Crosswalk Ethics

I was waiting at red light in Alexandria, on the way home from a brief acting coach gig for a friend.  On one side of street, preparing to cross, was a striking African-American couple, the women in a formfitting orange and white pattern dress, he in an open white blazer and slacks, highlighted by a pocket hanky that matched the orange in the woman’s dress.

When the “Walk” light finally flashed on, they crossed in front of my car, and as they passed, I rolled down my window and called out, “Best dressed couple I have seen all say!” and saluted.

They beamed. They waved. They shouted, in unison, “Thank you!” and walked on, laughing. I think I may have made their day.

And I thought, I really need to be on the look-out for opportunities like that. This is the way to combat the metastasizing nastiness, incivility and distrust in our culture. Be nice. Reach out. Socialize. Try to make meeting you a positive experience, no matter how brief or trivial.  It takes almost no time at all. It’s not hard. All it requires is committing to making the people around you as happy as possible.

I also had two thoughts. One: if they had been talking on their smart phones, texting or otherwise not interacting with the world around them, I wouldn’t have said anything at all.

Two: I wish I had been wearing a MAGA cap.

30 thoughts on “Crosswalk Ethics

    • Two ideas:
      1. Race interactions are often so poor, that highlighting a positive experience makes race relevant.

      2. At least for me, the reference enhanced the imagery. Orange dress, white blazer on an imaginary white couple looks different to a black couple in my head. White blazer on a white guy makes me think Don Johnson; on a black guy, much classier.

      -Jut

        • I’ve mentioned this before on this site. I’ve found black people make eye contact with strangers in public. I’m white. Whenever I see a black person I always acknowledge their eye contact. I say “hi,” and they invariably respond similarly. Black guys also invariably say “Nice hat!” if we’re outside. I”m bald and have to wear a hat all the time. Black guys seem to dig hats. Reminds me of the photos of Negro League baseball crowds. Everyone in their Sunday finest. All the men in suits and hats and the women in dresses, hats and gloves.

          • ”I”m bald and have to wear a hat all the time.” (bold mine)

            Jeepers OB, I’m reduced to finding this out on a cyber-street corner…?

            “It takes almost no time at all. It’s not hard.”

            I do the same thing nearly every chance I get, and go out of my way to thank LEOs for their service; I call them Random Acts Of Kindness.

  1. Yes, of course. But why wreck your appeal to counter the “nastiness, incivility and distrust” by wanting to wear a MAGA cap?

    • Because, contrary to a Big Lie, the cap is not the equivalent of a KKK hood, and those who wear it are not preemptively racists. And racists do not treat A-A neighbors like respected equals. The only way to kill the lie is by using cognitive dissonance and defiance.

      Thanks for raising this: it was why I made that addition.

  2. Nice try but I don’t think it will work. You are too late to kill the signal before it embeds, and it will take decades to fade away in spite of your best intentions.

    MAGA caps signal an identity, just as denim jeans and long hair used to 50 years ago. It currently tags you at least as tolerating ‘pussy grabbing’ disrespect for women, paying hush money to prostitutes, lying, cheating, etc. etc. In my world (different to yours ) it provides more than a forensic clue to your character. It is an aggressive display. You want me to know you are a Trump supporter and you probably despise wishy washy leftists like me.

    If I only knew you in your MAGA cap from such an encounter at the pedestrian crossing, we’re unlikely to get to know each other. First impressions count.

    Yes, it is a shame that we respond so powerfully to signals of group identity, and we should try consciously to counter. But in my view we should also try not to provoke. Your MAGA cap would provoke me, as would my “Jesus loves you” t-shirt unhelpfully provoke and disrespect my Muslim daughter-in-law’s parents. (I love them all dearly).

    How about a ‘MANA’ cap, styled to be clearly different? “Make America NICE again”?

    • No, they don’t. It is a form of organized bigotry, and since it is false, it isn’t a “try” to reject it as utter nonsense. Democrats who wouldn’t take responsibility for their own corruption and incompetence smeared anyone who voted for the President as a racist and a xenophobe. Not that it wasn’t clever, but it was false. MAGA meant what the words said: the US under Obama as weak, pusillanimous, inept, feckless, constantly apologizing and divided by policies that were antithetical to core principles. The problem with Obama wasn’t that he was black. The problem was that he was incompetent,and the nation reflected it. But the democrats has been using allegations of racism as its go-to defense and excuse. So, naturally, the MAGA lie was a natural, especially after the two year effort to paint Trump’s determination to enforce immigration laws as racism.

