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This doesn’t seem particularly politically correct.

Black leaders are outraged over a new board game called “Ghettopoly” that has “playas” acting like pimps and game cards reading, “You got yo whole neighborhood addicted to crack. Collect $50.”

Black clergymen say the game, the brainchild of a Pennsylvania man, should be banned, and have called for a boycott of Urban Outfitters unless the company stops selling Ghettopoly in its chain of clothing stores.

. . .

“If we are silent on this issue there is more of this type to come,” the Rev. Robert P. Shine Sr., president of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia & Vicinity, said at a sidewalk rally Wednesday in front Urban Outfitters’ corporate headquarters in Philadelphia.

Shine displayed the game board, with properties including Westside Liquor, Harlem, The Bronx, and Long Beach City, and squares labeled Smitty’s XXX Peep Show, Weinstein’s Gold and Platinum, and Tyron’s Gun Shop.

Players draw “Hustle” and “Ghetto Stash” cards with directions like, “You’re a little short on loot, so you decided to stick up a bank. Collect $75,” and “Steal $$$ if you pass Let$ Roll.”

Apparently, the creator of the game envisions a host of others, including “Thugopoly” and “Redneckopoly.” Aside from issues of whether there’s a problem here with Parker Brothers’ trademark on “Monopoly,” the situation does raise some free speech concerns in the sense that I’m not quite sure how the game could be “banned.” It may be in poor taste and it may be offensive, but the First Amendment protects many tasteless, offensive things.

More information on the game itself can be found at the Ghettopoly game website.

Note: The author wastes a fair amount of time blogging about a variety of topics at Walloworld, where this post originally appeared.

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About Bill Wallo

  • SJ

    Does anybody have a FULL list of the chance/community chest cards that appear in Ghettopoly? Please post links. Thanks.

  • mike

    People in this country need to get a sense of humor. That said, it would have been wiser for the company to release all three games simultaneously (ghetto, redneck, thug) so all these clowns would kill each other condemning them.

  • Eric Olsen

    I use the clear gel that oozes out of all the little holes (brand doesn’t matter, they’re all the same), and every single flipping morning one of those oozings gets some air behind it or something and goes shooting off into the air and lands in my iced tea. I may be slowly poisoned, but my gastrointestinal system stays dry and odor-free.

  • andy

    Are you Sure? If you are, just raise your hand….(this thread is getting foul…oh man)

  • Joe

    You weren’t supposed to say anything. It was a Secret (strong enough for a man…).

  • The Theory

    *mutters something about damned elaborate jokes*

    However, my point still stands, as it is essential to the play on words.

  • Eric Olsen

    Mennen was the company that made Ban antiperspirant – it was a rather elaborate joke all the way around.

  • The Theory

    no. not really.

    well… maybe.

  • Eric Olsen

    TT, not “MennOnites,” but “MennEnites” – huge difference

  • The Theory

    …most mennonites don’t use buggies. But thanks for the kind words.

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes! those damn buggy-riding personal hygiene product manufacturers

  • “The best use of the word “ban” has been to name an antiperspirant”

    Leave it to EO to get straight to the crux of the matter, though I fear that he might have meant this as a slur against the Mennenites.

  • TT, the pressure is the thing. Threatening a boycott will likely get the store chain (which as a former Philly person I have long been a fan of) to pull the product.

    This can be a two-way street politically. For example, neo-Confederates are boycotting grocery chains that stopped carrying the barbecue sauce of white supremacist Maurice Bessinger.

    My take on boycotts is they work if the topic is strong enough. Not because of the number of people who stop buying the product or refuse to use the store, but because of the pressure brought to bear. Better to be safe than embarassed is true for most businesses.

  • The Theory

    man, i just read this on CNN and am shocked someone already beat me to t he story.

    That said, boycotts are horribly overrated.

  • Eric Olsen

    The best use of the word “ban” has been to name an antiperspirant

  • Thanks for the comment. I agree that there is no restriction on individual boycotts (for whatever reason). However, if you’ll note, I was not referencing the boycott, but rather the minister’s call for the game to be “banned.” A true ban would require governmental involvement, and thus would arguably run afoul of the First Amendment.

  • Since the government is not involved, there is no free speech issue.

    However, a tasteless ‘entertainment’ that promotes offensive stereotypes is not something I can see any reasonable person buying. The ministers are well within their rights in urging a boycott of Urban Outfitters.

    One of the things I notice in situations like this is the ignorance of the people who come up with the ideas. Even cursory research would have told the designer that bank robbers are disproportionately white. Nor are pornography emporiums usually in poor, minority neighborhoods. (In fact, they are becoming increasingly mainstream.)

  • Eric Olsen

    Hey Bill, the creator of this game should get together with Steve Thomas

  • yeah – tasteless is a good beginning to describe this game…..how about words like: insensitive and expensive? good grief – who would pay almost $30 for the chance to buy property in the projects and to pop somebody’s alleged ass?

    grrr…..free speech – yeah, i find this game offensive – but hey, almost anything goes in this country. after all – the FOX reality series The Simple Life” will cash in on showing two daddy’s girls trying to make it in the big bad countryside…learning how to do farm work…um…more like how to do work.