I was born and raised in the midwest and am only one generation removed from the farm. What I perceived as small minds and intolerance and the cruelty toward and mistrust of anything that could be construed as "Other" were what sent me screaming out of my hometown and into New York City as soon as I finished high school. The fact that I have only visited my home state 3 times in a quarter-century (one of those times being for a funeral) speaks volumes about how alienated I felt from the place I was born. But when I read this article, I saw in it SO MANY members of my family, of my neighbors, from the dead or dying coal and steel towns my friends and I were all running from. I admit that I have been guilty of occasionally looking down my nose at the "rubes" I had grown up with... and now I am paying the price. Those of us who live in big cities or well-manicured suburbs have ignored the fears of a whole lot of Americans-- some of those fears are simplistic, misguided, or even utterly reprehensible... but some of them are absolutely, positively REAL--and we have ignored them to our peril.
I don't agree with everything in this piece, and some of you might not agree at all, but I think it's worth a read and does give some perspective to the reality we are now stuck with.
How Half of America Lost it's Fucking Mind - Cracked Magazine