**Warning: There is some cooning going on in this post**
My melanin-deficient friends and sheltered black fam, I’m really going to need you to stop the use of the word “ghetto” as a backhanded insult immediately. See, the problem with you using the word so freely is that you don’t really know the first thing about real ghetto. You wouldn’t know the projects if you were magically dropped there. I can hear it now, “Hmm, this is an interesting looking skyscraper condo complex…The residents must be into that shabby chic look.” That statement alone disqualifies you from using this word. I know you’re probably looking at me funny asking why I’m allowed to use the word, so allow me to explain. I’m an alumnae of The Illustrious School of Ghetto Hoods and Crackhead Survival. I earned my stripes, along with most of my people who grew up knowing at least one person named June Bug or Pookie.
Let’s get some things straight about what ghetto is and isn’t, and here to help me out is the Peanut Gallery, also known as Lauren, Will, and Malik—the undercover hoodrat patrol. Welcome to our game! Unghetto girl, you make one statement of what you think is ghetto and the peanut gallery will decide if the statement is true, then I will do the same thing. (ok yall, a real live whitechick, lol —the coolest one we know—stepped in and played the unghetto girl and we actually played this “game” in my living room. We were bored and inebriated ok, so cut us some slack)
Unghetto Girl: “Ugggh, shopping at Abercrombie instead of Hollister is sooo ghetto…”
Peanut Gallery: “Not so much”
Me: “Shopping at K-Mart and putting erythang on layaway. That’s ghetto”
Peanut Gallery: *All nod head in agreement* “Damn Tash, that’s deep. That’s how our parents bought the Roots Miniseries on tape”
Unghetto Girl: “Taking gymnastics, not ballet. Now that’s ghetto”
Peanut Gallery: *All just look confused and shake heads ‘no’*
Me: “Finding a dirty old mattress outside, then pulling it over to the playground. And then you and your crew use it as a cushion when practicing your flips and ninja kicks. Ghetto to the core”
Peanut Gallery: *Put up black power fists in agreement*
Unghetto Girl: “Drinking chardonnay out of a martini glass”
Peanut Gallery: *Look up chardonnay on Wikipedia* “Boooooo”
Me: “Drinking RED Kool-Aid out of an old yogurt cup”
Peanut Gallery: *Hold a toast with their yogurt cups and mason jars*
Unghetto Girl: “Making French crèpes with Bisquick mix. That’s gotta be ghetto”
Peanut Gallery: *After much debate, agree* “Yeah, that’s ghetto français-style”
Me: “Making grilled gubment cheese sammiches using an iron and a paper bag”
Peanut Gallery: *All shed a tear*
You get the idea. The game went on until we were practically ready for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. But either way, very few so-called “ghetto” things make it through the gates of WhiteBread Estates, Vermont. Please leave the ghetto nomenclature to the professionals.
Game Over, now back to our regularly scheduled non-coon, non-buffonery, doesn’t-set-us-back-50-years business.