Once again, I am reminded of what a racist country we live in. I have recentlycome across a new, offensive board game called “Ghettopoly.” The game is atakeoff of Monopoly but instead of the man with a top hat and a tuxedo, thefront of the box features a black man with bugged eyes wearing a bandana. Notonly does he hold a marijuana cigarette in his mouth, but he carries an Uzi inone hand and a bottle of malt liquor in the other. In this game you can selldrugs, be a pimp and get car jacked, according to the Ghettopoly.com website.
The game, distributed by Urban Outfitters, a national chain of clothing storeswith locations in Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Petersburg, just to name a few,reinforces negative stereotypes about African-Americans and continues to promoteignorance of different ethnic groups.
Ghettopoly implies that the world of prostitution, gang banging, drug dealingand robbery is exclusive to black lifestyles and black people. Although theseare problems that plague all races and classes in this country,African-Americans are thought of as the representatives of such lifestylesbecause of the negative images portrayed in the media.
David Chang, the creator of the game, says that he got the inspiration for thegame from watching hip-hop videos. Although, Chang is capitalizing on his FirstAmendment right, could he be right on target with his portrayal of blacks?
Have you looked at BET or MTV lately? How many videos do you see that don’t includereferences to material wealth, drug and alcohol consumption, promiscuousbehavior, gang banging, robbery and violence? What is the message in manyhip-hop videos? If you have money, an Escalade with spinning rims, a few halfnaked women, a throwback jersey and a bottle of Hypnotiq than you are somebody.With these types of images, can we really be angry at the board game?
We must let everyone know, including hip-hop artists, these stereotypes are notacceptable. We are all affected by such ignorant attacks on our culture. We haveto stand up and let people like Chang and the producers of these offensivevideos know that we will not tolerate it anymore.
Joseph Sturgess, 26, is a broadcast journalism graduate student from HazelCrest, Illinois. He can be reached at email@example.com.