Class And Race Distinction In The South Versus Dickinson, North Dakota

On Saturday I was reading an internet news article about the poor and poverty in Charlotte, North Carolina.  According to the article, though Charlotte is doing well as far as economic and growth indicators, the poor stay poor like no where else in the United States.  The news article gave several different reasons and detailed explanations of why the poor people stay poor in Charlotte.  In being so thorough in the explanations, an uneducated or simple minded reader would not have realized that the writer was saying that this was mostly deliberate.

Yes, wealthy people in the South, politicians, leaders, and people in prominent public and private positions do not promote poor whites, poor blacks, and poor minorities.  The wealthy people in the South, do not want to have very much to do with poor whites, poor blacks, and poor minorities, other than to put them to work at physical labor jobs to make them money or get work accomplished.

In the South, there is class distinction, there are social rules, and enforcement of social rules.  If you are educated, have good manners, and enough money, you are welcome in any wealthy or upper class social environment in the South.  If you lack any of these three things, you are less welcome, but lack of good manners is not forgivable.

It happens every year, in every town or city in the South, that a person arrives who has money, possibly an education, but no manners.  This person would be thought of in simple terms as an “asshole” or a “Yankee”, or a combination of these two terms.

The “Yankee asshole” might think that they have enough money to walk over everyone else.  This mistake gets made every year.  There is enforcement of social rules.  They may buy land to build a “McMansion”, but surprisingly to them, never get zoning, use, EPA wetlands, endangered species habit threat, access road, utility easement, building plan approval.  They can try to fight it out in court.  They can spend a lot of their money on attorneys to argue with other attorneys, and appear before judges who all went to high school and college together.  The attorneys and judges don’t mind if it takes a long time and a lot of money.

An “Asshole Yankee” might think that they have enough money to walk over everyone else and start any business they wish.  This mistake gets made every year.  A local person may sell them or lease them property for a business, or maybe they won’t.  Planning, zoning, permitting may even let them start a business.  It may have been decided, let them buy the land and building from so and so, let them have their permitting, let this local contractor do the remodeling, let them hire the local electricians, plumbers, carpenters, dry wallers, painters, and landscapers.  Let them get this property all fixed up to make their restaurant.  Let them hire local people to work there.

The wealthy people’s wives and daughters may want to go to this new restaurant, or whatever business it is, to see what it looks like, what they have, and to try it out.  If enough wealthy people’s wives and daughters like a new business, the wealthy people may decide to patronize it and allow it to exist, concluding, “That asshole Yankee wasn’t so bad after all.  He created a lot of jobs, and I like his business.”  However, if the business owner continued to act pushy, aggressive, rude, and without any manners, his business would be doomed to failure.

So far, I described the enforcement of social rules as it applies to people with money, likely people from somewhere else, because they never would have been allowed to make that money in the South.  The news article that I read about poor people staying poor in Charlotte, North Carolina, does have something to do with the wealthy people in the South having control over who makes money and who gets ahead, based on what kind of person they are, and how they behave.

To educated white protestant wealthy people in the South, and to educated black protestant wealthy people in the South, it seems blatantly obvious, that you don’t give a lot of money to uneducated, uncouth, or trashy people.  To maintain order, peace, quiet, and civility in towns in the South, the educated, well mannered, well meaning people get to make and accumulate money, and the uneducated trashy naer-do-well people don’t get paid a lot of money so that they can’t cause a lot of harm.

Though I can’t explain it all in this blog post, I will try to give a brief description of what the social order is supposed to be in the South.  Husbands and wives in good families, stay together, raise their children, supervise their children, discipline their children, and try to enforce what is right and what is wrong in their families.  This means that the husbands and wives don’t cheat on each other, and that no one in the family lies, steals, or uses illegal drugs.  It is hoped that the children will do well in school, and go to college if possible.  These are basic protestant values.  It is believed that if each individual family behaves with these values, the entire community will be a good one.  These people are allowed to make money and accumulate money, and are given the opportunity for good jobs, advancement, and education.

However, on the other hand, people in the South who demonstrate destructive behavior such as: alcoholism, illegal drug use, theft, dishonesty, recklessness, carelessness, laziness, criminality, irresponsibility, and stupidity, these people are not looked upon as beneficial to the community.  These people are not considered for good jobs, advancement, or education.  In the South, it is not desirable to pay these people high wages, this would be like promoting carelessness, irresponsibility, recklessness, and stupidity.

So yes, in the South, wealthy people, people in prominent private and public positions, do try to determine and control who makes and accumulates money, and who gets ahead.  They would rather see people from good families, with good protestant morals, ethics, and values get ahead and be successful, rather than trying to equalize their communities by dividing up the good jobs with people who don’t demonstrate their protestant morals, ethics, and values.

To compare this with Dickinson, North Dakota, the local people and the local employers here in Dickinson would rather hire someone who did four years in prison than hire someone who did four years in college.  The people in Dickinson, rather than seeing someone who did four years in college as someone willing to work, educate themselves,, and apply themselves, the people in Dickinson see these people as being “no good”.

In Dickinson, North Dakota, two of the largest manufacturing companies in Dickinson, offered me, a degreed and experienced engineer, $18 per hour, forty hours per week, which equals $720 per week.  At this same time in Dickinson, concrete laborers and road flaggers with criminal records and no education, were being paid $1,200 to $1,400 per week.

In Dickinson, the way that people are paid and advanced, this is why you have ignorant uneducated workers with a new four dour 7,000 lb diesel truck trying to drive 60 mph in a 25 mph residential neighborhood.  In Dickinson, this is why if you went to the nicest restaurants in town, you  would be seated next to ignorant uneducated oil field workers telling white trash tales of drunkeness and sex with fat ugly women.

In Dickinson, this is why you have doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals coming to Dickinson and leaving within a couple of months due to having to live amongst dirty, uneducated, ignorant, white trash oil field workers, having to live in a town that functions and works at a low level, and having to work with local nurses and administrators that are a product of an uneducated and ignorant town.

One of the reasons why the local people and local employers hate educated people, and try to hire and promote uneducated people, is the Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church has nearly a two thousand year history of wanting to control people by telling them what to think and do, and discouraged education of people which would lead to them reading, understanding, and interpreting the Bible for themselves.  To the protestants in the South, by all means, please everyone educate yourself, read and understand the Bible for yourself, the more you learn and know, the better you will be.  To the Catholics in Dickinson, the less you know the better for them, the less education the better for them, this makes people easier to control, this makes people reliant on what they tell them, this makes people more able to be manipulated.

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