The idea of becoming successful is the ultimate evil in the Ghetto. It is this mindset that results in people in the Ghetto shaming others from childhood into making sure they never even try to leave.
Generally, when reading material of an intellectual nature, the words “growing up in the ghetto” don’t fit very well, however there are some of us who rose far above their station in life and have certain life experiences that may be valid in making an argument. Normally this would not be the case but Coca-Cola’s bizarre anti-“Whiteness” campaign being pushed on their employees has forced my hand to break the rules and break this issue down from a very personal perspective. Coca-Cola’s now infamous PowerPoint-style document is deeply rooted in the mentality of the ghetto – one of hopelessness and entrapment in a wretched existence that no one wants and yet all subconsciously perpetuate that I was born into.
The demographics of my neighborhood radically shifted due to White Flight in the late 80s and early 90s. By my preteen years as a person with a Slavic exterior I was by far in the minority. In high school our region of Cleveland was 55% Black with all other ethnicities combined making up the remaining 45%. This region of America is called the Rust Belt not because the leaves are pretty in fall but because NAFTA and Nixon’s little trip to China resulted in our cities’ factories rotting away from disuse leaving former factory workers to fend for themselves. Long story short, by American standards everyone around me was urban poor. Given time to reflect back on this environment after escaping it for the Motherland (Eastern Europe) you start to see that there are some truly horrible accepted “truths” in the Ghetto that keep things from ever getting better which line up very well with the thinking of the management at Coke.
The most relevant is the age old-question, or should I say accusation, lobbed between my African-American classmates of yesteryear – “Why are you acting White!?”. This phrase was uttered on an almost daily basis when one Black person went beyond the Overton Window’s field of acceptable behavior in the eyes of another, leaning towards this “Whiteness” behavior that is all the rage among today’s trendy self-hating rainbow-haired activist freakshow.
On the surface there would seem to be nothing wrong for African-Americans who have for generations not particularly felt welcome on “team America” to want to maintain some sort of cultural cohesion separate from everyone else. It is human nature to want the guys in your tribe to be on the same page. In-group and out-group dynamics are part of human nature, but the problem was the definition of this evil Whiteness.
If we try to imagine stereotypically “white” activities in America we’d probably come up with a list like – bowling, duck hunting, listening to heavy metal. These sort of “redneck” or “blue-collar” things that have the “stain” of the colonizers on them never really seemed to trigger this “stop acting White” response. The Blackness of the people I know who have bowled a perfect game, love shooting bottles with big guns, and drive a massive hillbilly pickup truck has never been questioned. When our caring Liberal friends speak of the horrors of Whiteness they must be referring to something else.
Now if a Black man tries to start a business, speak eloquently, wear a suit or any form of “playing the game” to become successful – that was the ultimate blasphemy in my garbage dump of a neighborhood, where selling “weed” was praised, but the one African-American kid who wore a blazer and tie to school every day caught hell for it. You could brag about the money you made on weekends driving to work at a country club (everyone drove starting at 16), but you’d have to keep your “White” behavior while working there on the down low. “Acting White” is not a localized Cleveland phenomenon but a national cultural tendency from New York to L.A. that even has its own lengthy wikipedia article. It is something hard to explain but the cultural pressure was easily felt. As an outsider I was well aware of this, if I were to have been born a different race I may have felt this influence ten times stronger.
Somehow the idea of becoming successful (outside a few acceptable professions like sports and music) became the ultimate evil in the Ghetto. It is this mindset, whether naturally evolving or being consciously pushed, that results in people in the Ghetto shaming others from childhood into making sure they never even try to leave. It is like some sort of caste system where the “untouchables” work hard to make sure that everyone around them grows up with their hopeless mentality and desire to stay at their exact station in life no matter what.
Taking a look at Coca-Cola’s presentation we can see the same overall theme – that a condition of total submission is the “cool” way to be. Essentially, all the positions in the list pictured above create a person who is eternally on their knees, accepting all information with zero resistance. This fight against “Whiteness” looks more like an attempt to breed an international multi-class multi-racial ghetto mentality. A person who does not assert any positions and yet openly absorbs information without question is the very definition of subservient and that is exactly whom Coca-Cola’s Liberal management wants in society.
This path of total submission does not work and the “Ghetto mentality” at its core has become obvious to many successful and intellectual Black Americans. “Whiteness” seems to have little to do with being European but a lot to do with being successful so it is no surprise that there are many who want to push for the opposite, for Blacks to fight and compete at becoming successful too. But those individuals who advocate this “strive to be the best” attitude are generally attacked by those with the cursed mindset for being “race traitors” or “Uncle Toms”, this became especially evident when certain notable Black Americans took the big risk of siding with Trump’s view that the Constitution applies to all U.S. citizens. Fantastic “journalism” like the Atlantic’s “The Black People Who Voted for Trump Know He’s Racist“ may as well have been written by Coca-Cola middle-management for how much it reinforces the Ghetto mentality. NPR tried to push the narrative that celebrities like 50 Cent and Ice Cube voted for Trump because their “monetary goals outweigh his views on where the Black community is” bluntly implying their great success has made them non-Black. The “P” in NPR must stand for plantation.
If someone feels that the West has had vastly too much influence over their culture that is one thing, but playing this game of Whiteness will not yield the results they want. If you actually want to fight against the rich Whiteman, then you should start by rejecting their attempts to “free” you from the invisible chains of Whiteness that they claim are keeping you down.