Does West Virginia need a 'makeover'?
0 comment Tuesday, July 1, 2014 |
Hillbilly No More
''West Virginia's governor is launching a massive campaign to liberate his state from ugly and unyielding stereotypes. He's got his work cut out for him.''
Born and raised in central Appalachia, Shawn Grim is a walking hillbilly cliché. His mother has no teeth, none of his relatives graduated from high school and there's a gun rack on the wall of his family's ramshackle trailer. But he was still shocked last year when his brother, "Little Man," was caught in flagrante with his half-sister. "That is really disgusting in my book," said his mother of the incident, apparently not a one-off.
The scene, one of several shockers from ABC's recent documentary "Children of the Mountains," was shot on the Kentucky�West Virginia border, where the poverty rate is three times the national average, decay-ravaged "Mountain Dew mouth" is widespread and the life span is shorter than almost anywhere in America. But chances are that the stigma of these hoary Appalachian stereotypes will tar West Virginia far more than its less-mountainous neighbor. That's because while we know Kentucky for Louisville, bluegrass and basketball, West Virginia's perceived backwardness has been one its most durable cultural memes�an unshakable label for a state that lacks a big city, a famous musical heritage or championship team to offer as an alternative.
That may soon change. Shedding the state's hillbilly image has become a personal crusade of Gov. Joe Manchin, a charismatic Democrat who has authorized a multimillion blast of cash and marketing aimed not only at rehabilitating the region's reputation, but also stemming a three-decade exodus of the state's best and brightest residents'''
It looks like the multicultists probably have West Virginia in their sights. Take a look at the above hit piece from Newsweek. While pretending to decry 'ugly and unbending stereotypes' such as the inbred hillbilly image, which they gleefully cite, the writer seems to reinforce them, emphasizing the need for the state to undergo some kind of 'makeover', led by the Democrat governor and his grandiose plans for trying to attract 'growth', which in today's multicult America usually implies immigration of whatever kind.
There isn't much helpful information on Governor Manchin on the Internet, beyond his own website with its typical self-aggrandizing political boasts. However, he is working the 'grandson of immigrants' angle, and that usually implies a pro-immigration, pro-diversity stance.
Now, I wasn�t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I like to say that I am a child of privilege. My grandparents were Italian and Czechoslovakian immigrants whose search for a better life led them to the small West Virginia coal mining towns of Farmington and Rachel. They understood that life in America was a privilege. In exchange for that privilege, they believed they had a responsibility to give something back. They taught me the importance not only of hard work, but also of having compassion for all people.''
I am not going to put words in the Governor's mouth; it may be that he is not specifically looking to increase the presence of immigrants or to change the character of his state in the guise of ''growth.'' But we all know that this is the overall plan, and that there are those who somehow find it offensive that a state may be 96 percent White as of the 2000 census. Now, since 2000, every state in the Union, including Alaska and Hawaii, has received more immigrants and hence more ''diversity'' but as far as I can determine, West Virginia is one of the Whitest states in the Union. That surely cannot be pleasing to the 'diversity' commissars, so as I said, West Virginia, like Maine before her, is probably next in line for an infusion of 'diversity'.
It looks like the refugee hucksters have already been busy in West Virginia, but I am sure they think there is more to be done there. If I sound suspicious and cynical, it's only because I've been following the pattern throughout the United States. We all know that there is this mindset which regards a homogeneous, majority White area as somehow being deficient and -- what was the word the Iowa officials used a few years ago? -- ''sterile.'' Yes, they regard a mostly White community as ''sterile'' and barren, in need of 'enriching.' Oddly though, that form of enrichment somehow always leads to a drain on the state's coffers, as we see in California.
So let's hope West Virginia isn't ''enriched'' in that fashion.
I'm sorry to say I haven't been to West Virginia, but I am comforted by the thought that there might be one state in these not-so-United States that retains most of its original composition and character. What is being caricatured by the Newsweek article and the popular cliches about Appalachia is the ''mountaineer'' people and their way of life. There might be some who fit the stereotypes which the New York elites revel in perpetuating, but each region has its own mix of stereotypes, some of them less than attractive. Every area of the country has those who fit the 'underclass' image. However it seems that only states associated with the South or Appalachia are denigrated to such an extent, and looked down upon by virtually everybody. And from my firsthand knowledge of so-called 'rednecks', I will say in their defense that I would prefer their company to that of the self-important big city dwellers or the urban underclass of the big cities up North.
I see that West Virginia has a program called 'Come Home to West Virginia', which is meant to encourage its natives who have moved elsewhere to come back. This surely is the best approach to trying to promote 'growth', in contrast to the disastrous idea of so many state and civic leaders who openly solicit immigrants and 'diversity' for their communities. There seems to be some kind of perverse 'immigrant envy' or 'diversity lust' on the part of communities which are ''too White."
I wish our brethren in West Virginia the best, and I hope that your state will not go the way of so many once-beautiful parts of this country which have become overpopulated casualties of mass immigration or uncontrolled growth and sprawl. We often fail to realize what we have until it is irretrievably changed or lost.
West Virginia is the kind of place I might consider as a destination to try to stay a few steps ahead of the social engineers, and to find some still-recognizable pocket of the old America. So West Virginians, don't let them 'remake' your state.

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