Fat B*tch in the Fattest State


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Callie and Chuck recap the wild primary elections in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and Callie talks to Dr. Angie Luvara about being Fat in Appalachia

Intro – Georgia politicking

Chuck Corra: You brought this up, we have to talk about it. It’s about a democratic politician and gubernatorial hopeful in the great state of Georgia. The peach state as some call it –  peaches are delicious. I can attest to that. Stacey Abrams!

 She said something. It was interesting. Maybe not the best thing to say. And you as a political operative, I think have some very profound insight on it. So let it rip 

Callie Pruett: Lord. Yeah. So Stacey Abrams, look, I love her. My favorite thing about her actually is that she’s a Star Trek fan. I’m a star Trek fan, too.

But, The woman said something just plain dumb.  I want to read to you verbatim what she said. 

“I am tired of being told that we are the best state in the country to do business when we are the worst state in the country to live.”

That’s not what you want to hear from your gubernatorial hopeful. I took one look at this, I sent it to Chuck and said we’ve got to talk about this. I feel like this is a trap that so many Democrats fall into. We want better for our people. We want better for our communities and we know that we can do better.

I think that’s what she ultimately meant, but it just came across as really bad.

So bad, In fact, that she had to send a clarifying tweet after the dinner she was at. She said, Georgia may be the number one place for business, but we’re 48 in mental health, number two in the uninsured number one in maternal mortality and in new HIV cases, and number nine in gun violence for too many camps, Georgia doesn’t include them. Why? Because Kemp doesn’t care.

I like it. I like that. But the bottom line is she should not have had to send that tweets. And yeah, I’d love your reaction on all of that, too. 

Chuck Corra: This comment, I think, was not from a bad intention. If you’re a candidate for statewide office, what I will say is I think that the point of we’re number 48, mental health, we’re number two in the uninsured number one and, or number one in new HIV cases, those types of things, very valid to point out.

I think makes a compelling argument for a change in leadership. And look, you live in West Virginia, I’m from West Virginia. We are no strangers to these statistics being the goods to the good things, being at the bottom, and the bad things being at the top. Very familiar with that. So I understand where she’s coming from, but got to find a better way of communicating it because this really undermines your argument for, I love this.

I don’t believe it’s going in the right direction. And I think I’m the person who can put it in the right direction when you’re trashing the state. You have to be able to communicate in a way where w this is a place we love and there are reasons we love it, but there are problems with it.

Callie Pruett: I don’t want to single her out as the only person to ever make a gaffe like this because she’s not. But I do think that Democrats on the whole need to do a lot better in terms of communicating a positive message, rather than telling everyone, like you’ve made shitty decisions, you live in a shitty state and why don’t you let me a smarter person than you take over?

 That’s just not a winning message. So yeah let’s take this for what it is. And let’s learn from it because I think that Democrats as a whole can and should do better on these issues. I 

Chuck Corra: agree. W we, I think there’s, and I’m not saying that this is how she’s coming off. I’m saying Democrats sometimes come off as lecturing and people, I don’t care if you’re right, you can be right on everything, but delay and you ask anybody from professors to comedians and actually, comedians are a great example because the way you say something really matters, it’s how you say it.

It’s not necessarily what you say. It’s how you say it. Sometimes it’s a little bit of both, but I think that Democrats, in general, can sometimes come off as lecturing. Let me tell you something, even if you’re right and nobody wants to be lectured to, especially if you’re trying to court their vote.

That’s something that I think is hard to get across, especially to the Twitter crowd of the well – that concept of “well, but I’m correct.” Well that’s all well and good, but people aren’t naturally going to vote for you because of that. That’s where I fall on that and I think this will probably be something that they’ll try to run against her.

Maybe it’ll be successful. Maybe it won’t. I think she’s got plenty to run against governor Kemp on. We’ll see what happens.

Campaign Check-in: Midterm primaries in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and more

Callie Pruett: So let’s talk about mideterms for our campaign check-in.

Chuck Corra: John Fetterman. The Democratic Senate primary and the great state of Pennsylvania, the Keystone state, the democratic state primary.

Let me just tell you something. All right. And I’m sure that this has been used before, but I’m going to say it. Fetterman took the lamb out to slaughter. That’s right. Connor lamb got his ass whooped. Conor Lamb is a centrist slash conservative Democrat from Western Pennsylvania, who ran against John Fetterman.

The current Lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania got destroyed. Fetterman won all 67 counties as almost 60% of the vote. Let’s just talk real quick about this, because I think John. Ran a great campaign. I think he has a real shot at winning the general, even in a bad year. And I think there’s a lot about him.

That’s important. And look, I am a little biased because he was the first major person that we had on this podcast. And I am grateful for him for coming on and hope we can get them back on. I think one of these things and look, I’m not trying to objectify people. I’m not trying to say that appearance is everything, but appearance does matter in elections.

I think a little bit, John Fetterman has got the appearance. He looks like a Mac truck. He’s a big dude. He’s six foot seven built like a brick shit house, bald goatee tattoos. Where’s Dickie shorts and Carhartt hoodies like 95% of the time. He’s like the human manifestation of a metallurgical blast furnace that smelts weaker opponents and politicians.

I love this guy. I run it. I tweeted this the other day, reminded me about the guy that was at my dad’s union hall. I used to go to those union meetings with him growing up and he would be the guy that would sit in the back and snarl every time the union had to make concessions to the company when they were negotiating contracts.

But then he’d also be the guy that would bring donuts. That’s John Fetterman. I love 

Callie Pruett: that. I love that so much because it really, he’s a Teddy bear. 

Chuck Corra: Yeah. Yeah. I can definitely see the guy he’s tough, but fair. And he was very tough with us. Very tough, very blunt guy, but we appreciated that.

But anyway, I I go back to the appearance because this guy looks like Pennsylvania. That’s I heard somebody say that and I liked that. He looks like Pennsylvania. I liked that appearance and somebody, it looks like a blue collar guy wears shorts everywhere. Big fan of him, just, 

Callie Pruett: yeah, I think that he is one of the most effective Democrats in coming across as a man of the people.

So I think that there are a lot of people who need to take a few notes from him. 

Chuck Corra: That’s true. And here’s the other thing that I liked do. His campaign. His whole thing is every county, every vote. And I think too often Democrats have neglected rural counties. And this is something that when we had him on our show gosh, it was about a year and a half ago.

He was talking about his statewide tour on marijuana and taking the temperature of people and understanding like where the support was. And it was all over the state. And that was, he was very committed to that idea. And so I really liked that about him because it wasn’t somebody who was ignoring the places that have already been ignored by Democrats.

He was going to every single county and searching for every single vote. And I think that’s an important strategy to implement and take forward with them. And and I think that he can be extremely competitive. And one thing I wanted to point out before we get to the. The Republican primary is that he won every single county.

Like I said, very decisive victory. He’s consolidated the democratic electorate behind him, which is really important going into an election that there’s a tough year for Democrats. And for those of you who may not be aware, the Senate seat that he’s running for in Pennsylvania is an open seat because the Senator that’s retiring, pat Toomey is a Republican he’s retiring.

So it’s an open race a jump ball at this point. And he has a, I think a really good shot of winning if he doesn’t screw it up. So we’ll see what happens. He’s got a couple of weaknesses. I think they’re going to hit them on crime because he sits on the parole board and has granted a parole, I believe for.

People who had been locked up, which I think is a good thing. I really do. I believe in that, but I think that Republicans are going to try to hit them on crime, especially cause crime polls really high right now. And he’s also got this incident where he pulled a gun on an unarmed black man. Y’all can look that up to get the full context of that.

