(From July of 2007)
Political Correctness has Robbed America of Her Self Respect.
J. D. Longstreet
One of my “Pet Peeves” is men who do not “uncover” when they enter a house, or a public building, such as a restaurant. (For those of you unfamiliar with military terms…”uncover” means to remove your “cover”…or hat)
Yes, I am a Southerner. But, I’m do not believe this extremely discourteous, and rude practice, began with Southerners. I’m about as Southern as one can get and I remove my hat when coming indoors. In my home, as a boy, the quickest way to get yelled at was to enter the house with your hat still on. The instant your feet crossed the threshold, into my mother’s domain, the hat came off. Now, the cardinal sin within a southern family is for one to appear at the dinner/lunch table with your hat on. It just isn’t done. Well, it wasn’t done until fairly recently. It is disgusting to see a person; Southerner or northerner, sitting at table in a restaurant… eating… with his hat still perched on his head. It speaks of low breeding.
The hat on the head while inside another’s home is a sure sign of disrespect. When you remove your hat upon entering another’s home you are saying, “I am in your home as a guest, and I recognize that I am at your mercy, as this is your domain.”
In olden days, when a man’s home was truly his castle, a show of disrespect, such as not removing your hat in his castle, could cost the offender not just his hat, but the head residing just beneath it, as well. This was serious business.
It has been my contention for some time that we have lost something as a society when we lost the “genteelness” which was so much a part of who we were, especially Southerners. I suppose that is one of the reasons I am drawn to the 19th century American history. It was during that period that the word “gentleman’ meant something. “Lady” was also a sign of deep respect …one the feminist movement tossed out a number of years ago. Now, for a woman to be referred to as lady is taken as a sign of disrespect!
Our society has lost a great deal in the past 30 years, or so. We have become crass, rude, discourteous, impolite, and, I’ll use a word no longer in use today: “common”. Even here, in the American South, the last bastion of good manners, we too, are slipping into the “Me, too” mindset which is founded on one’s own selfish motives and inflated self esteem now taught our children in the public/government schools.
We have lost something as a people. We have lost our own self-respect. Our society is doomed. All because men will not remove their hats while indoors, you may ask? No, that is but a sign, a marker, of the passing of a great society where the value of a human being was not in question. In America’s rush to embrace “Socialism” commonality is a must. The destruction of the “class system” is a must. The political correctness crowd, the vanguard of American Socialism, has done a smashing job of destroying the American class system in their rush to create a single class. They do not understand, or they choose to overlook, the fact that removing the three classes (Lower, Middle, and Upper classes) removes a goal for Americans to strive towards. When an American has nothing to set his sights on, no goal to work toward, he soon becomes discouraged and simply falls back into the darkness of low self-esteem and accepts that his position in life will never change for the better and he is trapped. All hope is gone. Without hope all is lost.
Good manners were always about respect… respect for the other person. Look around you. Where do you see that respect today? It is all but non-existent. We, as Americans, have lost our respect for others, and as a result, we have lost our respect for ourselves.
J. D. Longstreet