The Washington Post has a new story about rural poverty in Southwest Virginia.
Pulaski, Virginia is an Appalachian town of about 9,000 people. Whites are 89.5 percent of the population. Blacks are 7.75 percent. Hispanics comprise most of the rest.
This is one of those long forgotten corners of Dixie where the “white trash” and “hillbillies” live in the minds of the folks up in Washington. Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock won’t be going orphan shopping around here.
The median family income in Pulaski is $25,481 dollars. 21.8 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The unemployment rate is 9.8 percent.
There are plenty of cities like Pulaski in the American South which are undergoing a slow motion cultural and economic collapse at the household level.
Hope and Change
In this Southern town of 9,000 people, 3,000 textile jobs have been lost over the last decade.
Wal-Mart pulled out of town. The Main Street barber shop and all eight of the downtown restaurants closed down.
The White residents of Pulaski are grappling with the reality of “Hope and Change” in the Obama years: chronic unemployment, job losses, high gas prices, rising food prices, budget cutbacks, etc
This article recounts the tale of a social services worker in Southwest Virginia and ever so briefly allows the untold story of White suffering in Black Run America to break out into the national political discussion.
We are told about the White single mother with three kids who is about to be get thrown out on the street after getting laid off at the Shoney’s restaurant.
Five years later, Beltway journalists are concerned about a White woman’s son who hanged himself in the backyard, probably because he was on drugs, or was depressed and just didn’t see any reason to go on living in our society.
So why now?
Why do you suppose The Washington Post is suddenly interested in White poverty and suffering in Southwest Virginia? Have you ever gotten the impression that they really care about the people who live there?
I can explain this.
I’m pretty sure it is because The Washington Post is a liberal newspaper and the mainstream journalists who write for it are politically motivated. The whole purpose of writing this story was to advance the political agenda of powerful people.
(1) First, Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are fighting over the federal budget, and drawing attention to how budget cuts would affect poor White people in Southwest Virginia is a veiled way for Democratic leaning journalists to attack their Republican opponents.
(2) Second, Southwest Virginia is a pivotal region in a key swing state, which Barack Obama needs to win reelection in 2012 and Tim Kaine needs to win the 2012 Virginia Senate race.
Check out these maps: they explain everything.
Notice the change from Obama 2008 to McDonnell 2009. White Jacksonians in western Virginia have abandoned the Democratic coalition to the extent that it wrecks their electoral map.
This is an especially dire political problem for Barack Hussein Obama because he has angered White suburbanites in Northern Virginia with his fiscal policies. Republicans are going after him on the debt and federal budget to restore their lost credibility with the Tea Party.
Obama can’t handily lose both of these constituencies and carry Virginia in 2012.
The Ethics of Black Run America
In Black Run America, the suffering of poor White people can be given attention when it is useful in scoring political points at the expense of Republicans and in promoting the reelection of Barack Obama and the general advancement of the black agenda.
This can be contrasted with another recent soul searching article about what changing racial demographics and impending minority status means for black people in DC who are on the verge of losing power there.
The Washington Post would never write a sympathetic article about White conservatives in Arizona who are being overwhelmed by illegal aliens from Mexico. They don’t have the right skin color or political views.
When examined from the perspective of “social justice,” the gentrification of DC is a troublesome development, whereas the Hispanicization of the American Southwest is a welcome sign of progressive change.
Barack Obama cares so much about Pulaski, Virginia that he has recently been pushing for the U.S.-Columbia free trade agreement over the opposition of his own Democratic supporters in the American labor movement.
After the “shellacking” in the 2010 midterm elections, Barack Obama went over to South Korea to revive the free trade agreement that the Bush administration had reached with that country. Maybe he was fulfilling his campaign promise to break with the “failed economic policies of the past.”
When I lived in Virginia, I had a habit of collecting t-shirts and other sportswear as souvenirs to remember the places that I had visited.
– My Virginia Cavaliers sweatshirt was made in Pakistan. I have a Virginia hoodie that was made in Honduras and a Virginia t-shirt that was made in El Salvador.
– My Williamsburg t-shirt and Blue Mountain Brewery t-shirt were both made in Haiti.
– I have an Auburn sweater and t-shirt that were both made in Honduras
– I have a Lookout Mountain t-shirt from Tennessee that was sewn in Nicaragua.
In all the places I have visited in the South, I doubt that I have a stitch in my entire closet that I bought as a souvenir that was made by our own people, the kind of people who can’t find jobs in Pulaski, Virginia because of the trade policies of the U.S. federal government.
My personal favorite is the Tax Day Tea Party shirt that I bought in Washington last year. I just found out that one was made in Nicaragua.
Are we to believe The Washington Post is so inept that it can’t figure out why towns like Pulaski have lost so many jobs in recent years? They were clever enough to report on this story for political reasons which aren’t apparent to most people.
Personally, I am convinced it is because they see the White people who live in Southwest Virginia as nothing more than a voter supply of Bubbas who can be bought off with federal aid and reduced to servile dependency upon the federal government. They probably think we are too dumb to figure out what is happening here.
Pulaski, Virginia is named after a revolutionary war hero.
Note: There is also a Pulaski, Tennessee, which is about the same size as Pulaski, Virginia, and which is known to the rest of America as the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, but this song is about more recent cultural developments in the South.