Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ghetto is as Ghetto does

I am sure that by now everybody who frequents different blogs have heard about THIS.

Is this surprising to me?



Does it upset me?



'Well "Mr. A Blackman's View" how does this not upset you?

Well I guess it will be better to show you than tell you, even though I am going to tell you too. Check out these pictures......

Now after seeing these coons depicted above is it any wonder that White People think that we are all like this?

This shit I have shown above is what our "culture" supposedly is. This is what being "Black in America" means.

This is what the thousands of Black People that fought for our right to be treated as a human beings died for.

This is their legacy.

So who is in the wrong here?

Is it the ignorant White Folks that believe what they see in rap video's, BET or the MSM?
Or is it the ignorant Black Folks that try with every breath in their bodies to live up to all the negative stereo-types said White Folks believe?

Appearances are everything.

If we as Black People continue to appear to be "ghetto", then we will be continually treated as "ghetto".

Even though the term "Ghetto" did not start out as being a code word for Black People. Ghetto's for those of you that do not know their history, was started in America to keep the Jews, Italians and Irish that migrated here from their respected countries in one central location. These immigrants whether by design or necessity all congregated together in their own Little Italy's, Little Jerusalem, or Little Dublin's. They lived in the poorest housing, went to the poorest schools and ate the scraps that the British Immigrants left on the floors of their mansions.

But unlike the Blacks that eventually took over their "ghetto's", they shied away from everything that made other people think of them as lawless animals. They fought for their respect and passed that respect down to their children. Now all these people are looked at as being respectable Americans, while my people are subjected to "Compton Parties" during the very month that is supposed to enlighten the world to our accomplishments in this country.

Is this by design also?
I believe it is.....
But there is no excuse for my people in this day and age to try to make the  lies that were started by others the truth.
As I said in a very recent post, We cannot expect others to respect us if we do not respect ourselves.

All the warriors of our past American History have got to be very upset with the way their Grandchildren turned out. Instead of quoting the words of Langston Hughes, we are quoting the words of that number one coon Plies and all the other Lil's and Yungs that have become the modern day version of Malcolm X.

So don't get mad at the ignorant ass White Kids that are only reenacting what they see everyday. Get mad at the men and women in the mirror that are starring in the real life version of Black American Culture, the reality show as seen on BET, MTV and VH1, with the sound track featuring all the Yungs, Jezzies, Lil's and the Mommies,with the occasional appearance by the Ga-ga's the Thickes or the Mayers.


The Smoking Ace said...

We have been saying that for years, but it is not like we are the only ones with stereotypes. Everybody has what they think of each race.

Anna Renee said...

Hey there brother! These images seem to be some. Keep in mind brother, that black folks are not monolithic--we don't all have the same cultural perspectives, and we tend to disagree within our race which is to be expected. Remember that even when we copy the dominant culture's ways, it doesn't guarantee that their guilt won't still be acted out on us negatively. Keep in mind that there are many, many, many young people who are doing good works for themselves and even for their communities--they just aren't being shown in the media. Keep in mind also that it's very demoralizing when we focus on the "negative" and ignore what the "positive" young people are doing. We tend to crush the entire race based on some who seem to embarass us. It's not wise to focus on the worst and then call the whole race out on this basis, for if we do that, then what are we doing that's different from white racists? It's our job as thinking black people to understand that we have to do our research--search for the truth of who we are and start teaching our youth. The search is difficult, but not impossible. Don't be discouraged by these images--just don't internalize them, which is what they want you to do. There will always be these kinds of images, just as we can curse white folks, because we'll always find Klansmen images. Let's not fall for this okey doke.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

It is amazing how various subcultures dress and speak differently.

I read an article years ago, I wish I remembered where, but it talked about immigrants. Every group you named got ahead from illegal activities, from bootleg alcohol operations to running numbers long before the lottery was legal, to theft. Each group you mentioned had their own mob.

