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Trump won eighty-five per cent of the vote in Harlan County. But the blockade has showcased an aspirational sort of progressive coalition. A local community nonprofit, With Love from Harlan, has provided overwhelming support, raising tens of thousands of dollars to help the miners. One of its top individual donors has been Joyce Cheng, the owner of Panda Garden, Harlan’s only Chinese restaurant, who emigrated from Fujian when she was fourteen years old and moved to Kentucky with no money when she was twenty-three. Her first donation, of five thousand dollars, was money that she had received as a gift from her husband, which he had saved for the previous two decades, so that Cheng could finally buy herself a diamond wedding ring. She then decided to run fifty miles around the county—she is also an ultra-marathoner—in a miner’s outfit, from business to business and house to house, collecting individual dollars. When I went to see her at her restaurant, she was wearing a shirt that read “Hi, I’m the Bitch OWNER,” and made the four high-school students that she employed stay for an interview, even though their shifts had ended, as she thought they could learn something. “I feel for the miners,” she told me. “People say, ‘Go find another job.’ But it’s hard.” She went on, “You do what you know. I worked in the restaurant. They go and work in coal mine. And they work so hard, night and day, twelve-hour shifts.” She smiled. “Then they come and eat here. I appreciate them so much.”

full: https://www.newyorker.com/news/dispatch/the-battle-for-a-paycheck-in-kentucky-coal-country
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