Urbanism is bigotry

Urbanism – 

1. Prejudice against rural people by urban people, often accompanied by ridicule and contempt for their way of life.

2. The policies and practices whereby urban people acquire full or partial political control over rural areas, and exercise political control over them for their own purposes, to the detriment of the people who live in the controlled areas.

Don’t bother looking it up. You will not find it in the dictionary. Nonetheless, the word has meaning, a meaning you already intuitively understand.

Urbanism is bigotry. Hillbilly, rube, hick, yokel, hayseed, country bumpkin, clodhopper, redneck, etc. It’s quite a list. Probably no other group has had so many epithets applied to it, nor is any other form of bigotry so widely considered acceptable. People who would blush to make fun of the way Southern African Americans speak, or to mimic the accent of Latinos, feel no shame whatsoever in mocking the way they think rural white people speak. This form of bigotry may be the most widespread form of prejudice in America today.

Urbanism is tyranny of the majority. This is the reason the agricultural and frontier states refused to join the Union in 1789, unless one of the legislative bodies- the Senate- was devoted to area representation. They knew they would always be outvoted by the urban states, and would have to live under laws and regulations unsuited to their own needs.

Urbanism is disenfranchisement. Rural counties have no say in their own governance, in states that have major metropolitan centers. This is because the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed area representation in state legislatures in 1969. Earl Warren knew what he was doing. The same liberal court that worked so hard to free black people from the effects of racism, wrote the opinions that subjugated the rural people. Urbanism is political discrimination, now built into the very fabric of our political structure. This is probably part of the reason for the current deep and bitter ideological split within the nation. No good ever comes of oppressing large classes of people.

Urbanism is retro-colonialism. In rural areas where the local populace formerly had some control of their own resources, that control has now shifted to the residents of the urban areas of their states. A perfect example of this is the urban-based “environmentalist” movement, that largely exists to set aside large rural areas for the use of city people as playgrounds. Another example is the appropriation of Northern California water by Westlands Water District.

There really are major differences between country and city. Country folk own guns and like them. City folk are afraid of guns. Country folk raise animals for food and eggs. City folk are repelled by killing animals, but some of them raise chickens for eggs. Country folk cut firewood. City folk buy firewood. Country folk hunt and fish. City folk fish. Country folk grow gardens. So do city folk. Gardening bridges the gap. What’s not to like?

Country folk wave and say “hi.” When they move to the city, they quickly learn not to do that. City folk who move to the country generally come to enjoy the friendliness. A lot of country folk who move to the city never really get to like it, much. This may be more true for men than women.

On holidays and summer vacations, city folk flee the city in droves. A lot of country folk like to go to the city occasionally, for cultural features such as shopping, plays, concerts and museums. This may be more true for women than men.

City folk who move to the country bring their city values with them. Some of them make friends with their neighbors, and modify those values. A lot of these folk stay in the country. Those who don’t change their attitudes usually only last a winter or two before giving it up. They are in a tough position, as they cannot make it in the country, but have come to see how dreadful the city is.

Some people are raised in the city by parents with country values. They are hybrids, but tend to do pretty well in the country, especially if they have relatives in the country to visit when they are growing up. Country folk who move to the city retain some of their values, even after acculturation. City folk who move to the country do the same. This cross-pollination is a good thing, if it grows out of respect and honest dialogue. Both types of people have useful knowledge and skills.

These are broad generalizations, filled with exceptions, but still useful. Few people fit all of the “country” or “city” stereotypes, but nearly all of us fall into one category or the other. You can tell which one you fit into by the way you feel about urbanism.

James Montgomery
James Montgomery calls himself a broken-down logger/garbageman who went back to school, got a law degree, and worked as a nonprofit administrator, before retiring. His interests include hiking, fishing, computers, kayaking, hunting and writing. He is now serving as president of the board of directors of Empire Recovery Center.
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72 Responses

  1. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    James, Well said and very true.

  2. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    Interesting contentions in this article. HOWEVER:

    1. There is no legitimate justification for basing representation on areas of land, as opposed to actual population. One rural voter should NOT have more say in our government than a thousand urban voters.

