via What “So Ghetto” Really Means

Great informative article on the concept of “So Ghetto”, deconstructing your racism with every word:

Many black people do have some degree of an accent that’s recognizable as being distinctly African American. But I said accent — not poor diction and not slang. Instead, we’re talking about a distinct cadence and way of pronouncing words. For example, some black Midwesterners will extend the word “five” into a drawled “fahve” that reflects roots in the South. In fact, this is a pretty accurate description of what Oprah sometimes does with her speech. What exactly is “ghetto” about this manner of speaking?

I suspect that Griffin meant that Oprah sometimes adopts this accent as a way to better associate herself with people in predominately black, poor, so called “ghetto” urban areas. In the eyes of folk like Griffin, the entire black experience is represented by this “ghetto” universe, which as we know, is seen as inherently deficient. Actually, there’s nothing wrong with having a black accent, except that in a society where white is right, a black accent is judged as less than desirable. Making a call without your “white” voice on could mean the loss of a job, an apartment or any number of opportunities. So, as a matter of survival, upwardly mobile blacks learn to effortlessly code switch — that is, unconsciously modify speech to slip from one culture to another. Black people do this in the ‘hood and the ‘burbs and the halls of power. I do this. President Obama does this. Oprah does this. Don’t call it “ghetto;” call it survival in a racially biased society.

Read the entire article here.


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