Friday, September 26, 2008

Redneck Offensive: On the Abuse and Misuse of the Term Redneck

So, I saw an article as a delicious pick on Nas' blog and the title made me think of Tim's post inaccurately portraying rednecks as people who would leave our busted cars on the streets near our homes. I called him to task for it (we have more class than that, we put them on blocks on our own yard next to our indoor furniture that's left outdoors in all weather).

But, the reality is that this one caught my eye becaus the title is patently wrong. Well, maybe not. There may have been a redneck that got elected to the presidency, twice, in the past. But George W. Bush ain't it. Kinzi and I had a conversation a bit ago (spurred by Tim's post) about the term redneck. She said her cowboy cousin told her of the origin of the word and while pieces may be factually accurate or not, the bottom line is it's correct. Rednecks refers to farmers and workers of the dirt, originally mostly in the South, who wear baseball caps to keep the sun out of their eyes. Because baseball caps offer no protection for the neck, you end up with a guy who has a big old patch of red on the back of his neck. Voila!

There's even a comedian who started his career out of talking bad about us (and he is one, so he can). His name is Jeff Foxworthy and he's a genious.

Now, this man knows what's it' like to be a redneck. He is clearly from a long line of rednecks. I can say that with certainty because I also come from a long line of red necks. My dad went to school in a one room schoolhouse in the thriving metropolis of Loachapoka Alabama. It's on the road from nowhere to nowhere. My early memories of his family are things like hunting and fishing and watching my great aunt make stuffed animals from old socks. I assure, I know something about being a redneck. For another perspective, a friend (who is also from a long line of rednecks) sent me this link -> . Yes, anyone who weds their love at a Waffle House is absolutely a redneck.

So, I say again that while W may speak with a Southern accent (and sound less than brilliant to boot), he is no redneck. In fact, if you listened to Jeff Foxworthy you would have heard all of the criteria which he certainly doesn't fit.

And, to leave you with more proof of my own person redneck background... I would fit into the category of redneck who owns no daily-wear clothing not purchased at Wal-Mart. As PappaBean used to say if they ain't got it at Wal-Mart, I don't need it. So, don't offend my redneck roots. I don't claim George W. I seriously doubt he's worked a day in his life. While he wears the trappings of the cowboy and has ranches wherever he goes, rednecks don't spend 75% of their lives on vacation. They've actually got to earn the money they want to spend. They share much more in common with Palestinians tending olive groves than a millionaire in the White House...

Happy offense!


At 2:40 PM , Blogger KittySigurdardottir. said...

I live in the south and fit right in here.The sweetest people"In All The World",and it bears repeating "In All Whe World" live right here in South Carolina.At least, that is my opinion as I come from Iceland and have traveled a lot.I have not stepped a foot on Icelandic ground for 25 years,that ought to tell you something.

But, South Carolina I love and the only thing that fits the portray of a red neck here is that I see lots and lots of pick up trucks and for some reason many of them are white in color like my little car.

At 1:46 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Krystal, welcome. As you can imagine, like Jeff Foxworthy, I enjoy poking fun at my own personal heritage. In the interest of full disclosure, I have never lived in a home with defunct transportation vehicles in front (although I've had friends who did).

But pretty much every requirement applies to someone in my close family. And, I'll battle you for the sweetest people in all of the world. Alabama folks are down-home awesome too. But honestly, I would be surprised if you did meet too many true, down-home rednecks. They tend to stick together and close to home which would be more typically small houses in rural areas...

Oh, and don't take redneck to mean not nice. They're wonderful, welcoming, helpful people. They just have some funny things about them. Those of us who grew up with aunts with hair as tall as a small tower will attest to that fact.

Please feel free to visit again soon! Ooh, and I haven't been to Iceland, but love Sweden and Norway. You come from a lovely part of the world.

At 9:43 AM , Blogger PALFORCE said...


I consider myself the most Arab Rednick, I can also prove it, all you have to do is contact Rick & Bubba (famous Radio morning Show in Alabama) and ask them about me, well my name them was Killi.

No really, I loved living in Birmingham, Alabama. I tried moving to Atlanta, Miami, Houston,New Jersy. I always came back to Birmingham.

Alabama has the nicest people you could ever meet, the food is yummy, they are not racist (I haven't faced any racism in Alabama) I did face it in Arab countries more than anywhere else!

Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents and holding the Jordanian passport and the US.

When it comes to naming my hometown, I always say Birmingham, Alabama.

Sweet Home Alabama & Roll Tide baby :-)



At 12:40 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Khaled, I had no idea you were an adopted Alabama boy! Too funny we didn't meet you there.

Sweet Home Alabama Indeed, bt let's hear a big WAR EAGLE!

At 11:53 PM , Blogger Ali Dahmash said...

I'm realy sorry about your car bean, that realy sucks.
Here is a link about hate and wish you can write about

At 1:53 AM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Ali, Thanks for your kind wishes...

At 5:37 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Good one. Now can we have a post about White Trash and what that really means...:) You know I am laughing and dead serious at the same time...

At 10:44 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Nicole, you know a friend of mine dressed up for Halloween as White Trash (you know one of those concept costumes). He wore a clear trash bag with all sorts of white trash inside. It was too funny!


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