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Misbehaving: Crossing the line

November 1, 2005        Commentary Archives

I know you have seen it and was at lease uncomfortable with it. I am talking about the over-the-top behavior. Crossing the line of decency, by participants of some bands who seem hell bent  on trashing our celebrations. Fun though it is. there has to be a line.

This behavior have some community leaders that I have spoken to, concerned that there might be the perception, that this behavior is condoned by the community.

Going over the Top

After witnessing the over-the-top behavior of a group lying in the streets stacked three high during the parade of the bands at Toronto's 2003 celebration, I attempted to express these concerns, back then in a light hearted piece I wrote called "A Modest Jester "

This past Labor day celebrations in Brooklyn saw one couple riding on the top of a truck simulating every sexual position you could think of. Their performance never came close  to winning. Just a desire to be trashy, I suppose.

In a more recent situation at the Caribbean Festival at Penn's Landing here in Philadelphia earlier this year. An official brought the entertainment to an abrupt halt, when the performing band got a little racy. This event was particularly noted for the many families and small children present.

Some of the discussions I had at the event, as a result of this incident. Was then centered on the concerns by many families, hesitant to  bring their little ones out to celebrate their culture. Concerned about exposing them to over-the-top misbehavior. They're staying away.

Code of Conduct

Now, it is not my purpose here to suggest some form of code of conduct for the celebrations. But I'm beginning to think we need one, to at least stem this tide of extreme behavior.

A little worldly knowledge being a good thing. It has to be impressed on the youth, and some adults mind you, that these events prosper through the graces of our sponsors. Support for public events in this politically correct world, can go badly overnight with to much negative association. Need I mention, let alone the trashing of our culture.

Granted we are unique in the way we do our thing. But we carry the same burden of decency many other cultural celebrations do.

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