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June 28, 2005

No You Didn't

You know you're ghetto if you've ever been to more than one play with the word 'momma' in the title.
-- Anonymous

Several years ago a little cartoon book made the rounds after Jeff Foxworthy had come and gone as a comic sensation. This book was entitled 'How to Tell if You're Ghetto'. I'm sure I'd seen some of the one-liners somewhere on the internet before the publishing contract, but that's the way it goes with those things.

Well, there's a new entry in the sweepstakes which will have you bustin' a gut with recognition. It's called 'HotGhettoMess.com' and is a nice testimony to the sanctimony of us upper middle class jerks. And like the billons of dollars of potato chips factoid, it offers evidence that we blackfolks ought to do better, dammit. We do of course, just not all of us.

Not so long ago when I was acting particularly sanctimonious, I decided to scrap with a fellow black Republican and conservative. It was strictly a class thing and now I'm rather embarrassed about it. But there are a whole set of American attitudes and behaviors that are relatively predictable; we're all nouveau something. You just have to pick the right set to hang with and the right set to look down on. The real trick is handling downward mobility. I raise my hand, now being an official part of the lower upper-middle class (high income, high education, high status, zero wealth).

I say this to give Hot Ghetto Mess a boost because I find it insightful and hilarious, (even though the layout is tacky as hell). Plus, I want a link in the Not Ghetto Mess section, because I am the embodiment of class, without being seditty.

One of the interesting things I will be writing about African Americans at this juncture in our history is what might do with the lessons learned from the bad old days of forced and legacy segregation. 90% of my black friends grew up in black neighborhoods - which meant when it came to homebuying in their parents' day, there was almost no choice. You couldn't pick a range of regions, cities, suburbs and subdivisions. You basically lived with the rest of the blackfolks. In that soup we had to make peace with neighbors from a broad variety of class and regional backgrounds. Especially during the black consciousness movement we found ways to call that triflin' negro up the block 'brother'. I don't think my kids are going to have that skill close to their existential kernels. We're out here in the land of Brownies, and it's all about petty meritocracy, and making 'good choices'. I wonder if Hot Ghetto Mess will be amusing or truly shocking to them. (No I don't.)

So here I am a Conservative, who wouldn't touch any of those people with a ten foot pole trying to preach a bit of amused tolerance. I'm playing my class role of noblesse oblige - to whom much is given, much is expected. And yet I must moderate that impulse lest I start sounding like a condescending liberal micromanager saying things like "What can we do to to alleviate the vitamin deficiencies in black women that make them fall victim to the evil hair weave industry?"

Anyway, now you know. Enjoy, but don't forget to come back to Cobb. Wash your hands before you read my blog again.

Posted by mbowen at June 28, 2005 07:49 AM

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Hotghettomess.com is just not right. But it is funny. I'm glad someone pulled that site together. Diversity at it's best.

Posted by: Eric at June 28, 2005 09:48 AM

I talked aboutt this on my blog. I just found the website funny.

Posted by: James Manning at June 28, 2005 10:48 AM

I've seen and laughed hysterically at this site before.

The mess of the month this month, is well, a mess. Hanging the weave out to dry.


Posted by: Okolo at June 28, 2005 02:10 PM

Thing is, "ghetto" people look at it and laugh as well.

Posted by: DarkStar at June 28, 2005 05:00 PM