"So why are white Americans in downwardly mobile areas feeling a despair that appears to be driving stark increases in substance abuse and suicide? In my own reporting in Vance’s home ground of southwestern Ohio and ancestral territory of eastern Kentucky, I have encountered racial anxiety and antagonism, for sure. But far more striking is the general aura of decline that hangs over towns in which medical-supply stores and pawn shops dominate decrepit main streets, and Victorians stand crumbling, unoccupied. Talk with those still sticking it out, the body-shop worker and the dollar-store clerk and the unemployed miner, and the fatalism is clear: Things were much better in an earlier time, and no future awaits in places that have been left behind by polished people in gleaming cities. The most painful comparison is not with supposedly ascendant minorities—it’s with the fortunes of one’s own parents or, by now, grandparents. The demoralizing effect of decay enveloping the place you live cannot be underestimated. And the bitterness—the “primal scorn”—that Donald Trump has tapped into among white Americans in struggling areas is aimed not just at those of foreign extraction. It is directed toward fellow countrymen who have become foreigners of a different sort, looking down on the natives, if they bother to look at all."
The Original Underclass
The existence of poor whites is denied on the left with even Bernie Sanders saying "when you're white you don't know what it is like to be poor." I lived in the ghetto right next door to other races, so he's wrong there. The right is no better, claiming that everyone who is poor deserves it. They put forth boot-strap dreams and idealized lives that don't match reality. Sadly too many poor whites will think wrongly Trump will rescue them out of the economic malaise. I don't think that's the plan from either two wings of the same tyrannical bird. I watched my old rural town die, and the factories close, almost like a stereotype I suppose though in my case I didn't live in a coal mining area.
I have as much in common with the "polished people" with their gleaming suburban homes as a Mongolian sheep-herder. Even with my education which gives me a few pleasures and resources denied to some, they speak a whole other language. I told my husband the other day, "I don't understand what these people are all about!" And it's true I don't. I think how little I have in common with many people even from socioeconomic realities alone. I've been poorer then this, we are eating and just got our car starter fixed but it's strange. What happens to a country where so many are "disaffected" or treated as "throw away" people even in some cases by their own families? What happens when a sliver of a professional class makes all the rules, and defines a reality, that has nothing to do with your real life? A lot of America is checking out from the talking heads.
When I watch TV, no one's life on there resembles my own. I am not living in a shack in my case but a basic two bedroom apt although one with a dirty rug and walls that needed painted 6 years ago. Do people on TV match your life? I feel like I am watching a whole other world, and their motives and view of life makes no sense to me. But even in everyday life, I meet people in that polished world, I and my husband never were able to enter. The chasm that grew between my family and me even was summed up with that divide beyond the abuse. One thing I did not mind moving away from was the depression that had taken over my old town, where the first idea on everyone's mind was to leave. There's a certain kind of sadness when towns enter that decaying state.
You want to hear one irony, I am the first person on my mother's side of the family who ever graduated from college.
I still think the racial divide the elite are so much into pushing is to cover over the class divides they use to rule.
Even in a more affluent tourist town, we see the decline on the edges and away from the richer areas, closed shops, tattoo stores, people walking who lost their cars long ago and lots of people who are mostly white, with those cardboard signs out by the highway.
The Lonely Poverty