      The lie was especially effective with African Americans, since creating fear and distrust of whites was a main tactic of the entire Obama administration, and perpetual victim status is now infecting the entire A-A culture, just the way Democrats like it—all the better to exploit them with. Claiming that a hat that states, truthfully, that since 2008 the nation has been behaving like a timid power embarrassed about its strengths and achievement, and that it should and can exert its traditional confidence and risk-taking boldness. There’s nothing racist about the motto, the cap, or the average citizen who wears it. Progressives made a big deal about how blacks wearing hoodies were profiled as criminals, and then deliberately pushed a profile that was equally unjust, but more cynical, because it was designed to tar people as racists for supporting the presient of the United States—who is also not a racist. That’s another Big Lie.

      I don’t wear apparel with any messages whatsoever, political or otherwise, except occasional Boston Red Sox stuff. I hate it all: I’m not a billboard. But I deeply resent thee MAGA lie, and as I am not a racist, and anyone who knows me or observes me knows I am not a racist, I have been sorely tempted to wear a MAGA cap, not to support the President, but to support the unfairly maligned decent people who wear MAGA hats—most of whom are nice, because most Americans are nice.

      People who wear “Black Lives Matter” caps, however, are mostly racists.

        • What is amazing is that you likely really believe this. In my view, this shows you the power of self-deception. It is an ‘imposition on reality’ that is basically false, but the spirit needs it to be true. Amazing!

      • Jack writes: “No, they don’t. It is a form of organized bigotry, and since it is false, it isn’t a “try” to reject it as utter nonsense. Democrats who wouldn’t take responsibility for their own corruption and incompetence smeared anyone who voted for the President as a racist and a xenophobe.”

        I just spent the last 3 weeks up in the States, not having been there for 6 years! I cannot tell you how strange it was. How spiritually painful. I just had to go back to get a sense of what things seemed like and what they felt like. Now, I am back ‘home’ and will process all of my impressions.

        When I read your post about the well-dressed couple in the crosswalk, I thought it exemplified your basic relationship to the present situation (the larger situation in the country). I would describe that as only seeing the most immediate, but in this sense what is superficial. Not seeing the larger picture (or a larger picture since there are numerous pictures that need seeing). I have expressed this before by adapting the Plato’s Cave analogy. Just seeing the images the flicker on the screen, not seeing what produces them. Reacting to specific stimulations (what I call ‘complaining’) but without seeing the implications of what these stimulations (events) foretell & presage.

        And again, anything I say is offered in respect . . .

        Certainly, kind and human interactions are a *good*. But the core fact, and the basic fact — the undeniable fact — is that President Trump, who won the presidency by ‘the skin of his nose’ and only because of the electoral college, may be the last Republican president in American history. Why not be nice to the populations being brought in to supplant *you*? (I am reflecting on my most recent experiences in Florida where everyone is (seems to be) from someplace else!)

        As the ‘rising tide of color’ gains political control, and as the mass of new immigration that is said to vote 70% democrat, and as ‘demography becomes destiny’, your particular kindness will be irrelevant as the Progressive Regime asserts its power. There is a power-struggle to maintain control over America and the Americanopolis. Presently, they are showing what they will do and how far they will go to hold onto the reins of power.

        So, what we now see happening in the most general sense: tech companies colluding with government and non-government entities to eliminate speech, thought and conversation they do not like (which threatens them), and the further institutionalism of this Americanopolistic control-regime and the marginalization (and vilification) of those they recognize to be enemies of their project: as all of this goes forward it actually means the elimination of people like you. Not only because you are white Republican sort but also because you are in a general sense a representative of American Conservatism. The things we are witnessing now seem to represent a sort of End Times for that former America which has been supplanted through rational, planned effort.

        MAGA meant what the words said: the US under Obama as weak, pusillanimous, inept, feckless, constantly apologizing and divided by policies that were antithetical to core principles. The problem with Obama wasn’t that he was black. The problem was that he was incompetent, and the nation reflected it. But the democrats has been using allegations of racism as its go-to defense and excuse. So, naturally, the MAGA lie was a natural, especially after the two year effort to paint Trump’s determination to enforce immigration laws as racism.

        Now, it seems that President Obama represented the arrival of a new demographic into ‘the halls of power’. It was short-sighted white America which fell for the deception. And it happened within the structure of illusion of a Postwar multiculturalism. This is what *you* believe in! This is what almost everyone who writes on this blog believes in. This is how *you* define America. You can replace everyone in America with people from the Third World and you imagine that America will remain the same, be the same. Your error is here, but you cannot change the structure of this view because it would be too painful. But I see this — all of this — as Americanopolis, and I also see it as a form of evil, which is quite different. This view, this wrong view, will have to be confronted and defeated at some point or other.