I, my read of it is that it was a mistake in a one-off situation. The guy has synced endorsed him. So I, that’s not something that really, I think concerns me about him. I don’t get the sense that he’s he has like a predilection against black people, which I think was what was implied there. I’m happy to be pushed back on that, but that was not my take of it.

 I think he’s a really strong candidate and a really good one and it’s worth pointing out. He’s very progressive on a lot of issues. He’s very pro wi he’s very pro pro choice pro women’s bodies. And I think that he is, he’s very pro union and he’s he’s an economic populist, which is really.

What more Democrats should be focusing on because that’s how you win. I 

Callie Pruett: think he’s a really interesting person. And I think that he has been campaign is really gonna depend on the outcome of the GOP side of this race. And I really I want to move there. Because right now the GOP side of the Senate race in Pennsylvania is still too close to call a week later, less than a thousand votes, separate the two candidates.

Wow. That is so few votes in a state like Pennsylvania, that’s like less than. A thousand of the electorate. 

Chuck Corra: Yeah. And the candidates. So this race is interesting. I, to be honest, I wasn’t really following it super closely before this’ll happen. Obviously a lot of us are that Dr. Oz jumped in the race who was, I think probably still is a New Jersey resident, but I think he was using his in-laws address or something to register.

I it’s very strange. So he’s technically in the lead with 31.2% of the vote. Dave McCormick, who I genuinely do not know much about him is right behind him. Listen to that. I think it’s less than a thousand votes behind at this point. Maybe a little more than a thousand Kathy Barnett, who is a nut job, election truther.

I believe who, oh my gosh. She is just. I don’t even know. I can’t even describe all the crazy that’s wrapped up in her. She’s like behind, but close. Yeah. 

Callie Pruett: She’s like Marjorie Taylor green, but Pennsylvania. That’s 

Chuck Corra: perfect. That is, and that is exactly what you need to know about this person. I don’t think she’s going to pull this one out.

She’s too far behind the leaders, but but this is, and that’s important because this electric was extremely divided. You have Oz who, if you take him at his word, he is more moderate than Kathy Barnett. And I think Dave McCormick, he’s not by any means moderate, but he’s not a full-blown election truther, so to speak.

 And by that somebody who believes that the 2020 election results were fraudulent, it should be overturned. No, I 

Callie Pruett: honestly don’t know how he has managed that that position for so long because he has the endorsement of Trump. He had to go to Mar-a-Lago and pitch himself.

So I’m not sure how he’s been walking that line. But I guess kudos to him for doing it, but I really think that whoever wins this GOP side is going to just really impact Fetterman’s race. Because I think that if Dr. Wins then it’s going to be a lot harder. Not that either option is going to be easy, but I think that an Oz, like person with very high name ID with a Trump endorsement that’s going to be really tough.

It’s going to be really tough race. And so I think a McKinley would be the more pre preferred option because he is more unknown. He is he comes across as a little bit like stuffy, I think when I’ve seen him speak. And I think in a debate with the two of them, I think Fetterman could put them in a trash can and kick them down the road.

But that’s just my opinion. I 

Chuck Corra: could actually see him literally doing that too, which would be interesting to watch. Yeah. I guess I’m with you for the most part. I think that Oz is a weaker. I think he has bigger weaknesses, but I also like this. You can’t underestimate the strength of name ID. And it, and look like a lot of people, a lot of people watch daytime TV, who though.

And a lot of people know him as this good doctor who went on Oprah and that’s a lot of what they know about them. And so I think like Fetterman could easily hit him on the residency things questioning like his Pennsylvania credentials. He also voted in the Turkish presidential election, which was bizarre.

 Because as he I don’t know if he’s a dual citizen or what, I’m not really sure what’s going on there, but I think you can hit him on that. And honestly, and this kind of leads into the other election is I think that because of how the governor’s primary in Pennsylvania went, you can put him, put Dr.

Oz in a box, which speaking of let’s talk about the gubernatorial primaries, because those are important. And they, I think relate directly to this. There wasn’t a lot of excitement on the democratic side because there’s only one guy running Josh Shapiro. He was the attorney general current attorney general, but the Republican side.

And I want you all to listen, because if you take away anything from this is the most important thing. And especially if you live in Pennsylvania, this is a disaster and it could be, I’m not exaggerating when I say that. Man who got nominated by the Republicans could destroy American democracy. That is not an exaggeration.

This guy. It’s not, it’s an, so this guy, Doug mass, Triano Kelly you want to tick through some of the things that this guy is for and against. 

Callie Pruett: Yeah. Yeah. I think let’s just, let’s hit the HIPAA highlights. So he’s a current member of the Pennsylvania state Senate. And he was one of the.

State senators that we heard about who was actually at the January 6th insurrection. He didn’t go into the Capitol, but he did pass through the breached barriers trespassing onto federal land. 

Chuck Corra: I just want to point out that this is totally like the Republican talking point. Now, if I was at the rally, but I didn’t go into the Capitol.

That’s their way of squaring that circle. Anyway. Sorry, go ahead. Yeah. As if that’s any better. So there’s that January 6th, the that little thing he’s also a Q Anon conspiracy theorist. Hardcore, it seems like very, still very invested in Q1 on which. Come on guys. Isn’t it 

done on it?

 Isn’t Q gone. 

Callie Pruett: I would think so, but I just saw a prediction about an overthrow of president Biden a couple of weeks ago. That was predicted by Q Anon. It’s just truly baffling to me. Also just like generally, like the guy opposes legalizing weed and that’s like a big thing for him. So it, it seems like just not the kind of guy that even a lot of publicans are excited about 

Chuck Corra: because Lila is, and wheat is very popular in Pennsylvania, 

Callie Pruett: so popular, it’s so popular and it should be the also called for a mass burning party and urge people to reject store employees, telling them to wear a mask and lie to them saying that you’re exempt.


Chuck Corra: What’s 

Callie Pruett: just. Just dumb political capital that he used to do that. Then also he has shared a bunch of posts on his Facebook saying that Islam wants to kill gay rights, Judaism and Christianity, which like doesn’t he also want to kill gay rights. It’s 

Chuck Corra: That’s still what I’m confused.

I’m like, okay, is this guy pro gay rights? I’m really not sure at this point, 

Callie Pruett: honestly, there are so many Republicans who use that talking point when they want something. And then are the total opposite. Like there, there is no friend of you, if you’re gay, if you’re queer, there’s no friend in the Republican party.

I think we all know this, but there isn’t. He also, at 

Chuck Corra: least not in the elected part anyway. 

Callie Pruett: Yeah. And he will get to, this is like a real kicker. I think this is the most important part that really is going to destroy America. If he gets elected, he’ll get to a point a secretary of state and we’ll appoint one that will throw.

Existing voter registrations. All of them will likely make everyone re register to vote. What the living 

Chuck Corra: fuck. That’s six it’s over 6 million people, 6 million registered for that. Okay. And that’s an important part of this. Like the secretary of state in Pennsylvania is not elected, not like Georgia and in West Virginia and several other states they’re appointed.

So if this guy who is an election truther, one of the biggest there is gets elected. He will have a secretary of state that will do his bidding and make everybody in the state reregister, which that’s just one thing that he will make them do not to mention, probably question don’t even probably scratch.

That definitely questioned the results of the 2024 election. Whenever that happens. If the Democrat were to win the state, this is scary shit. This guy was one of the leaders and the Pennsylvania Senate leading the charge to have the legislature appoint delegates to the electoral college. Instead of following the results of the presidential election, he wanted to appoint electors.

 That would reject the results. Okay. 

Callie Pruett: Just seems like a real wholesome thing to do. 

