Yes folks, I am a redneck from West Virginia and proud of it. I have never claimed to be anything else. In the past 31 years since I graduated high school and moved around the country, my status as a redneck has stayed with me.
Now, before I go any further, let me explain to those who think that the term Redneck is a bad word, it is not. It actually came to be known because of the coal wars (1920 – 1921) in southern West Virginia, when the coal companies were forcing the miners to work in unsafe conditions and the coal miners wanted to join the union. A fight broke out, and several company thugs were killed in Matewan, WV. Then the union coal miners from northern West Virginia marched south to help the miners against the coal companies. The northern coal miners wore red bandanas so that they would be recognized as the good guys and thus, the term Redneck was coined. Yes, I know there are a thousand and one other thoughts as to where the term was coined, but I am pretty sure that this is the one that is the true meaning of the word!
Now that we know where the term Redneck came from, we can discuss the differences between them and city folk. We rednecks are tough, resilient and resourceful! We all like to laugh at someone who puts a metal watering trough above a fire and then uses it for a hot tub, but really, how many city folk would think to do that? Instead of spending $4,000 to buy a heated tub, the redneck used what he had and it worked just fine (maybe after a few comedy of errors).
The point is, Rednecks are not dumb people. They know what they have and they solve problems using what they have.
Now, I recently got into a conversation that was started from the Duck Commander’s suspension being lifted (I won’t get into the whole A&E thing) and one person who was clearly from the city (when I use city, I am talking about NYC size, not small town) and he was so appalled by all the redneck reality shows on TV now and how the world would be better off without rednecks. That is where I entered into the debate.
I explained to all who read that if ever something happened to our infrastructure, electric grid, electronics etc… that those people would be complaining about not having any food, TV, or any modern convenience that they enjoy now and that many who live in the city would perish! Well, I set off a firestorm with that comment!
He went on to say “Shouldn’t you be off researching what seeds Glenn Beck thinks are best to have for when the apocalypse comes ?”
When I explained to him that being ready is not a bad thing and that most rednecks do not need to have anyone tell us what we need to survive, it only got worse in the debate as another city person stated this:
Oh yeah – I forgot all about Doomsday Preppers (mostly just paranoid ignorant rednecks too).
You don’t fool me. Most people on welfare, sucking off the teat of the government, are white – and almost all of those who aren’t black or Hispanic are white trash rednecks or southern hillbillies.
The “lazy ignorant Southerner” label is more than just a stereotype – for many it’s a fact. Many blame it on ‘the humidity’. As transplanted yankee living in the South, I realize that could very well be.
Well, after I quit laughing at them, I said, well, I am not a prepper, I am prepped! Meaning that I know what to do when the time comes. I do not need to watch reality TV to know what to do and I certainly do not need anyone else giving me advice when they think that “the meat in grocery stores are from animals that are not harmed!”
So, the city folk quit debating me when I asked them what they would do if ever something happened. Not one could answer and they clammed up. I ended by saying:
“I know exactly what to do, I don’t have to research anything. unlike people like you. You will go steal what you want, or try to. Won’t make it far, because the people who are able to survive will not put up with looters like you.”
Well, maybe I was a little harsh, but such is life and if you want to survive, you learn how to take care of yourself. I have no problem in saying that if anything ever happened, I would still be fat and happy as I am right now. City folk, not so much. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see how things go!
So, with that being said, I am very proud to be a Redneck from West Virginia!
What a great article!! Keep being PROUD!
Very interesting! Redneck like some other words have taken on a derogatory connotation when in fact there is nothing “bad” about it! You keep being proud, everyone should be proud of who they are…and if they are not then they should change 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog…btw I am from NY living in Dallas…so not a redneck, more like a Yankee 🙂
Thank you Judy. I appreciate that. 🙂
Kudos to you, from this proud member of the city crowd. The jackasses you smacked down above are about as useful to our distinct culture as the worst of the Deliverance crowd is to yours. I’ve grown up alongside rednecks, broken bread with rednecks, hoisted a few with rednecks, even helped get a few elected in the course of my professional life. City guy at heart though I may always happily be, you will never — I repeat, never — see me run down redneck culture.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an organic cheese board with pairings to compose. Vive la difference! ::snicker!::
Thank you for your comment. I know a few folks that are decent city folks like yourself and I appreciate you all. I just have to laugh when the “others” start with their infinite wisdom.
Yup, lots of us have much the same problem in reverse as you mentioned in your post; i.e. having to convince way too many rednecks that we’re not all Kardashians. I feel your pain.
Grew up in the country, now live in a (smallish) city because I’m a brown gay guy.
I like rednecks for their down-to-earth sensibilities, warmth, friendliness, sense of community, and self-reliance. I definitely have some redneck in me because of where I was raised, and am proud of this.
What I don’t like, however, are the rednecks who are proud to be ignorant of and bigoted against anyone who isn’t just like them.
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