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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