Chuck Corra: Real standup guy. How do you, so I want your take on this cause I’ve got some opinions. How do you think this person won this election and won it? So decisively, because it wasn’t quite like a Fetterman situation, but it was a pretty wide margin 

Callie Pruett: I’m looking right now.

 I just want to see if he got endorsed by Trump. Cause I can’t remember right now. He 

Chuck Corra: did. Yes. And it was funny because Lou Barletta was like a big OJI Trumper, and he was running against this guy. And Tripp was like, nah, man, I got to go through this. 

Callie Pruett: Yeah. So I think that in many ways, the Republican primaries across the country are just tiny little referendums on Trump, his endorsement he’s been throwing it everywhere that he can he’s been throwing it.

He’s been having private meetings at Mar-a-Lago with with folks who are literally bringing pitch decks. And his staff are telling folks how to present information to Trump. So they’ve said lots of pictures, not a lot of texts, only four words per slide. And you just praise Trump as much as you can.

And that’s happening. That is that’s been reported on by folks that the New York times, even like lots of people understand that Trump is holding. Right now to pick out the next generation of GOP leaders and they are all going to be subservient to him. And so I think that in many ways, having a Trump endorsement was what puts so many people over the finish line.

Chuck Corra: Oh yeah. Definitely for JD Vance. Absolutely. Yeah, no, yeah, you’re right. And I think I don’t want to say that Trump’s influence is waning. I don’t know that he has quite the influence that some people suggest, but he still has a huge amount of influence. And and it’s something that can’t be ignored.

And with this he’s endorsing people, a lot of times it wants to throw out the election results and would have had they been empowered in 2020. That’s why this guy is so scary. And I think that he has crafted this master piano guy. I don’t know a lot about it. He’s crafted a persona. That’s very appealing to people.

He is a veteran who. If you go on his Twitter, he’s posting every day about a fallen veteran in the state of Pennsylvania. And when people see stuff like that, that hits for them. So like this, do not underestimate this person. And when you go out and vote, because in vote for the Democrat in this race, even if you don’t really like the Democrat, this is the difference between a democracy and not, and I don’t know about you all, but I like at least having a democracy, even if it’s terribly functioning at times is better than having a complete nightmare, hell scape, literally in front of your door.


Callie Pruett: Yeah. I think that if there’s nothing else that gets you out to vote, it should be protecting democracy because I understand the anger that a lot of folks have for Democrats, for Republicans, for party politics for the same old shit. And I really understand that and I deeply empathize with that.

 But. There’s some things that we just have to do. We just have to get up and we have to do them for the sake of the country. And I think that particularly in Pennsylvania, this is not only a chief battleground state and a place where we are going to see the next decade of politics playing out in Pennsylvania.

 But it’s in addition to being that it’s also a place that is in desperate need of good people in power. And I think that casting your vote against this person, even if it’s not for another person is worth your time and is worth your effort. 

Chuck Corra: I completely agree. And I know that that’s a lot of times it is this whole lesser of the two evils thing.

 I hate that framing. I really do, but that’s the reality of the situation we’re living in. And with this it’s this is not just a policy disagreement. This is someone who disagrees with people’s rights to vote, which is why he wants to get rid of that and make you reregister. Yeah. 

Callie Pruett: I also just want to point out it’s really funny to me, how much Republicans have knocked the Pennsylvania elections board and the secretary of state and all of that.

And now they’re reliant on a recount for the results of their election. It’s just too good to be 

Chuck Corra: true. Yeah. It’s really a, it’s really pathetic. We’re going to be talking a lot more about Pennsylvania in the coming weeks. Hopefully we can get some people from Pennsylvania on to talk about it to John Fetterman invite always open.

 But let’s briefly talk about North Carolina and I guess we can talk about Kentucky. There’s so much to talk about with Kentucky and congrats to Charles Booker, former guest of the show friend of ours who won his primary and we’ll be going on to face Rand Paul, your home state of North Carolina.

Definitely, always a battle ground. And always, I’ve not say that our episode that came out on last Tuesday, the day of the North Carolina primary had a role in Madison. Cawthorne losing, but I’m definitely not going to say that either. 

Callie Pruett: I am so proud. Of the North Carolina 11th district. Thank God.

The Madison Cawthorne is not going to represent us anymore. I don’t think he’s going to go away. He’s already said that he’s not going to go away, come out, started talking about whatever his next project is, but the man should not have been in elected office. And I have to hand it to the Republicans who rallied against him and knew, understood the danger that he posed.

 Look, I don’t like Chuck Edwards. We’re going to talk about Chuck Edwards. We’re going to criticize Chuck Edwards. Cause he’s got a lot to criticize criticize his name though. Yes. 

Yes, Chuck, great name. But I don’t think that if there’s another situation where there’s a natural disaster or where there is, there are people dying that he will, I don’t think that his lines will be closed.

I think he will be there for the people. And I think that’s the bare minimum that you can expect from your representatives. And I plan very much on criticizing him and the coming months, but I’m just so pleased that that that Madison is out of here. Yes, 

Chuck Corra: celebrate all wins big and small.

And that was, I think, a big win in some ways, a small win, but also a big win. And we’ll see what happens in that district wild place, but I am proud of the people for voting amount. Good job. Good job folks. 

Callie Pruett: We’ve also got some other exciting news before we move on to our announcements. I w I wish we could talk about this for another hour, but Sherry Beasley is going to be the nominee for Senate really exciting to have her.

She is the the former chief justice of the North Carolina Supreme court, super impressive person super impressive campaign being, actually run by somebody who used to work at the D trip who I actually, I think he’s running a great campaign. And so I am very excited for the future of what’s going on in North Carolina politics.

I think that we’re going to have a lot of interesting races, a lot to talk about, and I’m really proud of the state right now for doing those two things. 

Chuck Corra: She was a graduate of the university of Tennessee law school go Valls. And so there you go. A little bit of Appalachia in there for ya. I had been interested in her background being a justice.

She was associate justice and a chief justice on the Supreme court of North Carolina. I think it’s a very interesting background for somebody to run with. And one that I think will get a lot of attention. I’m excited to learn more about her. Hopefully we can have her on the show and and get to know her a little bit better.

 So I’m excited to watch that race. It could be interesting to be a tough year for Democrats. It’s going to be a tough race for her, cause she’s going up against kind of just a run of the mill, wing Republican, Ted Budd. So we’ll see what happens. Yes. 

Callie Pruett: But is a brand I will say. We can talk about this more later, but Ted bud has a solid brand and I think he’s going to be tough to beat.

Interview – Dr. Angie Luvara

Callie Pruett: Yes, I am so excited about this interview. We had joining us Dr. Angie Levara. She is a sociology professor, Frostburg state university in Western, Maryland, and she’s at such a kick ass job.

So she is has her hands in a lot of different, a lot of different things as far as Appalachia goes, but I first heard her speak about being fat in Appalachia about a year ago, and then she did a panel on it. Excuse me. She did a panel on it at the Appalachian studies association conference this year.

I have never heard someone speaks so plainly about being fat in Appalachia and what that means for not only their lives, but how we have been a marginalized community for so long and how fatness is tied up in the image of Appalachia. And so I wanted to bring her on the show because I think she’s brilliant and I really hope that you enjoy the interview.

I know that we’re gonna definitely have her back when she gets her book published. But I am, I’m just so thrilled that we were able to get her on 

Chuck Corra: this week. Same. I was really excited to have her, even though I couldn’t have been there. But and I’m excited for y’all to listen to it. So why don’t we get right to it?

Callie Pruett: I have a very exciting guest today. And I’m so excited to bring her to the show before I introduce her, I have to say that this woman is in my brain trust. I have a standing call with her. She is one of, I think the most brilliant minds in Appalachia right now. And I’m more, more than excited to have her on the pod today.

