힐빌리, 레드넥, 화이트 트래시, 교육 수준이 떨어지는 미국 중하층 노동자 계층을 부르는 말로 미국내에서도 대중 매체등을 통해 자주 극단적, 폭력적 대가족위주의 생활을 하는 모습으로 자주 그려진다 . 예전에 본 영화 서바이벌 게임, hills have eyes 등 에서 나오는 살인자 들의 이미지가 그것이다.
어떻게 보면 그런 사람들의 변론서? 에 가까운 책이라고 할까. 힐빌리 가정에서 태어난 저자가 어떻게 그가 처한 그 환경을 딛고 일어났는지에 대한 자서전이다. 내가 읽으면서 느낀 해당 지역이 지닌 가장 큰 문제점은, 첫째, 힐빌리 본인들 스스로 문제를 외부로 돌리는 경향이 있으며, 둘째 괜찮은 직장이 많이 사라졌다는 점이다. 어째서 트럼프가 당선될 수 있었으며 자국내의 자동차, 철강 일자리를 중시하는지 이해하게 된 것 같다.
hillbillies shared many regional characteristics with the southern blacks arriving in Detroit
So why was California so different? The answer, I’d learn, was the same hillbilly highway that brought Mamaw and Papaw from eastern Kentucky to southwest Ohio.
Napa was like a different country. In California, every day included a new adventure with my teenage cousins and their friends
South and the industrial Midwest, my travels had been confined largely to places where the people looked and acted like my family.
In the middle of the Bible Belt, active church attendance is actually quite low
No one I know in San Francisco would feel ashamed to admit that they don’t go to church.
I devoured books about young-earth creationism, and joined online chat rooms to challenge scientists on the theory of evolution
admired my uncle Dan above all other men, but when he spoke of his Catholic acceptance of evolutionary theory, my admiration became tinged with suspicion.
I didn’t wear clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch or American Eagle unless I’d received them for Christmas.
Mamaw—uninterrupted and alone—saved me. I didn’t notice the causality of the change, how living with her turned my life around. I didn’t notice that my grades began to improve immediately after I moved in. And I couldn’t have known that I was making lifelong friends.
I came home and asked Mamaw why only poor people bought baby formula. “Don’t rich people have babies, too?” Mamaw had no answers, and it would be many years before I learned that rich folks are considerably more likely to breast-feed their children.
Despite our efforts to draw bright lines between the working and nonworking poor, Mamaw and I recognized that we shared a lot in common with those whom we thought gave our people a bad name.
When the factories shut their doors, the people left behind were trapped in towns and cities that could no longer support such large populations with high-quality work.
Those who could—generally the well educated, wealthy, or well connected—left, leaving behind communities of poor people. These remaining folks were the “truly disadvantaged”—unable to find good jobs on their own and surrounded by communities that offered little in the
Obama shut down the coal mines, or all the jobs went to the Chinese. These are the lies we tell ourselves to solve the cognitive dissonance—the broken connection between the world we see and the values we preach.
Our eating and exercise habits seem designed to send us to an early grave, and it’s working:
We rarely cook, even though it’s cheaper and better for the body and soul.
When I came home from boot camp with my fifteen-hundred-dollar earnings deposited in a mediocre regional bank, a senior enlisted marine drove me to Navy Federal—a respected credit union—and had me open an account. When I caught strep throat and tried to tough it out, my commanding officer noticed and ordered me to the doctor.
I had no idea that people did these things. Compare banks? I thought they were all the same. Shop around for a loan? I felt so lucky to even get a loan that I was ready to pull the trigger immediately.
As a culture, we had no heroes. Certainly not any politician—Barack Obama was then the most admired man in America (and likely still is), but even when the country
To understand the significance of this cultural detachment, you must appreciate that much of my family’s, my neighborhood’s, and my community’s identity derives from our love of country.
I once ran into an old acquaintance at a Middletown bar who told me that he had recently quit his job because he was sick of waking up early. I later saw him complaining on Facebook about the “Obama economy” and how it had affected his life.
The New York Times recently reported that the most expensive schools are paradoxically cheaper for low-income students.