By Victor Ochieng
Not so many people understand rural white America. This is a lot that has been disregarded until 2016 when they made an impact in the election of President Donald Trump. As a result of this historic achievement, a common theme keeps bringing up its head: “Democrats failed to understand white, working-class, fly-over America.”
Everyone is saying this, including the Democrats themselves. It came to them as a surprise that Trump was able to marshal rural white America to give him enough votes to beat such a strong candidate as Hillary Clinton.
While everyone is saying this, there is an insider, born and bred in rural white Christian America who says all the talk is only to drive people away from the real issue. The problem isn’t that the East Coast elites don’t mind about rural white America; the real challenge is that white rural Americans don’t understand what their problems are, what causes these problems and, worse still, they don’t care about knowing.
Deep inside, they feel very bad, but they don’t want to find out why they feel that way, neither are they ready to admit that their situation is out of their personal choices.
Well, this insider says he lived the life of rural Christian white America, went to their churches, faced their challenges and shared in their decisions. He listened to their talks, including their bigoted, racist pronouncements, many of which were said out of ignorance.
When these rural Christian white Americans take a peep at their actions, they believe they’re doing the right thing. However, things continue to deteriorate in their backyard, with some of the beautiful homes, businesses and amazing infrastructure they had in the 1970s going down the drain. They think that’s just life.
In deep-red America, the white Christian god is everything in all, both figuratively and in its literal meaning. Most of their belief system is influenced by religious fundamentalism, which, unfortunately, isn’t friendly to introspection, questioning, personal learning, or even change.
Since this has run deep into their minds and ‘DNA,’ rural Christian white America is left in a situation in which it doesn’t understand itself, but won’t listen to an outsider. That’s why their decisions are always the same, whether it’s on matters of politics or religion.
The other detestable thing about rural Christian white Americans is that racism is part of their lifestyle, so much so that it doesn’t appear to them like sin anymore. They’re first racist before anything else. Forget about the cross-burning or hood wearing white supremacists; these are ‘normal’ white people who live normal lives and regularly attend church services with the hope of going to heaven. However, deep inside them, they believe white people are superior to other races. They believe that they’re the ones who were made in the likeness of their white god, while the rest of the world is either flawed or cursed.
How do you save this generation? It’s very difficult since they’re not ready to learn from anyone and aren’t ready to change.