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Appalachia really is the backbone of the nation

Oh, Ms. Cummings, misguided, misinformed, missed mark Cummings.

Do you mind if we throw an apple at ya?

We do have some incredible ones here, you know — hidden between our hills and hollers.

We have delightful agriculture that East Coast transplants salivate over when deprived of our sweet corn.

We have scrappy, self-sufficient folks with creative minds, who somehow still are deemed socially acceptable to be treated like trash by celebrities, politicians and pundits like yourself.

To have our rivers, our valleys and our people reduced by your vulgar words simply shows you’re not meant for our hills; not worthy of our vibrant music, our resourceful history and the original western front traversed and pioneered with industry.

We stand wild and wonderful, proud of our mountain mama.

We have long had to fight for our voices to be heard, for our faces to be seen as human, not as missing white stallions leaping from gums as you so described.

We had our teachers rise up in strikes to fight to be valued for their impact on the next generation.

Their movement sent a ripple effect across this country.

Our Appalachian mountains are the backbone of this great nation, taking its strain, the changes in our country’s body as it ages.

Several hundred from across this nation each year choose to traverse those mountains and our 2,200-mile trail to prove their muster, their strength and their resiliency are worthy of our region.

For you realize, when you insulted the roots of your father’s birth, the summers in Harper’s Ferry and the forests which cover our hills–you insulted more than just West Virginia.

Do you realize Appalachia stretches as far north as New York, encompasses great cities like Pittsburgh, and reaches its strong roots all the way south to Alabama and Mississippi?

In 13 states, 420 counties, covering nearly 205,000 square miles, live more than 25 million people whom you have chosen to alienate as the butt of your jokes.

Appalachia has taken its blows from the opioid epidemic, has been exploited by some energy corporations, and requires its own federal commission to consistently remind your hometown of Washington, D.C., that we exist.

We take no issue with our bears, we protect our land, you should be proud to share our DNA.

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