"Poverty and progress in the Mississippi Delta" - your thoughts? (Greenville: to buy, schools)
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That changed with FDR. FDR and his programs changed the experience of being poor. Now, with the new policies, there was money coming from the U.S. government. Jobs were being provided by the U.S. government. And FDR was understandably anxious for people to know which party was providing assistance.
As it happened, the people in the Mississippi delta were already aligned with the party who seemed most interested in their plight, and they dug in even harder. Today, hardly a Republican can be found, even among those who are uninformed about politics. They just know they are Democrats.
Which of FDR's programs and in which decade? The 1930s? or the 1940s? Who received these gov. monies you speak of? What jobs were being provided by the U.S. government? Who received the assistance that you speak of? You have to admit that the first paragraph in the quoted section above is rather vague. Moreover, I don't understand how that paragraph relates to political realignment, nor do I understand how the Democrats can be held solely responsible for the Delta's poverty. I'm venturing to guess that you make the claims that you do because of your own personal ideology, which serves to blind you to historical realities and circumstances that you are not fully considering.
In the quoted section, I deleted many of your comments in which you apply the positions of the national Democratic Party of today to yesteryear and to a region where the party's tenets diverged from their northern or western counterparts. In short, the South's Democrats of the Depression Era and the 1940s was starkly different from what national and/or state Democrats believe in today. For example, state-level democrats serving in D.C. like James O. Eastland, Rankin, William Colmer, et. al. believed in small government and states' rights. Some of them acquiesced to the New Deal, but only because a majority of their respective constituents were gaining financially because of FDR's Depression Era policies (note: FDR's New Deal mostly benefited the middle class).
But I digress. The best example of a difference in the South's Democrats of the 1940s and Democrats of D.C. (and today's Democratic Party) is the 1948 Dixiecrat Revolt in which the South's Democrats bolted the party to form one of their own. They claimed that the national party no longer represented their fundamental beliefs and tenets.
I don't think you fully understand what is meant by political realignment, nor are you aware of how the South's Democrats, especially at mid-twentieth century, have usually been much more conservative than Democrats elsewhere.
I am starting a community garden in an effort to bring the community together and provide education on Blood Pressure, Diabetes and Obesity, Healthy foods, recipes etc. All ages are welcome, including the disabled with raised beds for gardening. We are being funded by a local hospital to test before and after health issues while being educated and working (exercise) in the garden. Once we get the garden underway, we are looking forward to a Farmers Market. Hope this helps other communities.
I think the educational systems need to have a variety of programs ranging from Vocational Ed to interacting with institutions to honors programs. I wish a program like this was available in the Delta: Say Yes to Education
I like the garden and farmers market ideas. Involve the area churches as well, as that may be the only other place that people get some form of knowledge and will listen.
By the way, my dad is originally from Tchula. So, I've seen the Delta up close and personally.
#People in the Delta can hope all they want, but until they believe as a people that positive changes are possibleH.O.P.E. is all they would have#
If the people in the Delta want a positive change, then it is them who would have to make the positive change. Outsiders would only be a temporary sign of hope, a jumpstart to initiate a change; words of rhetoric that would motivate people in the Delta until the speech were over. People in the Delta have known the things that need to be changed in the Delta for years and they have heard people from the outside come in with their words of wisdom on many occasions. Unfortunately, those words of wisdom/ words of profit entered into one ear and left out the other because that is all they were...... words. I have ten words for people in the Delta. Faith without works is dead & Hope without faith is hopeless. People in the Delta can hope all they want, but until they believe as a people that positive changes are possible hope is all they would have. They would be faith filled people clinging on to H.O.P.E. In other words people Holding onto Perpetual Entropy. Lastly, until they realize that faith manifest nothing without works they would be faith filled people getting nothing done. How is that for positive change?
A lot of people in the Delta have grown up in poverty for several generations. No jobs, single parenthood, crime all around - it's the only life they have ever known. In other words, what is considered abnormal to many people is actually normal for a lot of folks here in the Delta. Sad!
Having lived all over the U.S. I can tell you that the Delta is the most depressing place I've ever lived. My husband and I have talked about what's holding this area back and we lost count. My husband seems to think that because there are so many farms in the area, there isn't any room for growth in other industries. I mean, these farmers own a lot of land. Where would you build a factory or some other kind of industry?
The workforce is low skills or no skills. And I don't say that to be ugly. Lots of people don't have a HS diploma for varies reasons. And the schools are terrible. The area that we live in has dangerous gangs in the HS. Students with a lack of respect for teachers are so common that they've placed guards in the hallways to put some fear in the students. This is the school boards way of dealing with the matter. There doesn't seems to be an emphases on education here in the Delta. Except for the wealthy whites. They send their sons and daughters off to college and you read about it in the local paper. One problem that we've run into is the lack of a community college that isn't thirty or more miles away. I've got a daughter about to graduate next year and we have no idea how to send her to school. The closest college is thirty miles away. I can see where this might be a huge obstacle to someone trying to better themselves. There is no public transit in the Delta that I know of. And lots of people have only one care or no car. Where we live, if you don't have a car, you're screwed! Plus nobody will hire you for a job if you don't have a car. Community Colleges should be readily available in areas throughout the Delta, and ways of getting students back and forth. How's a college going to be any good if you can't get the students there to begin with?
The small towns are isolated and many are dying because they're losing people. Most young people go off to college or leave for another area to find work and they don't come back.
My husband works across the river from Greenville. Lots of people have told us that it's changed (Greenville). We've even heard that our town was nice 15 or 20 years ago but now it's high unemployment, terrible schools, and high in crime. Every other house has a for sale sign in the yard.
Best thing we can do is pray. People are people no matter who they are, black or white, educated or not. The people in the Delta need a chance. It seems like the Delta has been forgotten.
Farmers own a lot of land, but they would be willing to sell it at a price. They are not the ones keeping industry out of the Delta. The poorly-educated, unskilled population is. Of course, there was a time when unemployment was low because anyone with a strong back could work in the cotton fields, but that was little better than slave labor for blacks and whites. Both of my parents grew up in poverty doing such work, but since they were white, that gave them a privilege they may not have acknowleged. If you were black and didn't want to be a farm laborer, your best bet was to go north to find factory work, and many did for decades. But now those jobs are gone, and the farms here only employ a handful of laborers, who are more likely to be Mexicans.
I know that most schools around here are lousy because I see and hear it in the appalling grammar that many people use around here. It continues on and on for several generations.
I don't think the Delta has been forgotten. It's just that there are no top-down solutions. People have to try to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, if they have any.
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