There were four differences that made their acceptance into mainstream society:

1. They were white, and the second generation could hide their accents and blend in with White America.

2. Marriage was common back then, and families were intact. A father in the house is valuable. Compare this to blacks, who had a long history of their families being broken up, from slavery, to working far away, to welfare rules of no man in the house, to the more recent mass incarceration of black men for drug possession and from racial profiling. This has been devastating on the black community.

3. Education. Their kids may have been immigrants, but they got to go to white public schools at a time when the black ones were really abysmal. With the illegal money they earned - they sent their kids to college who could then go legit as accountants, lawyers, doctors, and get involved in local politics by running for some board or office.

4. The absence of the instantly addictive drug, crack cocaine. While Italians and Irish could be alcoholics, it generally takes 20 years to become full blown, dysfunctional alcoholics, and some never get that dysfunctional that they can't stay away from the booze they were peddling, or show up to their jobs. Then alcohol became legal again. This is a stark difference with the ease of addiction and getting felonies from cocaine possession and distribution.

I'm frankly amazed so many of us have come as far as we have, and at the same time, see a lot of white folks regressing for many of the same reasons: more kids being born to single mothers, and hard drugs, both combined with a piss poor education because their kids are failing in school almost as much as ours are in some areas.

Redbonegirl97 said...

When I see people like this in real life I shake my head saying to myself people are so stupid. All I can think is when I see the guys with their pants sagging low is that I hope a dog chases you down the street and bites you on the ass.


saint james said...

The Black family was much more intact in the 1920's than presently. In FACT the stats were comparable to white and other ethnicities. Obviously the 1920's were much closer to slavery than the present day. In FACT it was right in Jim Crow's hey day.
Slavery cannot be used as an excuse for the disappearing intact Black family in the US.
The real issue is not "no man in the house" but should be no baby's in a n unmarried womb. This has become the norm in our communities. When parents are ill prepared to take care of children they are ill prepared to help them do well on all fronts, educationally, socially, economically, etc. C'mon Black folk take some responsibility! PLEASE. Not everything is out of our control.

Yes, some of the ethnic groups mentioned in a previous post did indeed use illegal means to get ahead and in many cases still do. The main difference between those groups and ours is they tended to protect their neighborhoods and we are destroying ours. If this trend keeps up we are doomed. They lived by a code. If you harmed the business or the community you were d4ealt with. Is that happening in our communities. NO. everybody's going down.

We have become a people who exalt ignorance (speech, social ineptness and education) and deify criminality and gettin' over. This is dont to our collective detriment.
The pics of the people in the post are embarrassing, No, they do not represent all of us yet they are representing more and more of our younger generation.
The national stats on whites and balcks graduating from high school are not comparable. Black males are dropping out at near 70%, Latinos, even higher. Females are doing better in bothe black and latino families. Wake UP or Die! We are doomed as a people if we don't make some real changes. Obama cannot save us. We have to do it for ourselves. Sorry for the rant just pissed.

Dirty Red said...

Saint James,I think you summed up everyone's comments for me. I ain't mad at the long comment. Some stuff needs to be said no matter the length.

You know I got to respond to you. You are dead right as usual. All these groups I mentioned did get thier status on the streets. I agree with everything you said.
As usual.
I told you before that you make me see shit in a different light.

To all the commentors on this post....
Thank's for your thoughts. This is why I do this... To get other opinions besides my own. I learn something from everybody that bothers to comment on my lil ole blog. Thank's for for taking the time to read my thoughts. I appreciate all of youse.

Mr. I. M. BLACK said...

