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Calling a Spade a Spade.

SirStev0

Lifer
Nov 13, 2003
10,453
4
81
First a little background. I grew up in a small town in North Eastern Pennsylvania. My town was a mile by a mile; I went to high school with a graduating class of 150. My parents are a Hair Dresser and a Millwright/Carpenter. My grandparents (on both sides) grew up within 15 miles of where I grew up. Both sides had parents who were immigrants who worked in the coal mines.

Now, let's get to it. Obama's comments were dead on. They were. End of story.


My high school demographic was comical. It composed of 1 Black family (father worked as a prison guard), 1 Indian family (owned a gas station, which was heavily vandalized the week after sept. 11), and 1 Chinese family (operated a Chinese food restaurant.) the rest being Irish and Eastern Europe Catholics and WASP's.
Being friends with the Indian kid, it took a long time to realize the amount of abuse he and his family endured. I never knew what religion he was because he just did not tell anyone. A town over had a huge "Mexican Invasion". The fights and violence against them was ridiculous. For a while people were getting stabbed left and right coming home from jobs from the farms a few miles away.

Guns, Silent Racism, Anti-Immigration sentiment, Suspicion that the gov is against them; these are all a part of my area. We recently had an invasion of Evangelism. By recently, I mean while I was going through High School. Before that it was Catholicism, which has been really hit hard in my area. Our Catholic schools are closing left and right and my town (a mile by a mile) which had 3 (yes 3) Catholic churches has now consolidated down to 1.


My area is bitter. The People are bitter. The jobs are gone. They have been gone for since the 1920's when mining crashed. The few that did keep their heads above water are rapidly leaving. They are replaced by shirt factories and Walmart distribution centers. The unions are falling to pieces. The tanking economy is removing what was left of the building and construction opportunities from the cities an hour or so away. Bitter is almost not a strong enough word.

I would love to hear the rest of Obama's speech, not just the sound bite. But regardless, he was right. And my area isn't even the worst. Go 5 hours west and hang around Pittsburgh. I worked there in EMS for the summer. Having rural areas and decaying industrial towns so close to a big city is just a bad idea. Racism is rampant. A Black cop I became friends with and I joked about it. It was ridiculous.

I dare any of you to drive through a Coal region town in the North East of Pennsylvania or a dying steel town in Western PA and tell me that it isn't bitter. I've seen people spray paint the sides of their houses with messages of despair, warning people about insurance companies that screwed them over. I've seen entire towns rot.

The sound bite is annoying. Elitist or not the man is right.

 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
0
The question isn't whether the people are bitter or not.

The question is do they cling to their guns and religion because they are bitter?
Or do they cling to their guns and religion because that is a part of their way of life?

If he had left out that part of the statement he might have gotten a pass. Instead he made it seem as if owning a gun and going to church is a bad thing. Big mistake that will cost him votes.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
68,168
3,213
126
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
The question isn't whether the people are bitter or not.

The question is do they cling to their guns and religion because they are bitter?
Or do they cling to their guns and religion because that is a part of their way of life?

If he had left out that part of the statement he might have gotten a pass. Instead he made it seem as if owning a gun and going to church is a bad thing. Big mistake that will cost him votes.


rofl, no he didn't.

 

SirStev0

Lifer
Nov 13, 2003
10,453
4
81
The guns and religion could be part of the culture. But I have heard in church and in public people pray that jobs will come back and the mines will open again and our area will prosper. I've seen people praying and hoping that some of the kids of the scumbags that raped our areas will come through on their promises of new industry and jobs. We keep hearing things like "Coal Gasification" and renewed interest in Anthracite.

I am very antigun control. I see the 2nd amendment as not the right to own guns but the right to bear arms and revolt against a tyrannical government. I come from the area that when the Coal companies brought in strike breakers, the miners made a secret group that blew up facilities and kidnapped the children of the owners.


I would say they are clinging.

The racism and anti-immigration are dead on. You are kidding yourself if you think otherwise. It is always their fault because they are an easy target. Not the assholes we elect who let the scumbags who make the profit send jobs where ever they want.

