It means “a part of a city, esp. a slum area, occupied by a minority group or groups.” But over time, “ghetto” has become synonymous with all things related to stereotypical black, urban or hip hop culture. A rap song? A bag littered with designer logos? Talking loud on your phone while chewing gum? “So ghetto!”
Urban Dictionary describes it as a “word which rich white girls use to describe almost everything thats not clad with lily polos and pearls. “Look how ghetto I look!” Muffy said as she put on her Gucci sunglasses.”
It’s time the phrase gets buried.
It’s a term that stereotypes and lampoons a culture and is wrought with racial implications. Now instead of acting “black,” or “poor,” because those terms aren’t politically correct, people substitute the word “ghetto” and it’s suddenly acceptable.
“Ghetto” isn’t seen as racially charged. So it’s safe for someone to use it to degrade, shame and humiliate a race of people without being held accountable for it.
“Ghetto” also makes the problematic assumption that people of a certain socioeconomic status all act the same way. The thinking goes “ghetto” people are poor and therefore, uncouth, classless, ignorant, combative and lacking of social graces.
If viral personalities like “Sweet Brown,” and mud-slinging, drink-throwing VH1 reality stars are the new minstrel characters, “ghetto” is the new racist slur used to describe them.