Joining and I is Dr. Angie Levara. She is an assistant professor of sociology and women’s studies at Frostburg state university in Western mountain, Maryland. She earned her PhD in sociology with a concentration in critical race theory. We love to see it from Georgia state university in 2016. She is a carceral abolitionist and the roots of her evolutionist practice practice, sorry are planted firmly in her hometown of Kaiser West Virginia.

Here. She learned to prioritize community care from her mom and her grandma and other women who were part of the village that raised her. And she learned methods for pushing institutions to be more inclusive from her father. She is currently has a, she has a book under contract with the university press of Kentucky on Appalachian contributions to a carceral abolitionist movement, which you can expect to see in print in about two to three years.

And we will definitely have her back to talk about that book. She loves the color pink and if you don’t follow her on Instagram, you should. Cause she tricks her students sometimes with on Wednesdays, we wear pink and waits for them to figure it out. It’s amazing. She hates pickles, which I can’t get behind.

 I love pickles. And she feels most at home in the mountains. And I love that she included those last couple of little personal facts because you know what? She refuses to present only a portion of herself in her work. What she is here today to talk about folks is fatness in Appalachia.

Oh yeah. She’s a fat bitch and we love to see it welcome, Dr. And.

We are so happy to have you today. I’m really excited to talk about this subject. We were talking about fatness in Appalachia. One of the things that we like to do on this show is elevate voices. Are marginalized. And I think that one of the most marginalized voices, a subset of voices in Appalachia are those of fat people and fat women in particular.

 And some folks may be wondering why I am using the word fat. So abrasively Angie, can you talk about a little bit of your lived experience in Appalachia your childhood and just tell us why we’re talking about fatness plain and simple. 

Dr. Angie Luvara: So first yeah, about the language I use fat the same way that people use, like tall blue eyes any other descriptors that we talk about?

 It’s my way. And I’m not the only one who does, this is trying to de-stigmatize that word, but it is to some seems abrasive. So I’m glad that you brought that up just to give people the disclaimer. I think the best. Thing to do is always use the word that the per the person in your life uses when you’re talking to a person.

 And for me that I I’m like totally fine calling myself fat. But check with your fellow fat folks, everyone might not feel the same way. So yeah, so I’ve been fat my whole life pretty much here in West Virginia for a big chunk of it, I did leave for awhile to go to college and more school and then more school and just came back about a year ago.

 But was always visiting here of course, cause my parents have lived here for their entire lives and Appalachia. So I, when I was really and I think the way that you said that this that we are really marginalized I think that especially shows up and how people are talking about Appalachia.

We see a lot of folks talking about Appalachians and our lived experiences and y’all in this podcast are like one huge piece of, I think, why that’s been happening. And I still rarely see or hear people talking about the experiences of fat folks here. And to me, it’s interesting because we hear so many people talking about like how they were taught to minimize their accent because people hear a Southern or an Appalachian accent and immediately think, oh, you’re not intelligent.

 Oh, you’re backwards. Oh, you’re one of those hillbillies or redneck or whatever. And those things like the roots of that, right? The roots of portraying Appalachians as unintelligent, those same roots also portrayed us as being lazy and fat. And all of those things were wrapped up together.

Like when. We’re trying to construct us as unintelligent. They were trying to construct us as also lazy and make our bodies be deviant too. But I’m getting ahead of myself a little bit. So let me talk about my lived experience first. So I was young here and I think around the same time that I started to have those experiences of my parents, trying to teach me how to minimize my accent and teach me at vivid memories of them trying very hard to get me to stop saying ain’t all the time still is such a great word.

Won’t let it go. They tried their hardest. They also like around the same time that they were doing that as when my mom first put me on an involuntary diet. Of course she didn’t say I’m going to put you on a diet now or anything like that. It was just like, suddenly my lunchbox didn’t have like good snacks in it.

It had Snackwells in it. Which if you were like a nineties kid, I feel like you experienced the Snackwell’s thing. And no matter how many times they tried to say these are great and they taste great and they’re low-calorie or whatever. Those things sucked. That was not good food. So anyway Snackwell’s just started showing up in my lunchbox and my portions were smaller and dinner and like different stuff like that.

 And when I say that, sometimes people look at me like, oh my God, I can’t believe your mom did that to you. But I want to be really clear that I think the same way that our parents teach us to minimize our accents. Like they’re trying to do what they think is best for us to survive, because they have a clear understanding of how people with our accents are treated in this world.

And the same goes for fatness. Like my parents have a clear understanding that fatphobia exists in the society and they wanted to set me and my brother up for success and the best ways that they knew how at that time. And that was trying to teach us to quote, discipline our bodies and to thinness, which it doesn’t work.

 Research shows doesn’t work, but I don’t think that my mom knew any of that at the time. But, yeah. So for me it’s interesting that we don’t talk about these things together because they’re so intertwined, like the roots of or the reasons that my mom put me on a diet when I was in it was around fourth grade when my thighs came in.

 And the reasons that are the same as the reasons why my parents were trying to tell me not to say so much and to stop dropping the GS off the end of my words and all those kinds of things. Does that answer your question? 

Callie Pruett: Yeah, absolutely. I. I really appreciate you sharing that and sharing your lived experience.

I’m sure that other folks in the region have experienced that as well. I would love to know what that meant for you and the implications of someone else putting their expectations on you. How did that impact your view? Not only of yourself, but more broadly as you grew up, how did those actions influenced the way that you thought?

Dr. Angie Luvara: Yeah. I am an overachiever. And I am cured from this now, but for a really long time, especially when I was young, also a people pleaser and I’m really intuitive. I think a lot of folks that grew up in Appalachian homes can relate to this part. We don’t necessarily talk all about our emotions.

Like my parents show their love through actions and things like that. And they don’t talk a lot about why they’re doing the things that they’re doing and the care that’s behind them and stuff like that. So for me, what that translate into, I became like a really intuitive kid and I could like almost read their minds and anticipate with them on it.

 So I went over the top with it. I was like, cool. Okay. In order to be like, seen as good, I need to talk this way. Act this way and do these things. And so it was not only losing some of my accent, which now that I’m back home, I’m like, please come back. But it was also when I started to be in control of what I ate more as you grow up, I really went over the top with With dieting which I would now say is like disordered eating like a hundred percent for decades of my life.

 Because I thought that’s what like good folks do when you want people to see you as not one of those rednecks, not one of those hillbillies. Like I’m not one of them, like I’m a good person. It was intertwined in my mind that I have to talk this way. I have to be like so super dedicated to school and go to school for 100 million years.

And I have to will my body to be small, which again, like it doesn’t work. Like the research shows that it’s the quote best estimate is like 95% of diets fail, but it’s likely way higher than that. 99% of diets fail. And it’s not because usually sometimes people try to spend that statistic and it’s 95% of dieters, go off their diet or whatever.

And that’s not, it’s because dieting is literal starvation and our bodies love us and don’t want us to starve. So they take over. And they do things like slow your metabolism down, or literally when people go off their diets, a lot of times it’s like their body taking over and be like, literally eat everything in sight.

Yeah. And we see that as bingeing, but it’s literally our bodies saving us from starvation. So yeah, but we, I I didn’t know that at the time I just was in it. And like also majorly overexercising and doing a lot of things that. I’m very glad now I don’t do. But for a really long time decades.

Callie Pruett: Yeah. Awesome. I really appreciate you sharing that. With us. I think that so many people will resonate with that. I want to get into the history of fatness now and the sociological side of that and where this where the story of fatness comes from. And I know that you’ve done a ton of research on this, and so I’d love for wherever you’d like to start in the story.

I know that this goes back hundreds of years. I would love to just hear about the history of fatness and how that’s brought us to today. 

