“Soft White Underbelly” is a YouTube channel created by Mark Laita, a photographer who interviews and humanizes marginalized people in society. Many of the individuals featured have survived traumas and are living difficult, rough lives. It’s a huge series, with over a thousand videos uploaded onto the channel, interesting stories, beautiful photography, and millions of views.
In today’s episode, BT and I discuss one video in particular of the Whittakers, an inbred family from West Virginia whom Mark has interviewed multiple times. They come from a family that is obviously limited intellectually, physically, and verbally. Their understanding of things is limited. By watching, you can see that the most intelligent part of the family has the least amount of incest. The deeper the incest goes, the worse it deteriorates. The average person probably doesn’t want to see these people and will pretend they’re not there. But Mark brings their stories to the surface.
- The range of non-traditional individuals Mark interviews on “Soft White Underbelly”
- Why I’m on the fence about whether or not I like this YouTube channel—because most people are probably watching it for entertainment, not to help
- How “Soft White Underbelly” reminds me of when I was young, traveling through different parts of the United States and saw homeless people, interviewed them, and talked to them, while trying to understand their plight
- How people who live in abject poverty protect each other and defend the life they live
- How, from a resourceful aspect, even homeless people are able to get what they need to survive
- What I think Mark’s motives are for creating this channel, and whether or not it’s exploitative
- How he takes the Whittakers to Walmart, gets them clothes and food, and buys them appliances
Jordan Peterson spoke on the “disgust factor” in human beings and how we seem to have a genetic reaction to certain things that impact our survival. A healthy individual will most likely be repulsed by certain things that would potentially harm them psychologically, emotionally, physically, or in other ways.
I’d encourage you to watch the video on the Whittakers and think about what your first reaction is—and why you’re reacting that way.
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