Wednesday, February 13, 2008

ESD#13: hate the haters

I am repeatedly irritated by a girl in one of my Urban Planning courses. During every class break, she incessantly talks to her friend, mostly relaying paltry anecdotes from her personal life (like what I'm doing here), complaining about a difficult professor or making fun of her classmates. Is it hypocritical to hate hate?

Usually when I hold this much contempt for someone, I invent tragic stories about his life so to excuse his behavior. In college, I discovered that all the stories I created for one girl were true, so it works sometimes!

I can attribute part of my irritation to the fact that I project onto her things I don't like about my program. She reminds me that the program isn't selective and allows for immature, disengaged students with poor analytical skills.

Last night, I deliberately sat next to her, so I could start up conversation and try to overcome my irritation. But I almost flew off the handle when she told her friend that she used to go to school in the "ghetto, but it's not ghetto anymore." She thought it would be "hilarious" to wear a shirt that says "I used to be ghetto, but I'm not anymore."

It's not hilarious. It's dumb and insensitive and so are you. The fact that you call that neighborhood ghetto shows that you have little understanding of the historical and cultural context for where you lived. If you were that disengaged from the community, why are you studying Urban Planning?

I wanted to be like Dave Chappelle in his wife swap sketch and throw her into a real "ghetto" ("g-g-g-g-get out of the car!").

Admittedly, I'm overly sensitive, because she was talking about my neighborhood. And I know that when you live in a tough neighborhood, you affectionately call it "the hood" or something similar. But there was little affection in her tone.

Apologies for the self-righteous rant.

No comments: