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As a black girl I'm scared to admit that...

Updated: May 3

Disclaimer: Please use your critical thinking skills while reading this.

"How long can I survive with this mentality?" - J. Cole

First off, I don't think this trend was designed to reveal internalized racism or further divide our people but somehow a light hearted kiki turn into a heated debated. Then you have people being dense on purpose every time somebody tries to provide context to the original post. Let's talk about it.

So a creator on Tiktok (jasminflower81) created a video where she stated she gets anxious around hood people. The minute I saw the video I immediately knew the demographic of people she was referring too. The wording is what created the uproar, but from my observation she was referencing crash dummies, basically anybody who doesn't have shit to lose and no that doesn't only apply to black people. A good example of the type of people she was referring to is the reality show Baddies and any other show on Zeus or Now That's TV. The ring leader of one of the shows is an educated women who's been on TV since 2009, yet she's still fighting and encouraging other races of women to fight and carry on as if they have no home training. Well... after further review a lot of them probably don't have home training, but that's another topic for another time. Fighting every few business days over nothing is valid reasons to be scared of somebody.

Another example is everybody has that family member that brings the drama and when they show up the person with sense will find a reason to leave early or say "My crew lets go." I'll never forget when my grandaddy passed away and a group of estranged family members showed up after the wait. These people brought nothing but bad vibes and chaos which led to a family brawl, guns being drawn, and the police being called...what a time to be alive.

Another relatable example is sound minded people leave the club 20 to 45 minutes before closing to avoid hoodlum activities that breakout during the let out. Sorry not sorry, but there's a demographic of people that live for today and don't give a fuck about tomorrow, meaning shooting somebody, fucking up cars, etc. is an afterthought to them.

If you're still not understanding what the original post meant go listen to Ville Mentality by J. Cole.

Short story about me for context purposes

I was raised in a 2 parent christian household and by the age of 9, I was placed in the academically gifted classes and I spent 90% of my day around white people. I said that to say I wasn't raised in the hood and my engagement with "ghetto people" was minimized, but the city I resided in was still ghetto nonetheless, and areas such as Kinston is the epitome of the hood. They were literally featured on an episode of First 48. So I know both sides of this debate which comes down to suburban vs. hood/ghetto people and there's a lot of nuances I'm noticing as this debate continues to run rapid.

Personally, I'm not scared of hood people and in the words of Destiny Child, "If ya status ain't hood, I ain't checking for him." It's no secret that my type is reformed hood men, and to be clear reformed hood is different from a hood mentality or being a street nigga. I also feel like the hood is based on your location but being ghetto or a hoodlum for the lack of better words is based off your mentality and actions. However, I enjoy ghetto people and ghetto activities to a point.

Two things can be true at once, let's talk about it...

  • Hood vs. ghetto people. The hood is the environment you grew up in and typically that environment is poverty, bare minimum living, shootouts, robbery, etc. Then there's ghetto people which describes certain behaviors such as being loud, no decorum, chaotic, messy, etc. You can't control if you came from the hood, but after a certain age acting ghetto is a choice.

  • Hood doesn't equate to being a criminal, that's a stereotype. Hood people aren't the villains that they're made out to be, and most of them are cool until people start fucking with them.

  • Hood people vs. hoodlums. Being from the hood isn't the problem but gang banging, being a trouble maker, creating chaos within in the community, etc. is an issue. Those people are hoodlums not hood people.

  • Hood niggas vs. street or trap niggas. Hood niggas pop out and get active when necessary. Street/trap niggas are still scamming, robbing, selling drugs, and in general not doing anything that's conducive, they're literally a menace to society.

  • There's levels to being ghetto. Being ghetto or having ghetto tendencies isn't always a bad thing, but not knowing when to chill out is the issue. Medium ghetto people are my favorite because they're fun and with the shits, but they know when to stop before shit goes too far.

