One strand in this extremely interesting thread at Negro, Please involves the current meaning and proper use of the adjective “ghetto”; since I haven’t listened to rap since the heyday of Public Enemy and have otherwise been sadly out of touch, I was glad to be told that the term refers to an “unpleasantly selfish and materialistic world view that is a product of both poverty and modern hip hop culture.” The post is about Jason’s mixed reactions on hearing a white woman friend say “That show is so ghetto”; the ensuing discussion covers a lot of ground.

But please, if you visit and are moved to leave a comment, be respectful of the host and the discussion; don’t act like Josh, who makes me ashamed to be white with his whiny “why do so many blacks seem so obsessed with racism?” and continued failure to get the point. Yes, the internet is a public space, but so is a sidewalk, and I think there’s general agreement that if we want to join a discussion among people we don’t know on the sidewalk, we tread warily and don’t throw our weight around. I don’t see why it should be any different online.

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