I'm a West Virginia girl and I now live in Georgia, so the Appalachian region is definitely near and dear to my heart. I love all things a little bit "country". I can't help myself. I try to be the college educated, sophisticated, suburbanite wife and mom, but I can't quite carry it. I sometimes feel like I should be on a mountain washing clothes on a washboard and cooking on a wood stove. I can't help it. Mountain music makes my heart soar. It's who I am.
That's why the way the mass media portrays people from West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and even Georgia gets on my nerves. I swan! These people just don't get it!
So I'm cringing while I'm wondering what Friday night's 20/20 will bring, as Diane Sawyer reports on A Hidden America: Children of the Mountains.
I have my TiVo set to record it, so I will definitely be watching it. I plan to report back on how I feel about it. Diane Sawyer was raised in Kentucky, so I'm hoping it won't be the usual condescending look that is typical of a high powered news organization covering the poverty of those living in the Appalachians.
I'm not trying to bury my head in the sand here. I know there are people who are in need of some type of hand up. I know there are education issues, employment issues, drug issues, poverty issues related to that area. But those issues extend to every single area of these United States. It's not limited to the Appalachian region.
What bothers me is that many of these stories tend to overlook the proud history of those born and bred in these areas. They completely discount it, assuming that the only life worth living is the one that is surrounded by malls, restaurants, and all the other trappings of modern living.
I am touchy about this. We visited a church nearby and I refused to go back to it because they have an outreach program to the "poor deprived children" of West Virginia. I hope those kids benefit from what they are receiving and I assume the church has the best of intentions. So often, though, the result of these charity programs or newscasts is teaching the children and people of these proud and historic communities to be ashamed of their heritage. That helps no one and does a great disservice to the hardworking people who built families and lives in those majestic mountains.
Maybe the best solution is to have people who grew up in these areas give back where it is needed.
Sorry for the "no outsiders" mentality. I suppose I have to work on that.
Anyway, I'll be watching on Friday night and plan to report back.
Just read already!
5 years ago