Yesterday, I was perusing Facebook as I normally do throughout the day and one of my friends had a link to video that caused a lot of controversy on my personal and fan page. The video showed some young women in Chicago in a physical altercation with Asian Beauty Supply owners because they were attempting to steal weave (click here).
When I shared the video I added the title of “This is just another reason why I hate hood rats” As I said earlier the video caused a lot of controversy and there was heated discussion among people arguing the methods of the shopkeeper vs. the woman’s actions in theft. One of the comments that really struck me in the thread was this comment:
Hey Im a hoodrat but I dont get down like that…its not what u do its how u do it….im tired of pple talking bout what people from a hood act like …its plenty of idoits that live or are raised in houses that do the same type shit…motherfucker always saying they dont like hoodrats ….miss me with that simple shit
I responded back to the woman who made the comment, but after I really thought about it I realized that maybe she was confusing the idea of being from the hood with being a hood rat. This is something I feel many people get wrong when it comes to critizing some hood ideaology. There is a clear difference from being proud of where you come from than having a ghetto mentality.
I think the woman on my comment thread was confusing my comment as talking about talking about someone from the hood when a being a hood rat is a thought process. But there are people who are really proud of being a hood rat or hood banshee let’s look at our communities. I totally understand the idea of hegemony, classism, prison industrial complex, and institutional racism that does engulf urban/ghetto neighborhoods. But, by the same token we cannot deny that just as much as those factors contribute to “hood mentality” that personal responsibility and ill decision-making has a lot to do with the hood mentality.
A few weeks ago podcaster The Dark Hater of “The Haterazzi Radio Show” released a teaser snippet for a show of his called “Die, Hood rat, Die”. The video goes very hard at hood rats and ghetto mentality which caused a lot of controversy in the blogosphere. Though I don’t totally agree with the total message of Haterazzi in fully blaming hood rats for the denigration of the black community he does make some valid points that we as a society need to speak to.
If you looked at the video there are so many fails in it on both sides but the resounding thing that comes from the video in my eyes is of how sometimes as a community we take up for hood mentality. What I mean especially in this situation is people will say well the Asian shopkeepers shouldn’t have reacted that way. And my counteraction to that is if they HADN’T been trying to steal weave and cause a ruckus in the store. There is one philosophy that I have always held on to and that is the energy you give out either it be negative or positive will be come back to you. I have found that in relationships, career, and life in general that things mirror the way we come at the situation. If we are constantly overacting and constantly overstating things what do way do you feel the world is going to treat you? We all are responsible for what we put out into the world and should have quandaries many times for what we get back from life.
Don’t get it twisted I am a product of the South Side of Chicago and the North side of St. Louis (see my post on Yummy Sandiford) so I understand many of the dynamics that put hood mentality into people. I also understand I was blessed to have certain opportunities afford to me in spite of my circumstances BUT I had to step out on faith and begin a journey of going From Ashy to Classy. One can be from the hood but strive to be more than person who is alright with the status quo.
The whole reason I began the Reversing a Culture of Ignorance Series on this blog was to give some people an idea of where we as black people have come from and what people before us fought for and it was damn sure not to be a hood rat or hood banshee. I still and will always keep the hood in my heart but I will not allow myself or anyone around me to be cool with being a hood rat. And if you want to say I am fronting it’s all good cause like Redman said “I’ll Be Dat”. But I will always hold to the hip hop mantra “It’s Not Where You From, But Where You At?”
Make sure you check out this week’s episode of the “Straight Outta Lo Cash” Radio Show. This week’s show “The Girl is Mine, Son!” feat. singer/songwriter Zee Lauren. You can also subscribe to the show on I-Tunes or listen on your Android, I-Phone, I-Pad or Black berry of Stitcher Radio.