I was catching up on the great content from DailyYonder.com and I came across an interesting item in their Thursday Roundup from earlier this month. It was a quick note about the seemingly low opinion of rural America held by Adam Orth, the former director of Microsoft's games division. It came out during a Twitter exchange you can read about in detail here.
In short, the exchange was about the concern some have surrounding a product that may require an always on broadband connection. This can be a difficult to accomplish in rural places, and this was pointed out. At the mention of the small cities of Blacksburg, Virginia, and Janesville, Wisconsin, Orth wrote, "Why on earth would I live there?"
Orth's implied anti-rural and small town America attitude is a problem. You can witness the attitude other places too, such as in the ways small town life is depicted in film and television. In a more meaningful way, rural communities experience this via education legislation that favors the needs of urban schools over rural. The larger problem, however, is that this implied anti-rural attitude often exists most deeply within those residing in rural America.
Visiting small towns often invokes a series of apologies. "Sorry, we don't have _________." "We only have __________." Rural Americans need to be un-apologetically rural.
Let’s stop apologizing for what we lack and start bragging about what we have. Rural people’s ingenuity and tinkering ability mean we can make and fix just about anything. Urban, suburban, or rural: no matter. We’re proud of our unique contribution.