Dr. Angie Luvara: Going too far. I’d be like, stop, explain this. Okay. We’ll do it first. The first thing to understand is that race is not something that’s biological race is something that humans made up.

 In sociology, we call that a social construction, as and so social constructions, like one of the ways that you can see that they are like, prove that they exist is you can see that they change over time. And so an example of that with race is if you pull the census every 10 years, that we’ve been at since 1790, the racial category options have changed since 1790.

So we’ve been constantly. Yeah. So we’ve been making and remaking race. And so with that in mind, we had to make. Whiteness. We had to make blackness. We had to make indigeneity. We had to make all of the races that we think about now, there’s been this hundreds of years kind of process of constructing them and fatness and really fatphobia or like anti-fat anise is woven into their very deeply.

 So in the early days of really this kind of started with slavery and colonization and in the us, how it worked is it’s also wrapped up with capitalism. So we had to we’re bringing a bunch of people here. We are trying to colonize this land. We England and other countries trying to colonize this space, trying to also spread capitalism around the globe.

 One of the things that they had to do was. It’s almost like tricking people to buy into it because you can’t have oppressive systems last very long. If people are aware that they’re oppressive because nobody wants to be oppressed and capitalism, and I don’t know how many folks are going to necessarily go with this, but it is an oppressive system.

Like a very small amount of people are not oppressed in capitalism. And they’re the ones who own major corporations, everyone else having their labor exploited, nobody really wants to work like eight plus hours a day, five days a week, plus commuting plus all the other things. Plus I think at this point, most of us are working way more than eight hours.

 Nobody wants to make. Way, I just, that is not a living wage, which most of us may correct now, especially with inflation, the way that it is. So you have to embed these ideas in the culture of a place in order to get people, to buy into them. Okay. And one way that they did that was with one tying it to religion, right?

 This is very rooted in Protestantism. This idea that like idle hands are the devil’s playground kind of a thing that you should always be, and you should always be doing something. Okay. Good. People do things all day long. Good people don’t sit around. Good people aren’t lazy. Yeah. And then of course, because we’re trying to both create race and create a racial hierarchy.

Like we didn’t create race and then attach a hierarchy to it. We ha we created race to Institute white supremacy, to create this racial hierarchy. So we also attach those things to whiteness. Good. White folks do work all day long. White folks do work all day long. White folks are good because they do work all day long.

 And then you have to have a a counter narrative to that. So blackness then became everything that whiteness is not I can’t remember his first name, but his last name is Nakagawa. He has this great piece. That’s literally in a blog post that talks about how blackness is the fulcrum of white supremacy.

And that is the absolute best way to think about it. I think Scott Nakagawa so blackness then becomes well, black people become like. Black people become unintelligent, black people become all of the things that white people are not supposed to be. And so we then start to attach bodies, or we start to bring bodies and to this, right?

 Thin people are people who are working all of the time. Lazy are fat people, right? So good people are thin people because they’re working all the time. Good people are white people because they’re working all the time. Bad people are lazy, unintelligent, fat, black. Sabrina strings has done a lot of work on this.

She has an amazing book called fearing the black body that, that really digs into how fatphobia is so connected with anti-blackness. And that, what I just said is essentially her findings, right? Summarized then we got to get into, okay. So like, how does this fit with Appalachia?

Callie Pruett: No this is incredible. I think this context is so helpful for understanding why it has been wrapped up in being the other I think that’s where we get to Appalachia is in othering people. And yeah, I let’s bring it to, to locally. And I’d love to hear your, what you have to say about how that has influenced how people view fat people in Appalachia 

Dr. Angie Luvara: when we are constructing whiteness as good.

 We and again, we’re doing this to get people to buy into capitalism. And to really sign up to have their labor exploited. If that means that you’re good, if overworking means that you’re good. And then it doesn’t matter your pay cause like your reward is in heaven. Idea. Personally, I don’t think God wants that for me at all. God wants me to have a life of leisure. That’s my belief of 

Callie Pruett: that. That’s a God I can get 

Dr. Angie Luvara: by. And they had to bastardize things for the sake of capitalism. As as they do we still have all of these white folks who were here fuck this sucks, I don’t want to have my labor exploited. And there’s a constant several hundred years, long history of resistance of all races to capitalism. And but for like poor white folks doing this, it matters because you, how are you going to claim white supremacy when you still have poor white folks who are out here doing all these things that they say are bad and wrong, like taking naps.

 So what happened was they started to, and this dates back to even before the colonization of the U S it’s in England, they had these kinds of ideas about white trash, but they didn’t call it the same thing. They called them like rubbish people. So it’s obviously still a trash reference just with a British spin and so here, as we’re trying to create. White supremacy, they had to come up with both simultaneously an explanation for why not all white people were like Supreme, as they were saying. And the kind of the othering, right? The it’s almost like the, yet another sort of cultural it’s like the stick and the carrot getting people to buy into things.

 So it’s like white trash or the bad white people who aren’t doing, what they’re supposed to be doing. Yeah. And you can see from the 17 hundreds and 18 hundreds here in the U S like when people are writing about this, they’re talking about white trash and. Being a lot of times they’re saying it’s almost like they’re black people, or it’s almost like they’re indigenous people and they’re using a lot of the same words that they would use to talk about those groups of people and to denigrate those groups of people like Savage or brute or barbaric, things like that.

But it’s really important to know that they always said, it’s we’re like black people or we’re like indigenous people. So I want to make that clear because sometimes they’re like, see, they hated everyone equally. And I was like, no, cause they were still putting black folks and indigenous folks at the quote bottom of their hierarchy and saying, we’re acting like.

 And so on one hand that works to, like I said, explain why not all white people are the Supreme beings that they’re saying, but also it works to get people to do what my mom did to us. Which is you don’t want to be like them. You don’t want to be seen like this. So here are the things that you need to do that are wrapped up in being a good, hardworking, thin person who talks like a middle American with no accent or whatever.

Like it gets it gets us to buy into it. Got buy into basically racial capitalism. Yeah. And so them Appalachia starts to become like the white trash space. It’s constructed in history as not only an all white space, even though it’s not, we know it’s not it’s something like 20% of Appalachia Appalachians are people of color.

 And our fastest growing population right now is Latin X people. But it’s constructed as an all white space, but it’s not just constructed as an all white space. It’s constructed as an all white trash space, right? So this became the space where the white trash people are and there’s some other spaces too.

They’re like that. And we get, they get lumped in with Appalachia quite a bit. But so then it became like these people in this space, like all of these white trash people are bad, like they’re all doing this wrong. And another purpose that this serves is to take the. Blame off of like social structures.

 And redirect it to individual people. So it’s there’s been so much extraction, corporate extraction and government extraction and Appalachia. That creates a lot of the poverty that we see and different things like that. I think Ruth Wilson, Gilmore calls, these kinds of things, organized abandonment, 

Callie Pruett: like 

Dr. Angie Luvara: good, like purposeful abandonment.

 But if you just portray the space as an all white trash space, and it’s not about anything that corporations or the government did to us, it’s like we did this to ourselves because we’re 

Callie Pruett: all bad. Yeah. It was like the what that brought to mind immediately for me is so many of the more to the right or conservative, Republican talking points, surround personal responsibility.

And that’s I that’s the connection I immediately made when you were saying 

Dr. Angie Luvara: that. Exactly. It’s Nope, nothing to see here in terms of corporate exploitation or anything like that. It’s just them they’re bad because they didn’t take personal responsibility for their own lives or whatever.

