The Orange County Interwebs Horror Show Searches for the “Ghetto” at Westminster Mall

On Mondays, this feature exposes things on the Interwebs from and about Orange County, drawing from many sources that touch on many topics.

However, a recurring theme kept popping up while this week's installment was being put together concerning a certain Orange County shopping mall.

The Great Ghetto Debate Nancy T.: “This mall is pretty ghetto. It actually reminds me of the Orange Mall, which has Payless, Ross, etc. . . . you get the picture.” Jimmy N.: “Oh, and when the heck did they put down carpeting for the first floor? That's SO ghetto and dated!” Brad W.: “First, this IS one of the last California malls basically unchanged by the hands of the late 1990s 'upscaling' of all shopping venues in SoCal (Mission Viejo Mall, etc.). This is still a true, low-class, ghetto-booty, high school-pickup joint for Vietnamese and white trash.” Counters Wendy. H., who says she grew up in the mall: “I wouldn't say it's ghetto but just mediocre working class.” (yelp)

Wikipedia Commons

Illustration by Jay Brockman

But Wait, There's More Enrique P., within comments about the Todai restaurant at the mall: “Another thing, Westminster Mall is ghetto. There is no Nordstrom or Apple Store in any part of the mall.” (yelp) A debate-within-a-debate rages over whether calling Westminster Mall ghetto is racist–surfacing on, of all places, The Purse Forum. Irissy: “I'm not assuming you're racist. In fact, I didn't read your other post
yet. We like to joke on this board so don't take what we say so
seriously sometimes. But compared to SCP [South Coast Plaza], Westminster Mall is pretty
ghetto–and I'm Asian, too.” (The Purse Forum) Jonathan P. does not agree with that description: He writes, “Orange Mall is the ghetto one.” (foursquare)

Black Mamba Meet Ghetto Mall Westminster Mall's supposed ghettoness even finds its way onto a Lakers blog item about superstar Kobe Bryant being spotted at the mall. LakersCourt: “Westminster Mall is so ghetto, they always have some type of fight or hooligan causing problems there. Why on God's green Earth would Kobe want to ever go to that dump of a mall? I drove past it the other day on the 405 freeway, and I just kept thinking, what a joke of a mall.” ( Jenny answers someone asking if they should live in Newport Beach or Huntington Beach this way: “If you choose Huntington Beach, stay as far away from the Westminster Mall. It surprisingly turns ghetto. That's what MTV should show on the real OC. That and Santa Ana!” (

All About the Ghetto Express Even the kiddie train ride at Westminster Mall is described as ghetto in a YouTube headline:

Ghettos, Ghettos Everywhere Perhaps a seismic shift slid San Juan Capistrano over Westminster Mall. “Hi, everyone. I recently moved to south OC from the Chicago area, and I was driving on Camino Capistrano and I took a shortcut so I went through this neighborhood on a street called La Zanja Street. And that neighborhood is honestly scary! I saw several kids tagging up walls and tagging graffiti on the walls, kids walking around on the street holding guns up in the air and acting like they own the place people on corners making drug deals, GRAFFITI and gang taggings EVERYWHERE, shady people giving me shady looks. For the first time in a while, I was honestly scared driving through there. I was AMAZED THAT A PLACE EXISTED LIKE THIS IN SOUTH OC! My God I had NO IDEA A NEIGHBORHOOD EXISTED LIKE THIS IN SOUTH OC. This place is a GHETTO.” (

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