Final Reflections on Ghetto Nation

I didn’t post near as much as I intended on this book. Because I read while my students read during school, I took notes in a notebook so I’d remember what I wanted to talk about when I actually had time to write a post. Unfortunately, that notebook has been lost somewhere in a mound of papers and binders on my desk at school, and is no help to me now, when I have the time to make the post.

I have concluded that I agree with Daniels. Ghetto is a state of mind. One that we, as a nation (not just Black people) seem to be stuck in. I remember hearing in college that if one wanted to be competetive in the workforce, one had to have a masters degree. But I look at my students and think, what is the economy going to be like when I am an elder? These children don’t have the drive to pursue a master’s degree, and, more often than not, don’t give a hoot about the education that is being handed to them now. I can’t imagine what our nation would look like if our educational system was put together similar to Mexico’s or Japan’s. Scary, really.

One of the realizations that stemmed from reading this book is that the deficit theory doesn’t solely apply to the students here on the border. The ones who have no aspirations and feel that what was good enough for their parents is good enough for them. That’s why “the projects” exist. And people get stuck there. Black, brown, green, yellow… every ethnicity has their own version of the deficit theory. And for some, it’s complacency.

I want to call for change. I want to talk to my people, and the people I teach and tell them that there is more to life than “ghetto.” I want to tell them that the world is bigger than where you live. There’s is life outside the projects. There is live outside BorderTown, New Mexico.

Can you hear me now?

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