvious. It is an unfortunate disadvantage for our youth. FIrst impressions are often made on such things as manners. The good news is that they can be taught - the bad is that it takes effort. Time to turn off the wrestling channel or skip that reality TV show and interact w the kids.

mom_of_three 4 years, 4 months ago

As a latchkey kid myself, I object. You can't just pick that one group and think the lack of manners comes from it. As someone who has worked in retail and now in another job where I see tons of young people, lack of manners and civility isn't just in one social group or another.

whats_going_on 4 years, 4 months ago

I think a lot of it has to do with people's obnoxious attitudes on internet blogs and such starting to come out in real life. People have no civility online (yes, I'm gulity sometimes)...and it seems to be echoing out of their mouths. I know I get angry sometimes when I read stuff online, and I have to take a step back because I can sense myself outwardly getting pissed and taking it out on other people. It's a horrible feeling. :( Whoa the days when we could just sit down and read a paper or watch the news, and maybe get pissed, but be able to cool off before we actually had to speak to someone else about it. Or the days when people werent easily available to email ridiculous lies over the internet in order to fire up their like minded (and opposite minded) friends.

I also think it has to do with a sense of "entitlement" people have over everything.

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

He was the guy arrested in his own home for being Black, right?

Flap Doodle 4 years, 4 months ago

He was the guy that acted stupidly while interacting with a police officer.

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

And he got arrested for acting stupidly in his own home? Wow, who knew that was a crime. If acting stupid in your own home is now a crime, I'll bet most of us risk arrest then at some point.

beatrice 4 years, 4 months ago

Check the record there Hydra. He was arrested well after the officer knew he was dealing with the home owner. He was arrested for acting stupidly in his own home.

By the way, is there a law against using force to get into your own home? I don't think so.

Maybe some day we can have a beer together to discuss it.

grammaddy 4 years, 4 months ago

Now that is civility, and guess what? It works.After Obama had his "beer summitt" with Gates and Officer Crowley,The professor and the officer gained a mutual respect for each other.Great answer Bea!

Mike Ford 4 years, 4 months ago

civility is a one sided thing as Mr. Shewmon tries to paint it really...... Mr Pitts is a racist really... one thing caucasian people have a problem with... reality..... this latest line of anger comes from one side of people who waited eight years for a war starting tax refund and budget destroying unfunded mandate championing teach to the test wrap yourself in a flag and have no solutions leading to the tarp genius. A new leader comes in to deal with one side of the isle that will trot out the very tax ideas that got us into this mess to begin with. I almost fell over yesterday when I heard one of the original architects of this supply side BS, David Stockman, say that tax cuts were a disaster and that his party was to blame for this mess. The republicans have no effective ideas other than to violently oppose Obama, vilify him and be as obstructionist as possible. Besdies, under normal circumstances, those who created this mess should've stepped aside, but noooooooooo, they rev up a bunch of clueless angry people who should be angry at Bush and not Obama and lead the clueless people with the tone of the angry pied piper and make this situation worse. One cannot call one a racist simply because that person calls out the majority culture for forgetting what the majority culture did to get this country to where it is. Raw facts.... it took 236 years before a minority president was in office... who was in power through the Indian removals of the 1830's? who was in power during slavery, the US Civil War and Jim Crow? who was in power when women finally got the right to vote and native peoples got citizenship? who fought integration? who denied the tenets of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments for 100 years until the Civil Rights Act of 1964-65.. who still speaks code language and dares people llike me to speak out.. you guessed it. Finally American exceptionalism is a farce, people stole lands got free labor and act like they're heroes and call out people like me who connect them to the sins
of the past. Without land theft and free labor from 1619 to 1863, how would've all of the immigrants got stuff done? Like Jack Nicholson ordering the code red, say thank you for all of the free land and labor you got.

George Lippencott 4 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps a bit of an overstatement?? Many did it by their own hard work.

I might also observe that the northern economy was never dependent on slavery as was that of the south. It took 650,000 lives to even move the marker followed by a century of backsliding. At least we have tried and deserve a bit more than the rant offered here.

scott3460 4 years, 4 months ago

Does dick even pretend to be civil? I thought it was pretty clear for all to see - he's just a traitor out for his own personal enrichment.

denak 4 years, 4 months ago

What is really shocking about this article is that he can still go to a movie and pay only $7.50

slowplay 4 years, 4 months ago

Ummmm....The matinée at SW 12 is $7.50. I pay $6.75 anytime. Do a little research before you post.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 4 years, 4 months ago

All of the above.

But my favorite is the woman standing in an aisle at Aldi's babbling on a cell phone (the modern day device of infinite distraction) to someone who cannot get her called vctim to understand "Portobello mushrooms" and thinking tht yelling into the phone will increase the level of communication.

Other shoppers provided their opinion of this tasteless display by responding in chorus "PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS!!!!!!!!"

I nearly died laughing!

Mike Ford 4 years, 4 months ago

gee nice thread change guys, stay away from facts to make people go away eh?

verity 4 years, 4 months ago

Oh, the irony.

Do we not see ourselves?

