It really amazes me that we draw such strong class distinctions here in SoHum, where so few people have any class at all. On one side, we have cracker drug dealers posing as middle-class suburbanites, who wouldn’t know class if it bit them in the ass, but if you can buy a symbol of it, they have four. On the other side we have poor white trash for whom class is what we dropped-out of school to avoid. Is there really any difference between us? I sure don’t see it.

We all drink too much, take too many drugs and make big messes in the woods. We’re mostly ugly and unpleasant to be around, and very few of us can hold up our end of a conversation for long without dropping an F-bomb. We dress like shlubs and barely speak in complete sentences, but instead of recognizing our similarities, we search for petty distinctions that allow us to look down on each other, demonize each other and blame each other, rather than work together to find a solution. That’s the cracker way.

That’s why white people make such great fascists. Without the strict discipline of a strong leader, we all just turn on each other, like overcrowded hamsters, but if a leader can frighten us of a foreign enemy, we instantly become the most vicious killing machine that has ever stalked the planet. We don’t know how to look for common ground or a win/win situation. For us, the only way we know we’ve won, is when we see you lose. It’s a cultural thing, and it goes way back.

Usually, this kind of white cultural ugliness takes the form of racism, but we just don’t have enough non-white people, here in SoHum to blame all of our problems on. Because of our lack of diversity, we’ve had to learn to hate each other based purely on perceived economic status. This has lead to a lot of “cracker on cracker” crime, as tensions flare between two groups of practically identical people who attack each other over differences they would pity each other for, if they weren’t so pitiful themselves. That’s how it is with white people. If they don’t have their foot on your neck, you have to pity them.

Here in SoHum, we have a housing shortage, so we make a distinction between those who manage to find a place to live, and those who get left outside at night. It’s a cruel distinction, and one that could be eliminated with a little compassion cooperation and imagination, but that’s not the cracker way. Instead, we prefer a military solution. Like fools, we beg for more cops, stricter laws and harsher punishments. If we can’t solve the problem with violence, we won’t solve it at all.

When I hear our dope yuppies complain about the poor and homeless, they complain, very vociferously, about very minor offenses. They don’t like people standing on the sidewalks, smoking cigarettes, with their dogs and backpacks. They complain about people sitting on park benches for too long, and in too large of groups. They complain about people’s appearance, or about the appearance of their vehicles. They complain about open containers and smoking marijuana in public. They basically complain about people trying to live their lives as best they can.

On the other hand, when I hear homeless people complaining about the people who harass them, they complain about serious crimes and abusive behavior. They complain about having their tents slashed and their belongings stolen. They complain about being shot with paintball guns, threatened with firearms, and being physically assaulted and beaten up. They complain about having the Sheriff called on them because they were standing on the sidewalk talking to their friends, or about being photographed and videotaped by people who treat them as though they have no right to exist. They complain about being run off of the road when they are walking, or about trucks that slow down as they pass, and then hit the gas to spew a big cloud of diesel exhaust in their face. They complain about being profiled and blamed for things that they did not do, and they complain about collective punishment, violence and open hostility.

I understand class war, and I think class war is worth fighting, but if it weren’t for the weed industry, we’d all be poor, and on the same side. I like poor people. I don’t like to see people suffer, but I do enjoy the company of people who know how to make themselves happy, and enjoy their time on Earth without feeling the need to blow a ton of cash along the way.

The rules of class war are simple. If you aren’t on the side of the people who have less than you, you’re on the wrong side. Here’s why: The people who have less than you, need you, and they will remember you when you need them, but to the people who have more than you, you will always be expendable. Crackers never figure this out no matter how many times they get fired, laid-off, snitched-out, or otherwise hung out to dry. Crackers always fall for shiny material objects, fancy pageants and big crowds, and will buy into any kind of idiocy that makes them feel like part of it.

Now that the dope yuppies have money, and have gotten chummy with the trust-fund kids, this little drug ghetto they’ve created here has become an embarrassment, so they’re doing everything they can to ditch their poor neighbors and gussy-up the place to impress their new rich friends. It’s exactly what any stupid cracker would do. It’s in our blood. Crackers have sucked up to rich, phony friends for a hundred generations or more, and those rich, phony friends have never given us anything except poorer people to look down on. These days, I guess that’s all that most crackers expect from life.

Since we’re all white, none of us have any idea what respect is all about, and none of us knows how to solve anything except with violence. We’re pathetic. Unless we, pitiful, stupid, white crackers, can find some compassion in our hearts, the vision to see our commonalities over our differences, and the imagination to find a new way to live together, it’s a hopeless situation. I always thought that marijuana would help us rise above the pitfalls of our cracker heritage, but here in SoHum, I have to admit that it has only made things worse. We’ve seen it a million times, from the Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s to the Jerry Springer Show, and now on the streets of Garberville. Cracker versus cracker just leaves a lot of crumbs.


John Hardin writes at Like You’ve Got Something Better to Do.