    2. It was actually urban dwellers who were “disenfranchised” in the last presidential election, since the antiquated electoral college (which was created before most of the country even existed) allowed a relative handful of voters in largely rural areas to decide the results of that election.

    3. The population of big cities tends to be more highly educated than the population of rural areas. What’s viewed as “contempt” may simply be the fact that many city dwellers have moved beyond the backward mentality of 50 or 75 years ago that inspire rural people to vote for politicians like Trump and LaMalfa, and what they represent.

    The author is correct, though, in assuming that many urban residents don’t understand rural resident’s fascination with amassing a vast number of guns (Shasta County has twice the state average of suicides and a notably higher rate of gun accidents due to its easy availability of guns). Or their willingness to sacrifice clean air and water and contribute to the destruction of the ecosystem just for short-term (mainly corporate) profits. Or the white male supremacist leanings of many rural citizens that disenfranchise everyone EXCEPT white males.

  3. Avatar tony Ten Broeck says:

    Isn’t a rural person “classifying” the urban type guilty of the same prejudicial method of thought that he complains the urban people practice?
    Sadly you neglect the concept of the tyranny of the minority in your classification of “those People”, the urbanites. Democracy cannot function without compromise. Sometimes we must change our thinking or way of life because of new conditions.
    Currently the rural minority have hijacked the decision making processes of our government. The results are not good for rural people or any except the very rich.

    • Avatar James Montgomery says:

      You are clearly an urbanist. See the last statement of the article.

      • Avatar Anita says:

        I am not an urbanism (born and bred in rural area of Shasta County) but consider myself an enlightened ruralist, since I have traveled the world and spent visits to several big cities over the decades.

  4. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    In Arizona right now in the news is how the Urban cites are after the Rural area’s water wanting the rural farmland to stay fallow, killing the local economy, while the cities feed a growing population. Urbanites are not satisfied with letting the rural people live in their own backwoods life but want to tell those rural people how to live. Urban cities cannot sustain their growth without robbing the rural people of their resources to live.
    Good article James.

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      Many of those resources were intended to serve the state, rather than just the under-populated rural regions where they originate. For example, Shasta Dam was a federal project designed to serve almost the entire length of California (five hundred miles).

      In addition, right-wing rural counties like Shasta couldn’t even survive without being virtually supported by the wealthier, mainly Democratic big cities down south. I don’t see any complaints in the article above about all the funds being poured into Shasta County, courtesy of urban residents.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Bruce — That’s a mischaracterization of the situation. Yes, growing cities are thirsty for more water. And yes, rural water districts have the rights to most of the water the cities covet. But you’re failing to acknowledge something important: For a willing buyer to be satisfied, there has to be a willing seller. Many of the water districts I’ve worked with formerly wasted enormous amounts of water because the water was cheap. Why is it cheap? Because it’s subsidized. Who is it subsidized by? Urbanites, who pay most of the taxes that support Bureau of Reclamation and state water projects.

      Because municipalities are willing to pay such high prices for water, rural farmers are motivated to conserve water so that they can sell the resulting surpluses. Some of that conservation involves efficiency (Westlands Water District has underground their entire system), and some of it involves fallowing less productive acreage. Selling water to cities isn’t a case of urbanites strong-arming poor ruralites. Those water districts and the farmers who own water rights are laughing all the way to the bank.

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        Steve, tell that story to Owens Valley.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Yeah, that was a sordid event in California’s history, but one that had nothing to do with willingly selling BOR water rights. Instead, it was willingly selling of land a century ago. Metropolitan Water District snuck into Owens Valley and started buying land from farmers and ranchers simply to obtain the water rights. MWD still owns about a quarter of the valley.

          Inyo County is currently trying to wrest much of it back by use of eminent domain. Not surprisingly—even though it has shown recent signs of conciliation—MWD is resisting those efforts.

  5. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    I guess us ruralites will have to take solace in the fact that “area representation” allowed us to elect our current POTUS, against the will of the plurality of Americans. Also thanks to area representation, there is zero chance that our guilty-as-sin POTUS will be convicted by the U.S. Senate in his impeachment trial.

