John Collins is the editor of Rural America In These Times. He lives in Northern Wisconsin in the town of La Pointe on Madeline Island in Lake Superior.
Madeline Island is the spiritual home of the Ojibwe and the site of La Pointe, a former French outpost established in 1693 by French fur traders. La Pointe is in Ashland County.
John is the great-great grandson of James B. Weaver (1833-1912). A member of Congress from Iowa, Weaver ran for president in 1892 as the candidate for the People’s Party (aka “The Populists”), a party that he helped found. (Weaver carried Kansas, Colorado, Nevada and Idaho, for a total of 22 electoral college votes, along with many majority black counties in the Deep South.) Weaver was also the editor of the Iowa-based Farmer’s Tribune.
In his 1892 book, A Call to Action, James B. Weaver warned: “Corporate feudality has taken the place of chattel slavery and vaunts its power in every state.”
John wants to amplify the voices of rural America to make them heard. He says, “As Weaver wrote in A Call to Action, ‘As a rule, men and women in the private walks of life—the sufferers—are first to apprehend impending danger, and it is their sleepless energies which finally arouse the drowsy conscience of nations.’ ”
“Throughout his life James Weaver was a steadfast champion of America’s farmers,” says John. “Today, the stories of people who live in our country’s small communities, native and non-native, are not being told. Both the independent media and the commercial media—social and televised—ignore an entire way of life.”
John, 31, graduated from the University of Utah in 2011 with a B.A. in English. From 2002 to 2006 he was a member of the indie rock band Controlling the Famous, which released the album Automatic City in 2006 on The Militia Group label.
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