New York Times bestselling author Nancy Isenberg’s latest book “White Trash. The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America” was recommended to me recently by one of my professors. This book debunks the theory that America is a classless society. Isenberg uncovers the legacy of the poor white people that this country has been built upon. The American class system is deeply entrenched in our culture and dates back to the colonial days. Isenberg reveals that this type of classism is deeply entrenched in our country. The poor, white citizens were considered disposable 400 years ago and still are considered that way today. “White Trash” shows that racial and socio-economic injustice is and has been an ugly stain on our nation’s history from its conception.
I have yet to finish this book, however, what I have read so far has given me insight into the systemic issues of class and race inequality and how deeply it is entrenched in America’s culture. The knowledge that the brutal inequality of people is still an issue after 400 years, should make all people take pause and think. The dark secret of American white poverty has been hidden in plain sight for too many years. It is time for the way that we perceive our poor, regardless of skin color, needs to change the way that we talk about class. It is time for American citizens to hold the media and politicians accountable to have honest and true conversations and reporting on the history and current situation of the class system.
I highly recommend reading this book! Pick it up and let’s gather around the table to discuss history, lack of change, and growth.