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Fri Feb 21, 2020, 10:47 AM

An insider says that white rural Christian America has a 'dark, racist underbelly'


An insider says that white rural Christian America has a ‘dark, racist underbelly’

on February 19, 2020
By Forsetti's Justice, AlterNet
- Commentary


A common theme keeps cropping up from all sides: “Democrats fail to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”

Trump supporters are saying this. Progressive pundits are saying this. Talking heads across all forms of the media are saying this. Even some Democratic leaders are saying this. It doesn’t matter how many people say it, it is complete BS. It is an intellectual/linguistic sleight of hand meant to draw attention away from the real problem. The real problem isn’t East Coast elites who don’t understand or care about rural America. The real problem is that rural Americans don’t understand the causes of their own situations and fears and they have shown no interest in finding out. They don’t want to know why they feel the way they do or why they are struggling because they don’t want to admit it is in large part because of the choices they’ve made and the horrible things they’ve allowed themselves to believe.

I grew up in rural Christian white America. You’d be hard-pressed to find an area of the country with a higher percentage of Christians or whites. I spent most of the first 24 years of my life deeply embedded in this culture. I religiously (pun intended) attended their Christian services. I worked off and on on their rural farms. I dated their calico-skirted daughters. I camped, hunted and fished with their sons. I listened to their political rants at the local diner and truck stop. I winced at their racist/bigoted jokes and epithets that were said more out of ignorance than animosity. I have watched the town I grew up in go from a robust economy with well-kept homes and infrastructure to a struggling economy with shuttered businesses, dilapidated homes and a broken-down infrastructure over the past 30 years. The problem isn’t that I don’t understand these people. The problem is they don’t understand themselves or the reasons for their anger and frustration.

...(snip)....

Because rural Christian white Americans will not listen to educated arguments, supported by facts that go against their fundamentalist belief systems from “outsiders,” any change must come from within. Internal change in these systems does happen, but it happens infrequently and always lags far behind reality. This is why they fear change so much. They aren’t used to it. Of course, it really doesn’t matter whether they like it or not, it, like evolution and climate change even though they don’t believe it, it is going to happen whether they believe in it or not.

....(snip)....

Gays being allowed to marry are a threat. Blacks protesting the killing of their unarmed friends and family are a threat. Hispanics doing the cheap labor on their farms are somehow viewed a threat. The black president is a threat. Muslims are a threat. The Chinese are a threat. Women wanting to be autonomous are a threat. The college educated are a threat. Godless scientists are a threat. Everyone who isn’t just like them has been sold to them as a threat and they’ve bought it hook, line and grifting sinker. Since there are no self-regulating mechanisms in their belief systems, these threats only grow over time. Since facts and reality don’t matter, nothing you say to them will alter their beliefs. “President Obama was born in Kenya, is a secret member of the Muslim Brotherhood who hates white Americans and is going to take away their guns.” I feel ridiculous even writing this, it is so absurd, but it is gospel across large swaths of rural America. Are rural Christian white Americans scared? Damn right they are. Are their fears rational and justified? Hell no. The problem isn’t understanding their fears. The problem is how to assuage fears based on lies in closed-off fundamentalist belief systems that don’t have the necessary tools for properly evaluating the fears. ........(more)

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/02/an-insider-says-that-white-rural-christian-america-has-a-dark-racist-underbelly/




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Arrow 29 replies Author Time Post
Reply An insider says that white rural Christian America has a 'dark, racist underbelly' (Original post)
marmar Feb 21 OP
Thomas Hurt Feb 21 #1
Baitball Blogger Feb 21 #6
lagomorph777 Feb 21 #20
2naSalit Feb 21 #2
ck4829 Feb 24 #25
democratisphere Feb 21 #3
Jamastiene Feb 21 #4
Farmer-Rick Feb 21 #5
Nikki28 Feb 21 #7
Marcuse Feb 21 #8
ck4829 Feb 24 #24
Hoyt Feb 21 #9
Kaiserguy Feb 21 #10
Paladin Feb 21 #11
dalton99a Feb 21 #12
Aristus Feb 21 #13
3Hotdogs Feb 21 #14
MicaelS Feb 21 #15
demigoddess Feb 21 #16
FiveGoodMen Feb 21 #21
happy feet Feb 21 #17
Baked Potato Feb 21 #18
Blue_Tires Feb 21 #19
heckles65 Feb 21 #22
ck4829 Feb 24 #23
The Genealogist Feb 24 #26
Skittles Feb 24 #27
lees1975 Feb 24 #28
Name removed Feb 26 #29

Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 10:50 AM

1. No kidding! Who knew...incurious, ignorant, gullible, magical thinkers would be bigots.

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 11:00 AM

6. Actually, "No fucking shit," would better capture the moment.

Which brings up the point that in these communities where you find white residents/families using religion to push discriminatory practices, don't you think those of us being harmed by their behavior that we need special assistance?