    Up yours, liberal urbanites!

    Not to quibble while picking at nits and whatnot, but the appropriation of our water by Westlands Water District is an odd example of urbanism. Westlands Water District is a 1,000-square-mile rural water district whose largest urban customer is the City of Huron (population 7,300). That city’s website says that they obtain their water from “Wetlands” Water District. Ha ha ha ha ha! Rubes.

    Okay, I’m quibbling, and here’s some more: Having spent my formative years in rural Northwestern Colorado, I have to call James out on his exclusion of a few of my favorite ruralite epithets: Shit-kickers, goat-ropers, sheep-f***ers, wagon-burners (for Native Americans), and Oakies (the latter really more of a CA thing). Worst of all: Provincials and Philistines.

    I spent some quality time in Canada during grad school. I noted that Canadians spend a lot of time obsessing about America and what Americans think of them, and that this is almost entirely unreciprocated. I’ve spent my life living rurally and urbanly in approximately equal measures, and the relationship is similar. Ruralites do a lot of hand-wringing about urbanites, largely regarding how urbanites abuse them. Urbanites for the most part are oblivious to ruralites, and when they do think of us they enviously imagine us as wine country viticulturists and the organic farmers they encounter at farmers’ markets.

    I also point this out frequently to my perennially-put-upon rural friends: Our country-cousin lifestyles here in Shasta County and every surrounding county are highly subsidized by our urban brethren. We get back in revenue from the state far more than we pay in. We’re economic parasites, and that’s a fact. The same goes for most of the red states in the USA—they’re nearly all revenue sucks and economic burdens. That alone makes it impossible for me to play the rural victim card with a straight face.

  6. Avatar eddie says:

    At least the rural states have equal representatives i. e. the U.S Senate. The rural counties of Calif. have one Senator for many counties. We are railroaded by urban areas from both sides. Perhaps reverting back to pre 1969 we could get some equal footing.

    • Avatar Anita says:

      We have so many counties in our State Senate district since there are so FEW people here. We do not deserve special representation due to the size of our lands!

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      The Supreme Court would have to reverse Reynolds v. Sims (1964) for that to happen. The Supreme Court found that unequal representation is prohibited by the Equal Protection Clause of the 15th Amendment. That’s not gonna happen—conservative Chief Justice Roberts has already ruled in favor of upholding Reynolds v. Sims.

      The sole exceptions to the Equal Protection Clause of the 15th Amendment are exceptions only because they’re part of the original Constitution: Article II (as amended), describing the electoral college. And Article V, stipulating that “no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.”

      The other exception—the so-called 3/5ths compromise that gave slave states representatives of slaves at 3/5 of the representation of the white population—was tossed out of the Constitution by the 14th Amendment (the same amendment that granted former slaves citizenship).

    • Avatar Larry Winter says:

      eddie, where does that principle end? If you allowed each County to have a state senator, wouldn’t the urban centers of Shasta County have more sway than the rural areas? So why not push for the County government being a bicameral government where the Supervisors are divided by population and then have a County “Senate” that represents geographical areas? Shingletown with a vote, Palo Cedro with a vote, Oak Run with a vote etc. etc… that could nullify the Supervisors?

  7. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    What the Liberal Urbanites are missing is that the rural vote did not elect Trump unless they consider Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania as rural. Those are Union represented Democrat states that voted for Obama but didn’t vote for Clinton. The Democrats messed up big time in those states. Will they mess up big time again and blame it on the real rural states like Wyoming and Nebraska whose total electoral votes couldn’t elect a dog catcher.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Bruce — You’re right. Clinton lost the election by going on a victory tour with a week or two left before the election, visiting the states that she’d previously ignored until the polls showed that she’d locked it up. Meanwhile, Trump played to the disillusionment of working class people in those states.

      Not much left of the unions in those industrial states, however. Ohio’s workers are about 12% union—a smidge above the national average. I would wager that a large percentage of that 12% are public agency workers, too (teachers, state workers, etc.). New York has the highest percentage of union workers in the USA, by a good margin.

