Hashtag Appalachia

Hashtag Appalachia

What a time we seem to be in right now! Our Appalachian people and culture have continually had to squirm under the thumb of stereotypes and negativity for...well, for what some might say feels like an eternity. But every once in awhile it seems like the entire rest of the nation shines a big old spotlight on the region and Appalachia goes from a 'back of everyone's mind stereotype' to an 'on the forefront of the American conscience "trouble spot"' that everybody and his granny feels the need to dissect. Problem is, by the time all that dissecting is through...and the nation turns its sights elsewhere, Appalachia is left standing in a muckier pile of stereotypes and negativity than before the nation shone its spotlight. It happened with The War on Poverty in the 1960's, and it seems to be headed in that same direction now with all the analyzing of Appalachia in light of the recent elections. Since these elections, social media has been all abuzz with articles pertaining to Appalachia and what makes it tick. And the majority of the articles I have perused have shed anything but a positive light on the region, or held an accurate view of it. So the rest of America will look, poke, prod, and remark until they have had their fill. Then they'll go on their merry way with nary a bit more enlightenment, but rather a heap more incorrect and over-exaggerated concept of who and what Appalachia really is.