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Response to Thomas Hurt (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 03:41 PM

20. What a surprise!

I'd never have guessed!

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 10:51 AM

2. Well, yeah.

It needs to be broadcast though. Their agenda doesn't include a free society.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 07:46 AM

25. +1

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 10:53 AM

3. Been known for a long time. These creatures are total frauds

and are only pretend religious to save their own miserable racist arses from hell.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 10:56 AM

4. Where I live, the racist bigoted jokes are out of animosity toward any and all nonwhite people.

Otherwise, the editorial is pretty accurate about the knee jerk reaction to any change at all to a poverty inducing, closed minded system of beliefs AND actions. My source: 49 years living in a small town in the Bible Belt, the belly of the Beast. It's Hell on Earth, because the majority here make it that way and keep it that way by refusing to allow change anywhere in this town and by voting against their own best interests, every.single.time.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 10:57 AM

5. It's where Russia spends a lot of money.

They actually pay evangelical leaders, especially TV preachers, to promote hatred and stupidity.

Then there is always the NRA money Russia hands out sloshing about those rural communities.

Since most rural areas have higher unemployment and are poorer, that Russian money goes a long way. Just ask Moscow Mitch.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 11:06 AM

7. That is

the absolutely truth.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:04 PM

8. It's not a flaw, it's a feature.

Rural Christian white Americans have let anti-intellectual, anti-science, bigoted racists like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, the Stepford wives of Fox, and every evangelical preacher on television into their systems because these people tell them what they want to hear and because they sell themselves as being like them. The truth is none of these people give a rat’s ass about rural Christian white Americans except how they can exploit them for attention and money. None of them have anything in common with the people who have let them into their belief systems with the exception that they are white and they speak the language of white superiority.

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Response to Marcuse (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 07:46 AM

24. Yep

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:21 PM

9. Show me a kid who went to a Baptist basement school, 95% odds they are a white wing racist.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:43 PM

10. I have spent my life living in rural America

and it is not a nice place to live if you aren't one of them. Racism is a very real part of rural America as is there toxic masculinity. Many of them will never vote for a woman for President. There are of course people living here who are not racist and would love to see a woman as President we are however in a minority. The county that I live in is has 13,650 Rep 6,700 Dem 3,300 Other Party in 2016 Trump got 11,635 votes or 71.4% of the vote Hillary got 4,025 votes or 24.7% of the vote. Funny thing is that Obama did better in 2008 getting 40% to McCain 57% in 2012 Romney got 63% to Obama 35% I suspect that if our nominee is male that they will do better in rural PA than a woman will based on the recent election result.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:47 PM

11. Not exactly a revelation. (nt)

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 12:49 PM

12. Kick

Of course, it didn’t help matters that there were scapegoats available toward whom they could direct their fears, anger and white supremacy. A significant number of rural Americans believe President Obama was in charge when the financial crisis started. An even higher number believe the mortgage crisis was the result of the government forcing banks to give loans to unqualified minorities. It doesn’t matter how untrue both of these things are, they are gospel in rural America. Why reevaluate your beliefs and voting patterns when scapegoats are available?

How do you make climate change personal to someone who believes only god can alter the weather? How do you make racial equality personal to someone who believes whites are naturally superior to non-whites? How do you make gender equality personal to someone who believes women are supposed to be subservient to men by god’s command? How do you get someone to view minorities as not threatening to people who don’t live around minorities and have never interacted with them? How do you make personal the fact massive tax cuts and cutting back government hurts their economic situation when they’ve voted for such policies for decades? I don’t think you can without some catastrophic events. And maybe not even then. The Civil War was pretty damn catastrophic, yet a large swath of the South believed—and still believes—they were right and had the moral high ground. They were/are also mostly Christian fundamentalists who believe they are superior because of the color of their skin and the religion they profess to follow. There is a pattern here for anyone willing to connect the dots.

