It really happened
I was raised in a single parent home by a beautiful mother who didn't play. At home, she taught all eight of us good manners the old school way, and that was with a belt or a switch and if in public a good pinch of our skin or a hard slap to the head. It's funny because I can't remember one of my sisters and brother who felt that was child abuse like folks do today.
I raised my teenage daughter differently without the threat of the strap, and she turned out just fine in the manners department. So which method is the best? I think it depends on the kid and every household should be able to decide for themselves. It's different strokes for different folks.
Well, my daughter had called me to pick her and a friend up from a day of swimming at our local pool. On the way home she asked me if they could have pizza, so I waited in my truck while they went in and ordered.
After about 15 minutes they returned, got in the truck and began the following conversation, oblivious to me.
Daughter: You know that wasn't right the way that girl talked to that man.
Friend: yeah, he had so many people to wait on, he probably just forgot.
Daughter: Yeah she just barges through the door hollering at the top of her lungs, Hey man you didn't cut my pizza!
Friend: Yeah she was crazy.
Daughter: Yeah and don't look at her, cause she'll say "What you lookin at, you wanna fight"?
Daughter & Friend: Laughter.
Daughter: All she had to say was "Sir I just purchased this pizza, and it seems you forgot to slice.
Friend: Yeah, you're right, and the guy probably would have said, oh I'm sorry ma'am, I'll cut it for you right now.
I didn't think about this little encounter my daughter witnessed until the next day, and even though the race was never mentioned, I just assumed the girl was black, even though we live in an interracial city.
I thought, now that's a shame of me to think of my race this way, but maybe I'm wrong, so I texted my daughter and explained I was working on a web page and needed some information about the color of the rude pizza lady. She texts me back a couple of minutes later with the following message, "black."
I then became motivated in finding out how rudeness got its start in human history, and why I had developed this bad opinion of my people?
The first stop on my search was to visit the MotherLand because that's where I'm from.
I wanted to know if Africans were historically nasty and rude human beings?
I found out some interesting facts that may surprise you. Even though Africa is consistently portrayed in the media as a savage, uncivilized continent. I discovered that stereotype wasn't exactly true.
I immediately thought about what Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie warned about the dangers of the single story. She said the thing about stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but often are incomplete.
She hit the nail on the head. It didn't take much digging to discover that for the most part, early Africa was a continent of stable, principled and happy people. They understood how to maintain balance in their lives with their surroundings. They lived hand and hand within the laws of nature and would have gotten along just fine if white people hadn't set foot on their land.
Africa's greatest downfalls were that they were very superstitious people that worshipped many idols/gods. They would offer sacrifices to these gods, and sometimes human sacrifices. Cannibalism was also common in some parts of Africa away from the more civilized areas.
One of the more popular gods in Africa were Amun and the goddess Ma'at. Africans believed these gods taught 42 principles for them to live by which they took very seriously, and included these teachings in their daily lives. Here are a few.
I have not committed sin.
I have not committed robbery with violence.
I have not made anyone cry.
I have not slain men or women.
I have not stolen food.
These 42 principles were instructions on how to treat others with kindness and to get along honorably in the community. This religion also taught to live life with a happy heart as opposed to a heavy heart filled with badness.
Europeans who lived during the pre-Christianity era didn't have moral guidelines to direct their lives. They did as they pleased regarding human relationship with one another. They believed in mythological gods such as Zeus, who was called Zeus Amun, which was copied from the African god Amun. Evidently, the Greek didn't care for the moral guidelines associated with the African gods because they chose to eliminate it.
This is why hearts were left in Egyptian mummies while their other organs were removed. If the heart was found to be lighter or equal in weight to the feather of Maat, the deceased had led a virtuous life and would go on to Aaru. A heart which was unworthy was devoured by the goddess Ammit and its owner to be reincarnated to try again.
The Greeks had the opportunity to learn much about the Africans belief in the god Amun because they were frequent travelers to Africa for higher learning. A simple Google search would show that Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Thales, and others travelled to Africa to learn about everything from geometry to philosophy. It's a fact that's not mentioned in American history books. Believe it or not, western civilization was built on African influence.
