Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ghettos: They aren't Jewish Anymore!

The other day one of my best friends, and casual reader of this blog, said "I don't think your posts are nearly as offensive as you think they are. You really need to step it up." Aside from laughing at the comment, I explained to him that I don't try to be offensive, or even funny...I just like to talk about real sh*t that I think the world should hear. For this reason alone, my blog cannot be pigeon-holed as "crude college humor," a "hood Dear Abby" or even an "electronic platform for self righteousness"; It is all of these things at once. Sure some of my posts come off as offensive (see for some extreme hate against the Nappy Headed Bros) , as they are representative of me, a person with no qualms who can be described as both ridiculously entertaining and crudely offensive in real life. That's me in a nut(no homo) shell. Blogging for educated ignorance. Beeyyyotch.

All these things being noted, I came across some Chickenheads at the bar last night who's self-righteous ignorance made even the Nappy Headed Bro cringe in embarrassment. Upon a friend and I offering to give the aforementioned girls a ride to the next bar, one, while sitting in the back seat, made the comment "Wow. There's books back here. You read?" Before I could even reply with "No community College Ho, I just recognize familiar things like Stop signs and memorize what they mean", she proceeds to trump her own ignorance by saying "Oooh, and you underlined stuff. You really do read."

The book of mention was entitled American Aparthied by Massey & Denton and contains a wealth of knowledge about the hood which I think everyone should become familiar with.

While at the time of the incident, all I could do was smirk, I nicely told the girl to take the book with her and read it, as it would do her some good. "Well how will I get it back to you?" she said. Don't worry, I replied, you may not know it yet, but you need it far more than I do.

This being said, I am in an Academic mood today and will use the power of the Blog to educate. Don't like it? Go kick rocks with Chinese slippers on.

Ghettos: They're not Jewish Anymore!!

Over hyped Rapper and multi-media mogul Jay Z once said "you know why they call the project a project? 'Cause it's a experiment, we're in it, only as objects..." He was right. An even better rapper named Nasir Jones, however, made known his sentiments on the situation with a less complex line which was nonetheless just as powerful, "my people know projects and jail, never Harvard and Yale.' Also true. If it was up to the powers that be, black people would not have reached the status we've have attained today. Need proof? Look at the history of slavery (and ignore the fact that African tribes we're enslaving each other around the same time...damn Africans!) Need more proof? Read below.

Back in the 1930's and 40's the process enforcing racial covenants (contracts which kept certain races out of specific neighborhoods) was not only allowed, but also encouraged by the Federal Housing Administration. Now ain't that some sh*t!! To make matters worse, around this same time, the Homeowners Loan Corporation (HOLC) created a system of neighborhood rating for the purpose of determining which loans would be deemed too high risk. A color system was developed with Red representing the poorest, worst neighborhoods. All black neighborhoods were coded as such and Blacks, thus, denied home loans. The now illegal practice of Redlining was born.

With this scene playing out in the back round, billions of dollars in FHA postwar loans making it cheaper to buy new home than renovate an existing one, encouraged whites to move to the suburbs. I have no doubt that the government knew exactly what the f**k they were doing, and I can't front, it was quite the strategic Chess move. As homes still had to be rated, and all urban or black neighborhoods were Redlined, blacks couldn't get loans and were left in the now dilapidated urban centers. By the 1950's however, the Housing Acts of 1949 and 1954 had given large institutions in these urban centers (i.e. banks, hospitals, etc.) carte blanche to buy and demolish these black slums for the purpose of 'redevelopment' aka negro clearing in these white business districts. The only catch with the Federal Government's plan was that in order to get federal funds, the institutions had to provide adequate (and I use that term loosely) replacement housing for former residents.

As no one wanted these "projects" involving temporary replacement housing in their neighborhoods, they placed them on grazed land adjacent to already black slums. Classy. To save money and house as many residents as possible, the project units were made multi story and high density. How do you fit 1000 residents on a parcel of land less than 1/4 acre? Build upwards. Thus was born the concept of project high rises (see Co-op City in NY). In the end, the projects were created as temporary housing funded by the government, but serving only, in the words of Arnold Hirsch, as a "second ghetto, frozen in concrete...with a permanence never seen before."

Remember this the next time a smart-mouth Jewish person tells you they have more right to use the word "ghetto" than you do, based on the word actually arising from a description of Jews forced to live in a particular area of Venice Italy. While the word ghetto may be of Jewish (well...actually Italian) origin, the projects commonly referred to as ghettos this day and age are a much more desolate place, merely as a result of their sustained permanence serving as a constant reminder that we as blacks have a long way to go towards reaching equality.

Live, Love, Ghetto-Academia


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