Poverty, White Privilege, and Short Memories
January 15, 2014
The poor whites of Appalachia may have become unfashionable, but they have not gone anywhere.
The current political left’s obsession with both income inequality and so called White Privilege overlooks a lot of history. How quickly does the left forget. Or perhaps it is more a matter of fashion.
In 1964, when LBJ declared his War on Poverty, the area he mentioned by name was not the urban ghettos of Detroit, Watts or Harlem but rather the isolated rural counties of Eastern Kentucky.
Four years later, in 1968, Bobby Kennedy decided to run for the presidency mere days after touring Eastern Kentucky to review how LBJ’s War on Poverty was being waged in the field.
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy shook hands with residents of Haymond, Kentucky in 1968.
Today, some 46 years later, the war has been lost. The region not only remains poor but hopelessness and dysfunction abounds. What has changed is the politicians no longer seem to be interested in the area or in its people. Recently Kevin D, Williamson of National Review visited Eastern Kentucky and wrote
If the people here weren’t 98.5 percent white, we’d call it a reservation.
Read the entire article, titled The White Ghetto. The explanation of how EBT cards are used to purchase cases of soda pop, to resell at a steeply discounted price to raise cash to buy prescription painkillers, is most illuminating. So are some of the comments after the article, especially those of people who take umbrage that Williamson focused on the negatives in the region. Nonsense! Although the part of Appalachia I live in is not as deeply mired in poverty, the pathologies remain the same. Welfare is ubiquitous, drug abuse is rampant and there is little hope for a better life for many of the young because of chronically poor school systems.
One issue Williamson doesn’t touch upon which is mentioned in the comments to his article is how corrupt the local governments in this region can be. One huge factor that allows this to continue is that for decades the brighter young people have been prone to move away. Those with educations who stay behind too often display small pond syndrome — they can be opportunistic bullies and tyrants who grab the reins of the local power structure and remain largely unchallenged. In such a corrupt environment a third rate lawyer can readily parlay his ambitions into a lucrative role as the shadow leader of local government, or an incompetent principal can rely on political clout to remain in charge of a public school that routinely shortchanges its students.
Back in 1968 some in the area saw Bobby Kennedy’s trip as a precursor for yet another round of unfulfilled political promises. The term “photo op” wasn’t in use back then, but looking at these images across five decades of experience it readily comes to mind.
Today, the only promises being made to the once-loyal Democrat voters of the region are to further curtail the remaining source of high paying, private sector jobs, the coal industry.
Dialectic Process: It’s History, its Meaning and the Technique of Brainwashing and Twisting of the Truth (Used by Progressives to Push their Agenda)
Saul Alinsky, the favorite “Community Organizer” the Progressives love to follow and emulate including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, followed Antonio Gramsci (Italian Communist) who believed that no one would outright embrace Communism, but would accept it if “fed” to them through Gradualism and Dialectic Process.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Joseph Goebbels quotes **Propagandist for Adolph Hitler**
Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party were SOCIAL DEMOCRATS.