In 2008, I was driving a cab. A fellow driver named Skip and I were sitting up at the airport discussing a certain potentially historic event. “If that m__________r gets elected, watch White folks start acting just like n!gg&hs. They’ve been wanting to for a while.” Now, Skip was/is a retired guy who only drives a cab to avoid going stir crazy. He also does it to keep his father’s business going. Guys like him talk junk, but they do so from experience. Here’s a guy who grew up in the segregated South who had seen all types of people by now. And he had to know something to last this damned long.
Not too long ago, NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders stated that much-hyped college football star Johnny Manziel would have problems in the NFL. Sanders stated that “Johnny Football” has ghetto tendencies. By this, he meant Manziel’s bravado and flair. Inexplicably, Sanders felt the need to deny the comment, made on a morning radio show. He wasn’t lying, though. When Manziel got sent to the Cleveland Browns at the NFL Draft, he did act rather ghetto. It’s just that the term is rarely used to describe a Caucasoid.
I see where Skip and Deion were coming from. Ghetto mentality is not a product solely for poor people, or even just Black people. Anybody can be ghetto. Really, when comparing scenarios and words common in the ghetto/hood, lined up beside what’s on display in “mainstream” society, it’s actually easy to spot the similarities.
“I don’t give a damn what anybody says about me!” (Five minutes later…) “I know he/she ain’t talkin’ no sh!t!” The same person who puts all their business and “only God can judge me” memes out blows a damned gasket every time somebody says something. Be it Bookie on the corner, the showboat abortionist, or evangelical house-flippers, the faux outrage and busybody foolishness occurs in spades.
A Black, unmarried mother of two picking a fight with somebody over some “he said, she said” sh!t… What do people call her? Ghetto. If said woman has a college degree, she’s a “strong Black woman”. If they’ve got a radio room or television camera on them, they’re called a host. But when some nominal LGBTetc. or Tea Party acolyte does the same thing, they’re vocal, maybe even a troll, but never ghetto. May I ask why not?
“My man better have this, this, and this,”. (Three months later…) “At least I got a man” or “I need a man”. Tea Party zealots are still hoping out for the next Ronald Wilson Reagan. In the meantime, they’ve thrown those legs open for anybody that can quote the catch phrases. And just like ol’ girl, they have little to show for it. Both are sitting around waiting for Captain Save-a-Ho to rescue them. And they better get comfortable.
“RIP”… Speaking of Reagan, ghetto dwellers have no real future to look forward to. So they sit around asking themselves “what if” about somebody they want around, and “what was” about somebody long gone. They seldom face “what is”. When they finally do, it’s only a temporal, situational remedy that never worked in the past. That, of course, makes things even worse. But being ghetto cuts you off from ever learning any different.
The shamed White preacher in the urban church… because nobody else will have him. Would you believe there are people who actually write for a gay conservative website one-upping each other insulting “gay-sex marriage”, with the approval of the website moderation itself? Sadly, neither party sees the absurdity or irony in it. But hey, they’ve got that understanding, right?
“Here comes Becky!” The affluent White female who carouses with Black men out of rebellion doesn’t love Black folks, and won’t acknowledge them around certain folks, but once she’s in the hood, it’s on. And again, everybody’s got that understanding. She’ll always be welcome there if nowhere else. Why, I know of some progressives and even some NAACP supporters who look down on minorities and fXck them, too.
When I use terms like “Afrocentrists” or “activist crowd”, I do so to point out the certain segments of people who create problems for those they’re most frequently associated with. I also do so to emphasize why I refuse to comply with it. I make a point of not saying “Black people” because not all Black people are alike, nor are all LGBTetc., White, Hispanic, Latino, on and on. But ghetto is definitely a universal term. It can, and should, be used to describe anybody who fits it.
The fact that even the most educated, articulate, and affluent people are conducting themselves like common hood rats is hardly a sign of “progress”. One of the worst aspects of ghetto life is how it cuts people off from one another, yet has them unknowingly pretty much acting the exact same way. Hopefully, people will get out of their mental ghettos and avoid waking up one day in a physical one.