There isn't much left. We cling to stuff. Whatever it may be. And we are bitter.
When there isn't much left that allow someone to feel in control. Guns - power, Religion - justice, Other people - scapegoats.

What do you want? That is all we have.

Are they bad things? or are they just the facts?

Again, why I would love to hear the rest of the speech. Not just the soundbite.
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
17,136
37
91
Originally posted by: SirStev0
The guns and religion could be part of the culture. But I have heard in church and in public people pray that jobs will come back and the mines will open again and our area will prosper. I've seen people praying and hoping that some of the kids of the scumbags that raped our areas will come through on their promises of new industry and jobs. We keep hearing things like "Coal Gasification" and renewed interest in Anthracite.

I am very antigun control. I see the 2nd amendment as not the right to own guns but the right to bear arms and revolt against a tyrannical government. I come from the area that when the Coal companies brought in strike breakers, the miners made a secret group that blew up facilities and kidnapped the children of the owners.


I would say they are clinging.

The racism and anti-immigration are dead on. You are kidding yourself if you think otherwise. It is always their fault because they are an easy target. Not the assholes we elect who let the scumbags who make the profit send jobs where ever they want.

There isn't much left. We cling to stuff. Whatever it may be. And we are bitter.
When there isn't much left that allow someone to feel in control. Guns - power, Religion - justice, Other people - scapegoats.

What do you want? That is all we have.

Are they bad things? or are they just the facts?

Again, why I would love to hear the rest of the speech. Not just the soundbite.
Don't take people like ProJo or CadkindaGuy too seriously. They are political hacks that really don't care what you think so long as you support their cause. What is their cause? I don't think even they know considering they vote against their own interests.
 

First

Lifer
Jun 3, 2002
10,530
271
136
^ Wow, Davis sure did apologize fast, and profusely at that. We sure are sensitive to black racism in this country, that's for certain. And that's 100% understandable given our history, obviously.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,623
126
Dear SirStev0.

I was profoundly touched by your compassion and objectivity regarding the people you grew up around. I hope you and your community find hope. Obama is trying to bring change from the bottom up and you should have some understanding of what 'the bottom' means.
 

SirStev0

Lifer
Nov 13, 2003
10,453
4
81
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
 

Farang

Lifer
Jul 7, 2003
10,921
3
0
I wouldn't be too concerned about it, pundits have nothing to talk about so are clinging to this until the actual primary comes up or somebody else says something slightly out of line. It is obvious that they are just a bunch of swarming, starved sharks who all jump at any morsel that is thrown near them.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,268
4
0
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
Well what do you think small town America should get?
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,623
126
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
How do you reach people who are defensive and would kick you in the ass if you offered them help or tried to explain to them their problem. When people see a pie shrinking they become very bitter and resent others their bite. Eventually people shit in the pie so that everybody starves. Self hate and self destruction is a downward spiral. What the people need is a man with a stone who knows how to make stone soup.
 

SirStev0

Lifer
Nov 13, 2003
10,453
4
81
Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
Well what do you think small town America should get?
I don't pretend to know how to fix the problem. I just think it is sad that instead of addressing the issue in some way or some how, we call Obama an elitist. I wish I knew the answer and I doubt any of the candidates are truly ready to tackle this issue. There is a ton of problems in the country and many that are not even this complex and deep seated.

But I feel like this is being addressed like the last time Obama met controversy. I don't agree with the man on many issues. I don't like a lot of the plans he has. But he talks about real issues, not as a politician but as a person.

He talked about race not like we wanted to hear it. Or how the media would best be able to make it into sound bites. Or in the soft and expected way that would have made everyone feel comfortable.

Now he is talking about that bitterness we who have been pissed on are feeling. He is pointing out the weakness we feel and those last little things we cling onto.

Now the cable networks are calling him a closed door elitist. It is the truth. It is how it is. That is it. Instead of addressing it we make it into a talking point. A real issue affecting a large part of America into a nonissue that focuses on a sentence.
 

