Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ghetto Loser


How many of us are really true to ourselves? If you were really true to yourself you would know that if you mentally raised your right-hand in response to that question...You're are a liar. This is something that comes slowly. So I encourage you to admit your personal lies one by one. I'll go first.

I am not ghetto. I am an urban aspirer. My country-grammar, my down-south slang...All a lie. As a child my proper language was often pointed out by my peers and listening adults. My immigrant parents emphasized the use of proper "queen's English", so really I am a grammar queen. I tried with all my might to use the words of the day and sound cool. "That is so live!" I know I am using the same words as every one else but I sounded like a dork. When I reached high school my ability to imitate the ghetto-sassy was fostered by other middle-class girls like myself alienated by our use of proper English. I was able to wear my new found urban-ability like a magic Starter jacket allowing me to navigate through the halls of my south-side school (or inner-city, if you will) undetected. Like Harry Potter. Now I can pop my neck, roll my eyes and talk slick like the best of them!

What started as a personal joke has now become a part of me. It is the way I correspond with my friends. Especially my best-friends. The word "be" is a verb, noun and adjective in our vocabulary, indicating that no matter how progressive I am...I ain't never too far from da' hood.

I admit it, I am not 'hood. I can't be 'hood. I had to have someone show me where the projects were in middle school. Free lunch? Well, considering I couldn't work at 13... Sure, I had free lunch, from my mommy. Not my mama...my mommy. I have no street credibility. I am not Ghetto Barbie. My father now wears my newsboy Kangol hat. My green-colored contacts and baby-phat jeans were purely functional. Green is my favorite color and Baby-Phat jeans fit my butt for $19.99 at TJ-Maxx. TJ-Maxx exists only in Suburbia.

I am not a gangsta gyrl looking for a soldier with the highest baller status. I am a former urban aspirer and I am so grown-up now. There is no room for my polished "street" slang in the halls of higher academia and cocktails with city mayors. With that said... I can blast my Ludacris with a clear conscience.
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4 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:51 AM

    You know, that is pretty bad. Good thing you 'fessed up. I teach piano classes to little kids. I hate piano. Always have and I hate that I am continuing the cycle of parental torture.

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  2. Brokkenhearted7:46 PM

    AMEN! One should not be made to feel ashamed for trying to find their niche in the world...ESPECIALLY not from people who look like you and think that the abuse of the English language should be considered for their loss of culture. Once we look in the mirror and realize what we are not, we find ourselves further down the path towards who we are. Is that not the point to life?

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  3. Anonymous9:55 PM

    I too have attempted to lose my "white girl banter" for the street credible use of Ebony phonics (better known as ebonics). As a child I was tortured by my playmates because of my "proper" use of the English language. Now, I sometimes consciously think of how I can pepper my conversations with the latest ghetto slang in an effort to sound cool--I know it's ridiculous, I'm hanging my head in shame as I write this. However, more important than my innate need to conform, is the disturbing fact that we don't appreciate ebonics for what it really is. No it is not simply improper English, it is the language of African-Americans with close ties to certain west African languages. Creole is recognized as a language. So is patois. Let's not forget about the Gullas in South Carolina. Slang is words or phrases made popular by those in the public eye, Snoop Dogg saying "fa shizzle my nizzle" for example. Ebonics is an expression of my African American culture, not an urban aspiration, and there ain't nothin wrong wit dat.

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  4. Anonymous3:31 PM

    You really are a loser. You are so funny S.C.! Good thing you confessed. I am a guy and I don't like sports. I hate sports and no I am not gay. I go to the games but I would rather be doing something else.

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