I was an outsider to Dickinson, North Dakota. I have now lived and worked in Dickinson for 5-1/2 years. For the past three years, I have been writing about Dickinson on this blog website. After writing, thinking, discussing, and searching hard for answers, about why Dickinson is the way that it is, I finally think that I have the answers.
I have seen and experienced that the local people from Dickinson have hatred, hostility, bitterness, resentment, maliciousness, and malevolence for the non-local people who have come to Dickinson to work. Non-local people will experience this most profoundly at work in Dickinson.
I believe that one of the causes for the hatred of non-local people, was the Catholic Church here in Dickinson. The Catholic Church here in Dickinson, was probably the biggest social and cultural influence for many years. This Church did not teach kindness and helpfulness to others, but instead it taught foremost to protect one’s own family, Catholics, and the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church here in Dickinson instilled an attitude of elitism and the belief of superiority of one’s own family, Catholics, and the Catholic Church, above all other people.
Another cause for the hatred of non-local people in Dickinson, has been the oil boom that made some local families rich, while other local families remained poor. With it not seeming right to the local people to have hatred and resentment towards their local neighbors who became rich, the local people re-directed their anger and resentment toward the non-local people.
Another cause for the hatred of non-local people in Dickinson, has been that the local people have always had work as their main focus in life. In Dickinson, life has always been hard due to the very long and very cold winters. Work and surviving was the primary focus of people in Dickinson. Unlike other places in the United States where entertainment, recreation, and social activities were a big part of people’s lives, Dickinson never had this. In Dickinson, the local people’s identities, meaning, and purpose in life, was work.
During the oil boom that occurred in Dickinson from 2007 to 2014, and especially now that the oil boom is over and many jobs have recently gone away, the local people from Dickinson have been hostile, hateful, mean, uncooperative, and undermining to their non-local co-workers. It wasn’t until recently that I determined that the specific primary cause for this, was that local people from Dickinson get their identity, meaning, and purpose in life, from work.
Unlike other places in the United States where people have many different interests and things that are important in their lives, the local people from Dickinson have just one primary focus, that is their job. There is a shortage of women in Dickinson, and a scarcity of attractive women. There are not enough women to go around. The pursuit of romantic relationships is not common in Dickinson. There is not much reason for people to go out or socialize in Dickinson. Nor are there many places to go in Dickinson, or things to do.
The time that other people living in other places put into playing sports, exercising, recreation, entertainment, shopping, going out, socializing, dating, and having fun, the local people from Dickinson never had that, they just put all of their time into work. Work was their focus, meaning, identity, and purpose in life.
In summary, the local people from Dickinson are so hostile, hateful, unfriendly, bitter, resentful, malicious, malevolent, and undermining to non-local people because the Catholic Church has taught the local people to feel superior to others; there is anger and resentment over some local families becoming rich, and this anger is re-directed toward non-local people; the local people have only work as the meaning and purpose in their lives, the non-local co-workers are a threat to the local people from Dickinson in their only purpose and reason for living.
What this means for people from out of state who come to work in Dickinson, is that your local co-workers from Dickinson will try to get you to leave because you are a threat to their very existence and reason for living.