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A Last Bastion of Civility, the South, Sees Manners Decline
The New York Times ^ | 11/1/11 | Kim Severson

Posted on 11/03/2011 1:43:37 PM PDT by marshmallow

ATLANTA — One August night, two men walked into a popular restaurant attached to this city’s fanciest shopping mall. They sat at the bar, ordered drinks and pondered the menu. Two women stood behind them.

A bartender asked if they would mind offering their seats to the ladies. Yes, they would mind. Very much.

Angry words came next, then a federal court date and a claim for more than $3 million in damages.

The men, a former professional basketball player and a lawyer, also happen to be black. The women are white. The men’s lawyers argued that the Tavern at Phipps used a policy wrapped in chivalry as a cloak for discriminatory racial practices.

After a week’s worth of testimony in September, a jury decided in favor of the bar.

Certainly, the owners conceded, filling the bar with women offers an economic advantage because it attracts more men. But in the South, they said, giving up a seat to a lady is also part of a culture of civility.

At least, it used to be. The Tavern at Phipps case, and a growing portfolio of examples of personal and political behavior that belies a traditional code of gentility, have scholars of Southern culture and Southerners themselves wondering if civility in the South is dead, or at least wounded.

“Manners are one of many things that are central to a Southerner’s identity, but they are not primary anymore. Things have eroded,” said Charles Reagan Wilson, a professor of history and Southern culture at the University of Mississippi.

To be sure, strict rules regarding courtesy and deference to others have historically been used as a way to enforce a social order in which women and blacks were considered less than full citizens.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: dixie; manners
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1 posted on 11/03/2011 1:43:39 PM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

Should have given your damn seats, brutes.


2 posted on 11/03/2011 1:45:03 PM PDT by youngidiot (Hear Hear!)
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To: marshmallow

That always seems to happen in the major cities of any state, seems the leftist values are concentrated in them.


3 posted on 11/03/2011 1:45:37 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: marshmallow
South to NYT: DECLINE THIS!!!!
4 posted on 11/03/2011 1:45:39 PM PDT by Calusa (The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles. Quoth Bob Dylan.)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: marshmallow

“The men, a former professional basketball player and a lawyer...”

“and a lawyer” - there’s the source of the problem.

Hang the alwyer for what he is and does, and hang the basketball clown ongeneral principles.

OOPS! My mistake. I didn’t realize they were both black and therefore members of a priviliged class, allowed to be crude, rude, lewd, and also allowed to be all purpose Gimmie Pigs.


6 posted on 11/03/2011 1:50:21 PM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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To: youngidiot

Should have offered the seats only if they allow them to join them for some socializing.


7 posted on 11/03/2011 1:50:43 PM PDT by DownInFlames
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To: marshmallow

The NYT. Bless their little hearts.


8 posted on 11/03/2011 1:51:23 PM PDT by Raebie (WS)
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To: marshmallow

Damn Yankees!

(not saying the men in question were Yankees, but rather the influx of Yankees and the culture of the North have been the ruination of the South)


9 posted on 11/03/2011 1:51:25 PM PDT by Spirit of Liberty (http://www.honorflight.org/)
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To: youngidiot

Well, if were talking old fashioned manners, two ladies wouldn’t be going into a saloon unescorted anyway.

It wasn’t the bartenders place to ask customers to give up their seats. But a 3 million dollar lawsuit is absurd.


10 posted on 11/03/2011 1:51:29 PM PDT by Hugin ("Most time a man'll tell you his bad intentions if you listen and let yourself hear"--Open Range)
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To: marshmallow
"Dana Mason, who teaches second grade in Birmingham, says manners have been at the lowest level she has seen in her 36 years in the classroom. Parents who move South tell her they don’t want their children to learn to say “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am.” Too demeaning, they say.

Well, there's one source of the problem...

11 posted on 11/03/2011 1:51:31 PM PDT by DemforBush (Serpentine, Shel! Serpentine!)
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To: marshmallow

Damn yankees!...........


12 posted on 11/03/2011 1:52:48 PM PDT by Red Badger (Obama's number one economics advisor must be a Magic Eight Ball.................)
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To: Calusa

Just blame it on all the Yankees who have moved in...


13 posted on 11/03/2011 1:53:12 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: marshmallow

Glad to say manners are still valued here in Virginia.


14 posted on 11/03/2011 1:53:17 PM PDT by oldsicilian
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To: Spirit of Liberty

Carpet BAGGERS!........


15 posted on 11/03/2011 1:53:33 PM PDT by Red Badger (Obama's number one economics advisor must be a Magic Eight Ball.................)
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To: marshmallow

Women want equality until it doesn’t suit them. Then they revert to stating that men should be “gentlemen”. I say tell the women to go take a hike while they support ERA, NOW and affirmative action. Manners used to be important until women wanted things both ways.