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:


      Registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats in Ohio by 600,000, and 34 of the last 50 Ohio governors have been Republicans. Also, aside from a couple of cities in Pennsylvania, the rest of the state is red.

      And who did you expect them to vote for in 2012? Mr. contemptuous-of-the-working-class Silver Spoon? Now that was a TRULY horrible candidate.

  8. Avatar Larry Winter says:

    “These are broad generalizations, filled with exceptions, but still useful.”

    Useful for what? Fundraising for the State of Jefferson? Running through the list of all stereotypes of rural and urban people to end with a disclaimer? I’m not buying. You’re boiling it down to “us” vs. “them”. You even promote the reaction to your views as a litmus test? How we respond will determine if we root for Team A or Team B?

    The power of the majority is real and is the reason for the Constitutional Republic that we have. We want better governance? Let’s have more representatives. The representative to constituent ratio is what’s hurting us on both the state and federal level. We all don’t vote in a block. Trinity County voted for Trump and also voted for Jared Huffman. This dynamic is important to recognize and James doesn’t in any meaningful way.

    And James brings up the the environmentalist movement “that largely exists” to provide a playground for the urban folks at the expense of the rural, while adding “Urbanism is retro-colonialism. In rural areas where the local populace formerly had some control of their own resources, that control has now shifted to the residents of the urban areas of their states.”

    What control did rural areas have over “their own resources” when almost all of the mills in Trinity County shut down for good?
    Of course, it was the urban areas that quit buying lumber. Tyranny!

    It’s monied interests I fear the most for our country and State, not urbanites.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I’m still waiting for my 9:47 post to be dismissed with “That makes you a no-good urbanist.” I’m a little offended that it hasn’t yet happened, if I’m being honest.

      The members of the U.S. Senate are currently working up to a vote of historical importance. My representation in that vote will be 1/67 that of a Wyoming citizen.

      O! Those poor, aggrieved, underrepresented rural Americans!

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        Steve, and in the other item of historical importance already concluded a Wyoming citizen had 1/52 representation as that of a California citizen. Oh those poor underrepresented urban Americans.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Bruce — I’m not following that argument. How do you figure? Are you referring to representation in the U.S. House of Representatives? Representation in the HOR is proportional to population.

          I have one representative in the HOR—Dougie LaMooch. Same as every citizen of Wyoming. And in fact, CA District 1 has a population of about 700,000. Wyoming’s population is about 580,000. That means that my HOR representation is more dilute than that of a Wyoming citizen’s representation.

          • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

            Steve, I’m referring to the part that California has 53 in the House while Wyoming has 1. Which state wields more power, the rural state or the urban state? Though it does make me chuckle that LaMooch could be called the male counterpoint of Cheney.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            California has one HOR representative for each 745,250 citizens.
            Wyoming has one HOR Representative for each 577,750 citizens.

            California has one US Senator for each 19,750,000 citizens.
            Wyoming has one US senator for each 288,875 citizens.

            So obviously, if you want representation in Washington DC that’s grossly inflated relative to the population of your state, move to Wyoming.

            Cry me a river, empty states.

      • Avatar James Montgomery says:

        I apologize for not finding the time to insult you. I went fishing, instead. A matter of priorities.
        Btw, I totally agree with you about the countrier-than-thou beer swillers with their giant trucks. There are some fairly unpleasant urban types, too. Some things cross all socio-political lines.

  9. Avatar Candace says:

    Larry Winter, I agree with all you said. I was born and raised here in Redding but according to James I would be labeled an Urbanite (apparently I’m one of the “many exceptions” Jame’s spoke of) due to the values my parents instilled in me. My Grandfather was the business manager of an Anderson, CA lumber mill and my father spent his life as a crane operator at that mill. My father was from Klamath Falls. Neither of my parents were interested in owning guns nor did they have gardens ( horseshoe pit, yes, garden, no). My father fished. Both my parents were Democrats. Sweeping broad generalizations are typically used to promote a personal narrative – one is either “A” or “B”. The “disclaimer” at the end of this opinion piece doesn’t erase the negative bias towards those he’s labeled as Urbanites; if that was the intent it would have been titled “Let’s All Get Along”.

