Hard Times in Appalachia

Whites fall on hard times in Pulaski, Virginia


The Washington Post has a new story about rural poverty in Southwest Virginia.

Pulaski, Virginia is an Appalachian town of about 9,000 people. Whites are 89.5 percent of the population. Blacks are 7.75 percent. Hispanics comprise most of the rest.

This is one of those long forgotten corners of Dixie where the “white trash” and “hillbillies” live in the minds of the folks up in Washington. Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock won’t be going orphan shopping around here.

The median family income in Pulaski is $25,481 dollars. 21.8 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. The unemployment rate is 9.8 percent.

There are plenty of cities like Pulaski in the American South which are undergoing a slow motion cultural and economic collapse at the household level.

Hope and Change

In this Southern town of 9,000 people, 3,000 textile jobs have been lost over the last decade.

Wal-Mart pulled out of town. The Main Street barber shop and all eight of the downtown restaurants closed down.

The White residents of Pulaski are grappling with the reality of “Hope and Change” in the Obama years: chronic unemployment, job losses, high gas prices, rising food prices, budget cutbacks, etc

This article recounts the tale of a social services worker in Southwest Virginia and ever so briefly allows the untold story of White suffering in Black Run America to break out into the national political discussion.

We are told about the White single mother with three kids who is about to be get thrown out on the street after getting laid off at the Shoney’s restaurant.

Five years later, Beltway journalists are concerned about a White woman’s son who hanged himself in the backyard, probably because he was on drugs, or was depressed and just didn’t see any reason to go on living in our society.

Hidden Agenda

So why now?

Why do you suppose The Washington Post is suddenly interested in White poverty and suffering in Southwest Virginia? Have you ever gotten the impression that they really care about the people who live there?

I can explain this.

I’m pretty sure it is because The Washington Post is a liberal newspaper and the mainstream journalists who write for it are politically motivated. The whole purpose of writing this story was to advance the political agenda of powerful people.

(1) First, Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are fighting over the federal budget, and drawing attention to how budget cuts would affect poor White people in Southwest Virginia is a veiled way for Democratic leaning journalists to attack their Republican opponents.

(2) Second, Southwest Virginia is a pivotal region in a key swing state, which Barack Obama needs to win reelection in 2012 and Tim Kaine needs to win the 2012 Virginia Senate race.

Check out these maps: they explain everything.

Notice the change from Obama 2008 to McDonnell 2009. White Jacksonians in western Virginia have abandoned the Democratic coalition to the extent that it wrecks their electoral map.

This is an especially dire political problem for Barack Hussein Obama because he has angered White suburbanites in Northern Virginia with his fiscal policies. Republicans are going after him on the debt and federal budget to restore their lost credibility with the Tea Party.

Obama can’t handily lose both of these constituencies and carry Virginia in 2012.

The Ethics of Black Run America

In Black Run America, the suffering of poor White people can be given attention when it is useful in scoring political points at the expense of Republicans and in promoting the reelection of Barack Obama and the general advancement of the black agenda.

This can be contrasted with another recent soul searching article about what changing racial demographics and impending minority status means for black people in DC who are on the verge of losing power there.

The Washington Post would never write a sympathetic article about White conservatives in Arizona who are being overwhelmed by illegal aliens from Mexico. They don’t have the right skin color or political views.

When examined from the perspective of “social justice,” the gentrification of DC is a troublesome development, whereas the Hispanicization of the American Southwest is a welcome sign of progressive change.

Final Thoughts

Barack Obama cares so much about Pulaski, Virginia that he has recently been pushing for the U.S.-Columbia free trade agreement over the opposition of his own Democratic supporters in the American labor movement.

After the “shellacking” in the 2010 midterm elections, Barack Obama went over to South Korea to revive the free trade agreement that the Bush administration had reached with that country. Maybe he was fulfilling his campaign promise to break with the “failed economic policies of the past.”

When I lived in Virginia, I had a habit of collecting t-shirts and other sportswear as souvenirs to remember the places that I had visited.

– My Virginia Cavaliers sweatshirt was made in Pakistan. I have a Virginia hoodie that was made in Honduras and a Virginia t-shirt that was made in El Salvador.

– My Williamsburg t-shirt and Blue Mountain Brewery t-shirt were both made in Haiti.

– I have an Auburn sweater and t-shirt that were both made in Honduras

– I have a Lookout Mountain t-shirt from Tennessee that was sewn in Nicaragua.

In all the places I have visited in the South, I doubt that I have a stitch in my entire closet that I bought as a souvenir that was made by our own people, the kind of people who can’t find jobs in Pulaski, Virginia because of the trade policies of the U.S. federal government.

