Saturday, August 09, 2008

38 and down

Was outside yesterday with a few of my folk just talking, was a beautiful day in the A. Not to hot, not to cold, with a breeze just right tom make the shade feel that autumn was just around the corner. Was sitting the gallery owner next door and another brother who was a contractor, developer (self employed). A man parked and got out of presumably what I perceived was his car. He walked over to the gallery owner who was sitting in front of me out side of my shop.

He said, “you don’t remember me, but I came in your shop about 2 months ago. I wanted to leave you these CD’s I made to play whenever you have any event.” He left, and returned to his car. As he opened the door, I said. “He mane, there are four other folks here, next time speak to everyone.”

He responded, “my fault.”

My boy the developer said, “you know these young cats aint got no sense of what it means to be a man. He don’t know who could be out here. And It just seems that it is with the cats aged 38 and down. He should have looked everyone in their eyes and shake their hands.

“I added, and he should have started with the woman first, his son, then us and the one he directed business toward.”

My boy’s logic, although not infallible, was that black men born in the 70s that basically assumed their manhood in the late 80s and 90s, were less likely to have men around as influences in the homes as we did. He also suggested that although we had outside male influences, that we received such influences after the males in our family and neighborhoods had inculcated us to what the role of a man was or should be. “These new kats, although not all of them” to use his words, likely were influenced more by outside influences than influence of men in the home and therefore didn’t really understand left from right.

Any who, the gallery owner did not remember the kid. So I am just asking, do you think my folk had any merit to his argument. I mean this is also in honor to that old school kat Bernie Mac. I mean I wonder what he would have said regarding our discussion. RIP, departed at age 50.

34 comments:

4GOTTEN1 said...

I don't think the fact that he didn't acknowledge everyone made him less of a man or meant he had a lack of respect. I think that is was moreso he was a man on a mission. His only purpose was to get the objective done. True it would have been more eloquent and probably came off better if he had spoken and introduced himself to everyone. I do agree that you should try and network with everyone who is around you cause you never know what they may be able to offer or help you with but it was a mistake on his part. But I really don't think that is a credit to his age or makes him less of a man.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

4gotten1
well said and i agree with you. Not less or more than a man. Besides, I mentioned hi logic was not infaliable. So what defines the actions of men, actions that are consistent?

Ms. Jones said...

Acknowledging everyone is not a matter of manhood, but is one of respect. Even if that was me in the situation I still would have greeted everyone whether it had been with a mass greeting of "hello" or a personal handshake. I do think that men in my generation and later have a distorted street image of respect, and manners are just a thing of the past for the most part because there is no one to teach them such things. Babies raising babies...

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

ms Jones
manners as such, like opening the door, or letting a lady come in first, were taught to me as representing manhood. but do u accept his premise? I mean the old kats i meet seem to take that deacon in them to the street, and even to the barbershop

RealHustla said...

Well, if the young man has never had anyone to teach him the etiquette of approaching a group (or group of elders, not sure what the mature man's biggest concern was), then should he be faulted and criticized for not being up to par? I agree, addressing the entire group would have been the best thing to do, but based on the reasoning stated in you post, how was he supposed to know that? Maybe your neighbor ought to start a 38 and down club to make sure that the younger kats know wassup.

Basic politeness and honor and integrity will have to do until he does. I mean he wasn't being directly disrespectful to anyone with his actions.

I remember going to my African's friend wedding where all my young friends kneeled to the elders and kissed their hands. Think I was gonna do that? No, my parents never taught me to and I didn't disrespect my parents. Those same elders made it rain on me later that night on the dance floor too. Guess they thought I should learn some of their customs. I thought it would be disrespectful not to take their money.

Ms. Jones said...

the old kats on the street are eradicated for the most part so the manners young dudes show in daily life reflect the mannerisms on the street too...these dudes have no clue for the most part what it means to be chivalrous, let alone what it means to be a man

Blog Queen said...

what's up Doc! I fall right on the 38 and down line. I'm 38 years old; didn't know my father and only had one decent male role model in my life. Nevertheless, respect is something that can be taught by male or female influences in our life and we as black folk (if we didn't learn anything else, we know what respect and acknowlegment is all about). We speak to one another all day long...."What's up", "How yall doing", "Morning"..etc. For a "kat" to walk up and not acknowledge everyone on the scene is just ignorant. Hell, he could have been dissing some potential customers. Like my Madea used to say..."Speaking is due anybody"...

Amina said...

I still can't believe he's gone. what a great loss!
May he rest in peace

BeKinky_Paula said...

