The Feb. 7 Style article "Curing America's inferiority complex," about J.D. Vance and his book "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis," left me confused about a couple of things.

Vance bemoans the economic deprivation, unemployment, drug addiction and broken families that have recently beset the white Appalachian community. Nowhere in the article did Vance acknowledge that these same pathologies have been part of the experience of the predominantly black urban poor in American cities for at least 50 years. Does Vance expect us to worry about these issues more now that they are happening to people who look like him?

The article identified Vance “as a principal in an investment group.” What was not mentioned is that much of the economic displacement he describes has been caused by investment firms like his buying businesses, selling off their assets, shipping their jobs overseas and paying themselves handsomely.

Finally, a little research shows that Jackson, Ky., is represented by Harold Rogers (R), the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and that Middletown, Ohio, was until very recently represented by John Boehner (R), the former speaker of the House. The two towns Vance wants us to feel sorry for and thinks someone ought to be helping have been represented by two of the most powerful men in the world. The irony is almost too much to bear.

Kevin Golden, Arlington