For about two years now I have been accusing President Obama of having a “ghetto mentality”. Of course there are some public spectacles, like Chris Mathews, that come off their rails when I use language like that. Simply because I use the terms “Obama” and “ghetto” in the same sentence than I must be a self-righteous racist intent on driving everyone back into slavery. Of course such a suggestion comes only from those that are in over their depth in a kiddie pool.
Suffice it to say Barack Obama has a ghetto mentality. Whether that comes from poor upbringing, his neighborhood, or his race is really quite irrelevant. What remains at the end of the day is a president with a ghetto mentality.
Ghettos have existed nearly as long as mankind. They became popular, as the phrase “ghetto” , in Europe a couple of centuries back. The ghetto was where certain nationalities or ethnic groups lived within cities spread across the old continent. All too frequently they housed the poorest of the poor. They also represented those groups of people who were generally disfavored by society because of their unique status as a racial or cultural community.
Jews were among the most prominent of Ghetto communities. They were religiously and socially isolated because of their beliefs. In many cases they were lower on the scale of humanity than were Negroes. They lived in abject poverty, for the most part, being looked down on by their fellow-men. Another group of transients, affectionately referred to as gypsies, were members of “traveling” (or more appropriate described as “chased”) ghettos.
These ghetto dwellers established their own cultural norms, laws, and even languages. They depicted their status via their music, dance and art.
Through the course of time various ghetto cultures rose and faded away. For example for many hundreds of years Jews were a predominantly ghetto society. In the mid to late 1800s the perspective of Jews began to change. Religious revivalism openned the viewpoint among many Christian groups that Judaism was in fact their theological parent. The disdain for Jews began to melt away. Among Eastern Europeans cultures it came slowly but into the twentieth century Jews had begun rising from their millennial dispersion to become a respected culture force. Today they are an honored people among most nations of the world, except the Arab gypsy tribes.
During this time other ghetto societies all but vanished, including the gypsies, while other classes of people were driven into ghettos. Economic station was the general cause of the perpetuation of ghettos. Yet, these ghettos, like their predecessors, established their own “order”.
What is common among ghettos, old or new, is a prevailing attitude of protectionism against the outside world’s perceived abuses. Gypsies adopted cultish mysticism as one of several means of defense. Jews relied heavily upon the idea of being “God’s Promised People” that would one day rise to their full stature and glory. In the modern ghettos the defense mechanisms were and are now far more militaristic. They culturally govern by rules of violence.
In short the ghettos were then owned and now are owned by the rulers of its culture. Even though in many cases, if not most, that which is owned is little more than decayed ruins. The current, like the past, attitude is protection against a perceived enemy. This protectionist ideal is still depicted via their music, dance and art.
One of the things which we see very prevalent today is that silly little thing called “rap music”. Rap is the portrait of ghetto protectionism. By listening to the earliest rap music there is a very common, almost obligatory, theme to the music. That theme, for lack of a better descriptor, is “trash-talk”. One can listen to the origins of the music style and see that the best rewarded and recognized rappers are those that trash-talk the best and most consistently about other cultures. Trash-talk is the protectionist mentality of the ghetto.
This trash-talk is weaving its way into society in general, just as former ghetto cultures wove their way into the greater society. In our sports, entertainment, news, writing, and politics we see trash-talk becoming more prevalent. Nobody with any modicum of self-awareness, or awareness of our current times will deny that trash-talk is the preferred method of communicating. Our social media systems (Twitter and Facebook, as examples) are powerful symbols of a society that has turned to trash-talk as a matter of routine communication.
Our current president is one of the most adept trash-talking personalities in the nation today. President Barack Obama is petulant and unrefined in his use of trash-talk. When challenged on his policies he instinctively reverts to personal salacious oratory about those questioning him. He cannot seem to be able to deliver any message that is not about his superiority over others. In short President Obama disrespects anything and anyone that does not defend and hold his vision and habits as sacrosanct.
Our president has a ghetto mentality. Whether his mentality comes from adapting to a culture being swayed by universalizing of the ghetto culture, or whether it comes from his clearly poor upbringing that deprived him of interaction with multiple cultures, it is apparent in virtually all of his interactions on the national and world stage: he lacks judgement and decorum. President Barack Obama cannot separate himself from his ghetto mentality.
Those that call me racist for my comments would desire that I be more diverse in my thinking. I respond by suggesting that I would desire the same from the president; someone capable of being diverse in his thinking. As grand as it is to work ones way out of the ghetto, it is grander still to work the ghetto out of one’s way of dealing with others. If Barack Obama wants a legacy of achievement he needs to make the personal change of ridding himself of the ghetto.
Years ago Jessie Jackson joked that if he walked on water people would say that he couldn’t swim. Years from now the twilight of Barack Obama’s legacy will have a boomerang appearance. No matter what he may actually accomplish, he will always be mostly known as an untrained child in the ways of mankind.