  10. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Having moved from an urban area to the rural area of the north state over 30 years ago, I find it interesting that regardless of how long you have lived in the north state , it is never long enough to qualify as a local. Somehow either being born here or being associated with someone who has lived here forever, or believing the way the majority think is the deciding factor.
    Regardless of how long you have lived here, you are continuously judged by the car you drive, the clothes you wear, the political party you support, and especially what your lifestyle says about you.
    I find it somewhat hypocritical for James to make the claims he has made of urbanites making fun of how rural people talk, act, etc., yet rural folks have long supported the hateful rhetoric of liberalism and use that term as if it somehow has been redefined as an acceptable definition of anti America.
    James, your prejudice may highlight your mindset but it does not define the growing enlightenment of rural folk.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I’ve had my place in Palo Cedro for just shy of 25 years. I’ve still got neighbors who consider me a newbie because I wasn’t born here, and I can live with that. They’re nice about it, and I don’t really want to be considered a native if you really want to know the truth.

      But I’ve also got neighbors out here who’ve moved to PC from Redding in the last 5 years or so, and a lot of ’em are insufferable. They’re the ones who act all Countrier than Thou at Red Rock, the local watering hole, on the weekends. They pull up to the local Holiday Market in their new Ford F-350 XL 6.7L V8 diesel pick-up trucks that look like war machines, with the obligatory NRA sticker on one side and the State of Jefferson sticker on the other. They’re also the ones who install high-luminosity flood lights on their properties and burn them all night long, ‘cuz security is number one and everyone’s out to git everyone else. Never mind that they’re lighting up every yard within a quarter mile like it’s an hour after sunrise. Never mind that some of us live out here because we like seeing stars at night and enjoy the peace and quiet.

      • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

        I stopped at the Red Rock while out on a motorcycle ride recently.
        The clientele is stereotypical of the rural quality of life James is attempting to defend.
        The F word was freely used at a 70 decibel level, even to describe the brand of beer you were ordering.
        Funny though, nobody commented on my IMPEACH TRUMP lapel pin on my leather vest.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          You must look like you can handle yourself.

          In my experience, the typical angry white male supporter of Commander Shinsplints directs most of his red-faced ranting at female city council members and college coeds. Though, I’ve seen on TV that the type is plenty bold with men of his own size if he’s carrying his AR15, and the other guy is unarmed.

  11. Avatar Steve says:

    IMHO this level of writing belongs in a high school American History class or something like that. Very poor and undefendable… I’m really getting spoiled by reading RV Scheide et al on this generally fantastic news site.

    • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

      If you would like to write a rebuttal or pen a new article, please contact Doni at donig.anewscafe@gmail.com

      ANewsCafe is always looking for contributors with ideas who are willing to stick their neck out. Technical expertise not required.

      Thanks for your honest feelings, Steve.

      • Avatar Steve says:

        This is starting to remind me now of why I stopped reading the Record Searchlight many years ago. In that paper, at that time, a decision was made to print op-ed pieces by certain local people as a new idea. Good thinking, in theory. The very first piece was by a person named Alana Burke and as I remember it was a straight up homophobic diatribe. It was nasty, bigoted, divisive and unworthy of being published in our community paper. I confronted, via email, the editor and publisher and recieved back a mealy mouthed non-answer using the first amendment to explain away the decision to publish. Not a profile in courage. I have not bought or read an issue since.

        My point was, and is, yes the author has a right to his opinion, but there is no mandate to print by the publisher. I ask, to what point does publishing a divisive, vacuous and warped view of people in our community? What is the point? It’s all bad in my view, especially coming from a source ostensibly created for all the community to gain enlightenment.

        Now having said all that, I admit I made a grave error in my original comment. I forgot my Gramma’s sage advice, and for that I apologize. She said “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.” I promise to try and heed her advice more closely in the future.

        • Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

          My enlightenment might be an annoying spotlight to someone else.

          Yep. First Amendment still in effect. What’s the point? Exercising that right. Even if not everyone likes what the author had to say. Not publishing because someone might think it’s a divisive, vacuous and warped view of people in our community? Yep. We hear that from/about others in the community too.

