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No one cares about me. It was a one-street town in Benton County. It had a beauty parlor, a gas station, and a bar where locals came on Friday nights to shoot the shit over cheap drinks and country music.
I arrived in Arkansas by way of another little town in Louisiana, where all but a few local businesses had boarded up when Walmart moved in. In Arkansas, I was struggling to survive. Across the highway from the bar was the trailer park where I lived.
There was a big hole in the ceiling, and parts of the floor were starting to crumble under my feet. It leaned to one side, and the faint odor of death hung around the bathroom. No doubt a squirrel or a rat had died in the walls. I told myself that once the flesh was gone, dissolved into the nothingness, the smell would go away, but it never did.
I loved that trailer. Sitting in a ratty brown La-Z-Boy, I would look around my tin can and imagine all the ways I could paint the walls in shades of possibility. I loved it for the simple reason that it was the first and only home I have ever owned. My trailer was parked in the middle of Walmart country, which is also home to J. There is a whole lot of money in that pocket of Arkansas, but the grand wealth casts an oppressive shadow over a region entrenched in poverty.
Executive mansions line the lakefronts and golf courses. On the other side of Country Club Road, trailer parks are tucked back in the woods. The haves and have-nots rarely share the same view, with one exception: Benton County has been among the most historically conservative counties in Arkansas. There is an unavoidable question about places like Benton County, a question many liberals have tried to answer for years now: Why do poor whites vote along the same party lines as their wealthy neighbors across the road?
But what if those easy answers are two sides of the same political coin, a coin that keeps getting hurled back and forth between the two parties without ever shedding light on the real, more complicated truth? People want to be heard. They want to believe their voices matter. A January survey by the Rand Corporation reported that Republican primary voters are What is it about a flamboyant millionaire that appeals to poor white conservatives?
Why do they believe a Trump presidency would amplify their voices? From the time of slavery yes, slavery to the rise of Donald Trump, wealthy elites have relied on the allegiance of the white underclass to retain their affluence and political power. These white servants were mostly poor Europeans who traded their freedom for passage to the American colonies. They were given room and board, and, after four to seven years of grueling servitude, freedom. About 40 percent lived long enough to see the end of their contract.
With no resources and nowhere to go, many walked to regions where land could still be homesteaded, and settled in remote areas such as the Appalachian Mountains. As the British labor market improved in the s, the idea of indentured servitude lost its appeal to many would-be immigrants. Increasing demand for indentured servants, many of whom were skilled laborers, soon bumped up against a dwindling supply, and the cost of white indentured servants rose sharply.
Plantation owners kept skilled white servants, of course, often making them plantation managers and supervisors of slaves. This introduced the first racial divide between skilled and unskilled workers. Still, African slaves were cheaper, and the supply was plentiful. Seeing an opportunity to realize a higher return on investment, elite colonial landowners began to favor African slaves over white indentured servants, and shifted their business models accordingly.
They trained slaves to take over the skilled jobs of white servants. An investment in African slaves also ensured a cost-effective, long-term workforce. Female slaves were often raped by their white owners or forced to breed with male slaves, and children born into slavery remained slaves for life. In contrast, white female servants who became pregnant were often punished with extended contracts, because a pregnancy meant months of lost work time.
From a business perspective, a white baby was a liability, but African children were permanent assets. As the number of African slaves grew, landowners realized they had a problem on their hands. Slave owners saw white servants living, working, socializing, and even having babies with African slaves. Sometimes they tried to escape together. This created a potentially explosive situation for landowners, as oppressed workers quickly outnumbered the upper classes.
What was to prevent freed whites, indentured servants, and African slaves from joining forces against the tyranny of their masters? Many slave owners in both the North and South were also political leaders. Soon, they began to pass laws that stipulated different treatment of white indentured servants, newly freed white men, and African slaves. No white indentured servant could be beaten while naked, but an African slave could.
These new laws gave poor whites another elevation in status over their Black peers. It was a slow but effective process, and with the passing of a few generations, any bond that indentured servants shared with African slaves was permanently severed.
As slavery expanded in the South and indentured servitude declined, the wealthy elite offered poor whites the earliest version of the American Dream: But few realized that dream.
Not surprisingly, however, poor whites never became the economic equals of the elite. With whites and Blacks divided, the wealthy elite prospered enormously for the next two hundred years while poor whites remained locked in poverty. With the potential election of Abraham Lincoln, however, the upper class began to worry they would lose their most valuable commodity: And it was white male bodies they needed.
Religious and political leaders began using a combination of fear, sex, and God to paint a chilling picture of freed angry Black men ravaging the South. If you are tame enough to submit, abolition preachers will be at hand to consummate the marriage of your daughters to black husbands.
War will break out everywhere like hidden fire from the earth. We will be overpowered and our men will be compelled to wander like vagabonds all over the earth, and as for our women, the horrors of their state we cannot contemplate in imagination. We will be completely exterminated and the land will be left in the possession of the blacks, and then it will go back to a wilderness and become another Africa or Saint Domingo.
Wealthy plantation owners had succeeded in separating the two races, and they now planted a fear of Blacks in the minds of poor and working white men. Enslaved Blacks were an asset to the wealthy, but freed Blacks were portrayed as a danger to all. By creating this common enemy among rich and poor alike, the wealthy elite sent a clear message: Poor and working class whites signed up by the hundreds of thousands to fight for what they believed was their way of life.