“Rural white America needs to be better understood,” is not one of the dots. “Rural white America needs to be better understood,” is a dodge, meant to avoid the real problems because talking about the real problems is viewed as too upsetting, too mean, too arrogant, too elite, too snobbish. Pointing out that Aunt Bea’s views of Mexicans, blacks and gays is bigoted isn’t the thing one does in polite society. Too bad more people don’t think the same about Aunt Bea’s views. It’s the classic, “You’re a racist for calling me a racist,” ploy.

What I understand is that rural Christian white Americans are entrenched in fundamentalist belief systems; don’t trust people outside their tribe; have been force-fed a diet of misinformation and lies for decades; are unwilling to understand their own situations; and truly believe whites are superior to all races. No amount of understanding is going to change these things or what they believe. No amount of niceties will get them to be introspective. No economic policy put forth by someone outside their tribe is going to be listened to no matter how beneficial it would be for them. I understand rural Christian white America all too well. I understand their fears are based on myths and lies. I understand they feel left behind by a world they don’t understand and don’t really care to. They are willing to vote against their own interests if they can be convinced it will make sure minorities are harmed more. Their Christian beliefs and morals are only extended to fellow white Christians. They are the problem with progress and always will be, because their belief systems are constructed against it.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 01:10 PM

13. The first chapter in the Book Of Duh...

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 01:44 PM

14. No shit, Sherlock.

The insider just figured that all by himself?

Just research Mormons and racism. They were just too stupid to hide it.

Sherlock is not meant for the original poster

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 01:55 PM

15. Fantastic article. It is literally God's honest truth.

Pun intended.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 02:19 PM

16. I remember in 1960, the story going around was that because of

allowing interracial marriage, the US would all be 'coffee colored' people by the year 2000. They were scared that white people would be bred out of existence. Look around, has that happened?? One black president and I am sure they are thinking that no white man or woman would be elected again. these people are afraid of their shadows and not smart.

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Response to demigoddess (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 05:06 PM

21. "these people are afraid of their shadows and not smart"

And yet, we can't seem to defeat them.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 02:30 PM

17. Thank-you for this

As an 'outsider' I've always cringed of talk of "understanding" them. Have always felt without evidence that the real issue is their refusal to look inward for self-reflection and blame the white capitalist power structure instead of "others" for their ills.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 02:40 PM

18. And, until the hammer came down, they were kept doped up on opiates.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 03:21 PM

19. Filed under: "Shit we already knew"

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2020, 09:04 PM

22. Outstanding essay.

I've posted it on my blog and sang its praises since 11/16.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 07:45 AM

23. K&R

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 12:07 PM

26. A lot of rural whites are afraid of change

The upshot is that their vision of a utopia is a country of peop,e who are must like them. Same religion, same skin color, same country of origin, same sexual orientation, same same same. Homogeneity is the word. The wingnuts on the radio and TV are their puppeteers, exploiting their narrowly defined, black and white worldview. The problem, is that this utopian world is untenable. This county is changing, and changing fast , leaving behind so many rural whites who will not accept reality. What'll happen is that they will be marginalized further and further til their kind vanish into history.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 05:33 PM

27. I am sick of being told I don't understand Trump voters

I understand them all too well which is why they MAKE ME SICK.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 24, 2020, 09:15 PM

28. There's a difference

between the doctrines and theology of a true, Biblical Christianity and those who follow a Fundamentalist perspective which leads to white supremacy and the anti-educational, anti-intellectual bias they claim comes from East coast elites. Most African Americans, who are virtually the most unified constituency of the Democratic party, are also Christians belonging to churches and denominations that are doctrinally considered "Evangelical Conservative." A high percentage of Latinos are also "Evangelicals," as well as Democrats. The "Fundamentalist" white-supremacist, anti-intellectual group is a pseudo-Christian faith and much more of a cultural religion. If you sat down with a genuine Christian theologian not raised in or influenced by a Fundamentalist perspective, you'll find that they can pick apart most of the core beliefs of Fundamentalism with Bible verses. It would be hard for a Christian following the teachings of Christ to be a Trump supporter.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

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