 Yeah. So when you look at the history of how people have written about Appalachians what we see again, this is for hundreds of years is people coming in from outside and. Almost treating us, like even I call these things that were like novels written in the early to mid 18 hundreds like earliest forms of reality, like trash TV or whatever, but like they’d come in and they would just write like almost gawk at us oh my God, these people are, so this they’re so that all these bad things, right?

Like they just get angry at the drop of a dime and shoot somebody. Oh my goodness. There’s something like I have it here. Yeah, between 1874 and 1893 both regional level and national newspapers reported on 41 family feuds that happened in Africa. 41 and fields in McCoys are in there.

 And there, and they’re not doing it right. Like they’re portraying it just as, oh my gosh, these like wild and crazy people just shoot each other with each other over nothing. When in reality, like the Hatfields and McCoys thing was totally about money and land, like almost every the thing is and they tried bill views legitimate means like through the courts and they didn’t do anything.

So then they took matters into their own hands. But they they’d sensationalize it changed the whole story around. They tried to do it after Hatfields and McCoys. Happened and became this kind of like national thing. They tried to do it with a feud that happened closer to where I live.

 In Tucker county, West Virginia, there was two dudes who aren’t even from Appalachia that were coming in, trying to take up land for the lumber industry. And one did happen to shoot the other one on a train. They turned it into the, they tried to turn it into another, like family feud type thing of these crazy wild Appalachians, but like neither one of them were from here.

They were like rich dudes from downstate in Virginia. And I think Pennsylvania. Wow. So they’re doing all this to sensationalize us. And again, it’s not just talking about us being unintelligent or us being lazy or us being violent or whatever. Our bodies have also been made to be deviant.

They would either be talking about us being like too thin, almost emasculated due to malnutrition, but they’re not talking about that piece. They’re just like, oh, these people, the personal responsibility, right? Like they’re not feeding themselves what they’re supposed to be. Or they would talk about us being like gluttonous, like too fat lazy.

 All of these kinds of things. Going hand in hand with the way that they’re constructing white trash as a violent and uncouth and drunk and all that, our bodies have never been left out of that conversation. Which is why I think it’s so important to talk about because we just don’t talk about that piece, that much.

Callie Pruett: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. A couple of things that I wanted to bring up that you made me think of in that conversation is we hear so much about food deserts in Appalachia. And th there is an element of of that goes into the food that we eat, the and how that influences the way that we look.

 And then also sometimes we have to buy cheap food because of inflation rates, because we’re not making a living wage because there are like it’s difficult to feed a family on a single minimum wage income. I was wondering how looking at. This white trash space how in modern day we look at fatness and thinness and poor newness and how those converge to create this narrative.

Dr. Angie Luvara: Yeah. I think it’s super, super complex. You’ve got the things that you just mentioned going on here, food deserts. The fact that the cheaper food isn’t as nutritionists nutritious. Yeah. That’s where you can tell. I just had finals nutritionist, Jesus. But also I want to point out because a lot of people bring that up, but about, I think it’s something like, like the vast majority of what our bodies look like.

It’s just genetic. It wouldn’t even matter if we had access to the best. Highest quality, whatever food, like I’m probably still going to be a fat bitch. No matter if I eat all organic everything. If I go down the street and get some fried chicken, like there’s a very minimal amount of difference that those kinds of things make and what our bodies look like now, obviously there’s a difference in our health.

 But here that’s something I really didn’t touch on yet. We make it seem as though body size and health are like intertwined and they’re just not. And I feel like this is the thing that’s probably going to get some folks finding my Instagram and being like, fuck. Yeah. So Matt, but it’s true. Health and body size are not as connected as we think they are. Particularly. I know that people could sit here and be like, but there’s all these studies that say that like fatness is linked with cancer and high blood pressure and dah. But the thing about those is when you, when researchers do them, a lot of the times they’re not controlling for.

And when I say controlling for this is going to be, I’m not a statistical researcher at all. So this is my minimal amount of statistical understanding explanation. When you control for something in a research study, what it means is that you take that out. Like it no longer impacts your findings as much as we can, you control for education level. Let’s say then education level is not going to impact your like results that your. Okay. Those researchers doing the studies that say oh, there’s this connection between say a fatness and cancer. They’re not controlling for things that happen. When a fat person goes to the doctor and they’re like, I’m having this pain and their doctor’s lose weight.

 And then, so the person goes and they try to lose some weight and they, maybe they do. Cause temporarily we usually can lose a little it’s just that our body then kicks in and is like, Nope, sorry. So say they lose a little weight, then they go back to their doctor, but they’re like, I’m still, I I lost this weight, but I’m still having this pain that actually like it lose a little more.

 So they go and they lose a little more weight and they’re still having this pain and they go back and, or maybe they go see a new doctor because they’re not getting the results that they need with this one. And then. They get like an MRI done and it turns out that there’s cancer. And that’s why that you’re having this pain.

And now, instead of being treated like a year and a half ago, when they first went with this pain, when it was maybe stage two, now it’s stage four because you’ve waited a year and a half. So yeah, there’s a link between fatness and like having worse outcomes, health outcomes when if you have cancer, but that a lot of that is probably doctors not treating fat people.

Yeah. And so when you do studies, there, there are limited studies that have done this, but when you do studies and you control for things like bias in the healthcare industry and things like that, what you find is that there’s really not a link between fatness and health, especially if fat people have not done.

Yeah, that folks who have not died at are like way healthier than fat folks who have, and there’s a lot of research now that shows that like dieting itself is probably what causes most of the health outcomes that we say are attached to fitness. It’s not fatness. It’s actually like the dieting cycle. 

Callie Pruett: Wow.

Oh, that is that’s so important. I think for folks to know and to know that they can advocate for themselves. I know as a disabled person I’ve been there in doctor’s offices where they don’t listen to you. And it’s, it I am not a fat person. And I I often find that I think doctors are dismissive generally of women in many ways.

And then if you have these added elements of fatness, blackness, brownness you get more and more of the kind of disadvantage when it comes to health outcomes. And I’m really glad that I’m really glad that you talked about that. I’d love to kind of circle all the way back to the beginning to your mom and how much she clearly loves you.

And you have a good relationship with her now. What would you tell your mom? Then if you could go back in time and give her some advice on raising a child who may not look exactly like the way that they had envisioned or the way that they think is right. What advice would you give to her?

 And then a follow-up to that is, is what would you tell yourself in those early days of being a fat bitch in the fattest state? 

Dr. Angie Luvara: I would say I love this question. I would tell my mom to just raise me instead of raising me to fit into the world that has fucked up standards, raise me to be like, fuck the standards, because what I.

What really helped me stop, starving myself and start eating like a proper amount of food for an adult, by the way, because I feel like we never talk about this. During world war two, our government did a study to see like how existing on reduced amount of calories would impact people because soldiers were in this war and we had limited amount of supplies and they were trying to figure out like how little they could feed them and still have get them to actually like, do what they needed to do 1400 calories a day was the starvation diet.

Wow, which 1400 calories a day right now, a lot of women would hear that and probably be like, whoa, that’s a lot 

Callie Pruett: of food. Yeah. I’m not afraid to say that I have tried diets here and there too. We all have, I think, and you tie you type in to somewhere like noon and they say that they’re not a diet app when I tried nuMe when, like back when it was new they said that 1300 calories is what I needed in a day.

 And luckily I I ended up knowing that was not an appropriate amount of food, but I do think that unless you’re familiar with those kinds of those kinds of statistics, then you’ll be like, all right, I’ll do that. And I’ll work out for two hours a day. 

Dr. Angie Luvara: That’s the amount of food that a toddler needs, not a grown human, like it’s absurd.

But anyway when I was what really made me other than Christie Harrison’s fantastic book anti-diarrhea, which is where a lot of that information came from highly recommend. Other than that book, what really helped me was in my scholarly life, like I was starting to really dig into Appalachia and scholarship.

