Jordan Reid, self-proclaimed ‘writer’, is on her family roadtrip from NYC to San Jose. Along the way she decided to stop in Hot Springs, Arkansas for a ‘couple of days’.
I want to be clear: there are great things about the area. It is beautiful out there in the country…There is so much poverty. There is so much decay. And god, is there ever a lot of racial tension; you can practically feel it in the air.
The ‘liberal resident of a coastal state’ then described the horrifying situations she was exposed to in omgAR.
The hotel we stayed in – which was the second-nicest one in town, from what I gathered – had cockroaches on the floor, chipped walls in the elevators, trash on the mattresses, a two-foot-wide pool of water in the carpet from a leaky air conditioner, and burned-out lightbulbs. Outside the hotel sat a woman in a wheelchair wearing a Confederate flag t-shirt, smoking alternately from the long cigarettes she held, one in each hand.
This basically sounds like something from any number of New York City neighborhoods, so I’m not sure why she had to travel to Dixie to experience such upsetting sights. She goes on to say the ‘hotel received two visits from police officers within twelve hours (two that we knew of, at least)’; that she heard someone use the n word; that she and her family unwittingly rode in an elevator where someone had been pepper sprayed minutes before.
I can’t feel good about having gone to this place, and failing to show you what I really saw. Because there was a dark and ugly undercurrent hiding behind the facade of leisure…
Jordan is responding to the collective ‘wtf?’ of much of her audience by saying ‘it was important to write about it – if only for the reason that writing gets people talking’. Because obviously nobody was discussing poverty and racism in America until a white, upper middle class lady from a white, upper middle class suburb told everyone how awful poverty and racism are, and she should know because she made a choice to stay in a bad hotel that one time.