Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ghetto Culture = Redneck Culture?

(Ghetto or Redneck?)


Has anyone else noticed how similar ghetto culture is to redneck culture? In fact the two are so much alike you would think that the only difference is that one is associated with Black people and the other with White people.

If Britney Spears was Black wouldn't she be labelled ghetto? If Flava Flav was White wouldn't he be a redneck?

Could it have been hundreds of years of poor Blacks and poor Whites living around each other in the south?

Weren't the Clampetts of the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies the epitome of ghetto?

Do you agree?

13 comments:

notyouraveragecitizen said...

I think it's 2 sides of the same coin. Poor White Trash and Ghetto share many of the same issues and mentality. If Britney was black, yeah she would be ghetto and if Flav was white, yeah he would be PWT.

Poverty is the great equalizer in some ways.

Tami said...

MDC,

You are right. There are similarities. I had to search on Amazon, because I remembered seeing a book that compared ghetto culture with redneck culture. It does indeed exist. It is called "Black Rednecks and White Liberals" and it is written be a conservative black intellectual called Fellow Sowell.

Here's a decription:

One of America's foremost black conservative intellectuals returns with this provocative collection of contrarian essays. Hoover Institution Fellow Sowell, author of Ethnic America, argues that "internal" cultural habits of industriousness, thriftiness, family solidarity and reverence for education often play a greater role in the success of ethnic minorities than do civil-rights laws or majority prejudices. The title essay posits a "black redneck" culture inherited from the white redneck culture of the South and characterized by violent machismo, shiftlessness and disdain for schooling. White liberals, gangsta-rap aficionados and others who lionize its ghetto remnants as an authentic black identity, Sowell contends, have their history wrong and help perpetuate cultural pathologies that hold blacks back. Sowell also examines the cultural achievements of such "middleman minorities" as Jews and expatriate Chinese whose frequent persecution, he feels, represents an animus against capitalism. And he defends Western culture itself against charges that it was uniquely culpable for slavery; in fact, he contends, it was uniquely responsible for eradicating slavery. Many of Sowell's arguments-that the 20th-century resegregation of Northern cities was a response to the uncouthness of black rednecks migrating from the South, or that segregated black schools often succeeded by suppressing redneckism with civilized New England puritanism-will arouse controversy, but these vigorously argued essays present a stimulating challenge to the conventional wisdom.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

I've never read this book and can imagine I disagree with many of its hypotheses. Might be an interesting check out from the library, though.

Ehav Ever said...

I read the book Black Rednecks and White Liberals. It is a really good read. I agree with many of the elements of the book. I have read every chapter yet. I did read most of them.

In terms of ghetto vs. redneck. You can find elements of both in EVERY culture in the world. Even going back thousands of years. In ancient Judea people who were uneducated in the Bible and Jewish law, or perceived to be uneducated were called Am Ha'Aretz. It literally means people of the land. The Talmud talks about during the Roman occupation of Israel that there were many conflicts between Hachamim (religious scholars) and the Am Ha'Aretz. One scholar said that when he was a Am Ha'Aretz he would bit the scholars on the back side like a donkey. Meaning he hated them very much.

Mes Deux Cents said...

NYAC,

Poverty is an equalizer. That's for sure.


Tami,

Wow I hope I don't agree with Thomas Sowell. (lol)

Thanks for the great info. I guess as you say this should go on the library list.


Ehav,

Very interesting as usual. You seem to have a lot of knowledge about this subject; I hope you'll post about it.


Thanks

Brianna said...

I TOTALLY agree. Although there are probably certain elements unique to each one (perhaps opening beer bottles with your teeth is only something rednecks do), there are many, many similarities.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Brianna,

Yeah I don't think "ghetto" folk want to risk breaking their grills on beer bottles. Lol

WBMT said...

I was just going to recommend Sowell's Black Rednecks, and White Liberals, but looks like I'm a little late to the discussion...Strong recommendation on the site from homelandcolors, nice work...I'm tuning in

Mes Deux Cents said...

WBMT,

Thanks very much and thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey MDC,

I tend to stay away from those kind of topics because I know things about it from things I have read, but the topic doesn't speak to me.

By the way, you never answered my question in the African American Island post. I wanted know why you felt that Lola Luv could be saved and not for example Superhead. To me they seem pretty much the same. What do you see differently about them? Is it because Lola Luv is 21 or was born in Ethiopia?

Mes Deux Cents said...

Ehav,

It's because Angel is not; A former porn star, a person who runs around writing books about her sexual exploits. And because she is young.

Her being Ethiopian is not really an issue since she has been here since she was a baby.

Ehav Ever said...

Hey MDC,

Thanks for the answer. If you don't mind I would like to ask a follow up question(s). Have you seen Lola Luv's My Space page? If not I think you should. After I saw it I didn't feel there was much difference between her and Superhead. I guess I am not so forgiving on things like this when it seems like people are far flung into these kinds of things. Money and status are hard things for people to walk away from when they have made themselves accostomed to it in their youth, and when society backs them up.

Once you have seen her My Space page, what specifically would you do to try and convince her to change? How would you convince her that the money and the status she has now is worth giving up? How much support would you be willing to give someone like her in order to change?

Also, in terms of Africa America island, how far would you allow her to have citizenship until you decide she is no longer worthy of it?

Sorry that one question turned into many, this intriques me a bit. Looks like you have another post to do my dear. (smile)

Mes Deux Cents said...

Ehav,

I haven't seen her myspace page but as long as she isn't as far gone as Superhead then I'd still let her have citizenship.

Once she has citizenship that would be it. There's no taking it back.

You seem to have a problem with my desire to give Lola a chance. Why?

Ehav Ever said...

Hey MDC,

I guess it is because I don't see any difference between her and the people you say don't deserve a chance. She seems just as far flung into the money and status thing as the R. Kelly types and such.

I guess it is because I feel that when you start lowering the bar for people like her you set an unfair standard. It would be different if there were some sign that she really doesn't want to be who she is. I looked at her My-Space page and immediately had to write off.

For me the problem becomes that once you lower that bar for someone like her, what happens when the younger generation looks at her and says, she is the way I want to be. What happens when you letting her in, as she is, her influence destroys everything that you have worked for? What happens when she doesn't change, no matter how nice and understanding you are to her? What do you do with her when she becomes the status symbol for the daughters and the sons that you seek to inspire? What happens when 20 or 30 years from now she has not changed, and she is for example up for president of Africa America?

I just believe that with people like her you have to take a firm stand. Either their behavior is completely wrong, or it is not. Either they have no place in a culture dedicated to a level of morality or they have full freedom to be who they are in it. The minute you lower the bar for people with no remorse for their behavior the flood gates open. Then you end up right where you hope to help people escape from.

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About Me

West Coast, United States
African American, Poet?, Vegetarian, Music lover, Agoraphobic, Social Phobic

My Favorite Poet

My Favorite Poet
Staceyann Chin

My Favorite Track Athlete

My Favorite Track Athlete
Christine Arron