BrownTown

Diamond Member
Dec 1, 2005
5,314
0
0
Well I dunno, I for one have no clue how this relates to Obama, apparently from the posts he gave some speech on the topic, I haven't hear it though. As for small towns, its just part of life I guess, some people end up better off in life some people end up worse. The economics clearly favor BIG buisnesses in most sectors, and whether you like it or not thats just the most efficient way to do stuff, so those of us working for big business make good money, those working at some mom and pop store beg boned. Same with different areas of the country, if your town is based around coal and the coal runs out there aint much reason for it now is there? And if its built around a factory but they can get cheaper labor and materials down here in the south then they might move away and then there are no more jobs there (but here where I live they keep poping up all the time with all these multibillion dollar steel plants and car plants gettign built). So I don't know what to tell you except that "shit happens" and unfortunately your town is getting the shit end of the stick these days, that don't mean the whole rest of the country is though. I'm sure people might be bitter about it given as they have gotten a poor lot in life, I sure would be. Hell I get bitter at times despite being born to a well off family and having a good job and all that.
 

Stoneburner

Diamond Member
May 29, 2003
3,493
0
76
This whole bitter thing was a non-issue from the start. It's the beltway freaks overreacting and right wing echo chambers amplified by the clinton proxies selling it nonstop.
 

SirStev0

Lifer
Nov 13, 2003
10,453
4
81
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
How do you reach people who are defensive and would kick you in the ass if you offered them help or tried to explain to them their problem. When people see a pie shrinking they become very bitter and resent others their bite. Eventually people shit in the pie so that everybody starves. Self hate and self destruction is a downward spiral. What the people need is a man with a stone who knows how to make stone soup.
And instead of confronting the issue, we call him an Elitist and pretend this isn't what really happens.

I am not saying it isn't something incredibly difficult to overcome even more so because sometimes people would rather get angry and hate then except some help or do something about it.

I just hate when we pretend that it isn't real. It is. Let's be honest about it. Let's call a Spade a Spade.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,623
126
Originally posted by: Stoneburner
This whole bitter thing was a non-issue from the start. It's the beltway freaks overreacting and right wing echo chambers amplified by the clinton proxies selling it nonstop.
But we hunger to watch hope being destroyed. We need it to pacify our bitterness and fester our wounds. We need to crucify because we are dead. There must be no life and so we suck all life dry. We are the pundits, the echo chamber and the media. They reflect what we want so they can deliver eyes to advertisers who have items to sell that will make us feel good. After killing Obama you feel like buying a car.
 

RY62

Senior member
Mar 13, 2005
771
32
91
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
How is it that your small town is "repeatedly getting boned"?

My area is bitter. The People are bitter. The jobs are gone. They have been gone for since the 1920's when mining crashed.
I'm trying to understand wtf is wrong with the people in your town but i just can't grasp it. You say the jobs left in the 1920's. That's like 80 freaking years ago. What the hell have the people been doing for 80 years? If they've been waiting for a knight in shining armor to come and rescue them, I can see why they'd be bitter. Newsflash...the knight ain't coming. Come on people...80 years...WAKE UP! Anyone with any sense should be leaving that town.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
66,816
3,623
126
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
How do you reach people who are defensive and would kick you in the ass if you offered them help or tried to explain to them their problem. When people see a pie shrinking they become very bitter and resent others their bite. Eventually people shit in the pie so that everybody starves. Self hate and self destruction is a downward spiral. What the people need is a man with a stone who knows how to make stone soup.
And instead of confronting the issue, we call him an Elitist and pretend this isn't what really happens.

I am not saying it isn't something incredibly difficult to overcome even more so because sometimes people would rather get angry and hate then except some help or do something about it.

I just hate when we pretend that it isn't real. It is. Let's be honest about it. Let's call a Spade a Spade.
You have wisdom because you suffer openly. Those who don't are afraid to. They fear their suffering would wash them away. We were taught we should never feel.

Nasrudin went to a store owner and said, Have you leather, yes, have you nails, yes, then why don't you make a shoe? A snowball grows by rolling. Grief is an emotion that passes if one will just grieve.
 

spittledip

Diamond Member
Apr 23, 2005
4,483
1
81
Originally posted by: RY62
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
How is it that your small town is "repeatedly getting boned"?

