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Salon: Liberal shaming of Appalachia
#1
Liberal shaming of Appalachia: Inside the media elite’s obsession with the “hillbilly problem”

The article talks about Appalachia in particular, but ever since the election I've been seeing a nauseating amount of offensive shit from my fellow progressives about rural and small town Americans, some of it bordering on outright Social Darwinism ("They voted against their own healthcare coverage, let them die and decrease the surplus population!" and similar BS). I'm sick of hearing about how everyone out here is stupid, backwards, and inbred.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#2
Their voting record speaks for itself. At least about political matters, and everything politics affects.

Let them show us their ability to rise out of their mistakes and turn over a new leaf. Will Trump be too much for them to take? Maybe for some of them, it seems. I'm not too hopeful. Most seem to be stuck in their beliefs. But I'd be glad if they woke up. There's potential in everyone to find wisdom. The former governor of Kentucky showed it's possible.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#3
At least this hillbilly has things straight





facebook video; not sure where to find it on you tube

John Bridevaux: "Let's starve Grandma!!? That's the answer??"

posted on facebook by Charles Daniel Abeyta
March 17 at 9:37pm ·
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#4
(03-22-2017, 06:45 PM)Odin Wrote: Liberal shaming of Appalachia: Inside the media elite’s obsession with the “hillbilly problem”

The article talks about Appalachia in particular, but ever since the election I've been seeing a nauseating amount of offensive shit from my fellow progressives about rural and small town Americans, some of it bordering on outright Social Darwinism ("They voted against their own healthcare coverage, let them die and decrease the surplus population!" and similar BS). I'm sick of hearing about how everyone out here is stupid, backwards, and inbred.

I'd suggest, if you already haven't, that you read Hillbilly Eulogy.  Their cultural differences are real.  On the other hand, "stupid, backwards and inbred" counts as a vile stereotype to me.  Any group with an agenda is apt to demonize opposing groups.  It is easy to take a reasonable and understandable cultural difference and exaggerate it into pure ugliness.  I don't approve.

There is a rural tendency to see the government as inefficient, corrupt and autocratic.  This too can be taken to the point of a vile stereotype.  Can I daydream about a world where neither the hillbillies nor the government are demonized?  While it isn't in the Bill of Rights, I'll argue for a right to daydream.  I'm not about to confuse the daydream with reality, though.  There's an awful lot of pre judgement and hatred flowing around.
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#5
A rambling but interesting article:
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/201...book_nymag

No Sympathy for the Hillbilly
Democrats need to stop trying to feel everyone’s pain, and hold on to their own anger.

By Frank Rich

conclusion:

There’s no way liberals can counter these voters’ blind faith in a huckster who’s sold them this snake oil. The notion that they can be won over by some sort of new New Deal — “domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance),” as Mark Lilla puts it — is wishful thinking. These voters are so adamantly opposed to government programs that in some cases they refuse to accept the fact that aid they already receive comes from Washington — witness the “Keep Government Out of My Medicare!” placards at the early tea-party protests.

Perhaps it’s a smarter idea to just let the GOP own these intractable voters. Liberals looking for a way to empathize with conservatives should endorse the core conservative belief in the importance of personal responsibility. Let Trump’s white working-class base take responsibility for its own votes — or in some cases failure to vote — and live with the election’s consequences. If, as polls tell us, many voters who vilify Obamacare haven’t yet figured out that it’s another name for the Affordable Care Act that’s benefiting them — or if they do know and still want the Trump alternative — then let them reap the consequences for voting against their own interests. That they will sabotage other needy Americans along with them is unavoidable in any case now — at least until voters stage an intervention in an election to come.

Trump voters should also be reminded that the elite of the party they’ve put in power is as dismissive of them as Democratic elites can be condescending. “Forget your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap,” Kevin Williamson wrote of the white working class in National Review. “The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible.” He was only saying in public what other Republicans like Mitt Romney say about the “47 percent” in private when they think only well-heeled donors are listening. Besides, if National Review says that their towns deserve to die, who are Democrats to stand in the way of Trump voters who used their ballots to commit assisted suicide?

So hold the empathy and hold on to the anger. If Trump delivers on his promises to the “poorly educated” despite all indications to the contrary, then good for them. Once again, all the Trump naysayers will be proved wrong. But if his administration crashes into an iceberg, leaving his base trapped in America’s steerage with no lifeboats, those who survive may at last be ready to burst out of their own bubble and listen to an alternative. Or not: Maybe, like Hochschild’s new friends in Louisiana’s oil country, they’ll keep voting against their own interests until the industrial poisons left unregulated by their favored politicians finish them off altogether. Either way, the best course for Democrats may be to respect their right to choose.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#6
It's an old and insular culture, one shaped in part by its incompatibility with three other threads of early-American settlement. It distrusted Big Government which sought to put an end to its ways in the wild Borderlands between northern England and southern Scotland. It had no use for the high-minded community-building of the Puritan settlers of New England, the prudery of the Quakers and their German Pietist allies in southeastern Pennsylvania, or the semi-feudal hierarchy of Tidewater and other planters. The southern and central Appalachians and the Ozarks were suitable refuges -- places with few resources suitable for making big, easy money for outsiders. Their world attracted few immigrants who might bring some exotic ways of life much unlike theirs.

