UC Berkeley Instructor Calls Rural Americans ‘Bad People Who Have Made Bad Life Decisions’

According to his résumé, Jackson Kernion is an Institution of California-Berkeley graduate student with a Ph.D. in philosophy and an instructor who has taught at least 11 philosophy courses at the university. He doesn’t appear to think much of rural Americans. In fact, he declared on Twitter that he unironically embraces the bashing of rural Americans to express his disgust.

Kernion stated unequivocally that rural Americans are “evil people” who deserve to suffer inconvenient lives as a result of their lifestyle choices. They are awful individuals who have made bad life decisions as a group, Kernion added in a since-deleted post. He presumes some are decent people. But this longing for some imaginary pastoral way of life is ridiculous, and those who aren’t pro-city should be shamed.

Kernion clarified his academic logic for his dislike of individuals from rural America in a thread that began with him advocating against affordable health care solutions for rural Americans, arguing that advocating for “affordable rural healthcare” is equivalent to advocating for rural Americans “to be subsidized by those who pick a more efficient way of life.”

The need for inexpensive rural healthcare = the need for those who prefer to live in rural America to be financed by those who chose a more productive way of life, says the author. Kernion said on Twitter, “Rural healthcare should be pricey!” And those who chose rural America should bear that cost!

The same is true for rural broadband. And petrol taxes, Kernion contended. It should be unpleasant to live in rural America. It should be uncomfortable not to relocate, he continued, emphasizing that he thinks rural Americans are purposefully rejecting the more “efficient” city-dwelling lifestyle and should pay the repercussions of higher costs as a result.

Kernion attempted to present an economic justification to defend his comments and opinions, arguing that “we shouldn’t make rural living artificially cheaper.” However, this swiftly descended into personal assaults on the “evil people” in rural America who aren’t as compassionate as the “pro-city” types. Unsurprisingly, he received flak for his statements and attempted to retract them.

Jackson Kernion offered a pseudo-apology in an attempt to put out the fire he ignited, but only apologised for his tone, stating he came out much crasser and ruder than he thinks himself to be. quite sure he sent out a horrible tweet here and is going to remove it, he wrote. He ‘ll think about it more later, but his tone is far crasser and ruder than he wants to believe.

His half-hearted apologies was received about as favorably as his earlier statements. Maybe the problem isn’t the tone, however the person creating it. Consider this: Food supplied by rural folks who need fairly priced healthcare, one Twitter user said before being banned by Kernion.

Many of these alleged rural rubes are destitute and have received drastically inadequate public education, providing them with few alternatives. However, the same folks who justify inner-city gang violence as a result of “the system” relentlessly condemn rurals for every shortcoming. Another Twitter user remarked, ‘Compassion would be better.’

“You were engaging in polemics or are a very bad communicator. But I think I got some of your point and, as a rural resident, agree with some of it (re: rural service costs more so should pay more),” remarked another, agreeing with Kernion in part, but another tore that argument apart simply by applying it to another frequently disputed subject.

“Rural service costs more, therefore pay more,” the commenter stated, repeating Kernion’s rationale before adding, “Apply this to women’s healthcare, and they wail incessantly.” Why should rural inhabitants be treated differently?” But, if you agree or disagree with Jackson Kerion, that isn’t the main point here.

It’s troubling that an instructor would publicly “bash” and “shame” a body of individuals, characterizing virtually all of them as “evil” because of their lifestyle choices. This does nothing to encourage constructive debate or discussion. Maybe this is a real discussion that needs to take place. When you use ad hominem assaults, you destroy any hope of real conversation. Let that be a reminder to all of us.

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