My girlfriend isn’t black. She’s white in fact, but chooses to “talk ghetto” when she’s upset because she says she was raised in the “hood” (which she wasn’t..she was raised in Minneapolis, which as anyone outside of Minnesota knows, doesn’t have a “hood”). It wasn’t a problem at first but hearing her say things like “She talkin’ bout” and “tryna” and answering her phone “Who dis?” is really getting to me. I don’t know if it’s her friends or what, but she was raised in a middle class family in Minneapolis. I just can’t figure out why she’d want to sound stupid. We’ve gotten into arguments recently because I’ve rolled my eyes when she talks that way (she sounds dumb..no one has to talk that way), and I’d rather not get into more fights. How do I go about showing her she “actin’ a fool”?
There are two things here Neil. First issue, if you don’t want to fight, don’t roll your eyes. She may sound like an idiot to you, but you still need to respect her for who she is. The second issue is a little more complicated. “Ghetto talk” as you’ve put it isn’t real..it’s simply unintelligent and improper English. It’s not a black thing, a white thing, or an Asian thing, it’s an uneducated thing.
She seems to think that by plugging in to a stereotype, she is gaining friendship or attention by doing so, when in reality, people who speak unintelligently very rarely get very far in life. Now it’s true that some people make a great living by speaking like this, but they are a surprisingly wealthy minority who are making others think it’s normal. It’s not.
I have always followed the idea that it’s okay to dress how you like and speak how you like, but take into account who is around you. If you’re dressed like a slab of meat at a lion convention, you’ll be eaten up. If you speak like an idiot around people that are speaking intelligently, you’ll be eaten up as well. Know who is around you and speak to them as a person, don’t assume that a stereotype is going to get you anywhere.
Oh and finally, you’re right. Minnesota doesn’t have a hood. Frankly, the suburbs are turning into “hoods” faster than the cities are.