During the Civil War they turned on the slave-owning Planter culture on behalf of the Union. They didn't like the Planter intrusion upon their turf (or really the slaves that came with that expansion) ... and gave the Union Army a chance to take over the commanding heights of the South. They separated West Virginia from Virginia in 1863, and made possible General Sherman's devastating 'March through Georgia' that may have been the death blow to the Confederacy.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#7
(03-23-2017, 08:29 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(03-22-2017, 06:45 PM)Odin Wrote: Liberal shaming of Appalachia: Inside the media elite’s obsession with the “hillbilly problem”

The article talks about Appalachia in particular, but ever since the election I've been seeing a nauseating amount of offensive shit from my fellow progressives about rural and small town Americans, some of it bordering on outright Social Darwinism ("They voted against their own healthcare coverage, let them die and decrease the surplus population!" and similar BS). I'm sick of hearing about how everyone out here is stupid, backwards, and inbred.

I'd suggest, if you already haven't, that you read Hillbilly Eulogy.  Their cultural differences are real.  On the other hand, "stupid, backwards and inbred" counts as a vile stereotype to me.  Any group with an agenda is apt to demonize opposing groups.  It is easy to take a reasonable and understandable cultural difference and exaggerate it into pure ugliness.  I don't approve.

There is a rural tendency to see the government as inefficient, corrupt and autocratic.  This too can be taken to the point of a vile stereotype.  Can I daydream about a world where neither the hillbillies nor the government are demonized?  While it isn't in the Bill of Rights, I'll argue for a right to daydream.  I'm not about to confuse the daydream with reality, though.  There's an awful lot of pre judgement and hatred flowing around.

"Can be"? How about, IS, routinely, habitually and compulsively. And IS the reason we have the backward government that we have.

It didn't used to be so, to such a degree. Perhaps the hillbillies feel threatened as never before by changes in society, so they hold on to what is most-often fed to them these days?

Calling them "stupid" may not be correct; after all, many of them can fix and run a tractor, shoot a rifle, plant crops, run a business, and are sometimes as self-reliant as they want everyone else to be. Maybe they know how to talk better than I do, and keep their relationships longer than I do; maybe not, but I don't know. The jobs did not leave the Rust Belt and the Farm Belt because these guys couldn't do the work. Maybe they are too set in their ways to become geeks and move to Tech Town. But that doesn't make them "stupid" per se.

However, can I call it stupid to think creationism should replace evolution in science courses, and take the Bible literally, thinking their religion and all its rules and prejudices should be imposed on people? Or to blame immigrants for their job losses? Or to knock hippies while they swallow the pills they themselves are addicted to? Or to be swept up in hatred for government, and forget the misbehavior of business that requires it? Or in some cases to hold on to racial prejudices and respond to the anti-welfare dog whistles, and thereby deprive themselves and others of the social support network they and their community needs? And support massive armaments and unnecessary wars, no matter how expensive, just so their country can be #1 and its commander in chief not questioned, as long as it's their guy?

Yes, I'd call those decisions made at the ballot box "stupid" ones. I wouldn't call the people "stupid" per se, since they are probably in some cases as smart as me, and can do some things I can't normally do. That does not leave them off the hook for what they DO do that is "stupid."
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#8
(03-23-2017, 12:57 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(03-23-2017, 08:29 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(03-22-2017, 06:45 PM)Odin Wrote: Liberal shaming of Appalachia: Inside the media elite’s obsession with the “hillbilly problem”

The article talks about Appalachia in particular, but ever since the election I've been seeing a nauseating amount of offensive shit from my fellow progressives about rural and small town Americans, some of it bordering on outright Social Darwinism ("They voted against their own healthcare coverage, let them die and decrease the surplus population!" and similar BS). I'm sick of hearing about how everyone out here is stupid, backwards, and inbred.

I'd suggest, if you already haven't, that you read Hillbilly Eulogy.  Their cultural differences are real.  On the other hand, "stupid, backwards and inbred" counts as a vile stereotype to me.  Any group with an agenda is apt to demonize opposing groups.  It is easy to take a reasonable and understandable cultural difference and exaggerate it into pure ugliness.  I don't approve.

There is a rural tendency to see the government as inefficient, corrupt and autocratic.  This too can be taken to the point of a vile stereotype.  Can I daydream about a world where neither the hillbillies nor the government are demonized?  While it isn't in the Bill of Rights, I'll argue for a right to daydream.  I'm not about to confuse the daydream with reality, though.  There's an awful lot of pre judgement and hatred flowing around.

