Those Left Behind

A photojournalist shines a light on the people ignored by globalist technocrats

Chris Arnade is a photographer and writer whose bestseller Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America (2019) shone a light on the people left behind by globalist technocrats, on the people “who lack the credentials and advantages of the so-called meritocratic upper class.” Back Row Americans populate vast areas of the U.S. but are mostly ignored by our power centers, except as subjects of governmental schemes — or when collectively they do something unexpected, like elect Donald Trump as president.

Now Arnade has commenced an online digest of walking tours of smaller American cities and towns. The first installment of “Walking America” covers central Massachusetts: Springfield, Chicopee, and Holyoke. His own description of the digest — “I take pictures, think thoughts, drink beers, and talk to whoever” — may sound simplistic but, in his hands, is compelling. A link to Part 1 is at bottom, and from his page Part 2 is a click away. But first, an overview of this unique journalism project:

Arnade takes walks because “walking forces you to slow down and talk to the people living there.” He describes the significant immigrant communities that enliven our depressed small cities. These signs of life are juxtaposed with areas that “technocrats, politicians, and city planners” deadened, despite costly efforts that in the long run benefited only themselves.

Arnade points out that “Holyoke, Chicopee, and Springfield are only miles away from a nest of elite colleges clustered around Amherst,” yet “those colleges (many loudly and nobly dedicated to eradicating inequality and to social justice)” do not appear to be doing “anything to eradicate the inequality and addressing the injustice in their very backyard.” This observation isn’t made so much to “dunk on” the liberals up the road as to highlight the socio-economic and cultural gap between rich and poorer America.

The link to Arnade’s Part 1:


Barbara E. Rose is Web Editor of the NOR.

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