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Essays About The Word Ghetto

Ghetto Life

I wrote this essay because someone asked me why does everyone in the ghetto hate people from the suburbs. I gave them a generic answer and we talked for a few more minutes, but I still don't think they got the point. So I wrote this essay as an explanation. I have no idea if the negative feelings in the ghetto are mutual in the suburbs, but the feelings are definitely relevant. I am one of the few people who have lived in both circles. I was raised in the Ghetto (Brooklyn, NY) and did a six-year stint in the suburbs (Wappinger Falls, NY), and to be honest I prefer the ghetto, but the fact that I was raised there probably has a lot to do with that. A person is always more comfortable in a familiar environment. Since the beginning of civilization there has always been the poor and the wealthy. Only in the last few centuries has a middle class developed. Many people say that there is will soon no longer be a middle class because the gulf between the poor and the rich is widening again.

Some people try to call it a black and white thing, but it isn't. There are now many black families in the suburbs just as there are many white families in trailer parks and a trailer park is just another form of a ghetto. Money problems reach across all races. Ghettos are just places where people who are at a financial disadvantage group together. Obviously it is not cheap to live in the suburbs just as it wasn't expensive to live in the ghetto, but now things have changed. The ghetto is actually getting to be a little pricey while - on average - pay remains the same. Only recently has New York agreed to pay a higher minimum wage.

A 900 sq. ft. apartment in the worst part of Brooklyn can easily cost anywhere from $700 - $900 a month. A person making $5.15 (The federal minimum wage) an hour for forty hours a week can expect to come home with about $180 a week after taxes, which adds up to about $720 a month. That leaves a person with $120 a month to divide between all his other bills. Honestly though, most jobs are now paying more than minimum wage but not much more.

It's no longer realistic for the average family to believe that they can survive on a single household income anymore, even in the suburbs. In the ghetto though barely anyone has ever survived on a single income. For most people in the ghetto making due on a 40-hour workweek is simply not a possibility. Overtime hours, Second Jobs and Welfare are all very real and usually very necessary options for someone in the ghetto to keep a roof over their head and food in their mouth. Where else besides the ghetto can $10 an hour be considered good pay for a man with a family, and being a security guard or home health aide a career?

The sad truth is that people in the ghetto have had their spirits broken, and even sadder is the fact that many of them don't even realize it yet. It's not because they're dumb, they have simply been blinded to the fact.

Regardless of rumors I can say firsthand that many of the inner-city schools are overcrowded, understaffed and ill equipped to give a child the tools that he or she needs to become successful. Without proper education and guidance whatever potential a child has is lost. I personally know many people who have tremendous potential, but no one to instruct them on how to focus and use it. Without any help the child is doomed to a mediocre life. They will probably get a job paying just enough to keep their lights on and push all of their lost dreams onto their children in hopes that their child will be the first in a line of failures to make it out of the ghetto.

Poverty passes from generation to generation. Every child in the ghetto has dreams of becoming more successful than their parents, and their parents share in that dream though it sadly rarely happens. Wealth can be passed from generation to generation if managed properly, but poverty is a guarantee unless action is taken early on in life. Parents in the ghetto are rarely in any position to help because they themselves rarely know the steps that lead to success, otherwise they would have done it themselves. Still, you can't fault someone about something they don't know and were never taught. Basic reading and math skills will only get you so far, and without any source of motivation to educate themselves further most people will stay where they are. Parents in the ghetto are so caught up in their own misery that they often unintentionally fail to see the needs of their child.

A child without a proper role model will find one where they can. This is when most children find the so-called street life. They see their parents struggling to make ends meet at a job they hate, to pay rent for a home that's too small. If the family does manage to own a car it is usually a broken heap of junk with more problems than can be fixed. The child meanwhile wears second-hand clothes that their older siblings can no longer fit, and are forced to eat whatever their parents meager salaries can provide.

On the other hand a successful criminal provides an appealing choice as a role model to an impressionable teenager. They are often well dressed, have a nice car, plenty of jewelry and a carefree attitude that is usually considered "cool". The criminals often haven't matured beyond a teenage mindset themselves and so they relate to the teenager just as much as the teenager relates to them. On top of that this particular type of role model often has a way of getting what they want. While the child's parents only speak of things, but never seem to attain them. All of this increases a child's fascination with the street/criminal life, and with this the cycle begins.

An average teenage boy or girl in the ghetto will most likely find a role model in someone who leads a criminal lifestyle. This man or woman will probably carry him around and get him into many places he wouldn't be able to get into by himself. He eventually gets known to be cool just by hanging out with the criminal and as a result will eventually pick up a few tricks of his own and probably learn his own "hustle".

