Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

An Elitist Snob's Take on Wal-Mart Shoppers

Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers: Here's what the educated elite really think about you. Coastal liberal and long-time Wal-Mart hater Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic magazine wrote the following description of how he saw folks at a Wal-Mart in Martinsburg, WV back on June 23, 2008:
But about those down-and-out customers: If you want to see the underside of the unregulated capitalist economy, the people who can't find the non-existent escape ladder from poverty and its pathologies, visit the Martinsburg, West Virginia Wal-Mart. Morbid obesity; spontaneous, public bouts of corporal punishment directed against dirty children; ten-year girls dressed as whores; tattoos running up necks and down legs; smoking like you only see these days in Baku; it's all here. I considered myself a socialist until I was about 23 (that was when I fled my kibbutz for the final time) but a visit to the Martinsburg Wal-Mart reawakens my distaste for steroidal capitalism.
Goldberg later refers to Wal-Mart workers as "hopeless and toothless." What a collection of stereotypes of working class Americans, straight out of Marx's Grim Fairy Tales of the Lumpenproletariat.

Now, as you can imagine, this column set off quite an uproar in Martinsburg. Rather than apologize, Goldberg states:
It's interesting to me how many people conflate an attack on Wal-Mart with an attack on their community. I suppose this just how the malevolent merchants from Bentonville, Ark., would have it.
Yeah. Wal-Mart made Goldberg an arrogant and self-righteous asshole. Who knows though? Maybe Goldberg is a double agent for Wal-Mart; his overbearing pretentiousness discrediting other Wal-Mart haters. But let's face it. "Ten-year girls dressed as whores?" It WAS a vicious attack on the Martinsburg community, and more generally an attack on all the people who shop at Wal-Mart.

And that ultimately is what the war on Wal-Mart is all about. It's rank class hatred, bigotry and pure snobbery from wealthy elitists towards the people they claim to be "protecting" from Wal-Mart.

But I for one am glad for Goldberg's hateful rant. Next time you read in the Daily News about "$45,000 traffic studies" and "wreaking havoc on small towns," you'll know what those code words really mean.

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Red said...

Hey, Happy Birthday, Tom!

Michael said...

I wonder if he's talking about this Wal-Mart shopper.

Tom Forbes said...

Thanks Red! Kinda hard to celebrate being halfway to 90 though.

Tom Forbes said...

I am so glad that we live in a country where the left has worked so hard to stamp out all discrimination, except against overweight white people, white people who smoke, white people who have tattoos, or in general rural white people who don't look or act like the urban intelligentsia that make up the left.

I have a Wal-Mart for Mr. Goldberg to visit. It's the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market (just groceries only) on Hickory Hill Rd. in Memphis, TN. When Dr. Forbes and I went there in May 2006, everyone in the store was African-American.

Somehow, I doubt Mr. Goldberg would write any comments about that store. Substitute any of the redneck pejoratives he used to describe the Martinsburg Wal-Mart shoppers with pejoratives associated with other ethnic groups such as African-Americans or Hispanics, and he would now be looking for another job.

And Goldberg has the temerity to accuse his critics of being "anti-Semitic."