'Ghetto Tours' of the Bronx Stopped After Residents Complain

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Ghetto tours in New York City, aimed to show the public what it's like living in the poorer areas of the city, have now stopped after residents complained.

The group giving the tours was called Real Bronx Tours, and had been taking tourists from Manhattan to the South Bronx.

President Ruben Diaz Jr. of the Bronx and the City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito sent a letter to the owner of the tour group urging him to stop.

"We strongly urge you to stop profiting off of a tour that misrepresents the Bronx as a haven for poverty and crime, while mocking everything from our landmark to the less fortunate members of our community who are availing themselves of food assistance programs," the letter reads;

They responded by issuing a statement, saying that they would stop the tours.

At first, the tour promised to keep its clients at a "safe distance" from the Bronx residents. It cost $45 and took the mostly European tourists past food pantry lines and housing projects. They explained the tourists that the Bronx was "notorious for drugs, gangs, crime and murders."

Though the residents of the Bronx were not upset about the tours coming through, they were upset about the way they labeled it as a ghetto. 

Elena Martinez, an anthropologist, gives tours of the Bronx, but draws more attention to the culture and history. She gives walking tours through the neighborhood, showing tourists theaters, dance clubs and musical landmarks.

"Many young Europeans come here as a pilgrimage…this was the incubator for hip-hop, salsa, jazz, Afro-Cuban music, R&B. The Bronx has an incredible, majestic music culture," Martinez said.

She and a few other residents in the Bronx are starting a campaign called "The Bronx Rising," which aims to counter the Ghetto Tours.

Sources: Inquisitr, The Celebrity Cafe