So, what did these philsophers think about the Africans as a people?
The Greek Poet Homer on a visit to Africa says:
"In ancient times the blacks were known to be so gentle to
strangers that many believed that the gods sprang from them.
Homer sings of the Ocean, father of the gods; and says that
when Jupiter wishes to take a holiday, he visits the sea,
and goes to the banquets of the blacks,--a people humble,
courteous, and devout."
When the slave trade arrived, It became apparent that they had to portray Africans as rude, savage beast because this made slavery acceptable in the minds of white people. But in all truth, this wasn't the case. It was a calculated and bold face lie.
There were many civilized kingdoms in Africa since the beginning of time.
There were many civilized kingdoms in Africa that had cities populated with intelligent and happy people. Outside of these kingdoms in individual villages you would be more likely to find the so-called savage beast which would be right on par with the early Europeans during the Dark Ages.
Irish discrimination ended in America because of their white skin. They were eventually able to blend in with other white Americans as one big happy family.
Africans had a different nature than the Europeans. Africans religion taught them to love, peace, tradition and to hate change. They were content to live forever within the confines of nature in their beautiful African land. Europeans, on the other hand, were more aggressive and desired to travel to distant lands and take what they wanted by cunning and force.
Black and white people with two distinct personalities that still exist to this very day.
Because of Africans peaceful nature, they were easily dominated. Similar to the Native Americans. Africans didn't have the motivation to take control of the world like Europeans.
So by the time the Trans-Atlantic slave trade occurred it's safe to say that most Africans on the slave ships were peaceable human beings. It wouldn't make any sense for Europeans to transport ships full of rude, untrainable, trouble making, savages. A savage cannot be trained or broken. To prove the point, read the following account about how black people didn't have a clue on how to be rude or bitter.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a white officer in the Union army during the Civil War trained black slaves to fight and kept a diary.
"A simple and lovable people, whose graces seem to come by nature, and whose vices by training. Some of the best superintendents confirm the first tales of innocence, and Dr. Zachos told me last night that on his plantation, a sequestered one, "they had absolutely no vices." Nor have these men of mine yet shown any worth mentioning; since I took command I have heard of no man intoxicated, and there has been but one small quarrel. I suppose that scarcely a white regiment in the army shows so little swearing. If camp regulations are violated, it seems to be usually through heedlessness. They love passionately three things besides their spiritual incantations; namely, sugar, home, and tobacco. This last affection brings tears to their eyes, almost, when they speak of their urgent need of pay; they speak of their last-remembered quid as if it were some deceased relative, too early lost, and to be mourned forever. As for sugar, no white man can drink coffee after they have sweetened it to their liking." (click here)
So, it's obvious that it wasn't until slavery was over and blacks had the opportunity to intermingle with some mean spirited white people did bitterness and rudeness become an issue for black Americans. This was because of the way they were treated on a regular basis. Being treated like an animal and less than a human being, and especially during the Jim Crow period.
In our day the hate and discrimination are not so much in the open, but it still exists in many other forms. Also, the constant and bad negativity associated with the color black is enough to drive a person crazy sometimes. This insensitive behavior by some white citizens is more likely to leave blacks with an unhappy disposition, bitterness, and yes, rudeness issues.
So what can a person who has anger, rude issues do?
Deep down inside these people are sensitive to things around them and perhaps being rude is the only way they understand to express themselves. But sadly, they lack real heart and confidence, so they act up to mask these insecurities. They haven't profoundly learned about their African roots and what they represent.
And this is not to say that everytime a black person loses his temper it's associated with the way our ancestors were treated. Whatever the reason, it's guaranteed when we learn about our rich heritage, our power of reason will grow. We will become better able to handle all situations minus the rudeness, anger, and hate we may feel.
We are from some of the finest stock known to humanity. When we dig deeper and learn the stories of the thousands of brave black souls before us that's included on this website; it will make us proud. Trust me. You might even tear up.
And It will make us feel sorry if we are not achieving to our full potential and practicing good manners which are what our ancestors always did. It's in our nature.
So give it a try! And remember to be kind to your local pizza man.