Can we find a new way to describe low-income housing?

screenshot-2017-02-23-20-56-14Pop culture is ever-shifting. What celebrities are wearing, doing, and saying can have a big influence on what we do and believe is true. The influence of pop culture has gone as far as creating new words that the general public use.

One such term is “trap house.” A trap house is, loosely defined, as a rundown home in which drugs are sold and manufactured in. Recent rap artists such as Bobby Shmurda and Fetty Wap have contributed to the use of the word to the point where the common people and even law officials are using it.

But behind this new term is a dangerous misrepresentation of low-income housing.

When thinking of a typical trap house, one imagines a run-down house, possibly in a Section 8 community that is predominately minority. Instead of seeing this as a problem that needs to be fixed, our society has taken it to be just another trend. Calling your friend’s 5-bedroom, 4-bathroom home a trap house has become a term of endearment. It’s a joke to most. But in reality, living in a home that is a health hazard for any person is not something to be taken lightly.

So where do we go from here? Can we redefine what a trap house is? Can we draw attention to the issue of low-income housing in a serious manner? It’s possible, but not until pop culture stops glamorizing disparities.

By Allison Smith


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