If you’ve seen the movie “Driving Miss Daisy”, and all the other slave movies set in the south just like it, the one thing you’ll learn is that people down south are some of the most mannerly people in the country. Seriously, it’s like a different world down here compared to the north. Up north you’d be lucky to even have a stranger walking down the street look you in the face and smile hello without giving you the middle finger. Unfortunately, it is not like that in the south. In the south, people speak to you. Sometimes you may not know what they’re saying in their dialect, but you recognize their warm welcoming attitude.
That was one of the first things I noticed when I moved down south a few years ago. All of a sudden, I started hearing people say “Yes Sir”, “No sir”, “Yes Ma’am”, “No Ma’am” when speaking. It threw me for a loop because I was never referred to as sir from anybody as far back as I can remember. All the kids call me sir, and it freaks me out. I ask them a question, and it’s always “Yes Sir” or “No Sir”. I’m not used to that, and I even had to warn my daughter when she visited from up north last summer. We spoke about it when she was here and even she thought it was weird. Wow, these people are so polite around here was my initial thought. But then I stayed here for a while and found out differently.
Lemme tell you…
never in my life have I encountered some of the nastiest people without any home training. No joke, these people are some of the most uncouth muthafuckas I’ve ever encountered. All that “Yes Sir, No Sir” shit is just a facade. I think it’s just one of those cultural things that was left over from slavery. You know, kinda like the state of Georgia flying a confederate flag above the state capitol? Yeah, just like that. I mean seriously, I can’t stand a person who has no home training as it’s often referred to. It’s as though there isn’t any decorum around these parts. You know the people who lack proper social communication skills? I hate that shit. That whole southern gentlemen or southern belle shit may have happened once upon a time, but it damn sure isn’t happening these days. Even if it did, I have to question whether it ever involved the behavior of Blacks in this regard.
I hate when I encounter someone and offer them the traditional hello in a kind and welcoming tone and get no response. I hate that shit; yes I hate rude people. I hate when people walk into my home or anywhere I’ve been first and not speak to me. You don’t have to speak to me directly like I’m a King or anything, but at least act the part like you recognize that you’re in someone else’s home. I’ve had that happen to me on more than one occasion recently, and I’m getting sick of it. Morgan Freeman is from the south and I’m pretty sure he acts nothing like the rest of these people around here. But then again, he left and went to that other country called the North. I’m pretty sure that with him living in Mississippi right now he can understand my pain. Then again, maybe he wouldn’t. He’s rich and famous so they’ll always be nice to him. Me? No such luck.
I’m also sick of going to a business establishment and being treated like either I’m invisible, or like my breath stinks by other Black people. Down here, it’s like a fuckin chore to do what you’re paid to do and be hospitable. Now I’m sure this happens all over the country, but I guess it pisses me off down here because these Black folks are all formal when they address you. Hell, they even call you by your first name and put Mister in front of it. That right there is the bullshit I can’t stand; yes, it irks my damn nerves.
“Hey Mr. Patrick, how can I help you?”
Asshole, Patrick is my first name. Where I come from, you address people using their last name with the title Mister in front of it. Maybe I’m just trippin or asking for too much from people around here. Hell, maybe I just don’t know the southern laws or something because things sure are different around here than where I come from. I have to wonder if I were white if I’d be treated differently. But then again, though they may treat me differently, as in nicer, I’m pretty sure they’d spit in my soda and hand it to me with a smile.
I could understand and respect the cultural differences which are geographically determined. But damn, if you gonna call me Sir all the damn time, at least act like you have some home training otherwise, that’s not limited to putting a title in front of someone’s name. I mean what ever happened to “thank you”, “please”, “you’re welcome”, and “I’m sorry”? Sure I know people up north are short on that too, but they don’t set me up for failure by thinking they’re nice people like the people around here do. I mean, if you’re gonna act the part of a slave and constantly referring to me as Mister Patrick and shit, the least you can do is come to my house and pick my cotton. Maybe they should bring back Negro Water Fountains. I’m pretty sure that back then in the days of segregation they were nicer to each other than they are now.
QUESTION:What are some of your pet peeves about where you live?