Saturday, May 26, 2007

in the ghetto???


so have you ever had someone, call you something and you want to know what they mean by that, or maybe they said it and didn't understand that what they were saying was rather offensive, or maybe you found it offensive and others don't or maybe it shouldn't be offensive to you at all because its just who you are

Well that is what happened, one of my close girl friends decided that I was ghetto...
yes, GHETTO....

so i was rather bothered by this statement....
in my humble opinion

a ghetto is a place....it is an enviroment, it is NOT a personality, a body type, or the way people act...and it bothers me when people say that...
further more, the formal definition of a ghetto is:
1. A section of a city occupied by a minority group who live there especially because of social, economic, or legal pressure.
2. An often walled quarter in a European city to which Jews were restricted beginning in the Middle Ages.
3. Something that resembles the restriction or isolation of a city ghetto: "trapped in ethnic or pink-collar managerial job ghettoes" Diane Weathers

I didn't grow up in the most uppity neighborhoods, i did grow up in a middle class neighborhood, hell we didn't even have sidewalks....and as i got older, the dynamics changed and we had a crack house or two and a hooker house...

but that wasn't anything that concerned me, because even the drug dealers or whatever, respected my father and our family and kept that mess "off our corner"

the reality is that my father took me to the "ghetto/hood" when i was little, he took me there to show me what being poor or unfortunate really was, he didn't shield me from that, he made sure that i knew what i had were two extremely hard working parents that provided for me, and that i was fortunate and i should NEVER take them or my opportunities for granted...

See i learned that nothing in this life is a GIVEN or an entitlement...that i had to work hard for what i wanted...and just because my circumstances were better than someone else's didn't make me better than them, or just because someone else's circumstances were better than mine, didn't make them better than me...because they were just that circumstances, and circumstances can all change...

i love my Daddy for sharing that lesson with me...because it taught me a lot about the reality of life and what's "real" and what isn't...

i received a good education, i went on to college and on to graduate school...and i worked hard for everything that i have...

here is the reality of my personality (& if you know me feel free to add):

i am down to earth
i can talk to anyone, from the worse of the worse to the "best of the best"
i can fit in anywhere
i am book smart
i am street smart
i feel comfortable in all areas, the "hood" if you will and in the "gated community"
as HE would say "I can take you to a mud wrestling match or a dinner at the Kennedy Center"

so that means that....

i can be loud and say what i want when i want
or i can be professional and poised
or i can holla at my cousins n em on the corner
or i can get dressed and go to a ballet
i understand how the "streets" work as well as how corporate ameriKa works

i get it ALL sides of the story, all sides of OUR story...

we aren't a one dimensional type of people...we come from all types of experiences...

so i would never feel comfortable with someone calling me ghetto or country, especially with a negative connotation behind it...because i am so much more than that...as one of my other close girl friends stated. "T we are a triple threat, street smart, book smart and pretty...we can fit in anywhere, others can't do that"

and i see her point...she is right...that pretty much sums me up, hell my uncle just said that to me on mother's day at dinner...but when he said it, he made me feel,how i already feel: empowered that i should be proud of all of my attributes, even the things that are as he would say are "rough around the edges"

but when someone says "you are SO GHETTO" that's not positive to me...because i am so much more than that...so get off it already....

so for me its like, stop putting people that do not "act" like you (or how you feel people should act) in a category, stop stereotyping already...

hell if I am not being called ghetto, than i am bourgeois, or stuck up (because i am light skinned of course) but maybe its because i don't really say much unless i know you, and when i know you and i let you in, then i feel like i can talk and be stupid and silly and loud and say what i want and feel how i feel with out being judged because you are supposed to be my peoples....

ahhhhh well, you can't satisfy everyone, so what i'll do is focus on making ME happy, because

i am who i am an imma be who imma be...all i can be is ME...

and that's the reality...

peace people its all love

3 comments:

It is What It Is... said...

This is exactly why I thank GOD for the people who really know me. That's what matters the most T.C.

When I come home from work...I'm ghetto, loud and just me. Just me. Girl, My father's mother would lay me out real good if I came through the 4th ward (my hood) actin all uppity, etc. LOL

I wish People would understand that its ok to carry some of where we come from with you. Hell, my skin wouldn't be as thick as it was if I didn't have that background.

I would have literally crumbled in corporate america last year if I wasn't hood. (LMBO) you know they are gansta in the fortune 500 girl. You remember what I went through...

I firmly believe that what I learned in the hood in addition to what I learned in college and from my Moms kept me on my toes and strong.

When you come from that place, you've seen it all and you're prepared for pretty much anything. You can face it head on...

I love that fact that I'm hood. That's what sparked it for us years back...That connection.
GIRRLLL>>> we was real ghetto at the House of Delegates - LMBO!!!

Although we were politikin' in the prestigious halls of government, we still knew that underneath it all (in business suits and all our education) we were hood and proud of it.

It is a badge of honor. TRUST.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not "glorifying" the negative things that are associated with being "hood." And even still, those negative things are what those who've made it out would like to see change...

However, there are good things that come from knowing that part of life. For instance, learning how to SURVIVE with nothing, learning respect, learning and knowing that the everyday hustle and struggle of everyday life is what makes you stronger, playing fair, being real and most importantly what I learned was loyalty.

And granted, the above are things that anybody can learn in any place...but it ain't nothin like learnin' it in the hood baby. LOL

Anyway, here is a special Shot out to all the "Around the Way Girls..." - L.L. ain't make that song for nothin...

Good Lookin T.C. and most importantly, Stay Hood.

J.Croft

B.m.W said...

I can totally relate. All of my black friends from home are always amazed at how I could be in a room full of Indian or Korean kids and everything is everything. I think it's really easy for someone not accustomed to being around versatile people to restrict their perception of you to one dimension. Case and point foreigners that classify most blacks as scary thugs because of what they see and hear in mainstream American media. It's the same as sheltered kids in the states that have never been to another region of America that wasn't predominately white/middle/upper-middle/upper-class (domestic foreigners).

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to "check" people when they come at me with that nonsense because you need a different strategy for almost every person and location where something like this happens.

RM said...

That was such a good post TC.

I already posted once but it's not showing up so here I go again.

Let me start off by saying that I "hood-heartedly" agree with you on this one...LOL!!!

Seriously, I pride myself for being a triple threat. Regardless of what others may think, I know who I am and what I am capable of.

For me personally, it is truly a blessing to have been exposed to the "ghetto". I wouldn't be who I am today if it largely weren't for "the ghetto." I've learned some valuable life lessons from the ghetto i.e. survival and gratitude. That is knowledge that you value.

Although I didn't grow up in a ghetto, I was often in them for several reasons and I've always felt comfortable in and out of it.

I actually feel sorry for people who have never been exposed to "the ghetto" or for those who have never seen anything outside of "the ghetto."

You bascially said a lot...a lot of truth and I really appreciate the post.

Peace and love to one of my TTS (Triple Threat Sistas). Holla.