The failure to fully transmit values and traditions to subsequent generations represents one of the failings of the so-called greatest generation.
These people insisted that "colored" people sit at the back of the bus and thought that jailing people for loving someone of the same sex (or another race) was the right thing to do.
I think their failure to transmit their "values" (the very values that made lynching such a problem) and traditions is a great success.
Behavior accepted as the norm today would have been seen as despicable yesteryear.
For example interracial marriages and women in the workplace.
There are television debt relief advertisements that promise to help debtors to pay back only half of what they owe.
Of course putting poor people in debtors prisons was preferable.
When I was a youngster, it was unthinkable to use foul language to an adult; it would have meant a smack across the face.
... and smacking your kids makes you moral...
Baby showers are held for unwed mothers.
Oh.... the horror!!!
To see men sitting whilst a woman or elderly person was standing on a crowded bus or trolley car used to be unthinkable. It was common decency for a man to give up his seat.
Why was Rosa Parks jailed again?
Keep in mind that the 1940s and '50s were a time of gross racial discrimination, high black poverty and few opportunities compared to today. The fact that black neighborhoods were far more civilized at that time should give pause to the excuses of today that blames today's pathology on poverty and discrimination.
I guess I never considered the positive side of "gross racial discrimination" before.
Policemen and laws can never replace customs, traditions and moral values as a means for regulating human behavior.
Unless you are dealing with immigrants.
Our increased reliance on laws to regulate behavior is a measure of how uncivilized we've become.
This is a hateful and dangerous conservative fantasy-- that the "good old days"-- a time blacks who got out of line were often killed, homosexuals were forced to live in hiding and single mothers were forced into marriage or poverty-- were some kind of American utopia.
The good old days weren't that good (if you were did not fit into the white, protestant priveledged class).
Today we have racial diversity. We have social safety nets that keep our elderly and single parents from abject poverty. We have tolerance-- we accept people who are different from us. We no longer judge people based on race or religion.
I am proud of America... we have come a long way.
No silly utopian fantasy of an America that never really existed is going to make give that up.
That's a good post ebrownp. I wouldn't have thought about it from that angle and I think it brings up some more and different interesting thoughts.
Such as, was all the neighborliness and loving community spirit a facade?
I've always wondered how people could be caring and loving to those like themselves and absolutely cruel and derisive and derogatory to others who weren't like themselves.
And by that I mean, if a person is kind, they're usually kind to all and find it difficult to be cruel, so do you think those mothers who stood and spit at the black kids integrating their childrens' schools were cruel or kind? What were they? How could you love a child and spit in the face of another you don't even know?
I never got that.
Anyway - I don't lock my doors (car or home). I don't have a burglar alarm.. I walk all sorts of places at all hours all by myself, whether it's in rural England or midcity Manhattan.
Wherever I go, in the main, I always find people to be kind and courteous. Today two sixteen year olds came in to interview me about customer service and they were pleasant and polite and held out their hands for me to shake- they stood up when I walked in the room. And I wasn't surprised. It's what I expect. When I was teaching in the young offenders facility, those guys would hold the door open for me.
I guess I just don't see don't see all the uncivil behavior others seem to notice on a daily basis.
But I think you tend to get what you give out.
I know that youths who have people who are rude to them (on a daily basis- I've seen it happen myself to them over and over again) respond back with an icily rude demeanor. Why shouldn't they? Why should they stand there and be treated like a piece of crap?
I'm happy I live now instead of then.
I don't think I would have fit in with those who were polite as long as segregation was upheld, but lost all manners when the company was mixed.