White Anxiety 

National Geographic Channel    “America Inside Out With Katie Couric”

Katie Couric, narrator
National Geographic/ Partners LLC (NGP), 21st Century Fox 2018
Each episode is 50 minutes in length
6 Episodes in this series that airs on Wednesday 

Rust Belt Dialogue
Episode Four With Katie Couric
May 2, 2018

In the fourth episode of Katie Couric’s National Geographic series, Katie travels to different sections of middle America, referred to as the “rust belt.” I guess that means the rust on wheat in Nebraska and the rust on steel in Pennsylvania. In both instances, middle class workers are meeting obstacles they never dreamed of---no work.  Fremont, Nebraska, is not far from Omaha or Nebraska’s capitol, Lincoln. The work in Fremont is the Hormel Packing Plant, heavy with pork products and the odor that goes with the jobs. 

Immigrants for work in the meat plants have moved to the Fremont area and over the years, the combined population has encountered problems with insufficient police and insufficient schools and other services. People who used to work at the plants are finding it difficult to find work for themselves and this is upsetting in families where generations have always worked here. 

Then, in Bethlehem, PA, the steel mills aren’t doing so well, and Bethlehem has found itself the “Third Fastest Shrinking City in the Country.”  There is a heroin epidemic there, too, and one officer mentioned that there were three OD’s in one night.  Depressing conditions bring about depressing behaviors. Although here, people out of work are being counseled for other jobs, including learning welding skills and repairing industrial robots. Why not move?  As one man stated, “We have deep roots here.” 

Couric interviews Roseann Barr, whose television series, “Roseann,” is back on television and tells the story of the blue-collar Connor family and trying to make ends meet. Roseann, herself, lives on the big island of Hawaii on an macadamia nut farm and calls herself “a salty working-class gal.” 

So…if you find yourself replaced by a robot, learn how to repair that robot. A statistic tells us that in 2044, white workers will be in the minority. Change is needed, but how? Put your thinking caps on, as the future is just around the corner. 

Production values are excellent. 

National Geographic Partners LLC and 21st Century Fox, have joined to produce this series. The series will run on television where millions of people in 172 countries and 43 languages will see and hear it. The first three episodes are “Re-righting History” (April 11, 2018), “The Muslim Next Door” (April 18, 2018) and “Tech’s Imprint” (April 25, 2018.)  Following episodes will include “The Revolt.” The organization called (NGP) returns 27 percent of proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education.  For more information visit www.natgeotv.com or  www.nationalgeographic.com. Visit on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.



Copyright 2018 Marie Asner