A high school teenager with a hustle will always be cooler than the other high schoolers without one. He has more money, gets into more places and has inherited some of the power of his criminal role model. The usual hustle for a boy is drugs whereas the usual hustle for a girl would be stripping. Neither hustle requires much of a formal education and there is money to be made with little in the way of hard work.

If the boy or girl is talented or lucky enough to be successful at what they do then it will most likely interfere with school. Then when they are given the choice between making money or getting good grades they will usually choose to make money often becoming high-school dropouts. They go on to continue their hustle as long as possible, but eventually they will hit a snag.

Hustles have no retirement plans. When a woman no longer has the body of a twenty year old she will get less tips or have to become more explicit in her performances to keep the clients interested. When a man reaches a certain age he will no longer be able to keep up with the next generation of hustlers. So both of these people will have to look for regular jobs. However without any official work experience and lacking a formal education they will rarely get much more than minimum wage. They will work until well past the average age of retirement and encourage their children not to make the same mistakes that they made themselves. This is where it gets interesting. The hustler has become the unfortunate parent and their children won't listen, because the new generation of hustlers has their attention. The cycle begins again. This is just one of many cycles that repeat in the ghetto, but it is also one of the most common.

There are a hundred cycles like this in the ghetto and it takes almost a miracle to get out. That's why their spirit is broken. No one in the ghetto ever is able to give any advice of value and if a person shows any aspirations of getting out they are quickly discouraged, sometimes by the people they consider their friends. All of this adds up to a bleak outlook on life.

What's interesting though is that since no one has anything they form a kind of unity with each other. Each person on the block becomes something like an extended family member. A child growing up on their block always has friendly eyes watching over them. It's common for one person to have a good paycheck and buy treats for the kids on his block if he happens to see them outside.

Ghetto living has also made people learn to be resourceful. Ask any person from any ghetto and they will tell you how to make the most with what you've got. Wire hanger car antennas, putting a little water in the ketchup bottle to stretch it out. Using old yogurt cups as permanent drinking cups or maybe even running out of toilet paper and having to use newspaper. Using a radio that is so broken you have to stick your finger inside to press play while holding the cassette in place. Somehow they find a way to get by. Anyone who is ghetto that is reading this completely understands what I am talking about, can relate to it, and is probably laughing at it right now.

Things like these are what bring ghetto people closer together. They recognize the struggle to survive in each other, which in a way makes them like comrades. Their possessions may be old, but they found a way to make them work. Their clothes may be old, but they're clean and they make the best of what they have. It's not just on TV.

Now generally the people in the ghetto aren't thinking about the suburbs. The problem that ghetto people have with suburbia is when someone from the suburbs tries to claim that they are going through tough times. Maybe they won't be able to take that trip to that tropical island or can only afford the no-frills grocery items (common conceptions in the ghetto). Either way people in the ghetto see people in the suburbs as still having it better than them and are angry when the suburbanites have the nerve to complain when they hit a snag. The ghetto laughs when a man from the suburb gets into trouble and has to do overtime to get by, because they feel that this man finally knows what it feels like to struggle. They feel that people in the suburbs whine over not being able to afford luxuries, while in the ghetto people are barely able to provide their own bare necessities. That is where most of the resentment comes from. They feel that the suburb is a healthy, but spoiled child that just wants attention when a problem comes up, and view themselves as abandoned children that no one cares about. That about sums it up.

I'm not going to blame anyone for the sorry state of the ghetto, even if there is anyone to blame. Everyone does what they feel is best for themselves in the end. Some people may not want to hear it, but there are a lot of lazy people in the ghetto. Whether they are just plain lazy or unmotivated, I don't know. What I do know is that every time someone makes it out of the ghetto most of the people who knew him or her in any sense come looking for a handout. I think a person should get only as much as they contribute. If they stand or sit in the same place all day and cry about what they don't have, without doing anything about it, then they'll never get anywhere and (in my opinion) deserve to stay where they are. On the other hand if someone tries to make it out and fails then they have my deepest sympathies. The odds were stacked against them from the beginning and they still went for it anyway.

Ironically, once a person makes enough money to move out of the ghetto then they come to a rough decision. They can leave and lose the respect of the ghetto or they can stay and get robbed. There aren't any millionaires (legal ones anyway) that still live in the ghetto, because it's simply not possible. If anyone finds out that a person has money and is still living in the ghetto they will break in and rob them. There's no two ways about it. You can either get out of the ghetto and have money or stay in the ghetto and not have money (LEGAL MONEY).

