On the August 16 PBS Newshour, Jeffrey Brown interviewed Nancy Isenberg, author of White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America.
Isenberg argues that “upward mobility” in America has largely been a myth. During the colonial period, the Founders advocated “horizontal mobility” by allowing the poor to migrate westward to the frontier. And in recent decades, we have more “class-zoned neighborhoods” than upward mobility.
When Brown asked her how we could lessen class divisions, she recommended setting aside the myths, confront the reality of class oppression, and think more deeply about how it affects who we are and how “we judge people by the way they’re dressed, by the way they talk, by the unwritten codes of class behavior.”
To see the video, listen to the audio, or read the transcript, click here.