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree that public incivility has grown, at least in my (long) lifetime. It's cyclical, of course; some of the political rhetoric of the 19th century equals anything we hear today.
I think that what people hear on the airwaves (radio and television) and read (especially on the internet) shape what they perceive as acceptable language and acceptable behavior. While use of a few obscene words has remained technically prohibited, all sorts of other uncivil behavior flourishes in the media. Too many people think that it's okay, even admirable, to make obnoxious, untrue comments ("zingers") just to rile someone, or to make nasty insinuations about someone and dare that person to refute them. This mode of communication is not only unpleasant, but it is eroding the political fabric of our country, which depends upon the honest exchange of ideas and the development of compromises. What can be done? First, learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Don't call people names (with or without obscenities). Don't label a person an "enemy" because you disagree on one issue. Second, defend people who are the target of incivility. Invite the person who is speaking out of turn to calm down, and to express himself/herself "using your words," as we tell preschoolers who lash out. Express sympathy for the target of the incivility. Third, don't applaud people for their incivility, even if you agree with their position. And if their position goes beyond bad language into outright hatred, reject it absolutely. It could work on this forum, too.

overthemoon 4 years, 4 months ago

or simply put, treat others as you would like to be treated. Old rule, still applies.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 4 months ago

Of course Pitts is correct. Manners and courtesy are more than just the nice things to do. They serve a function in that they allow humans to interact with each other sanely and thus for society to operate smoothly.

We have reached the point in America where our lack of manners and civility is impeding progress on important political and societal issues. Just look at Congress.

Having said that, it is still imperative to call out idiots for their dumb ideas, action, and comments.

You know who you are.

Janet Lowther 4 years, 4 months ago

I see the decline in civility as taking a definite nose-dive with the decidedly unfair rhetoric used by the Bush administration after the 9-11-2001 attacks.

Anyone who opposed the repressive measures they were implementing was anti-American. With this example, is it any wonder that more and more extreme rhetoric is coming from which ever faction which is not in power?

You know, here we are sitting next to a university with some really top-flight rhetoricians. Maybe some enterprising reporter can mosey up the hill and see what they have to say about the issue.

Jimo 4 years, 4 months ago

I am at a loss as to how anyone would think a culture could jettison social hierarchy and the very concept of, let alone active discernment between, better and worse, and expect civility to reign. One may have egalitarianism or one may establish and enforce manners, but one may not have both "anything goes" and a refined "code of conduct."

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

Jimo, You need to take another look at the language of your posts in response to the article about the book on the surrender of Japan in 1945. Your language certainly falls into the "anything goes" category.

voevoda 4 years, 4 months ago

For those forum readers who are wondering, here is the link: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2010/aug/15/historians-rethink-key-soviet-role-japan-defeat/#comments Jimo called me "morally bankrupt" because I defended the integrity of a reputable scholar whose work Jim misrepresented and then condemned.

independant1 4 years, 4 months ago

Ya get what ya give

but then there's always some jacka$$.....

independant1 4 years, 4 months ago

is common courtesy dead? Pitts says like the olden days, is that to avoid saying the good old days?

Kris_H 4 years, 4 months ago

I still see more people being courteous every day than not. Most people don't look happy and I'm not surprised by that, but most of us have not lost our basic courtesy toward one another.

I agree, though, there are a lot of egregiously bad examples. People generally won't correct them because they just hope they'll move on, go away, shut the cluck up, whatever. Also they don't want to become the victim of some escalation of the rage.

Having worked in serving the public in various capacities, I totally sympathize with the airline attendant. How many times have those folks wanted to say, "Well, f--- you!" But it's considered part of the job to take that stuff (until you can't any more, then you quit).

Maybe if we could just remember that we're all bozos on this bus...

independant1 4 years, 4 months ago

My fav retort for the raged (after they are gone of course), "Lighten up, it's not my fault the whorehouse burnt down and you can't go home tonight."

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 4 months ago

It has become common in politics to view one side as representing good and other side as representing evil. To a lot of religious people this is over simplified to mean God and Satan.

I am thinking the concept of 1984 (George Orwell) is coming closer to reality because the politicians simply know too much about us and they don't seem to think that telling the truth is as important as it should be.

They believe the truth does not get you elected. Politicians want conflict. That is the biggest problem.

The only solution is for Americans to decide to stop listening to it.

I don't see that happening very soon.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 4 months ago

The irony for me is that the Communist ideology which enslaved and destroyed hundreds of millions of people over much of the last century followed the theory of dialectical materialism, in which the process of historical progression arises from contradiction and class struggle.

Marxists became enamored with the idea that any form of conflict could lead to progress. I sometimes wonder if some of these ideas have influenced other radical Muslim groups.

Christianity and most religions that I know teach against conflict.

Eastern philosophies emphasize finding the true balance between the mind and body and nature.

I think we need to realize the flawed way in which decisions are often made in a political environment that has come to emphasize only conflict rather than cooperation.

jayhawklawrence 4 years, 4 months ago

It is a tough pill to swallow to realize that the American culture is far from perfect and has a lot to learn from other cultures before we decide to spend more time messing around in the business of other countries.

I think a gradual loss in emphasis on Christian values has made our society weaker and more vulnerable. I am not saying that Christianity is the only viable way to learn healthy values, I am just saying that the United States was a better country when we emphasized those values more successfully than we do today.

MeAndFannieLou 4 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone remember the "assertiveness" craze in the 70's? That's where it really started. Once again, it's a simple matter of Americans taking a good thing to unhealthy extremes. Assertiveness gone too far = aggressiveness.

CHKNLTL 4 years, 4 months ago

I don't find Pitts to be racist. If he is anything, I would say he dislikes humans in general. As do I! Look at how disconnected and impersonal our communications have become. We type in the little box (sometimes very crude things) and think we got away with something just because so-and-so can't see your face. People are ruder than when I was a kid, and I say it's because people stopped spanking their kids for being brats that they are.

uncleandyt 4 years, 4 months ago

We have always been rude, crude, and cruel. Now it is more popular and accepted as normal, funny , and entertaining. TV and talk radio are shoving us in stupid directions.

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