16 posted on 11/03/2011 1:54:55 PM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: marshmallow

Oh my goodness, I live in Palm Beach County FL. The rudest men on the planet as far as I can tell. If I open a door to go in or out, some man will about knock me over to get thru first. (ok, not every man, but enough of them to really be irritating). It always surprises me when we go back home to TX and NM on vacation and all of the men without fail open doors for me and are polite and smile. Man do I miss that here. Oh, and btw, I always thank men (or women) who hold a door or do anything else kind —I figure it encourages more kind behavior.


17 posted on 11/03/2011 1:55:13 PM PDT by brytlea (An ounce of chocolate is worth a pound of cure)
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To: marshmallow

Have been to the Tavern many times. It is a very popular eatery. Plenty of cultural diversity so it just boiled down to two guys who did not want to give up their seats at the bar. Honestly, if you have to ask someone to do it why bother? Its still a semi free country.


18 posted on 11/03/2011 1:55:16 PM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: youngidiot

The worst whoopin I ever received from my Father was after such an incident. We had a BBQ at my parents home, there were enough seats for all but one. I took it, and did not offer to give it to my female cousin when dad asked me to. I said, “I was here first”...I was about 16 or so. He picked me up by my collar...a little hair was involved, opened the back door with my face, opened the bedroom door with my face, then threw me into the bed. He said nicely, when you can apologize honestly, you can return to the party. I never left my room for the duration...lol. BIG MISTAKE, now he would be arrested. Of course then he would have left marks.


19 posted on 11/03/2011 1:56:27 PM PDT by runninglips (Republicans = 99 lb weaklings of politics.)
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To: Red Badger

I was thirteen years old before I learned that “Damn Yankees” was TWO words...


20 posted on 11/03/2011 1:56:27 PM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: Red Badger
Carpet BAGGERS!........

That's what I thought, too. I wonder if the two men grew up in the South.

21 posted on 11/03/2011 1:57:01 PM PDT by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: youngidiot
Should have given your damn seats, brutes.

Why? Some women want all the rights and perks of men but not the responsibilities. Just like some other groups...they want special rights, not equal rights.

22 posted on 11/03/2011 1:57:47 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: DemforBush

I have a daughter, her husband and three children in Huntsville Alabama. When they are in trouble, they line up, face eye to eye, and say YES SIR, NO SIR. I will not do this again. We will NOT have this problem again sir.


23 posted on 11/03/2011 1:58:05 PM PDT by runninglips (Republicans = 99 lb weaklings of politics.)
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To: Spirit of Liberty

For some reason the worst stuff always seems to win out. Bad manners, bad language, bad cooking...


24 posted on 11/03/2011 1:58:06 PM PDT by brytlea (An ounce of chocolate is worth a pound of cure)
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To: vetvetdoug

Spot On!


25 posted on 11/03/2011 1:58:37 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Raebie

Oh gosh you ARE from the south! LOL!


26 posted on 11/03/2011 1:58:51 PM PDT by brytlea (An ounce of chocolate is worth a pound of cure)
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To: justlurking
I wonder if the two men grew up in the South.

It doesn't really matter where they got large, they didn't grow up.........

27 posted on 11/03/2011 1:59:08 PM PDT by Red Badger (Obama's number one economics advisor must be a Magic Eight Ball.................)
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To: DemforBush

Parents who move South tell her they don’t want their children to learn to say “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am.”

Then you stay your rude yankee @ss where you are then and leave us alone. We didn’t ask you to come South. This is our turf - respect it, respect us or leave.


28 posted on 11/03/2011 2:04:26 PM PDT by Bitsy
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To: GeronL

God warned Abraham to stay away from cities.

Jefferson reiterated this in his quote:
“I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health and the liberties of man. True, they nourish some of the elegant arts; but the useful ones can thrive elsewhere; and less perfection in the others, with more health, virtue and freedom, would be my choice.”


29 posted on 11/03/2011 2:06:01 PM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Bitsy
This is our turf - respect it, respect us or leave.

Just as soon as you take back your southern cousins who have infested Ohio with their white trash ghettos.

30 posted on 11/03/2011 2:08:40 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: vetvetdoug

So you are going to treat ALL women like femi-nazis?


31 posted on 11/03/2011 2:09:04 PM PDT by texas_mrs (Heartless Conservative & Native Texan)
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To: buccaneer81

“Some women want all the rights and perks of men but not the responsibilities”

I dunno - my motto is, “Do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason, REGARDLESS of whether somebody thinks they’ve ‘scored’ one on you.”


32 posted on 11/03/2011 2:09:04 PM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: jagusafr
I dunno - my motto is, “Do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason, REGARDLESS of whether somebody thinks they’ve ‘scored’ one on you.”

Holding a door open, sure. Giving up my seat in a restaurant to young, able-bodied women? Not in a million years.

If you're in line at the grocery store would you let the woman in line behind you go ahead of you? I think not.

33 posted on 11/03/2011 2:13:25 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Bitsy

Yes, ma’am! You have nailed the appropriate response! Like when a young friend lamented that his new California bosses (he’d moved from Lubbock) told him he should refrain from using the word “y’all” in emails, I told him his response should be, “Y’all can kiss my Texas a$$ - y’all!”