"Can be"? How about, IS, routinely, habitually and compulsively. And IS the reason we have the backward government that we have.

It didn't used to be so, to such a degree. Perhaps the hillbillies feel threatened as never before by changes in society, so they hold on to what is most-often fed to them these days?

Preservation of a culture can mean rejection of positive trends. White people in the Mountain South are finding that they can no longer compete with immigrant groups that respect formal learning. Anti-intellectualism that goes beyond  criticism of wayward writers and college professors and rejects modern science and scholarship on principle is not good for self-improvement.


Quote:Calling them "stupid" may not be correct; after all, many of them can fix and run a tractor, shoot a rifle, plant crops, run a business, and are sometimes as self-reliant as they want everyone else to be. Maybe they know how to talk better than I do, and keep their relationships longer than I do; maybe not, but I don't know. The jobs did not leave the Rust Belt and the Farm Belt because these guys couldn't do the work. Maybe they are too set in their ways to become geeks and move to Tech Town. But that doesn't make them "stupid" per se.


They may not be so much 'stupid' as 'stubborn'.


Quote:However, can I call it stupid to think creationism should replace evolution in science courses, and take the Bible literally, thinking their religion and all its rules and prejudices should be imposed on people? Or to blame immigrants for their job losses? Or to knock hippies while they swallow the pills they themselves are addicted to? Or to be swept up in hatred for government, and forget the misbehavior of business that requires it? Or in some cases to hold on to racial prejudices and respond to the anti-welfare dog whistles, and thereby deprive themselves and others of the social support network they and their community needs? And support massive armaments and unnecessary wars, no matter how expensive, just so their country can be #1 and its commander in chief not questioned, as long as it's their guy?


The jobs are being created outside of the Mountain South. With few exceptions, people are not moving to the Mountain South and destroying the 'hillbilly' culture. But going where the opportunities are may be a necessity, even if that implies meeting people who have no connection to their culture. We all face that challenge, and we all need to contemplate how we deal with that challenge. I do not have to be Japanese to like Japanese woodblock prints; I do not need to be Italian to appreciate Italian opera.

Quote:Yes, I'd call those decisions made at the ballot box "stupid" ones. I wouldn't call the people "stupid" per se, since they are probably in some cases as smart as me, and can do some things I can't normally do. That does not leave them off the hook for what they DO do that is "stupid."

People not understanding what their interests are? Sure -- if they rely upon inadequate sources for their 'enlightenment'. Those inade4quate sources confirm what people already believe.  Don;t we all need to question whether our sources are valid?
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#9
(03-23-2017, 01:46 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: They may not be so much 'stupid' as 'stubborn'.

This principle might be applied to many a political culture.
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#10
(03-23-2017, 08:29 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(03-22-2017, 06:45 PM)Odin Wrote: Liberal shaming of Appalachia: Inside the media elite’s obsession with the “hillbilly problem”

The article talks about Appalachia in particular, but ever since the election I've been seeing a nauseating amount of offensive shit from my fellow progressives about rural and small town Americans, some of it bordering on outright Social Darwinism ("They voted against their own healthcare coverage, let them die and decrease the surplus population!" and similar BS). I'm sick of hearing about how everyone out here is stupid, backwards, and inbred.

I'd suggest, if you already haven't, that you read Hillbilly Eulogy.  Their cultural differences are real.  On the other hand, "stupid, backwards and inbred" counts as a vile stereotype to me.  Any group with an agenda is apt to demonize opposing groups.  It is easy to take a reasonable and understandable cultural difference and exaggerate it into pure ugliness.  I don't approve.

There is a rural tendency to see the government as inefficient, corrupt and autocratic.  This too can be taken to the point of a vile stereotype.  Can I daydream about a world where neither the hillbillies nor the government are demonized?  While it isn't in the Bill of Rights, I'll argue for a right to daydream.  I'm not about to confuse the daydream with reality, though.  There's an awful lot of pre judgement and hatred flowing around.

I wouldn't be so quick on using JD Vance as a source. I had this exchange with a Reddit poster from the region and apparently many people are calling him full of shit:

Quote:A lot of Appalachian media writers have called him out on his background and have argued that he wrote the book as a stepping stone into rightwing politics (his recent move to Columbus lends credence to the theory). His book reads like an update of Reagan's welfare queen. He claims whenever someone calls him out on perpetuating the bootstraps hero myth that he isn't, but his rhetoric elsewhere says otherwise.

I can understand resentment. I feel it myself at times. I didn't love my home until I left it and got the resources to understand it better. But a lot of those aforementioned Appalachian writers have pointed out that Vance's actual experience of the "hollers" he's made himself the voice of and his self-representation don't mesh. Funnily enough, he'll talk a good talk on TV or in his NYT column(where he has unironically quoted "race scientist" Charles Murray), but he shies away from engaging with any of the Appalachian writers who've challenged him.

Sorry for the rant. I just really hate that guy. If I had his money, I would pay people not to read his book.
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