          Not everything we publish is going to float your boat. We can only publish what we get. Only way to change that is to submit stuff you wrote. If you’ve got something to say, write it down and send it our way. James took a chance. You can too.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I gotta say, James shouldn’t be lumped with Alana Burke. I don’t think this urbanist/ruralist taxonomy key is his best work—I think it was intended to be fun and came off as a unearned resentfulness—but he’s a good dude.

          In contrast, Burke was a hateful, bigoted, s***-throwing piece of work. She enjoyed being a flaming rectal orifice WAY too much.

          I will say this, though: When an Anderson cop raped a woman in his custody while transporting her to jail and DA Steve Carlton allowed him to plead down to no contest for lesser charges—even though the evidence of the crime was strong—Burke wrote a scathing op-ed criticizing the decision. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, I guess.

  12. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    In the latest American Lung Association rankings seven of the top ten dirtiest air cities in the nation seven are in southern California, that has been true for decades. In the top twenty cleanest air cities in the nation Redding has been ranked there for decades. Tell me again how rural Shasta County is polluting the environment.
    And Prescott, Arizona is the cleanest air city in the nation while Phoenix is in and out of the top ten dirtiest. Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming are third and fourth cleanest air cities in the nation while metro Denver, a hundred miles away is in the top twenty dirtiest air cities. Tell me again how rural areas pollute the environment.

  13. Avatar Michael Kuker says:

    It’s true, A News Cafe really will publish anything.

  14. Avatar James Montgomery says:

    When one group of people is forced to live under laws made by and for the benefit of another group, that is subjugation. It is rare, indeed, for the dominant group to admit they are oppressors. The degree of liberal defensiveness herein is indicative of refusal to face this truth.
    Actually, I was surprised by the vehemence of the response, and the wide variety of arguments in refutation. I assure you all that large numbers of rural people truly are disgusted and disgruntled by the laws of California.
    Also, much of Shasta County really does not qualify as rural.

    • Avatar Larry Winter says:

      Forced to live under laws made by and for the benefit of another group is subjugation?

      Native born Americans are brought into this world with a social contract that we agree to live under when we become of age. The best system of governance in the world. We don’t have a choice to not live under the laws of the land, do we? We can change laws, our Representatives as well as amend our Constitution. But to say that those in rural areas are being oppressed by urbanites fails to acknowledge our system of government as legitimate. To de-legitimize our form of government, not based on individual corruption but by a “loophole” that allows oppression through majority vote (no mention of our Constitutional rights with the Supreme Court as the final arbiter) is just not cemented in reality. This libertarian view is outdated and was never realistic for a whole society, especially one with over 300 million people.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      There always exists the freedom to move, to more friendly confines or join others if your fear of subjugation distills such fear.
      Obviously the great hope of the rural forever fans for the state of Jefferson is a losing proposition in California.
      As well it should.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      The notion that anyone living in California is being forced to live under California laws is kind of absurd. One of the most weaksauce arguments you’ll ever encounter is: If you don’t like it here, leave. Inertia is a thing—it’s not easy for people to uproot and start over elsewhere. Still, people do it. A younger neighbor of mine, fed up, recently moved to Texas and bought a farm.

      There are places in this world where anarchy reigns, and nobody has to bend to laws created by others. Those places generally have something in common: Might makes right. Warlords, cartel kings, and militia leaders call the shots, and if you don’t like it, you’re free to die. Now THAT’s subjugation.

      Also, the idea that the application of California law is uniform across the state is delusional. For example, the courts have repeatedly held that CEQA—our state’s overarching environmental law—is properly sensitive to local standards for determining thresholds of significance. If you think the application of CEQA lawn in Shasta County is as rigorous as it is in the coastal counties, you’re dreaming. Further, we have a lot of federal land in Shasta County and surrounding counties. California’s laws don’t generally apply to how those federal lands are managed. The Forest Service on species listed by the State of California: Whatever.