My area is bitter. The People are bitter. The jobs are gone. They have been gone for since the 1920's when mining crashed.
I'm trying to understand wtf is wrong with the people in your town but i just can't grasp it. You say the jobs left in the 1920's. That's like 80 freaking years ago. What the hell have the people been doing for 80 years? If they've been waiting for a knight in shining armor to come and rescue them, I can see why they'd be bitter. Newsflash...the knight ain't coming. Come on people...80 years...WAKE UP! Anyone with any sense should be leaving that town.
Maybe someone needs them to stay there and be starved? For some reason they keep getting things promised to them it sounds like. Of course it is veryeasy to say to a person who has little means to get up and move to who the hell knows where when the majority of their working experience is labor. Its not like they all have a degree in IT or business or something.
 

spittledip

Diamond Member
Apr 23, 2005
4,483
1
81
Originally posted by: SirStev0
First a little background. I grew up in a small town in North Eastern Pennsylvania. My town was a mile by a mile; I went to high school with a graduating class of 150. My parents are a Hair Dresser and a Millwright/Carpenter. My grandparents (on both sides) grew up within 15 miles of where I grew up. Both sides had parents who were immigrants who worked in the coal mines.

Now, let's get to it. Obama's comments were dead on. They were. End of story.


My high school demographic was comical. It composed of 1 Black family (father worked as a prison guard), 1 Indian family (owned a gas station, which was heavily vandalized the week after sept. 11), and 1 Chinese family (operated a Chinese food restaurant.) the rest being Irish and Eastern Europe Catholics and WASP's.
Being friends with the Indian kid, it took a long time to realize the amount of abuse he and his family endured. I never knew what religion he was because he just did not tell anyone. A town over had a huge "Mexican Invasion". The fights and violence against them was ridiculous. For a while people were getting stabbed left and right coming home from jobs from the farms a few miles away.

Guns, Silent Racism, Anti-Immigration sentiment, Suspicion that the gov is against them; these are all a part of my area. We recently had an invasion of Evangelism. By recently, I mean while I was going through High School. Before that it was Catholicism, which has been really hit hard in my area. Our Catholic schools are closing left and right and my town (a mile by a mile) which had 3 (yes 3) Catholic churches has now consolidated down to 1.


My area is bitter. The People are bitter. The jobs are gone. They have been gone for since the 1920's when mining crashed. The few that did keep their heads above water are rapidly leaving. They are replaced by shirt factories and Walmart distribution centers. The unions are falling to pieces. The tanking economy is removing what was left of the building and construction opportunities from the cities an hour or so away. Bitter is almost not a strong enough word.

I would love to hear the rest of Obama's speech, not just the sound bite. But regardless, he was right. And my area isn't even the worst. Go 5 hours west and hang around Pittsburgh. I worked there in EMS for the summer. Having rural areas and decaying industrial towns so close to a big city is just a bad idea. Racism is rampant. A Black cop I became friends with and I joked about it. It was ridiculous.

I dare any of you to drive through a Coal region town in the North East of Pennsylvania or a dying steel town in Western PA and tell me that it isn't bitter. I've seen people spray paint the sides of their houses with messages of despair, warning people about insurance companies that screwed them over. I've seen entire towns rot.

The sound bite is annoying. Elitist or not the man is right.
Thanks for the post Stev0. It is good to hear real experiences, even if they are hard experiences.
 

RY62

Senior member
Mar 13, 2005
771
32
91
Originally posted by: spittledip
Originally posted by: RY62
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
How is it that your small town is "repeatedly getting boned"?

My area is bitter. The People are bitter. The jobs are gone. They have been gone for since the 1920's when mining crashed.
I'm trying to understand wtf is wrong with the people in your town but i just can't grasp it. You say the jobs left in the 1920's. That's like 80 freaking years ago. What the hell have the people been doing for 80 years? If they've been waiting for a knight in shining armor to come and rescue them, I can see why they'd be bitter. Newsflash...the knight ain't coming. Come on people...80 years...WAKE UP! Anyone with any sense should be leaving that town.
Maybe someone needs them to stay there and be starved? For some reason they keep getting things promised to them it sounds like. Of course it is veryeasy to say to a person who has little means to get up and move to who the hell knows where when the majority of their working experience is labor. Its not like they all have a degree in IT or business or something.
Gimme a break...80 years of promises, and they're still buying into it? We're talking several generations, polictal administrations, and many economic cycles here. Even 40 years ago, how many people had "degrees in IT or business or something" or even needed it. Make something happen where you're at or go to where it's happening.
 

