Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – fundamentalist white rural America

burialWhite, rural fundamentalist America is where I grew up.  This article on Raw Story (which seems to have come from Alter Net) gets it very much right.

“When you have a belief system that is built on fundamentalism, it isn’t open to outside criticism, especially by anyone not a member of your tribe and in a position of power. The problem isn’t “coastal elites don’t understand rural Americans.” The problem is rural America doesn’t understand itself and will NEVER listen to anyone outside their bubble. It doesn’t matter how “understanding” you are, how well you listen, what language you use…if you are viewed as an outsider, your views are automatically discounted. I’ve had hundreds of discussions with rural white Americans and whenever I present them any information that contradicts their entrenched beliefs, no matter how sound, how unquestionable, how obvious, they WILL NOT even entertain the possibility it might be true. ”

Is this true for everyone in white rural America? Nope, but unfortunately it’s become the way to bet. Sometimes you can get free of such nonsense, sometimes you can’t and sometimes you choose not to.  We have had people, friends and relatives, we thought were humane people who supported the ideal of America, of the lady with the lamp beside the golden door, that where everyone deserved to be considered equal and to have the same rights.  We never thought they would decide that they could ignore racism, misogyny, lies, cheating employees, xenophobia, etc, for the promise that someone will fulfill “every dream they ever dreamed“.  I don’t think even a three year old child would believe this.  But they did.

I’ve read where some people have said it has felt like someone died when Trump won.  I think that is pretty accurate.  The people we thought we knew “died” that day, and their places were taken by people we didn’t recognize anymore.

6 thoughts on “Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – fundamentalist white rural America

  1. JB is semi-rural, and this speaks to his mindset. You show him hard proof, he acknowledges he’s seen it, even acknowledges what it is and what it indicates, but then a few days later he will repeat the same nonsense that he ad been shown to be false.


  2. I live in rural redneck America, W. Tn. I can tell you this is spot on.

    I’ve been an outsider in this land since I got here. Will be when I die.

    I talked to a guy just last night. He said he was in a line at the store the other day, and someone was on a phone behind him speaking in a language he did not understand. He said aloud and in no small voice that people should speak English when they come to America.

    He then mentioned that if he and his wife went to France and planned to stay, they would damn well start learning French. Which I agree with. When in Rome and all.

    Then he said something about being in a French restaurant and having to demand that people learn his language was ridiculous. Then I told him that is fair enough, if you are going to live in an adopted land you need to learn enough of the lingo to get by without imposing your language expectations on others. Then I told him yes you should learn enough language to get you by in another country, but what if you and your wife were sitting at the table, would it not be alright to speak in English to each other?

    He just looked at me funny. He made the connection I think to the man on the phone probably talking to a member of his family. I can’t be sure. But I may have pulled it off 🙂

    It is difficult living here…


  3. Yes, several Trumpsters around me were gloatingly smug the day after the election. It was like aliens took over their minds. As far as I’m concerned, they died, I have only spoke to them about stuff I need to regarding my work. Not to brag but I consider myself well informed. I was the one they would come to ask questions or if they wanted to know the latest on a particular subject, because they knew I knew. I’m also a weather buff and over the years they relied on for exact forecasts (when will the rain start?). I know longer allow them access to my information, I answer with things like, no I was sleeping, didn’t see that one, never heard of it and my favorite; do you have a weather app on your phone? Well use it.


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