Depressing story about Johnstown, Pennsylvania – a former steel-town. There are so many places like that experienced a boom due to natural resources and now are bust. My hometown is one of them. The people are desperate and suffering. The opioid epidemic is the evidence. The environment has been ravaged. White supremacy reigns.
Sometimes I wonder if new and sustainable economies were created in places like these, would people hate less? Where does it come from – this othering? This boldness of superiority? How does what we have today in places like Johnstown connect to our history? The deep roots of stolen land, capitalism, and slavery in America. Today, we reap what was sown, and what continues to be sown.
The image above is from http://www.jeremyblakesleephoto.com/ and is of the now defunct Bethlehem Steele powerhouses and furnace. From Wikipedia: “Bethlelem Steele was the second-largest steel producer and largest shipbuilder in America. Their demise is often cited as one of the most prominent examples of the U.S. economy’s shift away from industrial manufacturing, its failure to compete with cheap foreign labor, and management’s penchant for short-term profits.”