I recently read an article in the Community Journal written by a young woman that could be on your staff. The article addressed the style of dress of young African-American men in these times.
I felt the author might have based her insights on some outdated mandate that assumes that all pants wearing must be created equal or in her thinly contrived personal perspective that a young man’s worth could be determined by how he wears is pants,(while I do agree with the articles basic premise, I disagree with its overall presentation).
Based on the article I found that I must take exception to her narrow-minded interpretation that a young man’s intellect could be based on how they wear their pants. These are the same type of assumptions that are made by police, teachers, and other members of the establishment. Eventually these types of assumptions can only lead to the denigration of young African-American males along with the underhanded excuses given for their lack of achievement, aggressive behavior and the reason they cannot be taught.
I personally feel that if you had taken the time to study history you would have seen that history often every generation has a type of style that another generation does not recognize and believes that they could dress better.
I also believe while discussing the dress code of young men, you should have also discuss the same of the young women of today.
We often misplace our judgments. For the African-American this is a dangerous position to take. To concentrate on the external and not the

Mr. I. M. BLACK said...

internal, is cause for division, which does not lead to an open line of communication.
It is important that find a way to communicate with our youth so that in the end they learn to respect themselves and thereby not have to adopt those images that denigrate their true heritage and sprit.
What we should be concentrating on is the Education of our children and their knowledge of their history, both African and African-American. Their sense of pride will come from their history and not from what they wear. It should be understood that as a people we have always had a sense of style. From music to the all the other arts our creative juices flow throughout this country and the world. While it has never been fully appreciated, nor taught, or recognized it is up to us as a people to teach and not denigrate our children, especially with frivolous things such as what they are wearing and not what they are being taught. The value of a child’s mind is worth more.
If there is something to complain about it should be about the way we portray ourselves or are portrayed on TV. Shows such as the maury povich show are more disastrous then the way pants are worn. ( I have not capitalized the name on purpose) The baby mama drama that is depicted on this show is more damaging then a naked man running thru a cotton field, because it is physological and it plays upon the minds of both young men and women. More importantly, it is distributed throughout the country and in parts of the world. (You see even though there are people of European extraction on the programe they would just be thought of as stupid and guess what when they leave the show clean themselves up they will still have a better chance

Mr. I. M. BLACK said...

at obtaining a better job than a black man.) Think for a moment how many people of Asian heritage do you see on shows such as these and others like divorce court and the small claim court programs.
As a Community Journal, it must sometimes be difficult to reflect all of the needs of a community but to reflect its essence is important.
Understanding where we live is important for how we communicate were we live is in some ways not only how we see ourselves but also how others see us.
Were we live is not the hood and it is not a ghetto, it is a Community, it is not a place to run from but a place to run to. It should be place of pride, respect, comfort, and safety. It should not be a place where others come to profit and move on; pockets full, then look back with distain.
The responsibility of a Community journal is heavy one for it should be uplifting not just a place were certain politicians seek to have their picture plastered on page after page week after week without earning the respect of the community. Giving out awards is easy working hard for your constituents requires hard work and dedication.
I started this essay by expressing my opinion on what I felt about the article on how young African-American men wear their pants and how I felt, we should be looking at the bigger picture of Community and our relationship to it.
It was not my intention to criticize, although criticism depending on how it is given and how it is received can make a people stronger and wiser. This essay was written without malice and only with love for our communities. For there is a strength in our community one that only needs a vehicle that can tap into it and help to propel it to greater heights.
Remember, THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THEN THE SWORD, but only if what is written is worthy of reading.

Mr. I. M. Black

Anna Renee said...

Mr. I.M. Black is so on point! It's easy for us to denigrate our children and people because every one else does that, but are you able to see past the gold teeth, weave, sagging pants, attitude to the real heart of the child? Can you really say that there is no heart there?
@RedBoneGirl97--its easy to hate our own people, but can you look past all the stuff we do to hide ourselves and expose ourselves simultaneous--and see to the heart?
@Dirty Red--a fantastic and thought provoking post! We have to work on ourselves even in the onslaught of negativity against us without internalizing that negativity, then believing that negativity is the truth of who we are! It's very hard, no doubt, but if we black folks don't do it, who will?

saint james said...

