The Restoration of Antiquity

Seven weeks ago, I rather poetically posed the question “what is a Morehouse Man?” I, in a rather roundabout manner, spoke on how there is no universal standard for the end-product of a Morehouse education. There is not one idea for who we all should be when we grow in this place. I also made a small fight for my hat.

I walked into the cafeteria a week ago and saw a new sign near the register with a hooded and hatted silhouette with a cross over him. I didn’t know my trademark Kangol was so deplorable to render the same effigy one would give to a drug free sign or the Ghostbusters.

I feel the notion of removing one’s hat when entering a building to be antiquated. This history of hat etiquette is one in which the customs of society were in different situations. Everyone wore hats years ago. A belief structure and code of manners was formed because of it. There were established reasons why these rules were formed. This is not so today. I would research the history of the formation of these rules of etiquette but this administration focuses more attention on the visibility of my hairline than my internet.

Still, before my internet conked out, I did manage to see a few etiquette rules. RavisTailor.com tells us men are to remove their hats in elevators when women are present but not in their absence. Hallways are considered public places and thus free to keep the head covered. Hats are to be removed in front of women, the elderly, funeral processions, and before commemorating our nation’s flag. One should tip his hat in the presence of a woman who is a stranger and various other situations involving women one doesn’t know.

Yet, at the end of this web article, the author tell us these rules are clearly not as topical as they used to be since hats have changed purpose lately. People have become more lax with these rules since hats are less often worn, styles have changed overall, and hats are used to express creativity now as opposed to being a necessity in haberdashery. In other words, the etiquette of wearing a hat has become antiquated.

In upholding these rules we are not showing reference to times of old, we are forgetting purpose. We are acting without utility. This is something I consider a great crime. Abiding to a code that has no code today makes no sense to me, and in protest of this and as an expression of my character, I wear my Kangol proudly in public.

I will wear it in Brawley, the building I consider my home. I will wear it in the cafeteria, which I consider my own kitchen since I paid for it. I will wear it in my residence hall, since it is wear I sleep (but not where I write since my wireless internet works, but not my LAN).

I will not wear it in the classroom since I feel I should make a compromise. I will not wear it in Gloster since everyone there seems bent out of shape on the matter. I will not wear it in church for the same reason.

All in all, the moment people realize this standard serves no purpose the moment we can move on to more important things. I have worn my Kangol with a tuxedo and have pictures next to Sidney Poitier in it. People always say it works with the outfit. I have worn my hat in various locales and it only continues to show the person that I am: somewhat of a rebel with class. If it violates a few social mores, so be it.

Let’s worry about not looking at women like meat on a Hump Wednesday. Let’s worry about Morehouse’s customer service. Let’s worry about ensuring the students are learning and the professors are teaching. My hat does not sever the blood flow to my brain, so I’m pretty sure it isn’t hindering my learning. In a school, this is what matters.

My hat is of little importance to people other than me. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

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