D’Souza’s slam of the president caused gasps across the Twitterverse because “ghetto” has long been negatively synonymous with African American in popular culture and politics. But let’s face it, all sorts of folks have been labeling things or people deemed lacking class, taste or refinement as “ghetto” for years now. It’s a brand of one-percent sneering that the rest of us hurl at each other all the time, either seriously or in jest. It’s a put-down that packs a punch because there is no denying how bad being branded “ghetto” is. Still, that D’Souza would hurl the “ghetto” charge at the nation’s first black president is beyond offensive.
The ensuing Twitter storm caused D’Souza to issue a clarifying tweet. “I know Obama wasn’t actually raised in a ghetto — I’m using the term metaphorically, to suggest his unpresidential conduct.” Oh, that makes it better. Such comments on conduct are rich coming from a rumored philanderer currently serving five years probation for campaign finance violation.