A Vanderbilt professor who recently wrote a book impugning people in the American South and Midwest for supposed racism and for clinging to conservative political values is fending off fierce protesters during his book tour.
As The Tennessee Star reported, Jonathan Metzl, professor of sociology and medicine recently wrote a book called Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland.
Specifically, the book focused on people in Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee.
Ironically, none of the protestors reportedly harassing Metzl are documented to have come from any of those three states or anywhere else in the South or Midwest.
Mainstream media outlets say these protestors instead are white nationalists who have caused trouble in Washington, D.C. and California.
According to TheHill.com, “white nationalist groups have targeted bookstores and library events in multiple states.”
The co-founder of the American Identity Movement reportedly told The Washington Post he organized a protest at an event Metzl scheduled to promote his book.
As The Star reported, according to Metzl, white Tennessee residents endanger their own health by rejecting government health care programs and by embracing pro-gun and anti-tax policies.
Metzl said in a press release he set out to “understand how white Americans reconciled support for anti-tax, pro-gun policies in regions struggling with the impact of poor health care and education and high rates of gun death.”
He said he focused on three specific areas — Medicaid expansion in Tennessee, school funding in Kansas, and gun laws in Missouri. Metzl said in the press release that he has lived in all three of those states.
“In his book, Metzl explains that today’s skepticism toward gun control and government programs has a long history in the segregated South and Midwest, where gun ownership, affordable health care and quality education were considered privileges that only whites deserved,” according to the press release.
“Likewise, those attitudes reflected a view of whiteness that emphasized extreme self-reliance—the idea that individuals can and should be solely responsible for the health, safety and well-being of themselves and their loved ones.”
Quoting Metzl, the Vanderbilt press release said this view is linked to backlash following the U.S. Civil War and federal interventions to end segregation. Metzl also said these attitudes resurged following the election of former Democratic President Barack Obama.