Meanwhile, many of the wealthy planters who benefitted economically from slavery were granted exemptions from military service and avoided the horrors of battle. On both sides of the Mason-Dixon line, wealthy elites were allowed to pay other men to take their place on the bloody battlefields. As the war lingered on, poor whites in the North and South began to realize the rich had waged the war, but it was the poor who were dying in it.
With more than , deaths, the end of the Civil War eventually brought freedom for African-Americans. But after the war, ex-slaves were left to linger and die in a world created by those in the North who no longer cared and those in the South who now resented their existence. Without land, property, or hope for economic gains, many freed Blacks and returning white soldiers turned to sharecropping and found themselves once again working side by side, dependent on wealthy landowners.
Again, this was intended to prevent poor whites and poor Blacks from joining forces. Wells wrote in her pamphlet, Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases:. The editorial in question was prompted by the many inhuman and fiendish lynchings of Afro-Americans which have recently taken place and was meant as a warning. Eight lynched in one week and five of them charged with rape!
The thinking public will not easily believe freedom and education more brutalizing than slavery, and the world knows that the crime of rape was unknown during four years of civil war when the white women of the South were at the mercy of the race which is all at once charged with being a bestial one.
This fear and mistrust continued for decades, not just in the South, but throughout all of America. From the factories of industrialized cities in the North to rural farmlands in the Midwest, from the Statue of Liberty in the East to the filmmakers in the West, racism had replaced classism as the most blatant form of oppression. But classism lingered, despite what wealthy elites would have Americans believe. Martin Luther King Jr. In his sermon, he talked about a conversation with his white jailers, saying:.
You ought to be marching with us. And all you are living on is the satisfaction of your skin being white, and the drum major instinct of thinking that you are somebody big because you are white. You ought to be out here marching with every one of us every time we have a march.
That the poor white has been put into this position, where through blindness and prejudice, he is forced to support his oppressors. Protestors built a temporary encampment on the Mall in Washington, D. Demonstrators on the National Mall. The assumption is that tipped workers will earn their own minimum wages by making up the difference in tips. It was the way I spoke that landed me the job. And what I often heard was a growing dissatisfaction among poor whites who were struggling to make ends meet in the failing economy.
I understood their fear and frustration. How many times have we been told to get a job, or that if we just worked harder we could improve our situation? American society has made it perfectly clear: I understood what it was to go hungry.
Remember that tip credit?
Arora Boheme is the go-to spot for Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint, but it's not just paint that fills this small home decor shop. Owner Krissy Arora brings together a mix of objects small and large to give a bohemian flair to any room. DIY fanatics should note that Arora Boheme hosts how-to workshops on a variety of subjects.
The mural on the side of Bill's Liquor Store boasts of the shop's ample beer selection, and that's no overstatement. You'll find loads of brews to suit your tastes inside Bill's, but the beverages don't stop there.
Wine and vodka drinkers likely won't leave empty-handed either. In fact, even the non-alcoholic drinks go beyond the convenience store staples.
Whether you're looking for a quick thirst quencher or a bottle to bring to a party, Bill's has you covered. Crux created a stir before it opened earlier in for its multi-colored striped exterior painted by famed street artist Risk.
This new addition to Glendale Boulevard's shopping scene is focused on street fashion for men and women. They carry new designs from '90s brand Cross Colours, along with fun t-shirts and accessories. Find stones small and large inside The Crystal Matrix. This metaphysical store is filled with a nicely organized selection of everything from onyx to amethyst, including both loose pieces and jewelry. If you're in the market for crystal skulls, this is the place to find some exquisite ones.
The Crystal Matrix also offers classes on how to use crystals and hosts various types of group events, in addition to offering services like psychic readings.
Individual Medley 's selection of items runs the gamut from clothing for men, women and children to books and stationery, but the unifying theme is quality, stylish goods that you probably won't find everywhere. Make sure to walk towards the back of the shop for the small, yet substantial apothecary section.
The overlapping fragrances are intoxicating and the mix of chic, independent brands is intriguing. You don't have to own a turntable to find music you want inside Jacknife Records. While this Glendale Boulevard shop is certainly stocked with records, it doesn't forgo other formats in favor of vinyl. Jacknife has walls loaded with cassettes and even sells organizers to store the tapes as you would have in the '80s. The used CD selection here is also ample.
Additionally, Jacknife sells vintage listening gear. The access of the bar is in an alley, unusual, specially when you come in, you discover another world! So happy to hear that you enjoyed our little hidden world!
Sending all those good vibrations back to you, along with a big thank you for taking the time to share these kind words with us! Looking forward to more cocktails with you again soon. Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
All of your saved places can be found here in My Trips. Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Review of Atwater Cocktail Club. Ranked of 6, Restaurants in Montreal. Le Sud-Ouest Southwest District. Reviewed June 23, Cool Hideaway in Griffin Town. Ask ezfish about Atwater Cocktail Club. Report response as inappropriate Thank you. We appreciate your input.
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Reviewed April 14, via mobile. A nice bar with a selection of drink I have never seen before! Travelers who viewed Atwater Cocktail Club also viewed. All restaurants in Montreal Been to Atwater Cocktail Club? What's your side of the story? Hotels travelers are raving about Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Centre-ville. Embassy Suites by Hilton Montreal. All hotels in Montreal Restaurants 6, Hotels Things to Do 1, Map updates are paused.
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