“Oh my god, he is so….GHETTO.”
It’s a common expression these days. I hear it all the time from white folks, black folks, even Jay-Z himself. Mr. Beyonce may be using ‘ghetto’ as a self-referential complement, but for most people the word is an unmitigated insult...a verbal slap to the face.
When someone calls you ghetto, they’re calling you poor. Uncivilized. They’re calling you black in the most stereotypical sense possible. For y’all kids out there, Ghetto is Ratchet with a history of oppression.
Historical nerd myself, I had to find out the roots of the word. Funny thing is…turns out the first so-called ghetto wasn’t West Oakland or Southeast DC. It wasn’t New York’s Lower East Side. No, the first ghetto walls were built 500 years back, and they held in a certain Yiddish-speaking, bagel-eating people. My people. Who now seem to have a certain penchant for building separation walls ourselves.
Well, ok. LET’S GO THERE.
Enjoy the ghetto world tour…