        So, Obama was elected and he redefined America. Or he carried into the present a newer definition of America. And by a fluke really, an error in the pseudo-democratic control-mechanisms, Trump got elected, but contrary to popular will. This was non-scripted! It was not supposed to happen this way. This did not fit into the plans of the present Overlords. And they set about to rectify the error.

        The other part of your illusion — a self-constructed illusion in my view — is not to understand that though you hold views more similar to coastal progressives, MAGA for people in the interior of the country (if I can be allowed to use this crude binary definition) saw Make America Great Again differently from your particular progressive interpretation. But these people do not have a voice. They have lost their own voice and cannot articulate, by themselves and for themselves, what they value and what they want. It is the Media Systems that has them in thrall. It controls definitions and the act of defining.

        The paragraph just above is filled with your own interpretation! Not necessarily with truth nor proper (good) perception. You have cast onto reality your own interpretation. When you say ‘antithetical to core principles’ you reveal yourself as a Progressive American. In fact though, this was not what the ‘original vision’ was. It is what the vision has become. You are non-different (in essence) from general progressive American of today and for this reason you cannot oppose what is happening at the most essential level. You could only oppose it if you could say “America was not supposed to be what it has been made into”.

        So, very good: salute the couple in the crosswalk no matter if they are African American, or Taiwanese, or Mexican, or Salvadoran, or Somalian. Smile, let them know they are welcome and that the entire demographic, the new demographic of the New Americanopolis, is what you vote for. They are going to supplant you and indeed are doing this now. All the machinery is in place and we can all hear its distinctive machination as it begins to grind up the remnants of an America that was and no longer is.

        This is a very interesting talk titled: The Unraveling of Americawhich, naturally, reflects a very different vision of things. Worth listening to (if one has the time of course).

        • I can seldom say something is untrue with absolute, 100% certainty, especially state ments including “may,” but this one: ” But the core fact, and the basic fact — the undeniable fact — is that President Trump, who won the presidency by ‘the skin of his nose’ and only because of the electoral college, may be the last Republican president in American history” is such a statement.

          • Well, Trump did win by the skin of his nose. So, that is a fact. He did win (fairly so) because of the way the Electoral College works. And he did not win the ‘popular vote’. So, these are true.

            America is on the verge of tremendous upheaval. And you do not seem to me to take this into consideration. There is a new, rising demographic, and the Democrat Party is doing everything in its power to increase their numbers. They will succeed in this because “demographics is destiny”. And they will continue forward in their redefinition of America, and they will supplant with every increasing year *voices* like yours. Therefore, another President (like Reagan) will likely not be elected. And whatever that party platform is, or was, will not again come on the scene. I say ‘may’ because, like you, I do not know. And in fairness you really are in a better position *to know* given your more advanced studies in these areas. But I do perceive that you self-deceive yourself. But it is not just *you*, it is American Conservatives generally.

            Time will tell of course . . .

            • Note that some polls show that Latinos and Hispanic-Americans favor the President perhaps as high as 50%. That would not surprise me. That demographic is innately conservative and upwardly mobile. The Democratic Party has trapped itself into needing a victim mentality and poverty–in this country, its a losing strategy.

              Many, many Presidents have won in close elections. It’s no big deal. It seems like a big deal this time because one party has refused to accept the results of the election. That party, not the President’s party, will be the one to pay the price for that.

              I’m pretty sick of the Electoral College excuse. It’s like the “the better team lost” excuse in sports. You play the game, accepting the rules as they are. You do not challenge the result because the rules didn’t work to your advantage.

              • I did not use it as an excuse and I did not mean it as such. What I took away from his win was that, as far as the population goes, Trump had a very marginal popularity. I mean nothing more than that.

                It is certainly possible that Trump gets some support among legal Latinos. The amount is debated, as Google has revealed. And everyone has reasons to lie and distort percentages.

    • MAGA caps signal an identity, just as denim jeans and long hair used to 50 years ago. It currently tags you at least as tolerating ‘pussy grabbing’ disrespect for women, paying hush money to prostitutes, lying, cheating, etc. etc. In my world (different to yours ) it provides more than a forensic clue to your character. It is an aggressive display. You want me to know you are a Trump supporter and you probably despise wishy washy leftists like me.

      You ought to visit the heartland of America for a week or so. If pushed, we will eventually push back. But most here just live and let live.

      You would find out that a hat is just a hat, and we don’t care what your politics are, as long as you leave us to ours.