When you wear gold teeth and don't have a house it may not be a sign of true intelligence but it is a sign of the lack of good sense.
When you have a wardrobe of clothes that are condusive only for the street you cannot really cry against the system's lack of desire to hire you.
When you have bling and swagger, fancy rims and RentaCenter couches, living in subsidized housing you are not acting in an intelligent manner. We are priority stricken more often that poverty stricken in many cases. We used to march and get beaten and picket for a chance for a better education. Today we are not graduating from high school in sufficient numbers. Speaking English properly is considered "talkin' white". We need to make some major changes.
Presentation is important. It is not the measure of a person's heart but it may be a clear indication of the person's priority. Hence, they are wearing their "heart" on their sleeve.

Why is is that Black immigrants come to this country and in an average of 5 years have far superceded their American counterparts, economically, educationally and is a lot of cases entrepreneurs (sp?). PRIORITIES!
I am not opposed to style and swagger. I had a California Curl and platformed shoes in my day. What this generation seems to lack is that Black folk MUST be bi-cultural in order to progress in this country. We cannot expect that the idioms of our community are going to be accepted everywhere. "Rise Up you mighty people you will accomplish what you will!"

Anna Renee said...

@Saint James--I wouldn't say that an entire generation is this way. My son isn't this way, and he grew up in the community (ghetto)Why are we so eager to believe all the negative crap? We look at a bunch of music videos and say all black kids are doing this. That's what the whole idea is, to get you to pass judgement on a whole "generation" of black young people. Speaking the King's English guarantees nothing. Listening to the general media guarantees you stereotype all black youth.

saint james said...

Anna Renee

When the word generation is used it speaks of a general trend and influence in the present time. Of course not every young person is doing it. Your son and my 3 children are not either; neither are many others. The Stats are clear, a WHOLE LOT OF us are. I did not derive my observations from music vids. I am out here with these kids and young adults every day.. It is what I do for a living. I run a non profit program for just the generation of which I wrote. The main thing that we have to counter in this work is to change the mindset of youth who have lost their way and are living in 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation of poverty of thought, ambition and moral clarity.
Speaking the king's english is a TOOL for success. To ignore that is foolhardy and lacks insight in my opinion. When a young adult comes to me to ask me "Why you ain't hired me to work for you?" I recognize that the young person needs more than a job. He needs the tools to be able to stand before the public and properly represent in a professional manner. Words have power and whether you want to acknowledge it or not people do indded make decisions about your intellect based on how you handle your primary language.
My wife is a school teacher and the lack of attention to the urban parents to their children's educational process is appalling. If we can applaud our children when they dance and sing and rap and rhyme. We should be able to do the same to encourage them to read and research and think deductively and speak english properly. I have nothing against the use of colloquial black speech I USE IT EVERY DAY. I also recognize the value of being able float into the other culture with ease.

Mr. I. M. BLACK said...

Saint james,
Although, some of what you are saying might be true, you must also understand that if all you do is look at what people are wearing and are not willing to look beyond, you have made my point.

Additionally, remember this if a man was sleeping on the ground where he came from, and now comes here and gets a mattress, he might feel as though he has done better, but all he has is a mattress.

Understand this your way of thinking is what causes division among our people (the, I can do better, why can’t you attitude)? We all have our faults, some worse than others, but if we only look at those faults, we will never see the beauty of our race.

With regard to the man with the mattress, maybe what he should be thinking of now is how he can build a mattress co. in his own country, and use some of those low pants wearing people to produce the needed mattresses. Thereby building a bridge between the country he came from, and here so that people can see the PRIDE and SELF RESPECT that can come from a TRUTH, and not from a false sense of materialism that is represented by others.

THINK, we must have PRIDE in our selves, but we must also have PRIDE in each other, we don’t live in ghettos we live in communities and it should be a place where we feel safe.

saint james said...

My work with these young men and women is definitive proof that I can see past what they are wearing and what they look and speak like. I am trying to give them a broader view of the world than their limited view of it.
I am not just telling them to do better I am helping them to do it 6 days a week. I don't just tell them. I help them do better. The real deal is that far too many of our communites are NOT safe. I don't care if you call it a ghetto, community or wahtever. That much is true. I will contunue to do what I do and say what I say to help my people do BETTER.