SirStev0

Lifer
Nov 13, 2003
10,453
4
81
Originally posted by: RY62
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
How is it that your small town is "repeatedly getting boned"?

My area is bitter. The People are bitter. The jobs are gone. They have been gone for since the 1920's when mining crashed.
I'm trying to understand wtf is wrong with the people in your town but i just can't grasp it. You say the jobs left in the 1920's. That's like 80 freaking years ago. What the hell have the people been doing for 80 years? If they've been waiting for a knight in shining armor to come and rescue them, I can see why they'd be bitter. Newsflash...the knight ain't coming. Come on people...80 years...WAKE UP! Anyone with any sense should be leaving that town.
Even when there were jobs they were getting boned. But at least with those jobs you could put in a hard days work and come home with something to support their family. We have had industries come in for a while and hang around, giving some a job for a decade or two and then fading away.
People have been leaving. A majority of the towns are populated by older people trying to live off of social security. That is what is left. In the 1850's the town I had mentioned early with the "mexican invasion" had a larger population than New York City at the same time. People are leaving but still people stay.

I've been lucky. I am getting out. But for most of the blue collar works where should they go? To Allentown? The industry is gone. To Pittsburgh? The Steel Industry is gone. The midwest? to work in Auto Manufacturing? Those are gone. Maybe find a job in construction? Yeah with the housing crisis.
 

SirStev0

Lifer
Nov 13, 2003
10,453
4
81
Originally posted by: RY62
Originally posted by: spittledip
Originally posted by: RY62
Originally posted by: SirStev0
Damn this is not going the way I hoped. I was hoping that we could some how get into addressing the fact that small town America is pissed that we are repeatedly getting boned. Unfortunately we grasp for whatever we can.

Not an argument over whether or not it is elitism or what he really meant when he said it.
How is it that your small town is "repeatedly getting boned"?

My area is bitter. The People are bitter. The jobs are gone. They have been gone for since the 1920's when mining crashed.
I'm trying to understand wtf is wrong with the people in your town but i just can't grasp it. You say the jobs left in the 1920's. That's like 80 freaking years ago. What the hell have the people been doing for 80 years? If they've been waiting for a knight in shining armor to come and rescue them, I can see why they'd be bitter. Newsflash...the knight ain't coming. Come on people...80 years...WAKE UP! Anyone with any sense should be leaving that town.
Maybe someone needs them to stay there and be starved? For some reason they keep getting things promised to them it sounds like. Of course it is veryeasy to say to a person who has little means to get up and move to who the hell knows where when the majority of their working experience is labor. Its not like they all have a degree in IT or business or something.
Gimme a break...80 years of promises, and they're still buying into it? We're talking several generations, polictal administrations, and many economic cycles here. Even 40 years ago, how many people had "degrees in IT or business or something" or even needed it. Make something happen where you're at or go to where it's happening.

You forget that every generation get the new set of promises. They see their parents skirt by and swear they will find something better but when it gets time for those promises to play out you are too invested to get out. Families, kids, a mortgage. Can't start all over somewhere else. That 50 cent raise a year adds up, but does it cover everything or just let you skirt by.

Many have trade school degrees, if that. They aren't going to be millionaires. They just want a job. Our economy has come depend on cheap foreign labor to produce goods. Steel has gone to Japan, Auto to Mexico, manufacturing to China, etc.

 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,826
83
91
Originally posted by: Stoneburner
This whole bitter thing was a non-issue from the start. It's the beltway freaks overreacting and right wing echo chambers amplified by the clinton proxies selling it nonstop.
this whole thing is just a distraction from the real issues voters care about... I think anyone who has the audacity to question whether the Obamas are out of touch with everyday Americans or brings up any aspect that reflects badly on Obama is afraid of Change and wants to kill Hope like the Romans killed Jesus.

we need to get back to discussing the important things that voters DO care about. like a trip to Bosnia over ten years ago.
 

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