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What’s Really Hood?

Every so often some person opens their mouth about things they don’t understand or know about which naturally provokes me. For some reason the word “hood” is one of things that pisses me off. When I hear someone say how “hood” someone looks, my brain damn near explodes because they obviously have no clue what “hood” means (sorry white peoples but its true).

For instance, the image below was posted at a community I frequent on LJ. Let me give you some background on the beautiful black young lady in the image, her name is Bre Scullark. Bre was the underdog from Harlem who didn’t win but won the hearts of the judges on Tyrant’s America’s Next Generic Girl Who Promotes Covergirl Products at Walmart.

Bre is an intelligent girl from the ghetto who understands there aint nothing cute about being ghetto (even though she did have a lapse in judge over a damn granola bar but I digress). This image was of Bre at an Essence event honoring Tyrant’s camel toe. For those of you still living in the rural South during the early 20th century, Essence a black publication for black folks by black folks that celebrates all of black culture be it “hood” or otherwise.

So I was a little annoyed when I read the comments from a poster from fucking middle of nowhere, Arizona:

“yeah she looks to ghetto fabolus wanna be for the event.” Notice how the poster can not spell simple words yet is the authority on urbanism. -AC

“bre looks hood.”

The first reaction I had was naturally “What’s really hood, bitch?“. It is offensive to black people when white people just start going on how “ghetto”, “hood” or “urban” black people are like there is something negative about being black and from the ghetto because essential “hood” means black and from the ghetto. However for the majority of ignorant white people “hood” means gun-talk, wearing baggy clothes, generally acting “black”. The truth is you can’t just look at someone tell how “hood” they are. Being “hood” isn’t a lifestyle, it’s forced ghettoization due to poor public schooling, lack of resources, and environmental classism. Hood is Jim Crow Law’s without the “No Blacks Allowed” signs everywhere. It is modern day, mental enslavement. It is the constant struggle to survive in a harmful environment that doesn’t want you or see merit in your existence because you are too black, poor, and uneducated.

I can’t help but be offended when someone who has obviously never met anyone from the “hood” determine how “hood” a person looks. The poster’s usage of “hood” is the same as when ignorant people tells someone he is acting too black or too gay or even too proper. It’s offensive to belittle someone because of the environment they grew up in and who they are because of it. It is even more offensive when they are “only joking” and say “I know a black girl in school who doesn’t act like that”. Saying you know one black person to justify your comment makes it even more apparent how your racist you are. It’s not about how many you know or

Sometimes I forget there are people like this in America but every so often they make themselves apparent. They aren’t the outright racist of yesterday that I actually have respect for because at least they admit who they are, it is the racist who doesn’t realize they are racist that drive me crazy. They convince themselves that since they have one black friend they are the authority on ghetto and what it means to be black. These people are same people who would never live in neighborhood that is half-black or would hire someone because they are white. These are the people keeping America from progressing because they don’t realize they are the problem. It’s not the handful of rednecks in sheet screaming “white power”, it is people who are ignorant and make up excuses and backtrack to justify why they can say “nigga” or determine how “hood” so to those people I say “what’s really hood?”

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