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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fuck Stereotypes

Fuck Stereotypes By Chanel Mitchell

"That's so ghetto," is a statement that I hear from the mouths of my fellow classmates and co-workers way too often. It is shameful that this word used to stereotype a person, place or thing as "lower class" is used so causally from individuals who feel they are superior to others. Often hearing people refer to things as “ghetto”, now evolving into “ratchet,” I have become interested in addressing this topic. We know the stereotypes of ghetto, but what does the word really mean? Is it bad to be ghetto? Is it a black thing? And why has it become such a negative and slanderous term?

The term “ghetto” is defined by the dictionary as a part of a city occupied by "minority" groups. These cities are often lower levels of society in socio-economic terms. Originally it referred to Jewish contained living forced upon them by Hitler and the German Nazis. In America, it refers to urban communities in which African Americans and Latinos reside. The term now is pinned to the individuals who LIVE in the communities rather than the communities themselves. You are ghetto if you live in the ghetto.

In my opinion the term “ghetto” is nothing more than being efficient with what you have, with where you are, and any other given circumstances. It is being creative and unique without the concerns or the judgments of others. If utilizing my resources, being creative with my options, and making decisions based on limitations makes me “ghetto,” then so be it. Although I will celebrate the term as a positive, I will not be defined or labeled by it and will never accept a position of inferiority. In addition, it still doesn't answer the question of why certain things are classified with the term. For example, if a white person has colorful hair it is considered “artsy,” but if a black person has colorful hair it's “ghetto.” If a white person is loud they are dominate and powerful but if a black person is loud they are angry, rude and “ghetto.”  I can go on and on about “ghetto” stereotypes but the truth about the fact is that ignorant individuals who use it are as classless and unimportant as the individuals they treat as (or claim to be) classless and unimportant. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said we shouldn’t be judged by the color of our skin but by the content of our character, I say, judge me not by where I come from or the choices I make, nor by the color of my skin or the content of my character, but instead, how about, don’t judge me AT ALL.  I say... Fuck stereotypes!

                                                                                                   _Chanel Mitchell

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