  3. other than the Smollet hoax, has anyone actually wearing a MAGA hat been a documented asshole? Only events I recall are the assaults on thosew wearing them. my bias and filter showing?

  4. … This is the way to combat the metastasizing nastiness, incivility and distrust in our culture. Be nice. Reach out. Socialize. Try to make meeting you a positive experience, no matter how brief or trivial. It takes almost no time at all. It’s not hard…

    That would backfire badly in places like London where culture has developed to secure privacy in a crowded setting. And, of course, in cosmopolitan places you may well meet people like that anyway, even though they aren’t the products of that time and place that you might expect.

  5. You ought to visit the heartland of America for a week or so. If pushed, we will eventually push back. But most here just live and let live.

    You would find out that a hat is just a hat, and we don’t care what your politics are, as long as you leave us to ours.

    Here, His Slickness explains, in a certain degree, what I tried to express above. There is a contrast between The Heartland and the Coastal Populations. But, the opinions of those in the Heartland are not fully articulate. Who really represents them and who speaks for them? The problem is that it is not Donald Trump! He appears to, but in truth (as things develop more) he does not. Donald Trump is far more tied to Power and power’s machinations than heartland people are able to realize. They have been, and they will be again (and again & again & again), deceived and tricked.

    It was you, Slick One, that pointed out the division by comparing it to The Hunger Games (I did finally watch all those films).

    ‘To live and let live’ is not enough. Doing so, people give over power to those “elites” which are designing a System that will — eventually — subsume everyone.

    You will not be left to what is yours (“we don’t care what your politics are, as long as you leave us to ours”). I assert that we have to see what Progressive politics really are at their core, and we have to oppose Progressive politics through articulated idea.

    Though I was in Florida and in Colorado (the Denver area: a Progressive enclave with marijuana shops on every corner!) my next trip will be to the true heartland. I am not sure where that is though! Texas? Montana? Oklahoma? Please, some guidance here. I have to plan my itinerary . . .

    You would find out that a hat is just a hat, and we don’t care what your politics are, as long as you leave us to ours.

    Here, His Slickness explains, in a certain degree, what I tried to express above. There is a contrast between The Heartland and the Coastal Populations. But, the opinions of those in the Heartland are not fully articulate. Who really represents them and who speaks for them? The problem is that it is not Donald Trump! He appears to, but in truth (as things develop more) he does not. Donald Trump is far more tied to Power and power’s machinations than heartland people are able to realize. They have been, and they will be again (and again & again & again), deceived and tricked.

    It was you, Slick One, that pointed out the division by comparing it to The Hunger Games (I did finally watch all those films).

    ‘To live and let live’ is not enough. Doing so, people give over power to those “elites” which are designing a System that will — eventually — subsume everyone.

    You will not be left to what is yours (“we don’t care what your politics are, as long as you leave us to ours”). I assert that we have to see what Progressive politics really are at their core, and we have to oppose Progressive politics through articulated idea.

    Though I was in Florida and in Colorado (the Denver area: a Progressive enclave with marijuana shops on every corner!) my next trip will be to the true heartland. I am not sure where that is though! Texas? Montana? Oklahoma? Please, some guidance here. I have to plan my itinerary . . .

    • Dear Alazia,

      I appreciate your input. Nice to hear from someone who has no idea of the society I live in, having never lived within it. You base your opinions on what you are fed via news sources, and thus do not experience our reality on the ground. You are the one being gaslighted!

      Our opinions are not ‘articulate,’ huh? maybe the mainstream media simply suppresses the reporting of those opinions… maybe we keep our business to ourselves and don’t remark upon others, that being a sign of good manners where we live. Maybe where we live a handshake still means something, and you live by the Golden Rule, by and large?

      Trump does not speak for us. Then again, he has kept more promises to us than any POTUS since Reagan, and he pushes back against the insanity of the Democrats. That is enough for now. We have not been ‘tricked.’ We understand a snake when we pick it up, far better than most of our coastal brethren. The snake has uses, you see. They destroy rodents (rats, for example) that otherwise spread disease and destroy that which is good. Some snakes are poisonous, but even those have their place.

      Moreover, Trump CARES about America and the values that made her great. This is more than most politicians I could name, at almost any level. That is a start as well.

      We are opposing progressive thought by standing against their actions. This will become more evident as time goes by: American is going to have a revival, and the mockers will be shut down.

      A tour of the American Heartland should include rural towns as well as their blue urban cousins. Try to drive the I 35 Corridor through Oklahoma up into Iowa.

