The word "ghetto"
If I used the word "ghetto" to describe an institution's inability to do something, is that word offensive to African Americans? It wasn't used to degrade a person but used as a term to describe the cheapness of a company. What do you think?
Why would you think it would be offensive to African Americans? There are all sorts of colors and races that come from the ghetto. With all due respect, The question itself is Racist. To point out one group of people who can relate to the word ghetto is very offensive.
I'm asking because I had a friend tell me that it is racist towards African Americans specifically. I am by no means racist.
No, no, no. I wasn't calling you a racist. Just to think it would offend anyone?
The word is in no way racist, except in the mind, or if it is used in a stereotypical, racist manner -' he is black so he comes from the ghetto.'
Why do you think it would be offensive to anyone. Ghetto, I believe is a Yiddish word and refered to the quarters of the Polish Jewish community during the 2nd world war.
Just looked it up, ghetto refers to any impoverished part of a city or outskirts where those people that are considered as socially unacceptable live. it is an Italian word, first used in rennaiscence Venice for the impoverished areas of the city. It did refer to the quarters of the Polish Jews during WWII.
I had someone tell me that it was offensive to black people to use the word "ghetto" at all.
World English Dictionary
— n , pl -tos , -toes
1. sociol a densely populated slum area of a city inhabited by a socially and economically deprived minority
2. an area in a European city in which Jews were formerly required to li
It shouldn't be an insult to African-Americans to mention ghettoes; after all there's more than them live in down-at-heel parts of a city. It's more of an insult to make them live in an area like that. The only Jews who lived in ghettoes in WWII were in Warsaw and Theresienstadt, the latter having been barracks built for soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian empire in the 18h Century. The rest were either in camps or past caring where they lived. The old mediaeval 'ghetto-ised'cities of Central and Southern Europe housed not only Jews but French colonial Africans and other incomers from the French eastern colonies as well as those in the southern halves of Italy and Greece. Slums in Britain that you could easily call ghettoes housed almost entirely migrant workers from the small British or Irish towns to the industrial cities, making possible the Industrial Revolution that went hand-in-hand with child labour etc. Hermann Goering was the best contractor for slum clearance in western Europe. Thanks to him whole inner city boroughs were rid of rats and other infestations that came with sub-standard housing built by greedy landlords!
*Industrial north-western Liverpool and Manchester, and north-eastern Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Middlesbrough housed migrant workers from Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as rural England. Disease, snobbery and accidents whittled them down.
The work Ghetto doesn't really relate to the context in which you are referring to it as.
A ghetto means an area of housing which is populated by ethnic people; at which the main population looks down upon.
By inferring the meaning you are trying to, are you implying the ethic minorities have an inability to do something? Or are less good then the majority population?
You are not really being racist to one particular group, but stating that all minorities are inadequate.
To some African Americans it can be, to others, they just run with it. I didn't know that it was use for cheapness of a company. The other meaning for ghetto is certain sections of town that were looked upon for whatever reason, i.e., because the people that lived in it were from a particular ethnic background (and not just African Americans). There were Jewish and Russian ghettos, among others.
Hi Kitty, long time no talk to :-) I think the previous writer explained very well the history, the pure definition of the word "ghetto", and I don't dispute that at all. But I think in the US, the word has been connected with African-Americans, and/or those that are poor. Think about the word "ghetto-blaster", that has been used in the past to describe those that live in the ghetto AND carry around a big huge stereo on their shoulder. Think about the phrase "stop acting ghetto" which means stop acting like (or at least in my interpretation of the phrase) either an ignorant or low class black person. Do you see what I am saying? That word can take on, and has taken on a whole new meaning. So to answer your question, if you are using it to describe an institution's inability to do something, I would advise you to understand the audience you are speaking to.
I am a Black American and MickS answers is correct ghetto is a word which derived from the Jewish living quarters during world war two. If you look at old dictionaries you will noticed that some words change over the years. The correct word for a poor or ruined black American area is slum. I believe people miss interrupt the word ghetto and use it as a slang not knowing what it really means and the meaning may even change as more people start to use the word in that way. I do not know if the truth hurts because I am just stating what I believe to be a fact.
Mick S saw the word has nothing to do with Jews in WWII. It goes back a long way, to substandard housing - as in England in the 18-19th Centuries. Nowadays the word slum is used, but it's the same thing.
Thank you alancaster149 and I have learned something new today. I was taught that the word slum means a run-down, squalid part of a city, inhabited by poor people. Ghetto means a section of a city in which all Jews were required to live.
I didn't say that. Look at my answer. Slum is an English word, ghetto is Italian for the same. Poor folk live in run-down areas. Jews - rich or poor - were only made to live in the Warsaw or Theresienstadt ghettoes due to political circumstances.
alancaster149 I must go read more of your hubs because I trust your knowledge and I am sure I will learn from them. Thank you.
It's still offensive because the usage of that word today has direct connotations with the supposedly negative urban lifestyle of black youth. The word ghetto has been used negatively to refer to the pronunciation of black girl names, the degrade and insult black hairstyles, and even the behavior of black people.
Example "Her locs are so ghetto, it's gross."; "Those boys won't amount to anything, they're from the ghetto."
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