I am all for freedom of speech and expression. I also understand that we as people are constructed to behave a certain way in certain situations. Like how no one laughs during a funeral even though maybe something random and funny happens. Out of respect for the deceased and their family we must stay silent. I write this because I was once on a bus minding my own business enjoying the ride. When a pretty chubby African-American man sat in front of me. Completely normal expect for the fact that he was dancing in his seat and singing. And no he was not “whispering” he was singing at full voice. At first I found this very annoying but after a while I just found it humorous. Especially since I saw how the other people on the bus reacted. I found it especially humorous how a mother got up and grabbed her child’s hand and walk to the front of the bus(I was sitting pretty close to the back).
I thought to myself “Like he is going to attack anymore, he’s lost in the music.” Perhaps it was the mothers instinctive fear for herself and her child that made her move. My question is where did this fear come from? The man was not armed he was not attacking anyone or seem to be antagonizing anyone near him. In my opinion is that is just never one reason by itself, and that are many contributing factors. One of the factor’s is most probably race but in my opinion by just observing the situation I do not think it played a large part in this scenario. Even though it is trained by the “white society” to show crime and poverty in African-American community in the United States this man who sang freely did not dress like a typical “gang-banger” as the modern term would denote. No what I observed was a women sacred because a man was not acting in a social norm of what society would deem “appropriate.” I do not claim to be an expert bus rider, but I believe I have ridden more than my fare share and have seen social behavior that is often deemed out of context , but none so far as a simple or powerful as the singing man. I believe she was scared as many would have been because he simply did not “conform” his behavior, but yet western societies believe they are “free” and “open-minded” yet that is far from the truth.
We as a species are only as free as we are allowed to be. A man who is simply singing and dancing something that has been done by our species for ages is seen as “inappropriate” and bad behavior because it is in the wrong “context.” If he were doing this in his own home or among those who also understand him they would just merely accept it. Yet it is like walking naked on the street it is seen as criminal behavior because humans have been socially trained to believe so even though it is our species most natural state. It is not how we mate? It is not how we are born? This is where the lines of nature/nurture becomes blurred. How can we determine what is truly learned behavior and what is truly natural behavior. It is this questions of learned behavior and natural behavior which I will continue to discuss in my writings along with the more power application of learned behavior which is often leads to conformity. In reality the power of human culture itself is that of the conformity of every individual to be apart and respect the system (society) itself. For the singing man with no care but the joy of music is actually freer than any one of us.