Friday, April 17, 2015

The Anti-Ghetto

ratchetmessreturns |  Since the 1960s, Black America has been plagued with a growing cultural epidemic, beginning with the most poor and underexposed and then spreading beyond the inner cities where they lived. Over the past half-century this counterproductive culture of negativity has permeated both the entertainment and sports industries, and now affects Americans of all races and walks of life. Characterized by escapism and materialism, this culture calls irresponsibility freedom, glorifies crime, violence, and hypersexuality, defies all authority, and acts as a coping mechanism for those who feel rejected by mainstream society and economy.

This culture is being “ghetto”.

Now reaching far beyond housing projects, slums, and other depressed urban areas, ghetto culture attracts ‘wannabes’ who wish to identify with the either hardness and struggle or the criminal element of  many people living in poverty. Being truly “ghetto” is universal. Because  prostitution is one major aspect of the criminal economy of inner cities, the relative degradation and abuse of women is a part of the culture that members of every walk of life can participate in. The abuse of drugs and alcohol as well as the preoccupation with flashy, expensive clothes and cars is attractive and accessible to anyone who has the money and time to spend seeking pleasure in these things. So, you clearly don’t have to live in the ghetto to ‘be’ ghetto; thanks to the entertainment industry, the gospel of the ghetto has been spread far and wide, promising fleshy satisfaction to all who would exchange civility for vulgarity and rebellion, and who will live for today instead of planning for tomorrow.

Hopefully, my description of ghetto culture depresses you, at least a bit. If not, you may indeed be desensitized due to overexposure.

In case you are wondering, I believe I understand ghetto culture because I was born and raised in the hood (I will break down the difference between the two in another article) and lived in the midst of various ghettos in Detroit, Michigan, a city thoroughly infused with ghetto culture. My wife however was raised in an upper class family and has never once been seen in any shady area around town. I never fully immersed myself in it, but I have been and still can get a little ghetto, even to this day. 

Some of it really is harmless fun.

Most of it, however, is not.

While I don’t judge people I do judge things, and ghetto culture is one of those things that inner city dwellers need to graduate from. It was fostered by the rise of government social services and welfare programs and nurtured by a warped, maternal family structure born out of war, underemployment, and crime. When men ceased to be the head of families in urban areas, ghetto culture spread like a disease. Now, America’s metropolises are plagued with restless, ignorant, self-serving, deviants and those who validate them by sharing in the customs and entertainment of ghetto culture. No, you may not break into people’s homes and rob them, but you sing along with the rapper who glorifies such actions. You may live conservatively during the week but on the weekends you party in the ghetto, with the ghetto, or like the ghetto, further validating the negativity of ghetto culture. While you may not live in a poor area, you like to flash your designer goods and expensive cars in areas where ghetto people can admire you for owning them.

So, even though you aren’t in the ghetto, if the ghetto is in you, you are part of the problem.

We have to graduate from ghetto. People living in ghettos often use ghetto culture as a way of coping with a seemingly hopeless situation; if there is no way out, I should just make the best of what I have. However, when those who are not confined to the ghetto validate the self-destructive culture of the ghetto, it only confirms that there is no need to strive for anything else! People now work to get out of the ghetto just so they can live “ghetto-fabulous”! What kind of sense does that make? Leave the ghetto so I can live like a king in the ghetto, except outside the ghetto, kinda? The idea should be to get out of the ghetto so that we can live safe, productive, responsible lives that ensure our children never have to live in a ghetto. How does spending exorbitant amounts of money on clothes, intoxicants, vehicles, and recreation build a future for you or your family? It may be fun for now, but what happens when later comes?

Oh, that’s right; the government is supposed to give you what you need then because you couldn’t ‘afford’ to think ahead when you did have means and opportunity to build.

That’s their job, right?

No, it’s ours; that is why for every ghetto, there must be an anti-ghetto. The anti-ghetto is simply the sphere in which any person or group from or in the ghetto simply refuses to conform to the expectations and the culture of the ghetto.

Someone who subscribes to anti-ghetto culture:
  • Refuses to listen to music or support artists that glorify ghetto culture and ideals
  • Refuses to degrade themselves in speech, dress, or demeanor as ghetto culture allows and encourages
  • Refuses to be depend on government assistance as a way of life, especially when the benefits are not necessary for survival
  • Refuses to glory in ignorance but values education in all forms, both formal and informal
  • Makes empowerment not only a goal, but a lifestyle
  • Respects themselves and others
  • Obeys just laws and works to change unjust laws
  • Honors their own bodies through proper nutrition, exercise, and moderation in delicacies and non-nutritional consumables
  • Speaks with dignity and respect for self and the environment he or she is in
  • Seeks to act as an agent of change and shine as a beacon of hope for others who wish to live above and beyond the ghetto
It’s time for the anti-ghetto element to rise in the inner cities and abroad.


