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Old 10-22-2008, 10:26 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Having not been poor growing up, the appellation of redneck never hurt my feelings.
Same here. Redneck to me is no different than calling someone a yuppee or high-falutin' - it is a stereotype of a person's behaviour and socioeconomic "position". I wouldn't be offended if someone called me a redneck because most of my family could be described as rednecks or hillbillies. But I'm also a well educated, wealthy member of the upper middle class, so I don't need to worry about my class image like a member of the lower middle or lower class might if they wanted to appear to be a member of the higher classes.

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Old 10-22-2008, 11:11 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I love the "safe hippie musician bar" down the road a ways!
"But did you get the beer?"

Disclaimer: I grew up in the NE USA, my parents moved to the Gulf Coast in 1971, I have several t-shirts that say: "Redneck Riviera Gulf Shores AL".

"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:53 PM   #23
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i lived in Orlando FL for a summer. i worked side by side with all my "Redneck" mechanic buddies, mostly local boys. they called each other Redneck openly. they called me a "Yank" and often used that as the reason why i did stuff differently, on top of being lefthanded.
"well, she's a Yank, so..." followed up by a big ol' smile and eagerly waiting for the redneck chop bust to come back from me.
i was one of 3 women in the shop. i thought it was pretty cool because the guys were not insulting me, just busting my chops whenever they could. we had a ball! nobody got mad, just even.
so, in this case, the "label" words were not used as insults or to degrade.
what's that saying... if they don't bust em on ya, that means they don't like ya?
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:37 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Having not been poor growing up, the appellation of redneck never hurt my feelings. I've never really heard it used in the way you have, youbet.
I haven't actually heard folks offended by it in some time myself. But growing up, I was quite aware that mom and her six siblings (my aunts and uncles) would have kicked your butt if you walked up and said "well how all you red necks doing today?" Mom explained that the term came from poor whites spending many hours bent over in the sun picking cotton or other crops and literally developing thick, leathery, permanently red skin on the back of their necks......which indeed my mom had despite leaving Arkansas as a teen.

My first job after college was as a night shift supervisor in a metal working plant in Chicago. Quite a few of the employees were recent arrivals from Kentucky, having moved when the mines were slow or just to escape mining. If I recall correctly, it would be best to be smiling if you refered to one of them as "red neck."

Things seem different today and young southerners seem to wear the expression as a badge of pride........ But I'll tell ya, it took me a long time to get comfortable listening to Jeff Foxworthy's red neck jokes!

Regarding Murtha, if the article OP referenced is accurate and he actually broad-brushed a group of people with the term "red necks" in the derogatory way he's quoted, he's just shown that it's definitely time for him to retire. He might even be a year or two overdue. I think we can all be thankful for his service to our country, but everyones time comes to step down and he's just announced his.
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Leonidas View Post
I see that it is time, again, to educate some of you'all on a neglected part of American history.

The term originated in Scotland when Scots were in one of their many battles with the English - this one over religion. The English were trying to force the Episcopalian Church of England on the Scots, and they weren't having any of it. A red cloth worn around the neck was the sign of an anti-episcopalian.

Some of the Scots wound up in the Ulster Plantation, they were known as the Ulster Scots in Ireland, many of whom got tired of warring with both the English and the Irish and came to America in the very early 18th century. There, they were originally just called Irish, but when the real Irish started showing up about a century and a half later, the Scots-Irish took pains to make clear the difference between the two groups.

The English Colonial establishment neither like nor trusted the Scots-Irish but appreciated their warrior nature. Leaders like Cotton Mather invited them to live along the border to secure the frontier. It fit the bill because all of the land along the coast was too expensive and already settled, and after centuries of fighting the English, Irish, each other and whoever else came along, border fighting with Indians and French would just be a change of opponent and scenery.

The Scots-Irish were independent, isolationist, incredibly stubborn and distrusting of any centralized authority. Although they settled in many places in America (including Maine and New Hampshire), they were used to moving frequently and seizing and clearing land. Many of them wound up in the rugged Allegheny Mountains and similar areas in Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Carolinas. They became the original Hillbillies, a term which is believed to have originated in Scotland and Ireland.

As time went by the Scots-Irish tended to stay to themselves in the hills, where they lead a tough life. Redneck, Hillbilly, and Cracker were all terms used to describe them. Cracker, by the way, did not come from the term for cracking bullwhips, or cracking corn. While the Scots-Irish had always been called names like Redneck, the names began to spread to all poor whites in the South after the War of Northern Aggression. The Yankees subjected the South to great economic deprivation and many families and communities fell into a state of poverty that lasted for decades. There was a rejection of the whole class of poor southern whites. Eventually names like Redneck, Cracker, White-Trash and Peckerwood came to be applied to anybody that was a poor white Southerner.

Eventually the people, just like any rejected underclass, became the object of ridicule. The terms to describe them, and the image that those terms brought to mind, became derogatory when used by outsiders.

I have been called, and have called many others, Redneck, Cracker, White-Trash, Peckerwood, etc. The way in which it is used, and who is using it, dictate the reaction. Said under one set of circumstances it is just friendly banter. Said under a different set of circumstances, it is, as we Rednecks say, time for somebody to get an ass whupping.

As for Murtha. The most polite thing I can think of to say about the man is that he as a senile old windbag who runs off at the mouth without much thought. Haditha Marine prepares to sue Murtha over smear
Thanks for this explanation which is most interesting and informative. I highlighted one section. Not to jack this thread but I have heard people ask why Blacks can use the N-word and not Whites. The highlighted section of your post work for this also.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:57 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
However, the term redneck is derogatory. The person using the term could probably correctly be called a racist if they were of a non-Caucasian race. White folk who refer to people that way are simply rude and insulting. Redneck is a stereotype.
I can assure you, that in the parts of Texas I frequent, if you call me or my friends a Red Neck in an attempt to be insulting, we would reply "right, and proud of it" and not be kidding. Red Neck is not an insult here although some outsiders have attempted to make it so. A Red Neck is a generally considered (by ourselves) to be a hard working, hard playing, outdoors loving Texan who proud of their heritage rather than ashamed. Someone who can clean a deer, fix their own broken truck and work outside all day if need be.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:01 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by chinaco View Post
I did not know that calling someone a redneck was equated to calling someone a racist. I never thought it had that meaning. I thought redneck was used to describe the sunburned neck of a southern manual laborer... sometimes a person who worked on a farm. However, the term redneck is derogatory. The person using the term could probably correctly be called a racist if they were of a non-Caucasian race. White folk who refer to people that way are simply rude and insulting. Redneck is a stereotype. Cracker is about the same... often used to refer to poor lower class white people. Both are just about the same as calling someone white-trash. It is an insult! However, some white people refer to each other as rednecks (not unlike some black people refer to each other using the n word). They do it as a slight in a semi-joking manner.
What do they call a northern manual laborer with a sunburned neck? A hard working blue collar worker I guess.

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