Interesting take.

What education and media elites have also done is ignore and erase rural Americans--now 60 million of them on 97% of the land mass in the U.S. They are who rioted on the Capitol, and yet urban elites have once again focused on what they already know (or think they know), and have dismissed the rioters, leaving them to law enforcement without trying to understand the cultural norms that grew them.

Sure, elite educations can be used to justify all kinds of atrocities. But you miss the obvious link to the Capitol riots: the clear link between a population ignored, erased, and manipulated and the elites who ignored, erased, and created a vulnerable population of uneducated, poor, disconnected mostly white people who were exploited. (Of course, you probably haven't ever even used the word "rural" in your work or your thinking.)

We simply do not have time to wait for academics — who have been mostly silent, holed up arguing amongst themselves in an ivory tower for four years — to make relevant and urgently needed good ideas accessible and usable. And we don't have to.

We academics with so many relationally democratic ideas and practices need to get out from behind our computers and get out into the actual world to share those ideas. (

Medium just won't cut it. We need to be in the field, in actual non-democratic conditions, to do the work necessary to shift our culture in the direction of everyday democratic practices that can grow into norms (patterns of practices). We need to do that work in one of the places where authoritarian practices are concentrated: Rural American Cultures.

SF Bay Area critical researcher, creative, & cultural worker. Content developer for The Relational Democracy Project IG @dr.cbg

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