This morning one of the first things I read was this from a friend in our mom group. From here on the discussion follows and I will separate the responders by me, A, J and P.
A: Good morning, Ladies. We were thinking of going to the State Fair today but the Tampa Tribune headlines read – Now You Can Pack Heat At The Fair. The idea of getting in a crowd that large with a bunch of rednecks packing heat sounds less than fun. Maybe we will go to the Y instead.
Me: What is your definition of a redneck?
I’ve always wondered where that word came from. I’ve heard lots of versions. I think I will look it up.
Still, am curious as to other people’s idea of what a redneck is.
J: I think of the white midwesterners and westerners who are involved in ranching, thus the “red neck” and typically are prejudiced against other people not like them? I come from Nebraska farming community – my relatives are proud to be rednecks. I do think of guns too, my dad and brother, my uncle and cousins, all have extensive gun collections and shoot for sport/hunt for food and sport. My dad has an astonishing collection of cowboy boots. And he does not own any other slacks besides blue jeans.
A: Make that people born AND raised in the south. I have a GRITS T-shirt – girls raised in the south
P: You think everyone born in the South is a redneck? That’s pretty broad! That would include Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Courtney Cox, Truman Capote, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Condoleeza Rice, Bill Clinton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Al Gore, E.O. Wilson–goodness, the list is endless. I don’t consider any of those people rednecks!
I think there’s a friendly connotation and a bad connotation to the term redneck. A lot of folks who were born and raised in rural areas and know how to fend for themselves proudly refer to themselves as rednecks and make themselves lovable when they do. That comedian, Jeff Foxworthy, has made it a fun thing. When it’s used derogatorily it generally refers to white Southerners who have narrow, racist views that extend to other ethnicities and gender orientation. I would not be afraid of a ‘gun-totin’ redneck’ who likes people and loves to hunt and fish and work the land. I might be afraid of a ‘gun-totin’ redneck’ who was a mean drunk with a chip on his shoulder.
Me: I don’t believe that all who are at the fair and packing heat will be rednecks. Maybe some of them are corporate paronoid schizos. :))
In fact, to follow my ‘judgmental’ thought on down the line, I would never think of anyone in Fla as being remotely close to being a redneck. I see/think of Floridians as beach loving, condo living, happy souls who seldom have to deal with the cold us old Mississippians deal with, or the Ohioans? (sp) LOL
Anyway, I want to think more on how I form my mental images of people, places and things
A: If you called me a rednck I would take it as an endearing term from one redneck to another. When Allen calls me a redneck I bristle a bit. Maybe it is like the N word.
Yes, mainly 3 groups of people go to the state fair. Kids, yankees down here for the winter and red necks. If you would take a gun to the fair then I meant to insult you.
Me: Ok, so going to fair is a sign one is a redneck?
Are there any rednecks who don’t go to the fair?
But why would you want to insult me….hypothetically.
Because I carried a gun to the fair?
A: Only those that can’t afford it. It is very expensive to go to the fair. You will drop $50 just parking, getting in and having a hot dog. The fair was always for us rednecks when I was growing up then when it got more and more for everyone else and got crowded the Strawberry Festival was started in Plant City – about 20 miles from Tampa – and we started going there instead. It had all the country stuff we loved. Now it has gotten even more crowded that the State Fair so I do believe that everybody is a little bit country at heart no matter where they are born.
Absolutely. I believe that only mentally unstable people would carry a gun to the fair. Allen’s brother, Gary, is as left wing as one can get but he carries a gun in his pocket everywhere he goes. He is just itching to shoot a Republican. He doesn’t need a gun. There are too many like him on both sides of the aisle and putting guns in their hands is just asking for somebody to get killed sooner or later. I refuse to go anywhere with him.
I think lack of education is a big factor in the redneck handle.
P: Could be and it’s often a factor but there are so many good people who lack education that it’s not a defining factor. Lack of compassion, maybe? Lack of good sense? Lack of tolerance? What do they call the equivalent of a redneck who lives in the North–like maybe those Jersey Shore people or people in the Bronx or Brooklyn who say ‘youse guys’ and tote guns? Do people from Brooklyn tote? I think they ‘carry’ but they don’t say specifically what they are carrying–it’s understood, as in, "Careful…that dude’s carryin’.
Me: LMAO, I think us southerners are the only toters…every one else has better English.
Some of them pack rather than tote or carry though, don’t they? Maybe it’s their crotch that is packed??????
Seriously though, the info I read this morning said that the term redneck was first used as an insult. Maybe some Baptist or Pentecostal preacher who became angry with an uneducated, tobacco dipping, crack showing farm boy used the term rather than simply call him an asshole, or more specifically a butt crack!!!! 😀
When I use a derogatory term for another person it is because I am angry, frustrated or otherwise upset and am trying to express fully just how upset I am.
Why can I not simply say, you piss the hell out of me?
Why must we add insult to injury?
Stoop to their level?