CNu said...

Bro. Feed, the stars were aligned "just so" this week to give you the desperately needed catalytic boost to break free from your archiver/analyst chrysalis and become "somebody". One of my most favorite guilty diversions got snatched down off the web a couple of days ago and was just a vacant tumblr until this morning. Lo and behold, instead of images of stark, raving ghetto depravity, in their place this morning was the message I have reposted in its entirety.

This is your wake-up call Bro. Instead of carrying water for the Knights of Nordica and being broadly basted, lampooned, or ignored for the unpardonable sin of coonservatism, you can cast off your association with the Stone Mountain posse and get with something original and asserted in plain english that everyone can understand.

I'm not sure what transpired with that tumblr. The proprietress often seemed highly conflicted about her aims, but she had a superb eye for tragi-comedy and always posted the rankest, dankest views of ratchets. Looks like somebody - either in authority at tumblr - or somebody with some password guessing or phishing skills yanked her ghetto pass and took down her site and replaced it with this splendiferous ode to common sense and propriety.

Hope all is well with the exquisitely charmed proprietress (actually, hope she had an epiphany and is now perpetrating a whole new message under this new and responsible negroe persona)

BigDonOne said...

BD would add an additional key bulleted point to above list: -- Breeds in-wedlock and fully supports offspring in stable two-parent family.....

makheru bradley said...

Malcolm said it best: Wake up! Clean up! Stand up!

Ed Dunn said...

Light-skinned and curly hair - how shocking to talk about ghetto culture....

I do not see anything in that list that typified "ghetto" - ghetto is being a hole and realizing the fact it is a hole and either cope with being in the hole or finding a way out of the hole.

What was stated in that letter has nothing to do with ghetto and more so how people carry themselves...

CNu said...

and Canadian no less, looking down from the empyrean heights of Toronto - originally from the Carribean - and getting to travel and observe the world for money on the strength of her wits and her cartoonishly good looks. Sucks don't it?

I'm still trying to get to the bottom of what happened. Whether she did a Saul on the road to damascus, got her ghetto pass revoked by tumblr, or got hacked and had her site taken away from her, not for the first time no less.

In any event, this young lady took on some folks for their racism and for the ratchetness in an acutely personal way, like I said, she's sharp and like I'll say now, very young and due much slack.

As far as ghetto goes, I've got 64 contiguous square miles of it in my city, and that 64 square miles plays host/home to 370 psychopaths who somehow through their social networks and the effect of those social networks on the city at large, make mayhem that has a definite effect on a total population of 470,000 in the core and 1.4 million in the greater metropolitan sprawl.

In my work as a volunteer instructor, I've always been engaged in anti-ghetto activism. I just never explicitly called it anything like that. After today, count me as sold on the explicit anti-ghetto movement and actively engaged from this point forward with every tool at my disposal. School is about to be enlarged....,

John Kurman said...

Jesus, this place is, like, Sensei Cafe

arnach said...

I know that imagining being in another's shoes is not the same as actually being there so, until now, I have refrained from commenting on the issues of race and society that frequently pop up here on Subrealism. However, the IMO profound and spot-on content of this post has prompted me to do otherwise this time. One of my favorite sayings is "We all know where lies the responsibility for self-inflicted wounds" so, whether this young lady's (if in fact the poster is) tumblr account was hijacked or so thoroughly re-envisioned due to some profound epiphany, all I can say is "This, a thousand-thousand-thousand times, this."

P.S. BD, stop being a dick. It's not "Us against Them." It's "Us against Us." You're just not looking at a sufficiently large picture. Until you can comprehend that there are levels and dimensions beyond which your current thinking extends, you will never get it, so you might as well just give it up and instead devote your energies to finding some useful purpose. Seriously, dude—You don't get it, so why don't you just S.T.F.U.

Ed Dunn said...

Maybe she was forced to post it offline - kind of the offline hacking technique known as coercion..

CNu said...

