America Forgets to be Courteous

September 14, 2009 | NeW Staff

Over the past week, we have seen a long admired women’s tennis star curse at a female judge, a Billboard-topping rap star stealing the microphone from a 19-year old girl at an awards ceremony, and a Congressman scream at the President of the United States. Many news outlets are pointing to a sort of moral crisis in American. CNN ran a story on the loss of civility in America but then posed it as a gain for Jay Leno as his show launches this week. In the Houston Chronicle, the author points to a change in the era, where no longer do Congressmen sit in their chairs and listen to the word of the President during a joint session of Congress.


While the Chronicle points to the changes in technology as the reason for the increasingly seen outburst, I cannot help but disagree. All three of these events have been televised over the past few decades, and yet never have we seen people so irate and throwing tantrums like this before. What happened to the days when instead of Kanye posting on his official blog in all-caps with numerous exclamation points, that he would have apologized as soon as she got off stage and put out a formal press release the next day asking for forgiveness? Serena’s outburst seems the most natural, due to the pressure of the game and many athletes cursing during performance; however, she must recognize in today’s world no conversation on the floor of an arena will escape untelevised.


While feelings may be mixed on Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” comment, I cannot help but think that he could have communicated his thoughts with more careful consideration, even if he was trying to show his dissent. It is promising, however, to see that the public is outraged by all three of these occurrences and expects formal apologies from all of the perpetrators. Beyonce’s regal move to allow Taylor Swift to take the stage after a win later in the show also shows that some celebrities do still have class and can be role models for kids today. While some people continue to spiral out of control, it is good to see that the majority of Americans still want to see some people act with propriety in formal settings.

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