If you’re calling me ghetto to imply that I’m acting black, fine. If you’re calling me ratchet to imply that what I’m doing embodies Black qualities, fine. Im not saying you’re right in your words, I’m saying that I’m not insulted, because I know it’s your way of saying I’m acting Black, and I am black, so I act Black. I notice that this society labels anything Black people do that literally everyone else does as ratchet or ghetto. You’ve done it too. You see black people being loud, you say, “why are they being so ghetto?” No one thinks to say, “they’re being loud”, because that would be too simple to call an action an action. You see a white girl with pink hair and she’s creative, the black girl with the pink wig is ghetto. I lived in Washington, DC and I witnessed this daily. I see a group of white kids being loud at the train station, everyone literally laughs it off, “they’re just being kids”, “they must be excited about the hockey games”, “I wonder what they’re excited about?”. Black teenagers being loud? “See this is why they end up in jail”… for being loud? Wow black crimes get more interesting everyday!
I told you all that Black people are not always wrong, we are just criminalized, a very big difference. Blackness has been ingrained in peoples minds as some type of defect. We can’t just be loud and excited, it has to be attached to some negativity, but let me ask you, have you ever been to a black church? Wedding? Cookout? Anything? Tell me if you notice a difference in our expressions versus, pretty much everyone else’s. Ok, ok, you say Indians are just as loud at their events, but you call that culture my friend. What happens when you rob a people of their culture and minimize it? Exhibit A-Z being Africans and descendants all over the world, you mislabel it and interpret it according to whatever Europeans stated that it was, and that my friends, is wrong.
There are ways to describe our cultural expressions: happy, excited, enthusiastic – these things can be heard as loud and boisterous, and can be displayed with great body movements. I encourage you to go to YouTube and view some African cultural practices such as Ogene dance, and see if you notice similarities. We are a people of great movement, excitement, loudness, and proudness – not ghetto. Even when we are angry, it can be loud and passionate, you know, the way you describe white peoples anger – “oh she was just having a bad day, she was passionate about it and had to raise her voice”. Add the name Shaniqua to where the word “she” is, and see if that even sounds right. It should sound right, but Shaniqua would’ve been labeled as angry and loud for no reason, and “she could’ve handled it different”. Mind you she’s just been robbed but often black people are told to remain calm……. to not be seen as ghetto. Haha! You all don’t remember the famous Karen video last month (July 2021) where the white lady was BUGGING in bath and body works, shouting like a baby at the Black woman, but people in the store were telling the Black lady to calm down and she was the calm one! Y’all have to start seeing your anti-blackness and actively change it.
People actually provoke black people to be angry, then when we react, they say it’s ghetto behavior. I have seen it with my own 2 eyes many times. It has happened to me. White people and others, sometimes even other black people who feel that they’re not ghetto, literally say the most disturbing, provoking, things; and when you react, “why do you have to be so ghetto?” It’s the whole victim blaming, “I know I said the wrong thing but you don’t have to react like someone from the ghetto”. Hahaha! Hey listen, like I said, Black people, not all, but collectively we’re naturally loud. Growing up, my “Nigerian” side was so loud, that everyone knows what I’m about to say, “Nigerians” can be having a normal conversation but you’ll think they are arguing, especially coming from America. They’ll be like “no we’re just having a normal discussion”. That’s it my people, we are just loud. (I think you know why I put Nigerian in quotes).
Listen, there are loud black people who live in these so called ghetto’s that are actually gentrified areas and many times represent places that were once flourishing for Black people; but the government couldn’t have that so they actively removed resources, sometimes with violence and burning, leaving the black people in those areas as now newly created poor people (google six square in Austin, Texas). An area of living that lacks resources can sometimes lead to behaviors that help survival, you may call that crime, fine, but remember that the original crime was capitalism and the ghetto hood rat behavior that is colonization. Y’all don’t remember how America was “founded”, and maintained? On violence, rape, killing, and destroying every area they placed foot, to include actively withholding resources from whole communities they feel are not deserving. Face it, and you can say whatever you want, every attempt for Black people to flourish as a community is stopped by the government, individually no problem, but community? No. That’s another blog post though.
Do you know that growing up with white kids, they labeled my butt as “ghetto booty”, literally in 7th and 8th grade, the white kids used to call me “ghetto booty”. My body part, a butt like everyone else. I lived in the same neighborhood as them, my whole life, but because they are ignorant, they labeled me “ghetto booty”, don’t you people have shame sometimes? So I beg you to remember that the next time you criminalize my loudness, or anything for that matter. Oh, I’m going to be loud, hopefully you hear me, and when you label me ghetto just remember that I’m not ashamed of being black. Did I grow up in the ghetto? It doesn’t matter because I’m not ashamed of being lumped in with Black behaviors. You see them as bad, I see them as culture, carry on.