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Wed Nov 23, 2016, 01:55 PM

On Rural America: Understanding Isnt The Problem

http://forsetti.tumblr.com/post/153181757500/on-rural-america-understanding-isnt-the-problem

This is one of the best essays I have seen about this issue. As someone who grew up in rural America - so rural that it didn't even qualify as "fly-over," I can agree with just about every word.

"... The problem isnít that I donít understand these people. The problem is they donít understand themselves, the reasons for their anger/frustrations, and donít seem to care to know why.

In deep red, white America, the white Christian God is king, figuratively and literally. Religious fundamentalism is what has shaped most of their belief systems. Systems built on a fundamentalist framework are not conducive for introspection, questioning, learning, change. When you have a belief system that is built on fundamentalism, it isnít open to outside criticism, especially by anyone not a member of your tribe and in a position of power. The problem isnít ďcoastal elites donít understand rural Americans.Ē The problem is rural America doesnít understand itself and will NEVER listen to anyone outside their bubble. It doesnít matter how ďunderstandingĒ you are, how well you listen, what language you useÖif you are viewed as an outsider, your views are automatically discounted. Iíve 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. Their refusal is a result of the nature of their fundamentalist belief system and the fact Iím the enemy because Iím an educated liberal. At some point during the discussion, ďThatís your education talking,Ē will be said, derogatorily, as a general dismissal of everything I said. They truly believe this is a legitimate response because to them education is not to be trusted. Education is the enemy of fundamentalism because fundamentalism, by its very nature, is not built on facts. The fundamentalists I grew up around arenít anti-education. They want their kids to know how to read and write. They are anti-quality, in-depth, broad, specialized education. Learning is only valued up to the certain point. Once it reaches the level where what you learn contradicts doctrine and fundamentalist arguments, it becomes dangerous. I watched a lot of my fellow students who were smart, stop their education the day they graduated high school. For most of the young ladies, getting married and having kids was more important than continuing their learning. For many of the young men, getting a college education was seen as unnecessary and a waste of time. For the few who did go to college, what they learned was still filtered through their fundamentalist belief system. If something they were taught didnít support a preconception, it would be ignored and forgotten the second it was no longer need to pass an exam."


Much more at the link.

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Reply On Rural America: Understanding Isnt The Problem (Original post)
BlueMTexpat Nov 2016 OP
NRaleighLiberal Nov 2016 #1
ileus Nov 2016 #2
COLGATE4 Nov 2016 #3
Horse with no Name Nov 2016 #4
BlueMTexpat Nov 2016 #5

Response to BlueMTexpat (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2016, 02:08 PM

1. exactly. the gulf is too wide to bridge. Totally different spheres.

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2016, 02:56 PM

2. If only we could ban the Christian faith.

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2016, 06:45 PM

3. Stunningly accurate! nt

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2016, 06:47 PM

4. Totally agree. I live in a rural area

and people have NO clue how the government works.
As a deep red state in Texas....they blame the FEDERAL government for every single bad thing in their lives. They give the state government a pass because they voted for it.
It doesn't make any sense to me....but the illiterate electorate will be the demise of this country. It has just begun.

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Response to BlueMTexpat (Original post)

Wed Nov 23, 2016, 07:27 PM

5. There are so many excellent excerpts in this essay.

Everyone needs to read the whole thing.

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