I strongly disagree with the notion in Kate Cohen’s June 10 op-ed, “Let’s get nostalgic for city life,” that there is an unfair focus on rural in modern culture. Though there is a degree of rural romanticism, it often focuses on a fictional, idealized view of rural America. The actual struggles of rural people — the opioid epidemic, brain drain, scarcity of resources (and difficulty accessing them) and spatial inequality — do not often factor into many people’s views of rural America.
I also thought the mention of race was a complete diminishment of the communities of color that dot the rural landscape. These communities are home to some of the most dire poverty and suffer from some of the highest rates of gun violence, which the author noted as an urban “concern,” in the country. From the Black Belt counties that stretch from Virginia to Louisiana to the rural tribal communities to the Hispanic communities along the U.S.-Mexico border, communities of color in rural areas are often excluded from the mainstream narrative, of which this essay was yet another example.
Christopher Chavis, Alexandria
The writer is a volunteer with the Alliance for Lawyers and Rural America.