"Overlooked Americans: Scenes from the country’s back row" PBS NewsHour 7/21/2019
SUMMARY: After nearly 20 years on Wall Street, Chris Arnade left his high-paying career to document Americans living on the margins. Traveling all over the country, he took photographs and wrote about the America that is overlooked. Christopher Booker recently spoke to Arnade about his new book "Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America," in which he documents people living in poverty and addiction.
Christopher Booker (NewsHour): These were the thoughts running through the Wall Street veteran's mind as he walked through some of the most economically challenged parts of New York City toward his million dollar Brooklyn condo.
Chris Arnade: What started seeping in was this realization that we on Wall Street had messed up. This intense obsession with profit and efficiency and thinking that all that matters is growing the economy, damn the consequences. Well, the consequences were really bad.
Christopher Booker: Where would you say is back row America?
Chris Arnade: It's all over. It's not certainly not a red or blue thing. It's a lot of neighborhoods in New York City, it's in Appalachia, it's in California, it's in Chicago, it's everywhere. it's neighborhoods generally and communities that are often adjacent to very wealthy neighborhoods. It's kind of the bulk of the population but the people who don't get a lot of attention, we tend to focus on what I call front row which is people who go to Harvard or Princeton or what have you. I love that picture.
Christopher Booker: What does the word dignity mean to you now after you've finished this book and been working with this thesis as long as you have.
Chris Arnade: Just a desire to be treated like a normal human being.