Ghetto State…of mind


Interestingly enough , while taping the Urban Rundown my co-host E.O. and I got into a heated debate on the basis of the ghetto world & word. We argued that “ghetto“, having many meanings, often is interpreted as a negative word because of the place and conditions it is often associated with. E.O. educated me on the origins of the said word and how the term was used to refer to early communities of confined Jews during the 16th & 17th centuries as well as during World War II.  Unknowledgeable of this fact, as many Americans are, I insisted that ghetto is a condition where people of color tend to enclose themselves. What I failed to realize is that even though ghettos do typically tend to be an area for minorities facing complicated conditions, PEOPLE have created this negative stereotype that this place is a hub for negative things deeming ALL Ghettos BAD. In reality, like any place in the world, people create the culture of the area not the title. It is these broad titles like project, ghetto, and hood that continue to separate us as a nation and human race. Even more so when we insist on associating these places with negative thoughts, people, and occurences.  Reality TV, sitcoms, music, television, and the media tend to spread these stereotypes and epithets, creating a comfort zone for society to approve of the word’s misuse. The usage of such a word would probably go as follows:

EXAMPLE: “That is Shanequa- she is so ghetto.”

Shanequa could be described as an ignorant, poorly dressed, and boisterous young lady, but should we bring down an entire community because that individual chooses to be that way? Certainly not. The usage of ghetto as an adjective needs to be limited to the area in which it surrounds specifying exactly the region, because not every ghetto or hub is the same. Just like not every individual or resident of that area is the same. Next time I will be more mindful…

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2 thoughts on “Ghetto State…of mind

  1. Great insight lee! Definitely going to have to restrict my usage of those words too. It’s so easy to group so many ideas into one general subject! but like you i shall be mindful of that myself!

  2. i definately agree, we shouldn’t lump everyone in one category. Someone’s address doesn’t necessarily determine their personality and intelligence. WE need to be more careful on how we use the word. AS MENTIONED…. ghetto is ORIGINALLY a noun (place) not an adjective in describing others.

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