Letter to the Editor: The Ghetto Manifesto by Lady D (NSFW audio)

by Especial Correspondents on April 18, 2012 in Audio, Cultura

It came in exactly this way via our handy SUBMIT form. (On the go? There’s a NSFW two-minute audio podcast version we created at the bottom of this article):

This is to every person who wants to get out and break free to be human and not be a fucking stereotype. I call it the Ghetto Manifesto. I was bred from a culture that lives in fear to succeed. We were once the Gods of the Temples- the living legends standing proud on the steps of Tenochtitlan- Now we are on our knees glorifying the filth around us. Our streets are filled with soldiers of ignorance and rage- fighting brother against brother- for what? A piece of land that we don't even own? For the love we did not receive at home? We call out names- spill our hateful rhetoric, beat each other to be let in to an exclusive group of clowns with silly names. Taking family trips in to unknown territories using hurtful toys to shed innocent blood. The family. What a fucking joke.

We are offended when they call our bluff. We are the lazy and ignorant wetbacks that they speak of. We have no identity. We are neither ni de aqui, ni de alla. I want to make a stand now. A moniker is not the way I wish to remembered by. I don't wish to be a statistic- another breeding factory churning and laboring the next batch of society's rejects. My mother does not need to pray the rosary; so that my murderous soul enters the gates of Heaven. Why is it that we tolerate such decay- such ignorance to breed within ourselves? The answer is within our homes. The lack of love, affection, and attention. We are afraid of our magnificence. We are capable of many great things, but those who lack ambition and fear any changes- Marr our history. You are afraid. I am afraid. We all, collectively are afraid. We are cowards because we do nothing to incite the change. And those who do- are being muddied and brought back down to the filth. I choose to change. I choose an education. I choose to exit the other door - away from this clown infested funhouse- the ghetto I was installed in. Not by man, but by circumstance, last name, and skin tone. Aztlan does in fact exist- Within me. My exodus to enlightment begins here- Cuauhtemoc and Montezuma proudly hold my hand as I take the first steps.

— Lady Divina M.


Cholographic 2Pac April 18, 2012 at 9:27 AM

I wish certain people had paid attention to this before they killed me.

Dead pipis ain’t much fun!

Gris Agui April 18, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Historical Trauma; Systemic Oppresion; Redlining; Self Hatred; Lack of Empathy/Sympathy; Racial Discrimination/Oppresion/Profiling; Patriarchal Rule; Misogynistic Norms; Societal Pressures; Aculturation/Assimilation; Colonization (they got your mind, they still own you); Victim Blaming. These are just some words that come to my mind from that tirade that alludes to gang life that is full of anger, but offers no resulotion beyond education. An education that is often times not accessible for a variety of reasons, and marginalization is not something that is made up or only applicable to the “other”. To believe there is no privilege in having access to education is either really naive or incredibly grandiose.

Community Engagement; Grassroots Organizing; Mutual Respect and Dialogue; Empathy; Social Justice; System Changes; Culture Retention; Early Intervention; Art; Self Acceptance; Community Empowerment. These are only a few of the initiatives that can begin to address some of the symptoms that plague our communities; moreover, it requires a stance of empowerment, inclusion and acceptance. Being educated does not mean you are more of an expert in the lives of people than the people themselves. It is embarassing to see someone tote their education as some sort of right or trophy to hold over others that did not have the same privileges. The definition of satire must be revisited. The celebration of a community that is comprised of such a varied background is honorable. To deny any part of my identity by pretending it did not play a role in shaping me would be denying a part of who I am and my influences, and I do not hate myself.

I agree that gang life must be addressed, and the youth must be engaged in other activities that show acceptance along with fostering creativity. However, society must change so that the systems that create those negative spaces do not happen, and we are those change agents. Frustration regarding the symptoms is understandable, but I’ll be dammed if the responsibility is placed soley on individuals. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” That is just a horrible perspective that is not applicable accross the board.

I tend to prefer a lighter form of interaction, but I must have felt inspired. hahaha Ya valio madre, por que ay se los mando por que por mis huevos lo escribi.

el porque de las cosas April 23, 2012 at 8:44 AM

I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!
! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…

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