Monday, October 17, 2011

Joe Bageant - Redneck Writer

Nice tribute at Daily Yonder of Joe Bageant from Lisa Pruitt -

Redneck Writer -

An excerpt:

"Bageant unflinchingly revealed the American dream for what it has become—a sham, an ideal now accessible to relatively few:  “If your high-school dropout daddy busted his ass for small bucks and never read a book and your mama was a waitress, chances are you are not going to grow up to be president of the United States, regardless of what your teacher told you.”

Indeed, one of Bageant’s most powerful insights regards the “intellectual bareness and brutality” associated with the working class and poverty.  In his plea for universal access to a decent education, he keenly observes that “[n]ever experiencing the life of the mind scars entire families for generations.” He was correct that what holds back the working class is a powerful combination of the material and the cultural, including bias against them.  “[J]ust like black and Latino ghetto dwellers,” Bageant wrote, “poor and laboring whites live within a dead-end social construction that all but guarantees failure.” At no time in recent history is that more true, surely, than this age of declining mobility."

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