It’s not something that I did all the way through school. It’s something that I started to do after I finished. So I was I’m like, I’m giving myself my own app studies degree while I work on this research. And when I started to dig into it, that’s where I started to see these connections. Like I already knew thing, or I started reading things that, where people were saying about.

You know how their parents started or taught them to minimize their accidents and talk a certain way so that people would think you’re intelligent and starting to see these stories, I’m like, okay, not alone there. And then I started to read into the histories of constructing white trash.

Nancy Eisenberg has a fantastic book called white trash. That’s on that. And I’m seeing these body connections. And I’m like, holy shit. Like the whole time, like the root of this is the same kind of what I was saying. And it really made me one want to embrace the fullness of my Appalachia kindness.

 And stop as much as I can. So much of this is programmed in me, but stop changing my accent and things like that. But also I was like, I need to just let my body be. Like, I don’t care about fitting these standards of middle-class respectable whiteness or whatever. Anyway, I never have, I just never saw the connection to like dieting and how I was trying to will my body to be something that it’s not.

 And so I think what power it would be if all Appalachian parents were just like, fuck this shit. I’m not going to do this to my kids. I’m going to raise them to just like fully embrace themselves and be super intelligent kids who say far instead of fire and are fat. And not that all of us in Appalachia are fat, but let their bodies be whatever they are like.

I just think there would be such power in it. And I think that I’m not usually this super like hopeful person, so this feels weird to even say out loud, but I feel like we’re on our way there. I feel like we are in a place right now where we can change the narrative of Appalachia. And I think that thinking about how we talk about our bodies and like how we teach our young people to treat their bodies is a huge piece of that.

It’s your second question. I would tell myself the same thing. Like little girl, you are a bad fat bitch. And the bitch part is important to me too, because like in the same way that they taught me to make my body as small as I can make it. They also taught me to minimize my sass. Because white trash women are and respectable women are like quiet and whatever, all these things that I’ll never be. So I think like most of my childhood was a lot in it. A chunk of my adulthood was a lot of trying to put myself into a respectable box that I’m just not going to be in ever.

And it’s much more fun to just be like, fuck that box and be a fat bitch. So that’s what I would tell me again. So two, 

Callie Pruett: I love that. I love that so much. And I think that I wish that I had heard that too. Even if I wasn’t the say I wasn’t under the same circumstances, I think particularly I’m really glad that you said that the bitch part is important because I think it is too.

 I was loud. I was opinionated and that was something that I definitely got. I got a lot of side-eye for and so I certainly, I love the idea of encouraging our young people to fully be themselves and fully embrace our culture and our heritage and who we are. That’s oh, go 

Dr. Angie Luvara: ahead. I think like every young woman and young girl ever, probably got some of the SAS talk to taught to out of them, because we’re young ladies aren’t supposed to be those things, but I think it’s even more present in the lives of like young ladies in Appalachia whose parents are trying to set them up for success in life. Because of those white trash tropes, white trash women have always been constructed as being like uncouth.

 And like you said, loud and opinionated and all those things. Or said to be bad, which is weird to me. But so it’s even more for us because it’s our parents trying to be like, no, you can’t be like one of those like white trash girls. Because then people are going to assume all of these other things about you.

It’s no, we just are those white trash girls and we need to fucking embrace that shit. 

Callie Pruett: I love that. I could not love that more. I, so I’ve reached the end of my questions and I want to give you just the, an opportunity if we’ve missed anything in the conversation that you want to hit on, on, on history, on what we have going on today in this, I want to give you that, that space to just round out the conversation in a way that makes sense to you.

And then that we can leave folks with this like final thoughts for me. 

Dr. Angie Luvara: One, I want to make really clear that it’s not that we. Weren’t seen as white or didn’t have some of the privileges of whiteness. And particularly like things like voting that were attached, like specifically to whiteness for a very long time, stuff like that.

 I think Anthony Harkins who wrote this book on kind of the history of the development of the hillbilly as a trope he says that he says it so perfectly. He says it was almost like we were in whiteness, but not of it. Yeah. Wow. And I want to bring that home because I wanted to drive that point home because.

I think so often when we start to dive into the history of this and we look at oh, how you know, folks in positions of power here, cough, Thomas, Jefferson cough and others would write these horrible things about poor white folks and call us Savage and barbarians and all of these things.

 I think some of the tendency can be like, oh, see, we have the same experience as black people. Oh, see, we had the same experience as indigenous people here. It’s no, it was different. It was also bad in a lot of ways, but it was also different as of the whiteness piece. Like it’s not the same thing. And I think that’s a really important just thing that needs to be said out loud.

Cause I think sometimes you try to be like, look, we’re all equally messed up or something like that. We’re all equally oppressed. It’s no. It’s a different. So that’s one thing. And then the other one is, and I always try to talk about this with my students too. Cause I think this is really important.

 The point, one of the main purposes that, that white trash trope serves other than coercing us into capitalism and to racial capitalism, is it let’s like middle-class mostly like city or suburban white folks be like, those are the bad people, good ones without having to do anything to turn that good title.

Like they just get to be and put everything bad off on us. Like the first Appalachian character in any kind of printed fiction was I’m going to find his name. Okay. I might. Be pronouncing this totally wrong. Cause I’ve never heard a name spelled scut before, but such living good or sorry, 11.

Good. And it’s from a short story written by this guy, George Washington Harris, and it’s in 1867 is when it was printed. The first time, the first Appalachian character in printed fiction was this like racist really noxious character and the racism piece there is really important too, because what it does.

And of course like racism is embedded in the white trash trope, right? Yeah. What it does is it lets white folks everywhere else be like, I’m not racist because I’m not white trash. Completely 100% benefiting from white supremacy doing absolutely nothing to stop. It probably knows people of color.

And if they do, they’re like they’re surveillance or they work in service to them in some capacity or their work acquaintances that they think they’re way closer to than they actually are. But no, they get to be the not racist ones because we are the racist ones. Like we get constructed as the racist ones, and I’m not trying to make a case for Appalachian exceptionalism.

We have our issues, we have our racist all of the same issues that exist everywhere else, but that’s just the thing. We have all the same issues that exist everywhere else. We don’t have any special issues that only exists here. 

Callie Pruett: Yeah, no I love that. And it reminds me it, I hate that it comes back to this, but this is how hillbilly Elegy was so successful.

Because it allowed the rest of the country to live in their comfortable narrative about who the people that elected Trump were. And it was the trashy white people in Appalachia. And we’re going to link all of the books that you’ve mentioned in the show notes. I’m going to get you to send me a list.

 And one of the ones that I, that immediately brings to mind for me is another sociologist who I love Arlie Russell Hochschild wrote a stranger in their own land. And I think that is just a much more exceptional piece of of research and work that can more fairly describe the region.

Then hillbilly Elegy. But that’s my plug. I love that book. But yeah, literally 

Dr. Angie Luvara: any other book ever, anyone only other one, but, and that’s the thing. And maybe this is cause as you said, like where do you want us to end? Like where do you want to take it to the end? I think like the takeaway here, and I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past few days, as I transitioned from teaching brain and finals grading brain and to the writing that I’m going to do this summer on my book and the research cultural narratives.

And I’m not talking about like individual or like small level society community narratives. I’m talking about like the cultural narratives present in our society are so powerful and the ones that have existed for hundreds of years that portray Appalachia as the white trash space.

Like when, whenever anyone writes something that fits into that, like JD Vance, it’s going to go wild. Because it fits the narrative that people already know. People just internalize it without questioning it. Even my fellow sociologists who are not Appalachian who know who would criticize, if anybody talked about like a group of people of color that way, like the sociologists that I’m thinking about would be like, that’s a culture of poverty argument.

