We’re not talking about the Elvis song

During a community meeting held by California State University, East Bay, and the Hayward Unified School District to discuss the future of the closed Highland Elementary School site, a resident voiced concern over the possibility of having his children attend schools down the hill.

“I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Hayward down the hill is considered a ghetto,” the resident said.

A ghetto? Hmmm.

Is it the new Elephant Bar restaurant? Or is it because the city has only two Jamba Juice stores?

Raised in Hayward, I wasn’t offended but more so surprised by the comment.

A ghetto is defined by Dictionary.com to be “a usually poor section of a city inhabited primarily by people of the same race, religion, or social background, often because of discrimination.”

Today, the word has taken on several meanings, mainly “old” and “bad,” according to conversations I can remember when the word was used.

OK. So you have an outdated computer. Maybe Windows ’98? Oh my, that’s so ghetto! Or how about that hole in your gym shoe? GHETTO!

Here’s UrbanDictionary.com’s definition.

Yelpers consider Southland Mall to be ghetto. So it isn’t only local residents who view Hayward negatively.

Is Hayward a ghetto? If so, when did it take on that reputation? Why? How?

I’m confused. Is it because I live in the flats? Wait. Does that mean I’m ghetto?