Having bad manners or a lack of respect does not necessarily have to come from having no influence in the home, it could also come from having negative influence in the home. I do agree that there needs to be a positive presence (in the home) more to just to be an example but to teach to know how to think. I've learned lots of things by doing the opposite of what people do rather than imitating everything I saw. And I've learned that way because I've always known how to think rather than be a parrot. But I dont think the fathers (and uncles) of younger men simply disappeared. They also lacked respect, manners, integrity, etc etc and they passed those traits along. Whether in the home or outside, all that matters is these people are influential. In affluent communities a lot of the positive influences are outside of the home and they can end up being large contributors to the success of the children growing up in the communities. I think outside influences can be just as powerful rather in the house or outside. Because also 'back in the day' people in the Black community took care of one another it wasnt simply in the family but it was an entire community. That also has ended in recent history. And I think it is not coincidental that behaviors have changed.

BeKinky_Paula said...

Oh and the weather was really great yesterday too! Especially last night. Some relief. Made me think of Michigan. My skin didnt get burned up. YAY!!!!!!!!!!

Keith said...

I have to agree with your boy, that the Kid should have at least acknowledged the other people there. I was taught that same thing by the older cats that came up before me. I'm an old school guy like Bernie Mac (He was only a
few months older than me) and we grew up with pretty much the same school of thought.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

I think that you have a point. I think that a big part of manhood is respect and that means both giving and getting.

However, once you know better you do better, so hopefully next time he will know to speak to those and say excuse me.

Missing Bernie's laugh already!

-OG

IntrospectiveGoddess said...

Wow I had no idea he was gone, he was at the hospital my mother works at....only 50 so sad..he will be missed

Immoral Matriarch said...

RIP Bernie.

enigma4ever said...

wow..now I am confused...manners=respect or is it the other way round...I think msjones got it right- it is a matter of being taught right...but now that some of us are older maybe we do need to say something or set an example...I don't think it is about manhood though....

( and wow Bernie would have had a ton to say...I can not believe it...I thought he was doing better...I watch him and Lewis Black alot late at night on youtube......there are times you need that kind of raw over the edge humor...rip.)

Tigress said...

First, I'm going to miss Bernie Mac. I just did a little thing on him on my blog. :-(

A father is not just missing in the lives of young men but in the lives of the girls too. Also, some say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, the village has disappeared as well. Used to be if you did something wrong you knew the phone would ring at home and mom/dad would be standing at the door waiting when you got home.

If the fathers are missing to teach the young fellas how to be a man, I think they're also missing to teach the young girls how to value themselves and that they should be more than just a booty call. Some of the mothers are so busy wrapped up in the game they can't teach their daughters what to watch out for like a father can.

Sheliza said...

I feel that if you are trying to put yourself out there you have to present yourself in a respectful fashion. I do believe in acknowledging others around even if I am only interested in speaking to one particular person. I don't think young guys know how to carry themselves like the men did in my dad's time. I am sure Bernie Mac would have had a lot to say about what a man should be like. He will be missed...

Big Cheekz said...

It seems like parents stopped teaching their children manners and respect long ago. I don't know that this is just a man thing. I acknowledge a group when I approach them or walk into a room and I teach my kids to do the same, especially when dealing with elders. When I see someone doing what you mentioned in your post, male or female, I simply call it rude.

The Bear Maiden said...

I agree that people in general these days have no manners at all; no phone manners, no customer service manners, no idea how to address a group. Your post reminded me of something I need to make sure my Sun understands... that when addressing a group, he should address the whole group somehow, and then address his target. Personally, I always do that... but I need to make sure he knows that.

Yeah, I agree... there weren't too many folk teaching manners in the '70's (my mom says the problem with young black men is that good ones all got destroyed in Vietnam, so the ones that came after that had no role models)... but I don't really think that's an excuse. It certainly isn't an excuse for the rest of us; we should have stepped in for the ones who couldn't be here and made sure all our kids had good manners...

Q said...

Respect isn't high on the list of "Things to Teach" by parents these days. This is why most kids run around acting like a damn fool. My mother taught me respect as an early age, and I caught on real quick, or else she would have slapped the taste out of my mouth...lol.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

TORRANCE: I agree with the other commenters here. In most every social situation, one must acknowledge everyone around, shake hands and look everyone in the eye. That's how I was taught anyway. I don't think it's any different than holding a door open for a woman, saying "please," "thank you," and "excuse me." These things can be taught to any child by any adult relevant to the child's life.

This idea is reflected very much in Spanish-speaking countries where the word for "manners" is "educacion", connoting the idea of good manners being taught. [nb: generally speaking the Spanish word for the English word "education" is "sabiduria" which translates directly to "knowledge" and draws no distinction between the formally-educated person and the auto-didact.]

I just don't see how good manners can hurt and I see so many different ways in which good manners help. I don't see that manners or the absence of manners reflect exactly on a man's masculinity, merely on his good sense. Or its absence.