      • You are wrong, my dear friend: I spent part of my life in the Sacramento region of California and explored the Central Valley and its farming regions. There, you will find a definite Heartland. And as you know many of the people there came from the South and also from Oklahoma. They are not ‘Coastal elites’. Also, I was able to communicate with the Latino population more easily because of my Spanish.

        And I stick with my impression, which is not mere impression but knowledge: people in rural America often — not always but often — are not articulate in expressing their own political and economic ideas. One part of this is that, often, they did not have University background. They often do not have the sort of background to articulate their needs and views. They watch waaaaaay too much TeeVee where so-called Corporate America feeds them its insane perspectives. And they have far too much faith in America and the Americanopolis, which will toss them under the historical bus at the drop of a hat. These people (these elites) are traitors.

        And it is these people, be they Republican or Democrat, that have sold out America to the multi-cultural Globalist Regime. That is what the (true) Right is talking about, and what they are attempting to confront. And too Republican administrations have not treated them well. Reagan’s policies, I have read, did great harm in the Heartland.

        And then: Who sold out America’s industries and gutted the Heartland? Who? The same Establishment. Greedy, vile, traitors. These are the people who infest the Deep State. These are the people and the interests behind the destruction of America. MAGA means (can only mean) to confront treachery. And no one knows how to do it nor even how to articulate it. Why? *You* are under a regime of controlled thought. Simple. But far harder to articulate a counter-proposition.

        Moreover, Trump CARES about America and the values that made her great. This is more than most politicians I could name, at almost any level. That is a start as well.

        Oh? I am not sure I agree. Not to say that he does not have some sympathy. But the people I read are not as convinced as you seem to be. Therefore, a more critical perspective is needed.

        We are opposing progressive thought by standing against their actions. This will become more evident as time goes by: American is going to have a revival, and the mockers will be shut down.

        Which ‘America’? There is not one, but numerous.

        A tour of the American Heartland should include rural towns as well as their blue urban cousins. Try to drive the I-35 Corridor through Oklahoma up into Iowa.

        Sound very interesting. I will look into it and start planning.

        • I spent part of my life in the Sacramento region of California and explored the Central Valley and its farming regions. There, you will find a definite Heartland.

          …you owe me a keyboard. Seriously, I almost stopped reading right there!

          You see, I, too, have lived in California, and around some of these same areas. NOT heartland at all. Oh, there are more conservative leaning folks there, to be sure. But they are and have been under siege for so long that they do not react the way fly over country does. They cannot assert their rights as in other states, and this makes them serfs in spirit if not in fact. In any case, your credentials are denied as based upon faulty understanding of the subject matter.

          Also, I was able to communicate with the Latino population more easily because of my Spanish.

          *Ahem. Native born Texican. Tex-Mex (the language) is intelligible in California (Tex-Mex the cuisine, not so much: some in Kali use BLACK BEANS, and will even put beans in their chili!) I will say that once you make the attempt to speak spanish, the atmosphere changes drastically: these ARE good people.

          I stick with my impression, which is not mere impression but knowledge: people in rural America often — not always but often — are not articulate in expressing their own political and economic ideas.
          Name the poor in ANY country that differ in this respect. I am referring to educated people, my dear, who exist in great numbers in rural America. See, your impression is wrong as you believe the progressive propaganda about rural America: backward, deplorable hicks who need to be commanded by their betters on the coasts. We are quite articulate, thank you very much.

          …watch waaaaaay too much TeeVee where so-called Corporate America feeds them its insane perspectives. And they have far too much faith in America and the Americanopolis, which will toss them under the historical bus at the drop of a hat. These people (these elites) are traitors.

          Agreed.

          Reagan’s policies, I have read, did great harm in the Heartland.

          Reagan’s policies did great harm to those dependant on the government for their livelihood. Most of us did quite a bit better after the Carter malaise was ended. What you have read is more gaslighting, written by bitter academics who wish to tarnish a time when America was prosperous. This is common these days, and only works when you DID NOT LIVE through those times in those places. We who did beg to differ.

          Trump cares… I am not sure I agree. Not to say that he does not have some sympathy. But the people I read are not as convinced as you seem to be. Therefore, a more critical perspective is needed.

          In other words, you are not competent to form your own informed opinion; therefore I will dismiss your first hand account and go with what I have read. BITE ME.

          I judge Trump by his actions. His actions say he cares for American ideals and lives in the real world. This will have to do in a world where no politician since Reagan has kept campaign promises at all.

          • I am concerned about the loss of keyboards that goes on around here. Seems like one is lost about every other day! Might I suggest a plastic cover of some sort? So that when you vomit up your soup you don’t have to buy a new one! nor to ask that I must buy you a new one.

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