She went hard and persistently after a nasty little latino racist - highlighting his online mess and his family business. I don't think she's in control of that tumblr anymore and I suspect she was coerced via legal threat to surrender it to somebody else.

arnach said...

> I don't think she's in control of that tumblr anymore


CNu said...

lol, nah brah..., THAT alone does not a confirmation make. See if you can follow any of curleytiff's insta, twitter, or other of her social media and churn up a genuine clue. The downside is that this child is more sexyfull than Jessica Rabbit, so if you get in, there is no downside. This doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before, and I'm a veteran of 10,000 aetheric "wars"..., I'm not trying too terribly hard to solve the mystery, because I find it inspiring.

I'm totally sold on the anti-ghetto - and need to calm down on this front before....,

arnach said...

Good point. Anyway, I have neither time nor interest sufficient to bother figuring out what happened. I did, however, enjoy going back through a little of the historical ratchetmessreturns tumblr when you identified it as one of your "most favorite guilty diversions." Very entertaining, to say the least; the change in presentation is quite remarkable.

Don't calm down too much. You never know—something you do might actually make an important difference.

umbrarchist said...

As a former IBMer I must confess I find it annoying to see Malcolm X in a suit and tie.

I only wore that junk for the money. Yeah, there is talk of education and ignorance but no mention of "science". This whole global warming issue sows how much the dumb ass White people care about science.

I guess we need Vulcan culture. Ghetto culture is a kind of rebellion but it is a negative and self-defeating form of rebellion. Success comes across as a form of surrendering to White culture, a psychological self-defeat.

BigDonOne said...

@GlobalWarming - Earth is not stable, but is absolutely warming, as evidenced by well-documented actual sea-level rising measurements. The liquid water to do that has to come from somewhere Melting glaciers, mountain peak caps, and polar regions. It is stupid to try and argue about this based on summaries of local weather reports.

@Ghetto - Great article today in EssBeePeeDeeEll on Memphis death spiral, (ROTFLMAO) actually includes the phrase "poor future time orientation..."

BigDonOne said...

@"dude—You don't get it,..."
Jesse Peterson href="" gets it

rohan said...

Gnaw magne, whatever you do, don't calm down on this front. Hugh Masakela went straight anti-ghetto here recently Famed trumpeter Hugh Masekela isn’t fond of hair weaves and he has no problem expressing that. During a recent visit to Rhodes University, where he was receiving an honorary doctorate, the musician’s encounter with a female student asking for a photo didn’t quite go the way she expected.

“You’re lucky that you were sneaky enough to have him take a picture of you next to me, otherwise I would have refused. I don’t take pictures with girls who have your kind of hair,” Masekela told the student, according to student journalist Sanele Ntshingana and City Press.

In the past, Masekela has spoken out about his hatred of hair weaves and his refusal to have his picture taken with those who wear them. Last year, during an appearance for his 75th birthday at the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus, Masekela spoke out against hair weaves.

CNu said...

I'm having to read and re-read that Reed critique. His going in on the black haute bourgeousie and the black professional and managerial classes irks me. And the specific sensibilities that carry the spate of slavery/Jim
Crow-era costume dramas are those around which the contemporary black
professional-managerial class (PMC) converges: reduction of politics to a
narrative of racial triumph that projects “positive images” of black
accomplishment, extols exemplary black individuals, stresses overcoming
great adversity to attain success and recognition, and inscribes a
monolithic and transhistorical racism as the fundamental obstacle
confronting, and thus uniting, all black Americans.The monolithic and transhistorical racism part I get and I agree with. Identification of contemporary important folk with imaginal appropriation of ghetto travails, I agree with.

However, it's the implicit critique of the black managerial and professional classes that pisses me off. In any organized society, a minority of 5% or fewer of skilled technocrats (The Slice) assume and assert a degree of responsibility for making societal roads roll. If that operationally proficient 5% withdraw their shepherd hand, the rest collapses of its own inwardly-directed striving and lack of basic competence. The loss of educational and societal standards, economic baselines, and institutional structural continuity which spawned the nihilistic ghetto is due in the main to the withdrawal of black managerial and professional class involvement from those areas. When folks were no longer structurally and legally constrained from leaving, they left in droves.

In much the same way we witness brain drains from developing nations in which the Slice make their exodus to greener pastures and leave folks behind, Thomas TNT Todd had it exactly right "Yet
our best trained, best educated, best equipped, best prepared troops
refuse to fight! Matter of fact, it's safe to say that they would rather
switch than fight!"

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