Using ‘ghetto’ shows lack of respect


Photo by Veronica Vargo

The benchs in the stadium not only have tagging, but are missing parts.

Jessica Mangili

Jewish families were corralled from their homes and forced to a designated area separate from the rest of society.
Many had no idea what they would have to endure. They were packed into congested tenements with several other families. Orphans were forced to beg and steal on streets filled with human feces due to lack of public sanitation. Families were allowed to purchase only small amounts of bread, potatoes, and fat with the money they brought with their homes, but it was never enough.People were forced to trade smuggled valuables or steal food in order to feed their families. Guards forced young and old to partake in harsh manual labor. And any form of rebellion or question resulted in death. Many people resorted to suicide to relieve them from their hopeless prison.

This is a ghetto.

The term “ghetto” has become popular in modern slang to describe something that is low-income or a part of an undesirable life.

As I walk down the halls, it is the one word I can constantly hear over the chatter of merging conversations. At times I even find myself using it. “Look at the broken bench, that’s so ghetto.” “You know your school is ghetto when everyone twerks.”

But is our school really ghetto?

Compared to what Jewish people in Europe had to endure during WWII, our school doesn’t look too bad. Over the past four years our campus has been constantly updated, thanks to the Measure Q Grant. We now have top of the line sports facilities that other schools admire.

Within the past three years since the football stadium was built, though, weeds have already started to grow up through the turf. The metal bleachers have been graffitied on with sharpies. And gum is constantly being scraped from the turf and equipment. We simply do not have respect for what we have.

And the reason why?

Because we think our school is “ghetto.” A lot of it comes down to the mentality that we carry. We think our school is “ghetto” because we make it so. We are the ones who throw garbage on the ground when there is a garbage can five feet away.

We are the ones who carve foul language into the bathroom doors for no reason other than boredom. And we are the only ones who can make a difference.

We’ve all heard the“Stagg Pride Inside” chant on the intercom in the morning. And just like most of my fellow peers I tend to tune out at that point. Chanting “Stagg Pride” just doesn’t feel right. Yes, the saying is dorky, but the meaning behind it is there.

According to an article from the Huffington Post, “when you are experiencing positive emotions like joy, contentment, and love, you see more possibilities in your life.” With great programs, teachers, sports teams, and facilities, we have these possibilities to be great.

All we need is a change in mentality.