How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
— Emily Dickinson
“We’re treated like we’re from another country when we go out into the rest of the United States. As an Appalachian in America you always feel as ‘the other.’ It’s such a strange phenomenon. People speak slowly to us. A woman once asked me if I knew who Johnny Carson was because I was from Appalachia, she didn’t think we had TVs. She thought we were illiterate.”
“There’s a pervasiveness and acceptability in so many parts of the country to tell nasty jokes about hillbillies and other white working class people. We are the only people it’s permissible to speak of in such negative, nasty, degraded terms. Every other group has managed to insist on it’s own respectful treatment so the things that people will say about blacks or Jews or whomever, they don’t say anymore, but they can still say it about hillbillies.”