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Are civility and culture officially dead?

Choptank, a new restaurant at the Broadway Market in Fells Point, initially offered a strict dress code that some viewed as racist.
Choptank, a new restaurant at the Broadway Market in Fells Point, initially offered a strict dress code that some viewed as racist. (Ulysses Muoz / Baltimore Sun)

Two years ago, I took my family to a small neighborhood club for Thanksgiving dinner. We were all dressed appropriately. It was very pleasant, until about halfway through a man wearing shorts, a dirty t-shirt and flip flops came in off the paddle tennis court up to the table next to us and stood there for half an hour loudly “yucking” it up with the couple sitting there. It was inconsiderate, annoying and made us wish we had had dinner at home. I called the club president to express my disappointment, and he said there was nothing he could do even though there was a dress code. I resigned that week.

Why are we being forced to surrender to the lowest common denominator in so many areas of our culture: language, dress, education, family structure, employment, public manners and personal presentation? Are standards such a bad thing (“Baltimore’s Choptank restaurant revises dress code after discrimination allegations; mayor defends owner,” Sept. 18)? What is the value of belonging to a society where everything is OK?

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If we resist or voice an objection, we are threatened with the charge of being bigots or racists. It’s all very upsetting to think that civility, propriety, decorum and respect have become so devalued. Where do we go from here? Is multi-culture obsession leading to us to no culture?

Joe Coale, Towson

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