Ghetto Mentality

There are just as many good people in the ghetto as there are bad ones; it's just that the bad ones are just louder. It goes back to the saying "One bad apple spoils the bunch". The bad ones make life difficult for everyone in the ghetto and so everyone else just develops what is called the "ghetto mentality" to survive. There are predators in the ghetto and they prey on the weak. So the ghetto mentality is developed to make a person appear less weak than they actually may be.

In the ghetto anyone who isn't family doesn't deserve your sympathy. You can give it to them if you want, but you don't have to. That is one of the rules that the ghetto lives by. That's how they can walk past a murder scene and forget about it in the next moment and how random gunshots will sometimes barely raise an eyebrow. This is a bad state of mind, but it keeps them from going crazy.

Another thing that I find interesting is that if someone kills someone that nobody else likes the killer may get away with it. Most people won't care because they're not related to the victim and the rest keep their mouths shut from fear of retaliation. No one talks to the cops because no one wants to be labeled a snitch. Snitches are as low as you can get in the ghetto and no one blinks twice if one gets killed. Almost all murder cases in the ghetto are well known, even if the cops haven't solved it word has already gotten around and a lot of people know.

THE MAN

Many people in the ghetto try to blame all of their problems on "The Man" whoever the hell that is. However when you ask them how they rarely have a good example of how they are being held back. As a note to anyone out there who thinks the man is holding them back: If you don't try you will never succeed and if you're only going to put a half-assed effort into it then might as well not try at all. Please stop going to interviews high on insert any illegal substance here and without a suit and tie on. And no, blue jeans with a dress shirt don't count as a suit. To the girls: hoop earrings that a dog can jump through do not look professional and neither do six-inch fingernails.

I sympathize with the people who do try and still don't make it. They have every right to be angry and feel dejected, but that doesn't mean that they should give up. Even if someone doesn't know exactly where they are going it's better to pick a general direction and head towards it. It's better to be moving and have a vague idea of where you're going, than to have no idea and stand still. Most of the time people don't end up in the places that they were planning to end up. Sometimes for the worse, sometimes for the better. If someone tries to make it out of the ghetto and failed they are still more precious than someone who never tried at all. It only takes one person to break the cycle and that person's child, and children's children will thank them for it later.

This is all that I can think of for now. If I think of anything else or anyone asks me anymore-relevant questions I will try to answer them later. Until next time…

Jewish Ghettos Essay


Jewish ghettos: The basic history of the formation of the Jewish ghettos, including the everyday life and economic hardships faced by the communities.

     By definition, a ghetto is an area, usually characterized by poverty and poor living conditions, which houses many people of a similar religion, race or nationality. They served to confine these groups of people and isolate them from the rest of the community because of political or social differences. However, the Jewish ghettos established throughout Europe were more than just a way for the Germans to isolate the Jewish community. They were the first step in making Hitler’s final solution possible. The ghettos were the means of organizing all of the Jews together and preparing them to be shipped to concentration camps. However, these ghettos soon evolved into political, religious and social entities that served the community and began to resemble a form of self-ruling government. Furthermore, many of these ghettos were different from one another because of different internal structures of the Jewish community or the diversity of the personalities of the leaders of the council in the Jewish community. However, the ghettos must be analyzed as if they are all “one history.”(Holocaust) In fact, many of the communities were the same with regards to Jewish perceptions and reactions concerning life and the difficulties being faced by each community in its occupied territory. This research paper discusses the common everyday trials and tribulations faced by all the ghettos and looks at the ghettos from a political and socio-economic point of view. (Holocaust)
     First, it is important to understand the history behind the ghettos and discuss their centralization in Poland. Hitler incorporated the western part of Poland into Germany according to race doctrine. He intended that Poles were to become the slaves of Germany and that the two million Jews therein were to be concentrated in ghettos in Poland's larger cities. Later this would simplify transport to the death camps. Nazi occupation authorities officially told the story that Jews were natural carriers of all types of diseases, especially typhus, and that it was necessary to isolate Jews from the Polish community. Jewish neighborhoods thus were transformed into prisons. The five major ghettos were located in Warsaw, Lódz, Kraków, Lublin, and Lvov (a history 170). (Holocaust, Holocaust time line)
In total, the Nazis established 356 ghettos in Poland, the Soviet Union, the Baltic States, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Hungary between 1939 and 1945. However, there was no real uniformity to these ghettos. The ghettos usually varied with respect to the size of the city in which they were located. The ghettos in small towns were generally not sealed off, which was often a temporary measure used until the Jewish occupants could be sent to a bigger ghetto. Larger cities had closed ghettos, with brick or...

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