“Ghetto parenting”: quick, what is the first image that pops into your head?

A New Term for Lousy Parenting – Motherlode Blog – NYTimes.com.

Yeah, me too.

I wholeheartedly agree with Mitchell’s point, which is not new but always bears a second thought: lousy parenting dooms kids. Her focus is the deeply disturbing story of Eric Morse, and now his cousin, Derrick Lemon.

She doesn’t call it lousy parenting, though; she calls it “ghetto parenting.” Even packaged with a caveat that some readers “will be offended by my word choice” it’s a dreadful misstep in language usage.

Not only do we not need another term for lousy parenting, we especially do not need another term that is sure to direct some people — and these are people who are easily directed — immediately to the equation that ghetto = bad parenting, or worse, that bad parenting is limited to the ghetto.

Would the opposite be, say, uptown parenting? Or because the boys lived in Chicago, would that make it Gold Coast parenting?

Ugh. I wish she hadn’t done that. Eric and Derrick are beyond us; their story and its lessons aren’t. Let’s not let semantics threaten to overshadow the deep tragedy these boys’ story represents.

Published in: on July 19, 2010 at 11:43 AM  Leave a Comment  

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