  • No decorum vs. respectability politics. It's a difference between trying to impress white people by portraying yourself to be something that you're not vs. not being aware of the environment you're in and acting a fool. For example, twerking in the section at brunch with your homegirls is cool, but being loud and wearing a mesh bodysuit to Steak48 equates to no decorum. They have a dress code, dim lighting, and soft playing music for a reason. People with no decorum irritate me, read the room and act accordingly.

  • People like hood aesthetics and ghetto people/activities but not in real life. The rap industry is a good example of cosplaying to be from the hood and making music like you know what it's like to come from the struggle (King, T.I's son) vs. people like Sexxy Red who's ghetto in real life and faces backlash for being herself. The concept of being hood is marketable and cute until it plays out in reality then all of sudden it's too much.

  • It's the mentality that should scare you. Ville or hood mentality is a term for a reason. Notice how I said I liked reformed hood not somebody who still has a hood mentality. Your mentality can take you so far but it can be the very thing holding you back. Somebody who doesn't see life outside of the hood or desire to change certain behaviors after moving away has a hood mentality and that's not my type.

  • Hood or ghetto isn't synonym to being black. A white person being labeled white trailer trash or redneck is equivalent to calling somebody hood or ghetto. These terms aren't exclusive to black people but other races tend to use different terminology to say the same thing.

  • Proving white people right. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but white people have had their opinions and stereotypes about the community long before this conversation made it to Tiktok. It's so funny to me when people who haven't truly engaged with white people believe that there's something they can do to be socially accepted by them. White people strategically tolerate black people and they specifically prefer a certain type of black person which tends to be the ones that have decorum, can code switch, and fall subjective to respectability politics. The demographic of people that everybody is talking about would NEVER be socially accepted by white people. To any black person reading this please release yourself from the chokehold of caring about what white people think.

  • Accountability. Bringing up prevalent issues within the community isn't synonym to being white washed, anti-black, or responsibility politics. Continuing to dismiss poor behavior is how this conversation started in the first place. We can't grow as a community if we continue to downplay or shy away from certain issues. I love my people but crash dummies, among other things is our downfall and no it doesn't matter that other communities have similar issues. Bringing up other races doesn't take away from the fact that black on black crime is an issue and the hood isn't safe for obvious reasons such as being shot over nothing. Takeoff literally lost his life over a dice game, and Dolph was murdered outside of the hood corner store. We're overdue for holding our people accountable for unhinged and senseless behaviors.

Unfortunately, the ongoing discourse between suburban black people vs. hood/lower class black people will continue until we become one band on sound, and honestly both sides judge each other unfairly. Suburban black girls catch hell for having a great support system and not being able to relate to the struggle just like hood people continue to be stereotyped. Both sides have to understand that you don't have control over the environment you were raised in, and we need to shift the focus to how you've evolved from certain things and having discussions to figure out ways to make the community better. The movie ATL is a perfect example of both sides judging each other and learning that we're more alike than we think we are.

To conclude, I get why people are scared or prefer not to associate with hood or ghetto people even though I don't feel that way. Personally I'm scared of anybody who doesn't have shit to lose because they're living for the day and tend to act off of emotions instead of logic. I'm also scared of a crowd of men at the gas station and any white person who seems like a ticking time bomb, those people remind me of the folks that do mass shootings or participate in hate crimes. To be clear, I don't have an issue with white people and one of my closest friends is white, but something about too many white people and not enough black people in the vicinity gives me get out vibes.

As always I love us for real no matter who you are on the black people spectrum, and I hope one day we can have conducive conversations with construction criticism that progresses us forward instead of keeping us in the same us verse us cycle.

"Straight out the projects, no fakin', just honest. I wish that he had more guidance, for real. Too many niggas in cycle of jail, spending they birthdays inside of a cell. We coming from a long bloodline of trauma. We raised by our mamas, Lord we gotta heal. We hurting our sisters, the babies as well. We killing our brothers, they poisoned the well. Distorted self image, we set up to fail. I'ma make sure that the real gon' prevail, nigga"

- J. Cole

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