Not exactly mannerly, but certainly appropriate.

Colonel, USAFR


34 posted on 11/03/2011 2:13:54 PM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: brytlea
For some reason the worst stuff always seems to win out...

A generalization of Gresham's Law.

35 posted on 11/03/2011 2:14:43 PM PDT by sima_yi ( Reporting live from the People's Republic of Boulder)
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To: texas_mrs
So you are going to treat ALL women like femi-nazis?

Women who aren't feminazis wouldn't have asked seats that already had occupants.

36 posted on 11/03/2011 2:15:41 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: marshmallow

We decided in the 70s that we are all equal. And half the time if you act graciously to strange women they are offended.


37 posted on 11/03/2011 2:19:50 PM PDT by DManA
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To: buccaneer81

southern cousins who have infested Ohio with their white trash

You must be mistaken, sir. Yes, we do have white trash but they wouldn’t move to Ohio.


38 posted on 11/03/2011 2:19:52 PM PDT by Bitsy
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To: buccaneer81

I don’t see where the story says the women asked for the seats. The bartender asked the men to give up the seats for the women who were standing behind.


39 posted on 11/03/2011 2:21:22 PM PDT by texas_mrs (Heartless Conservative & Native Texan)
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To: marshmallow

Such a shame. I was always quite impressed with the genteel manners demonstrated by folks in Savannah, GA, and in nearby areas of South Carolina and Florida.


40 posted on 11/03/2011 2:23:55 PM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Bitsy
You must be mistaken, sir. Yes, we do have white trash but they wouldn’t move to Ohio.

Come to Columbus and Cincinnati and behold the trash.

Look up US-23 and note the label, "Hillbilly Highway."

41 posted on 11/03/2011 2:27:53 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
I can proudly say both my parents are from Savannah and raised me accordingly...▲
42 posted on 11/03/2011 2:29:53 PM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways a Guero y Guay Lao << >> with a floating, shifting, ever changing)
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To: texas_mrs
I don’t see where the story says the women asked for the seats. The bartender asked the men to give up the seats for the women who were standing behind.

If the women accepted the seats, they're as bad as the bartender.

The bar was committing an act of discrimination, but as usual, men are treated as second class citizens in today's America.

43 posted on 11/03/2011 2:30:28 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: buccaneer81

“If you’re in line at the grocery store would you let the woman in line behind you go ahead of you? I think not.”

Not a fair comparison - at the grocery store, there’s probably good wine involved that needs imminent drinking. :-)


44 posted on 11/03/2011 2:30:44 PM PDT by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: marshmallow

If those were white women, and the seated men were black, I’m sure they offered to let them sit on their laps.....look around today.


45 posted on 11/03/2011 2:31:02 PM PDT by traditional1 ("Don't gotsta worry 'bout no mo'gage, don't gotsta worry 'bout no gas; Obama gonna take care o' me!)
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To: sima_yi

Well, I googled that, and got a wikipedia page all about good money and bad money. Who knew there was bad money. I thought all money was good! My world has been shattered....


46 posted on 11/03/2011 2:31:36 PM PDT by brytlea (An ounce of chocolate is worth a pound of cure)
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To: Red Badger
Damn yankees!...........

Yankees are like hemorrhoids

The ones who come down and go back up
are not so bad

The ones who come down and stay
are a pain in the .SS

Oh yes...
I was born in New Jersey
Moved to Atlanta in 1964

47 posted on 11/03/2011 2:31:59 PM PDT by HangnJudge
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To: DManA

Not me, altho I am strange...


48 posted on 11/03/2011 2:33:14 PM PDT by brytlea (An ounce of chocolate is worth a pound of cure)
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To: runninglips
"The worst whoopin I ever received from my Father was after such an incident. We had a BBQ at my parents home, there were enough seats for all but one. I took it, and did not offer to give it to my female cousin when dad asked me to. I said, “I was here first”...I was about 16 or so. He picked me up by my collar...a little hair was involved, opened the back door with my face, opened the bedroom door with my face, then threw me into the bed. He said nicely, when you can apologize honestly, you can return to the party. I never left my room for the duration...lol. BIG MISTAKE, now he would be arrested. Of course then he would have left marks."

GREAT STORY!

I can identify with that, and today, I sure miss the Good ol' Days, when manners and decency prevailed.

49 posted on 11/03/2011 2:33:46 PM PDT by traditional1 ("Don't gotsta worry 'bout no mo'gage, don't gotsta worry 'bout no gas; Obama gonna take care o' me!)
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To: jagusafr

Awesome motto! Here in Palm Beach I try to smile at everyone I meet (some days it’s not possible, but most days I still do it). Most of the time I’m met with a scowl more often than not, but occasionally, the frowniest person will give me that look and I think..ok, its not working and then...they smile! Makes my day. :) I know I sound like Pollyanna, but really, what’s the point of not at least trying? I know they probably think I’m trying to steal their purse...


50 posted on 11/03/2011 2:37:12 PM PDT by brytlea (An ounce of chocolate is worth a pound of cure)
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