Hey there, hey there. (Chill, Dej, I stream you, girl)

Detroit. Do you still have “ghettos?”

Per my high school honors English teacher, OED is #thetruth,

NOUN, plural ghettos, plural ghettoes:
A part of a city, especially a slum area, occupied by a minority group or groups

For those of you unaware, this is the Oxford English Dictionary

At some point this connection between a city and its poor Black and Brown people was developed and added into a renowned dictionary. We are seeing people of color in the city (with a rich history of redlining, mind you) continue to make room for new neighbors in these rapidly changing neighborhoods. From housing projects to “mixed income” developments there should be a ghetto-reduction. Right?

Possibly not, if being poor, a minority, and clustered in a city is all it takes for the ghetto brand. Or will this definition expand because now your neighbor on the left could earn $60k annually, while the one across the street/hall brings in $11.50hr?

As we look to Detroit to be the beacon of burgeoning talent, ideas, culture, and history– your thinking of society must continue to evolve. Question the microaggression in the aforementioned definition and consider the ways in which language is used to describe various areas and people of the city. All of this to say, can a “mixed income development” really be successful when there is such disdain for those who struggle financially? Even more-so when they are a person of color?

Ghetto has and can yield greatness.

Finally, ask yourself the last time you said “well, Detroit hustles harder” and meant it positively for yourself. How about “Detroit vs. Everybody” and what it means for your motivation?

Guess what, ghetto informs that. The pocket-poor folks of the city are the reason for thirst to attain the spirit of Detroit grit. Ghetto? I guess. Either way, put some respect on their names or Get Out.

I’m coming for you, Jordan Peele.