      And it’s not just environmental stuff. The infiltration of religion into our local public schools would cost people their jobs in other areas of the state. People in more progressive areas of the state would be surprised to learn what goes on up here. So why do they allow us to do that? This is where James is largely correct: We don’t matter to them. If our country cousins to the north want to have charter schools where kids are taught that evolution is Satanic, who cares what they’re doing up there in Shastanistan? Less competition for the kids of urbanites when they’re applying to the state’s world-class research universities.

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:


      I asked you a version of this question awhile back under your article complaining about California outlawing lead bullets, but I never got an answer.

      Right-wing rural people are very vocal in demanding more than their share of representation, unlimited access to weapons with no restrictions, forcing their God into our government, etc. Yet these same people fight very actively against the rights of others, such as access to safe, legal abortion, basic rights for gay people, etc. How to they reconcile these two seemingly hypocritical stances?

      • Avatar James Montgomery says:

        I personally believe in the right to abortion and basic rights for gay people (everyone, actually.) Not only basic rights, but real respect, consideration and opportunity.
        I cannot speak for those other people you describe above.

        • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:


          Actually your article above is ALL about “speaking for those people”, which is who the majority of rural dwellers in far nothern California are. Roughly 70 percent voted for Trump and LaMalfa, who are doing nothing for them to speak of, except to legitimize their prejudices, feed their largely baseless fears, and aid them in violating the Constitutional separation of church and state.

          Also, your piece above doesn’t address the rabid hatred and bigotry many conservative rural residents have for liberal groups. Progressives aren’t accusing conservatives of being posssessed by “Satan”, being pedophiles, or murdering “babies”.

  15. Avatar Candace says:

    You’re surprised at strong and not so strong push back from those who aren’t in agreement with your categorization of who is or isn’t (in your opinion) an “Urbanite” promoting bigotry? Huh. What response did you think you’d get? Your summation that because you received push back means you were correct in your original assumptions and those pushing back are guilty as charged doesn’t allow for much of the respect and honest dialogue you spoke of. It speaks more “to my way or the hi-way.”

    • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

      Karin, when I lived in the Bay Area our favorite saying about UC Berkeley grads was they were all on the street corners of the SF financial district and their favorite saying was “Got any spare change, man”.

  16. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Thank you for this thought provoking article. I’ll have to re-read your article, but I know that when I was bussed to town for high school, I probably imagined that the “Town Kids” were superior, because they acted like it and because they knew all the latest clothing and language fads. Years later I’m a high school teacher in a rural area, and students are talking and looking like urban gangsters. I believe there is a zietgeist that urban people are superior to rural people, and it’s been around for a long time. Thank you again!

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      When I enrolled at UC Davis I spent a couple of self-conscious years thinking that all the Bay Area and SoCal kids could smell the cow dung and trout guts on me, and that I spoke like an aw-shucks rube.

      And we were the Aggies. Imagine if I’d gone to UC Berkeley or UCLA.

      • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

        Steve, it was that Greeley smell, LOL.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Greeley’s town fathers called the odor coming off of the feed lots “The smell of money.”

          I remember a bumper sticker: “Greeley: Where cows go to die and people go to kill them.”

          • Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

            A craft brewery in Denver came up with an April Fools brew, Mountain Oyster Ale, ingredients found in any stockyard. It was so popular they kept it.

  17. Avatar Nick says:

    “Disagree with me? You’re one of them and part of the problem. Also, you’re cool with bigotry.”

  18. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Before this post goes completely cold, I have to point out that the contrasting ruralist/urbanist pictures of Gary Cooper is an inspired choice. Whoever came up with that hit a home run.

  19. Avatar Bruce Vojtecky says:

    There seems to be a misconception of what rural and urban mean. Lewiston, Hayfork, Ruth are rural towns. Palo Cedro and even Shingletown are suburbs. Having a McDonalds five minutes away is not rural.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Hey, now….it takes me at least 15 minutes to get to the nearest McDonalds. There’s a rumor that Palo Cedro is getting a Starbucks, though.

  20. Avatar Candace says:

    Steve Towers, neither here nor there but it sounds like maybe you live near where my cousin Anthony and family lived before they moved. Not that Palo Cedro could only have one family that would move to Texas, lol.