Saturday, August 18, 2007

Book Review: GhettoNation

I found this book at the College of William & Mary bookstore (Barnes & Noble), while we were on our Spring Break trip to Williamsburg, Virginia, last month.

I was very excited about it, in fact, I was so excited about it, Mrs. Gunfighter bought it for me as a gift* I couldn't wait to read it, and I started it the next night.

The premise of the book was a discussion and critique on the use of the term "ghetto" in contemporary American parlance, the proliferation of "ghetto culture" which devalues education, is demeaning to women and promulgates the worst of Black American stereotypes as black culture. The author, Cora Daniels also discusses who benefits from "ghetto culture" and whom it destroys.

I enjoyed the book, and although I didn't agree with every conclusion that Ms. Daniels arrived at, we certainly agree about the incredible damage that "ghetto culture" is having in the United States today.

One of the main points that Daniels makes in her book is that, unlike in days past, the word ghetto rarely equates to a geographic location. Today, ghetto is a set of values, a behavior, in short; a mindset.

The following are my opinons:

Once upon a time, ignorant, uncouth behavior was something that we used to see and shake our collective heads about, silently tsk-tsking at people doing stupid and self-destructive things... many people would say or think to themselves: "Well, what do you expect from those people, especially peole who live there?"

Today, that same behavior (obnoxious swearing in public; baggy jeans hanging off of your ass; rude, unwelcome, attention towards women) isn't only tolerated... it's celebrated (in the suburbs no less!). Some of you are no doubt shaking your head and saying: "not by me it isn't!", that's great, but it sure as hell IS celebrated by enough people to make several industries hugely profitable.

Instead of screaming about it, people today shrug their shoulders and say (cue the Paris Hilton voice) "God, that's SO ghetto!"

Make no mistake my friends, the multicultural society that so many of us have advocated has arrived... and it isn't what you thought it would be. Multiculturalism today, isn't about the blending and uplifting the various cultures that make America. Today, multiculturalism means that white kids buy most of the gangsta rap that is produced. Multiculturalism has come to mean the glorification of ghetto dress and behavior, it is the mainstreaming of destructive pathological behavior.

The clothes, the music, the language of "ghetto" has become welcome in America... and we should all be ashamed. The tabloids celebrate scum, yes... I said scum, like 50 cent, Jay-Z, Eminem, K-Fed, Lil Kim, Busta Rhymes, and any number of the fountains of filth that pollute our homes, and our children's schools. Worse yet, the mainstream media have been so completely cowed that they say nothing about ghetto behavior for fear of being labeled racist.

Multiculturalism today, has given us the phenomenon of the so-called "Wiggers"

In this manner we have indeed become "GhettoNation"

We should be collectively ashamed.

A few months ago, I blogged about the following: Several years ago, famed comedian, actor, and educator, Bill Cosby had the nerve to speak out about the pathology of ghetto culture, and he was reviled by many, from black activists to white liberals, for having the guts to speak the truth. Unfortunately, Cora Daniels, in her otherwise excellent book, agrees with many of those that lashed out at Cosby..., but in the opinion of this humble blogger, Cosby was, and still is, absolutely right.



* Your pal, Gunfighter, loves to read. Gifts of books or bookstore giftcards never get wasted on me.

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