She had fallen hard for the Bay Area. She felt her own politics sliding left, merging with her surroundings. She liked the racial diversity and gay pride parades. To her disappointment, she found that the inclusiveness didn’t extend to white, small-town America. Friends at work one day called her over to ask about Cracker Barrel. “It’s just like a chain restaurant we go to treat ourselves,” Ms. Cronkhite said. A co-worker jumped in: “It’s this really white-trash restaurant that overweight Midwesterners go to.” Then came the invitation to join some friends at Butter. The San Francisco bar is decorated as a sendup of rural white America, complete with the front end of a Winnebago RV. The menu included such cocktails as the Whitetrash Driver, vodka and SunnyD; Bitchin’ Camaro, spiced rum and Dr Pepper; and After School Special, vodka and grape soda. “It was, all of the sudden, in my face,” Ms. Cronkhite said. “Things at home we thought were nice or parts of our culture were treated with open scorn and disdain and like a joke.” She sensed bigotry where she had sought tolerance and animosity where she thought she had found a welcome. The more she saw big-city small-mindedness, the more she softened on Kingman.

— SF hates rural whites  

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