We know why that’s bad but I’ve had people say to me like, oh, have you read this book? And I’m like how would you. Now, there are a bunch of people who totally accept culture of poverty arguments for people of color too. I’m not saying that, but like I’m talking about specific race sociologists.

Didn’t pick up on it in this book because it’s so embedded in our cultural narratives. And I think that’s why it’s so important. Like the things that y’all do, the things that I’m trying to do with this book that I’m writing to change the narrative that is majorly powerful, because changing the narrative changes what people can just blindly accept, changing the narrative means people aren’t going to or people are going to have to stop and question like certain tropes that right now we just accept as true. Does that make sense? Yeah. 

Callie Pruett: Yeah, of course. I love that. And I think that’s a great. To leave it because there’s so much we could talk about there’s so many tangents that I want to go on.

 But I really, I appreciate your time. And I think that this is really important to get out there and to talk about. And I just really appreciate you coming on this 

Dr. Angie Luvara: morning. Thank you so much for having me. I’m so happy to be here. I’m so happy to talk about being awesome and fat and awesome.

Under-the-radar in Appalachia: Mystery money in Alabama governors race

Chuck Corra: That was our interview. Check out the links. We’ve got a bunch of links in the show notes to some of the books that she mentioned as well as her bio and more info about her Kelly. Great job. This was your first solo interview with the pot and I think you did a bang up job. In fact, I don’t think, I don’t think I need to be at any of them anymore.

Not that I ever did in the beginning, but 

Callie Pruett: no, I I was super fun. But I definitely like it when you’re 

Chuck Corra: there. I appreciate that. That’s all the validation I needed and was fishing, just fishing for compliments that’s to me, it’s the only fishing idea. The vein. Cool. Let’s move on.

We’ve got our last segment, which I’m really getting into really liking it. It’s called under the radar and Appalachia. This is the third time we’ve done it out of many and I’m very excited. So you brought this up, Kelly, and I thought this isn’t true. This is sometimes these are politically adjacent.

Sometimes they’re not this one very much so because we’re in the heat of primaries and we’ve got, this is a, we were down in Alabama for this one, great state of Alabama where a mysterious $1.7 million just happened to float its way into the Alabama governor’s race. And in fact, it floated into Kay IVs campaign coffers.

She’s the sitting governor of Alabama. Who’s in a, I think a somewhat competitive primary right now. Yeah. Why don’t you why don’t you walk us through this? Because this is abnormal. It’s a lot of money. It’s abnormal how this happened. Yeah. 

Callie Pruett: As soon as I saw this story, I was like, we have to talk about this.

 Because it is absolutely fascinating. And now that we’re talking about the under the hood of campaigns, I think that we can get into the wonkiness of this stuff and into campaign finance, which is just the best. So on March 31st, a mysterious kind of unknown entity called the get families back to work incorporated.

 Group gave $750,000 to K Ivy’s campaign through a funneling through a pack. At the time that this was given, it was the single largest donation anyone had made to a candidate for statewide office. And a week later, the same group made another 750 K donation, and then a 250 K donation. So much money to a candidate that was floundering really.

 I think a lot of people weren’t taking her seriously and this like completely changed the game for K. So $1.7 million through a dark money group that shares an address here is a really important part, shares an address with the national Republican governors association. So that’s fishy. And what it seems to be, we have no idea who’s behind the donation.

 That’s just needs to be said at the outset, but we can see that like where the things are registered and infer from. So it seems to be this scheme to get around the state campaign finance laws which again it’s the largest donation in state history, but neither the Republican governors association nor the campaign nor this mysterious organization without a website will comment on it.

So reporters are very interested. We are very interested. Things are very influx and we can’t get a comment from anyone on it. The main thing that we think is holding people up from commenting on it is this appears to be a really poorly done work around of Alabama election law. So it, it appears to violate election law and the way that they had done it through this mysterious group.

 It’s not in line with with the state laws, but those state campaign finance laws were passed by the Republican legislator. So it’s Republican here. And it’s really interesting what the politics play is. So they get families back to work. Group is a dark money organization, like we said, so we don’t know where that money is actually originating from.

We know where it’s coming from. Once it reaches to get families back to work incorporated or group or whatever we know what’s coming from them. We don’t know who gave them that money. But they’re based in Virginia. And again, they have the same address as the RGA, which is it’s pretty pretty sus 

Chuck Corra: yeah, a little fishy there.

Publican governor’s association. The clearly there. Worried that Kiv can’t pull this off, which she’s ahead pretty substantially and all the poles, but they’re worried that she’s going to be forced into a runoff. And I guess they really don’t want any of these other people to be governor, I suppose Linda Blanchard and Tim James are the two other candidates.

I don’t know truly much of anything about either of them. I know that Linda Blanchard was the us ambassador to Slovenia under Trump for a hot second and then jumped into the Senate race. But to me, it is very interesting that this group that is clearly connected to the Republican governors association has funneled $1.7 million into this primary for Kiv, supposedly to try to help.

 Avoid a runoff against these people. Clearly there, they do not want Linda Blanchard or this Tim James Guy to even come close to the governor’s office. And I am not sure why. So it’ll be interesting to see if anything else unravels from this. Cause they’re clearly they’re not worried about losing the general at all.

Callie Pruett: Yeah, no, I don’t think so at all. It’s just the really strange thing about it is that it came in three chunks. Number one, that’s pretty strange that it came from a group that has seemingly not donated to. And was just formed. Has no website has no messaging. We don’t know where they stand.

What does get families back to work? That could be anybody. And also there aren’t that many there aren’t that many people who are that heavily invested in Alabama politics to drop $1.7 million on a race in Alabama. That seems to be pretty locked up. So there’s a lot that there’s a lot that brings about the suspicion in a, I think a real way.

Like I think that we have a right to be pretty scared of this kind of political maneuver, because it could happen. In any place and it just so happens that it’s happening in Alabama. We should be aware that this is the kind of politics that can be played, especially in states that don’t have donation limits in state races.

 That’s a real problem. Federally folks should know federally. You can’t give more than $5,000 as a pack to a federal race. So the maximum amount that the humane society can give to somebody who is running like Jasmine beach Ferrara in the North Carolina, 11th is $5,000. But in, in state elections that are different there are different levels at which you can operate on.

Texas has no laws that, that. Give the cap contributions, literally a billionaire could come in, write a $5 million check, drop that for Abbott, which has happened and he can use that money. And so that’s something in Alabama I need to actually get what the campaign cap is there. And we can talk about that, but there’s a lot of states that don’t have the same kind of ethic standards as far as campaign contributions go.

Chuck Corra: Yeah it’s really sad, honestly. And this is this is a problem everywhere, but especially in places like this, where it’s like the wild west of campaign finance laws. And so a place like Alabama, it looks like they’re pretty lax and you can throw a bunch of money around. And so in, in Alabama packs, there’s unlimited spending on packs.

Callie Pruett: So 

Chuck Corra: that’s right. So like single donors can have probably have a limit, but yet packs 

Callie Pruett: unlimited. That is wild, which is how they did this, but it’s really concerning. I think that we’ll want to check back in on this and we’ll definitely want to see if there’s any updates. If anybody has any insight information, 

Chuck Corra: let us know, please leak it to us.

 Thank you all so much that’ll do it for under the radar. And Appalachia is that is very under the radar and it’s a huge problem that’ll wrap for this week. We appreciate you all listening again. Check us out. patrion.com/ipod latch. Check us out on all of our social media, all that jazz. And yeah, we’ll be back next week with more and more election coverage, more exciting stuff.

And we’ll look forward to talking to you then.

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