No opinion one way or the other about male children under 38 growing up with females heads-of-households. I believe the literature in the developmental psychology world would tend to rank a stable two-parent home as best, with a single-parent home preferable to a two-parent unstable home.

Lovebabz said...

Bernie Mac is missed. Check our tribute over at http://pchats.blogspot.com

Kin'shar said...

Hey I guess the new generation are too busy to teach their children manners. You have to excuse them, as technology gives "us" parents new things to do ....it allows us to neglect our children more.

Which means no home training!!!
RIP Bernie, you'll be missed

how are you?

Pajnstl said...

i guess I've been smacked upside the head enough to know better than to walk into a room full of people and NOT speak to everybody. I don it now without even thinking

profunksticated said...

Yeah, he should have introduced himself to everyone, but I can understand why he didn't if he did not know that he was supposed to.

But at least you schooled young dude, and he should have no excuse for not doing so going forward.

Also, I too cannot believe Bernie Mac is gone. Damn! Way too young!!

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

RealHustla
He should be schooled. At least that was the etiquite of the day when I was raised. And it was about being a gentleman


Ms. Jones
That’s because they are in the home, and coaching sports and the likes

Blog Queen
True, and I just think it is best to instruct a lady on being ladylike by a woman, and a gentleman by a man

Amina
Mac was a man and a family man

BeKinky_Paula
There should have been an influence from somewhere is all im saying, don’t u think

Keith
I feel what u saying man, and u a grand dad so I know u know what I mean

OG, The Original Glamazon
I hope so too, at least he apologized when it was pointed out to him. So some home trainin g was present

IntrospectiveGoddess
Dang yep he is missed already – he represented old school fam values if u asked me

Immoral Matriarch
Cant say it no better

enigma4ever
Yep, double WOW

Tigress
I agree with that rtoo and wrote about such before in several post over the years

Sheliza
Yep, again, Mac repped manhood and family well

Big Cheekz
True, but I was only raised as a male so that’s all and how I was looking at it.

The Bear Maiden
Yea, and I can see her point. None the less no manners

Q
First thanks for the drive by and u and me both.

KELSO'S NUTS
Yea, true, I guess they not teaching them

Lovebabz
Will do he repped men and the family well

Kin'shar
I feel for these parents then.

Pajnstl
You, me too.

profunksticated
Yea folk, mac represented black men and family well

Marcus LANGFORD said...

BMac will greatly be missed. The brotha was a helluva comedian and a pretty decent man from what I've heard about his life outside of the limelight.

:::Marcus LANGFORD:::

Folk said...

hmmm... Interesting.

My grandmother and the older folks would just call this a manner of respect. To acknowledge your audience and show some decency to others.

I think it is true that the younger generations don't have that respect for order, family, or the elderly like older generations. My grandparents had a great influence on me and I noticed differences between my habits an other males who grew up without men in the house.

To respect other humans is not a sign a weakness but a sign of self awareness. It's not to say one is better than another but a witness to where one is and wants to go or grow.

NoRegrets said...

Oh, I'm so sad now. I've had my head up my ass the whole weekend - I didn't know he died. Him and then Isaac Hayes.

Even a man on a mission can take a second to say "how y'all doin'". And if he were smart, he'd know that you never know who someone is, and being nice doesn't cost anything.

Tera said...

Torrance, I see it every day...the younger generations have absolutely NO respect for their elders. I do find that the father south I go, I hear a few more, "Yes/no Ma'ams/Sirs" though. These young men don't have positive male role models, and half the fathers aren't in the home. And hell the younger parents get, the fathers can't teach them shit anyways but how to re-up and hold their dicks on the block (pardon my French).

My sons have a mentor and a Big Brother because it is almost a fear of mine. I don't want them to grow up to be that way...I can only pray and hope that they will embrace what I try to instill in them.

Tera said...

P.S. I loved the hell out of some Bernie Mac and was sad to hear the news of his death. RIP King of Comedy.

T.C. said...

i don't think him not speaking means that he is less than a man either...but i DO agree with the logic of older males growing up in the late 80s early 90s...i do see a difference in that generation of folks who grew up during Reganomics...the fact that there weren't really in men in the homes and then you add the fact that the dope game and the dudes in the "streets" were a many a dudes role model during that time, makes a difference...

not all dudes during this time of course are that way, for example my brothers grew up in that era a couple got it a couple didn't...and we had our father around (although that's to be debated)

i don't know who defines the actions of men or women, i think the best role is to take it from the biblical (Bilbe , Koran...) standpoint...because that's the stand point that transends generations and the ages

Sister Girl said...

Respect....everyone wants it,but not everyone gives it !

I was raised in a home where we were taught respect for one another no matter who you were. It costs nothing to speak & the benefits that come from it reverbs from knowing that you did what you should.

T.

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