My personal favorite is the Tax Day Tea Party shirt that I bought in Washington last year. I just found out that one was made in Nicaragua.

Are we to believe The Washington Post is so inept that it can’t figure out why towns like Pulaski have lost so many jobs in recent years? They were clever enough to report on this story for political reasons which aren’t apparent to most people.

Personally, I am convinced it is because they see the White people who live in Southwest Virginia as nothing more than a voter supply of Bubbas who can be bought off with federal aid and reduced to servile dependency upon the federal government. They probably think we are too dumb to figure out what is happening here.

Pulaski, Virginia is named after a revolutionary war hero.

Note: There is also a Pulaski, Tennessee, which is about the same size as Pulaski, Virginia, and which is known to the rest of America as the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, but this song is about more recent cultural developments in the South.

About Hunter Wallace 12381 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent


  1. Meanwhile, the State of Virginia supports:

    “Virginia’s resettlement plan was designed to assist refugees achieve economic self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. The federal government requires Virginia to submit this plan as a condition for receiving funding for refuges resettlement assistance. Federal regulations define the content of the plan. ”

    An appropriate slogan for states considering federal funding – Just say “NO”.

  2. This brings up traditional trade practices that lead to prosperity for regular people in the country and a resulting sense of nationhood. Those traditions for the USA and Canada are protectionist. Protectionism should be the assumed frame for prosperity and nationalist reasons.

    It could be time for something like the The Protectionist Party Of The United States.

    Protectionism would be meaningful to people directly, probably especially to those over the age of 40 who have seen so many jobs and industry leave. They know from experience what has happened.

    Protectionism concentrates on local and internal economies, which is what makes people wealthier and more skilled and gives them a stake in the community. It is not just an abstraction. Protectionism buffers the power of centralized banker-government collusion, and ensure real jobs with real production value.

    The principle of protectionism could apply on a larger scale as well: Not only does it help with the economy, it also applies to culture, heritage, and ethnicity.

    But the economics are key. They transcend race at first, but invariably work for Whites due to the blend of local co-operation and competition.

    Unlike with the abstractions of economists, protectionism is historically successful in European or European-settled countries. Protectionism has essentially created our wealth. Now it’s being sold off. That makes people angry, as it should.

    I can’t speak to specific regions, but I have found people relate to and understand this well.

  3. Hunter, you need to expand your musical repertoire. : )

    To rally hearts and minds, there is modestly moving:

    Or there is grandly moving:


    Milton: And did those feet in ancient time

    And did those feet in ancient time
    Walk upon England’s mountains green?
    And was the holy Lamb of God
    On England’s pleasant pastures seen?

    And did the Countenance Divine
    Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
    And was Jerusalem builded here
    Among these dark Satanic mills?

    Bring me my bow of burning gold!
    Bring me my arrows of desire!
    Bring me my spear! O clouds unfold!
    Bring me my chariot of fire!

    I will not cease from mental fight,
    Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
    Till we have built Jerusalem
    In England’s green and pleasant land.

    William Blake (1757-1827)


  4. A liberal has been defined as a person who expects people to act in the interest of others. This is true, but only half true. Both liberals and conservatives expect the vast majority of American people to act in the interest of others. Liberals expect the whites to act in the interest of the blacks. If they did not expect the whites to act in the interest of the blacks, why did they reject the experienced candidate in favor of the grossly incompetent Obama?
    Conservatives expect the poor to act in the interest of the rich. If they did not expect the poor to act in the interst of the rich, why do they want to keep all the tax cuts for themselves, while poor self-employed workers are paying income and social security taxes at nearly three times the rate that milliomaires pay on dividends and capital gains. If they don’t expect the poor to act in the interest of the rich, why do they want to gut all the pillars that created the middle class. They want to get rid of organized labor. They want to gut social security and medicare. And they want to finish off public education, which the liberals severely weakened with their forced busing.
    Three years ago we had a Mountain Spring. All over Appalachia and from California to Rhode Island, and from South Dakota to Florida, the poor people were breaking their shackles. Millions of poor white people were voting in their own interests for the first time in decades. Then, like the Prague Spring, it was crushed, not with tanks, but with vote stealing, backroom deals and innuendo. Hilary, carried too many states, throw out Florida and Michigan. Obama lost the popular vote? Let the politicians decide in what passes for smoke-filled rooms. Finally, the people, who voted for Hilary were characterized as backward hillbillies, while people, who voted for the other guy were smart sophisticates; The joke is on them. we need to revive the mountain spring. we need people who will vote again in their iown interest. We need for the poor whites to take over the Democratic party, or to form a new party of the Mountain Spring.

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