That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

Denzel Kissing Marilyn Monroe. Those Were the GOOD Ol’ Days!

I often hear those on the “Religious Right” (with whose Christian, MORAL stances I agree, by the way) such as Dick Bott, James Dobson, and Phyllis Schafly, and the late Marlin Maddoux lament the sweetness of the bygone halcyon days of the past.

Crime is rampant, security companies and locksmiths are booming businesses. Drug use is almost the norm.

The words “sex” and “immoral” are rarely associated with each other anymore. Anything goes. What FEELS good IS good!

NO one is safe.

So what should we do in order to regain or obtain a more morally upright society? Return to the fifties as some conservative reminiscers wish? Can’t do that, because real life ain’t like picking the peanuts out of Cracker Jacks.

For you, it was, “Leave it to Beaver,” sock hops, soda jerks, and maybe a Pat Boone knock-off of a Bo Diddley record. Father went off to the office in the morning, and Mother stayed at the house and made home.

You lived an open and free life. You could go where you wanted, eat in any restaurant, sit in any section, live in any neighborhood, relieve yourself in any restroom, try on any outfit in any department store,  stay in any hotel, and vote in any state. You could drive any car, without worrying about being stopped by the police for a dubious “unsafe lane change.”

The fifties were, for us, a time of terror, exclusion and submission. We had to know our place. We were “boy,” not “sir.”  We looked no White man in the eye. We were lynched for the slightest supposed misstep. We were not on television unless we danced or served, and we could not vote. We lived life on our knees, praying and cleaning other folks’ floors.( I use “us”, and “we” the same way YOU do when referring to the past)

We lived like the mice in the walls: life was great until it was time to get some cheese, then we had to deal with all the cats trying to kill us.

It just shows that we live in different worlds.

Was life perfect then? You would say “practically,” but my parents would disagree. The fifties look cool in the movies. Until the lead character asks for a mint julep, and the maid walks in! YOU don’t have to suspend reality when you see Robert Mitchum kiss Sophia Loren. I do. I love old movies, but I have to turn my sensitivity meter down. I have to ignore all the steppin’ and fetchin’ and grinnin’ and shinin’. I have to try to find context when Butterfly McQueen declares with fright, “I’on know nuthin’ bout burthin’ no babies!!”

I couldn’t have played baseball with Wally and the Beev. I wouldn’t have even been allowed in their neighborhood.

And before you lambaste me and call me a perpetual victim, I must tell you that I have experienced some of the same things my very self. Heck, as children, we were drilled on the art of not looking back when being followed by the Po-leece!

Yes, I want a lower crime rate, effective punishment, no legalized abortion, prayer in schools, and a more civil societal manner, too. But I also want equality in education and opportunity, and justice.

 I want my pregnant wife to not be interrogated by a “neighbor” for parking her own car in front of her own house on our all White (but for us) street!!! Don’t tell me racism is anecdotal and largely in the past…

God can deal with a man’s private sins, but when they become public POLICY, we all bear a responsibility to do something to change things. Discrimination was just that back then — the law.

The Dobsons and the Schlaflys and such simply prove that, at best, they don’t even think about us when they say such things. There is a cavernous divide which still exists.

So, be specific when you long for those “good ol’ days,” because we Black folk can take that to mean that you want us out of your neighborhoods, schools, lives, and back in our “places.”


December 13, 2007 - Posted by | Christian Life, Christianity, Conservatives, Life, Morality, Race, Racism, Religious Right, Republicans


  1. Amen! I’ve been waitin’ on Dobson to ‘Focus On’ my family for years.

    Comment by Rick T | December 13, 2007 | Reply

  2. Listen, I’m a white woman so I hope it’s ok if I agree with you. 😉

    The good ole days are a myth.

    Comment by sara | December 13, 2007 | Reply

  3. Rick, that’s funny. And true!

    Sara. I want to thank you. I know that expressing my sentiments could lead one to think that I am being biased. These are hard realities that are almost as difficult to speak on as to face. I am only asking for Christian fairness, and I appreciate you, and any other White person, for seeing that.

    I have friends who see these issues, but are led to be somewhat prejudiced. While I understand the bitterness, I try to make THEM see as well that one CANNOT claim Christ and not like a race of people.

    That is the other part of the main reason for this blog: Jesus said that the entire law hung on loving GOD, and on loving MANKIND.

    Vengeance is no more righteous than is racism.

    I hope that anyone else who reads my posts on race will understand that I am not coming from a place of racial discrimination. And I am not trying to beat White folk into guilt-riddled submission.

    Truths need to be told. God Love you.

    Comment by maxdaddy | December 13, 2007 | Reply

  4. WOW! what a good post. We have to be careful when we say the good old days. Good for who. A man brother I can’t add nothing else but great job.

    Comment by Ann Brock | December 15, 2007 | Reply

  5. *smiling @ Rick T*
    Great post!

    Comment by A Nappy Girl | December 16, 2007 | Reply

  6. […] says that George has been playing nursemaid to a lot of garlic eaters.  And THAT made me think of this post by Derrick from That NEW […]

    Pingback by garlic eaters « Breaking Ground | June 30, 2008 | Reply

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