Anna Renee said...

@SaintJames--I respect anyone who wants the best for our children. That's one thing about us, we have high standards for ourselves and barely tolerate anything that seems less than. People in general want those who come in wanting to help to not come in with a superior attitude, no matter what the people's level is. Even if it's a "low level". We have our work cut out for us--how to conteract the music videos and popular culture stuff that influences all kids--not just ours. The kids know we dont respect them, and they dont respect themselves because of it. They see disrespect at every turn. So we have to meet them at their own level without comparing them to others. We have to search for the good in them and reflect it back to them so they can believe their own worth, even with gold teeth, sagging pants, bad english and all. I agree that speaking the King's English is a tool, but it's not a measure of intelligence. Our kids are afraid, because we adults are! They don't have faith in themselves because we don't have faith in them! We have to instill faith in our ability before we can instill faith in our kids ability! Do we believe in our children? And in our race? We see that we are here in spite of ALL that comes against us, and here we still stand! We aren't DOOMED as a people because we survived slavery, jim crow, the black codes, lynching, segregation, civil rights, the disco era, woman's lib, and all kinds of ish! We aren't doomed, don't believe that mess! Our kids are out there surviving while we figure out what we should be doing! So if our kids can survive without us, think what they can do when we get it together. Thank God for the blogosphere, where we can talk en masse and work this out. Thank you Saint James for your imput in our kids.

Mr. I. M. BLACK said...

Anna Renee,

Your leval of understanding is a BEAUTIFUL to read.

saint james said...

Blessings to you also.

The reason I say we ae doomed: You are exactly right about what we as a people have survived. 100% correct. In our survival we were acting in a manner that counteracted what racism and slavery and jim crow and dogs and hoses could not overcome. Presently, out greatest detriment is ourselves. We are killing each other at unpresendented rates, incarcerated in unprecedented rates, males are not attending college in umprecedented rates, and on and on it goes. Are here some biases that contribute to some of these trends that come from other people, yes. What we must do is ensure that WE are not solidifying biases by doing less than what we can do to raise out people.
There is a sickness in a lot of us. Why on earth do we endorse and make rich our artists, and athletes whose investments in our communities don't extend beyond making themselves rich by futhering the exploitation of our young people by marketing iotems that promote their own wealth and ensure poverty for our children? Sneakers, clothes, bling, etc. It is madness.
I believe one can respect an individual and not have respect for the behavior. That is where I am. I don't respect the murder, the disrespect of elders, the pathology that keeps us in a cycle of madness of bad priorities.

I also work with the black immigrants from Ghana, Nigeria, Haiti, and many other countries. Generally, they seem to have an entire set of priorities. Why is that? I believe they have a different mindset that many of us children and others.

I can see where the use of the word "doomed" is threatening. I hope to be and remain a prophetic voice to this generation. IF YOU DON'T TURN AROUND YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE. That is my point.

I also believe that a mixed dialogue and philosophy (similar to King and Malcolm is what is best for our collective situation.
Since we are not monlithic our dialogue nor approaches cannot be.
There are some things that are happening in our community that simply needs to be rebuked, not tolerated and corrected.
I think soemtimes we as Black folk find it hard to deal with our own responsibilities in our behavior.
Thisis neither a white, balck, generational thing as I see it but a survival thing.
We need old heads and new heads.
Appreciate the exchange.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Saint James said in his first comment, I think adding on to my earlier one, "The main difference between those groups and ours is they tended to protect their neighborhoods and we are destroying ours."

So true, and the reason is addiction to and fiending for hard drugs. Something about cocaine, crack, heroin, and lately, meth, that causes human beings to do shit they rarely did when craving alcohol, which is and was a scourge among all races... many of whom dumped the hard stuff in our school yards in the '60 but wouldn't dream of doing that in their own communities.

Reggie said...

Oh absolutely, it's sheer coonery alright!!!

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