Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's All About You, Isn't it, Prof. Bloom....

I am AMAZED, absolutely amazed at the attention over Prof. Bloom's Atlantic article.  Amazed in a good way, I should add.  It thrills me how proud we Iowans are, and how quick we move to express our displeasure  and defend our home.

Unfortunately, it appears that all Prof. Bloom can do is moan and groan and make it all about him.  In an article in the Des Moines Register, Bloom was quoted as saying “As happened with ‘Postville,’ over the last several days, I’ve received scores of emails and phone calls, calling me all sorts of hateful things. Some of the responses, frankly, are frightening.
“Diversity of opinion is a cornerstone of democratic thought and principle. It’s what we hold above almost everything else.
“The easiest response to my article is to condemn me and the issues I raise. That’s a tried-and-true tactic. Kill the messenger, ignore the message. That’s safe and convenient. But it doesn’t get at some of the raw, undeniable questions this story poses.”
Really, Prof. Bloom?  Do you even understand what it is that people are so upset about?  We aren't necessarily upset that you brought attention to some of the problems and challenges that face the state of Iowa.  But these aren't problems that only Iowa faces.  They are problems you will find everywhere in the U.S.  
What upset us are the stereotypes and cliches that you used to paint Iowans as a bunch of ignorant hicks.  That you painted Iowa as a homogeneous, whitebread state.  That you painted Iowans as people scared to death to leave the state and look for something better. Yet, you threw all your disdain on the state when you talked about how young people leave the state in droves.  You are talking out of both sides of your mouth, that's for sure.
I still am unsure why it's a bad thing to use the backdoor.  I have NEVER heard the caucus called a 'chat and chew.'  Seriously?  Where do you get that?  No one calls I-80 'the highway.'  Where I live, in the Iowa City area, we just call it "80."  I've never eaten a casserole at a wedding.  No jello, either.  
As for Iowa being a homogeneous, whitebread state, you are so out of touch.  I am a librarian in North Liberty, a small town in the greater Iowa City area.  North Liberty is incredibly diverse for its size.  On a daily basis I can hear Russian, Slavic, and Spanish spoken as I work the circulation desk.  We have a great many African American patrons, people who have moved here from the Chicago area to get away from the crime and high unemployment that plague Illinois.  Oh, yea, you mocked Iowa for our low crime rate, didn't you?
This is really just scratching the surface of your laughable article.  There are many who are much more eloquent than I, but I definitely have the right to disagree with you and post my thoughts.  As much of a right as you.
In the end, as angry as I am, I really feel sorry for you.  You don't know how good you've got it, living in an extraordinary state and an extraordinary community.  Iowans are the friendliest people I know, quick to help  neighbors and even strangers when needed.  I have a feeling, Prof. Bloom, that no matter where you live, you would be disdainful of those around you.  Because it's all about you, isn't it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to commend you for your well stated comments. I wholly agree with you. It is not the problems that he cites, it is the the broad, mostly inaccurate brush that he uses to color the background that smacks of contempt.
You can tell me that I have food on my face, but if you tell me i'm an idiot because I have food on my ugly face and I'm too stupid to care...I'll take exception to the latter.