There’s an old saying: “If they knew better, they’d do better!” Perhaps at one time there was truth to that saying. But after watching all the snapbacks that have come down when people try to point out the “know better” so that folks can “do better,” well, it’s easy to understand why I am no longer a believer.  

Recently comedian Monique lovingly chastised black women for going out, and even traveling, wearing those “popping fresh” nasty looking bonnets on their head, bedroom slippers on their feet and pajama bottoms covering their butts. She didn’t ask the women to get all glammed up to get on a plane, but at the same time she reminded them that when they were out in public, they were representing us as a people. In a nutshell, if black women want to be seen as queens, they can’t be out traipsing about looking like the chambermaids or worse. 

Well the pushback was immediate and strong. Because truthfully, there is a segment of the black community that has gotten lazy. So instead of taking the time to do their hair, or even hiding it under a nice hat or head wrap, they keep on the bonnet. I don’t care what color it is, the majority of the folks running around wearing those bonnets look atrocious. Why spend all the money on the glamorous hairdos if you’re not going to show it off all the time? The majority of time the weave that the women are wearing is not going to last forever. So instead of protecting it, show it off at all times!

And it’s not just women. The Turkey Leg Hut restaurant in Texas, recently announced that they were going to enforce a dress code. They are a family establishment and not a club. So they had some simple requests that should make everybody happy when they’re sitting down to consume their meal. Some of the rules are: 

No excessively revealing clothes. I mean really, do you want to see somebody’s butt hanging out while you’re trying to eat? 

No obscene language or baggy clothes. Cuz we know there are some folks who can use the word MF’er as a noun, pronoun, adjective, prepositional phrase, etc! 

There’s also something about seeing a male with those pants hanging under his butt that is just not appetizing when you’re trying to sit down and eat at the Hut, whose dress rules also include no house attire, bonnets, slippers and pajama bottoms. No exposed undergarments or swimsuits. 

Their rules didn’t seem to be unreasonable. But the folks who appear to not “know better,” did not appreciate the rules that would make them “do better.” Many of them snapped back online, including making derogatory comments about where the restaurant is located. Truthfully, just because a restaurant is in the ’hood does not mean we have to display the worst elements of the ’hood. 

But then again, as I said before, some folks just don’t want to do better!

Arlene Jones writes a weekly column for our sister publication, the Austin Weekly News.

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