Archive

Trailer Park Whites

White Poverty Exists, Ignored

Indeed, people here are still talking about the story the New York Times ran in June declaring neighboring Clay County “the hardest place in America to live.” Which was positively complimentary compared to a piece the National Review ran six months before, declaring Owsley “The White Ghetto.” Reporter Kevin D.  Williamson wrote that instead of contemplating their bleak reality, the people here escape it with “the pills and the dope, the morning beers, the endless scratch-off lotto cards, healing meetings up on the hill, the federally funded ritual of trading cases of food-stamp Pepsi for packs of Kentucky’s Best cigarettes and good old hard currency, tall piles of gas station nachos, the occasional blast of meth, Narcotics Anonymous meetings, petty crime, the draw, the recreational making and surgical unmaking of teenaged mothers, and death …” … “You’ve got to understand,” says Logsdon, “people shy away from reporters.” Sure enough, a worker at the Family Dollar store doesn’t want her name used. A woman at a medical conference in Hazard warns everyone in earshot in a loud voice that a reporter is among them. So it goes during a week spent wandering this county and adjacent counties discussing something America almost never talks about: white poverty.

White Poverty Exists, Ignored