I’ve been told by others in the media that I should stay away from using the term “redneck,” that it is highly controversial and is synonymous with racism. So, for many years I did just that. Instead of saying “redneck” I would use the term “rural.” To be truthful, I never liked being told what to write and what to censor. It smacked of tyranny to me.
I remember almost a decade ago I was being interviewed for a recorded radio show by a black broadcaster. During the show, I referred to myself as a “redneck.” Over the break, he cautioned me against using that word. He informed me that in the black community it is synonymous with racism. Being from the country, I’d never heard that before. You see, to me, the term “redneck” is synonymous with a white person from the country. In fact, that is much closer to the historical dictionary definition than the one presently being espoused nationwide.
So, I went to dictionary dot com and looked it up.
A slang term, usually for a rural white southerner who is politically conservative, racist, and a religious fundamentalist (see fundamentalism). This term is generally considered offensive. It originated in reference to agricultural workers, alluding to how the back of a person’s neck will be burned by the sun if he works long hours in the fields.
Like so many other words in the American vocabulary, it has been hijacked and perverted. Gay, used to mean happy; now it means homosexual. The police used to be good. Now they are evil and cruel. Christians used to be loving and compassionate; now they are all bigots unless they espouse proper political views.
The original meaning of “redneck” was this:
Noun – an uneducated white farm laborer, especially from the South.
As I ponder that definition, I can’t help but conclude that it’s a noble thing to be a redneck, or, at least it used to be. Let’s break down the historical definition:
Uneducated: By that, we mean little formal education, as in, no college degree. Maybe you have a high school diploma, a GED, or you’re even a high school dropout.
Farm Laborer: Okay, so you work on a farm. Maybe you pick crops or milk cows.
From the South: That’s right, you are below the Mason-Dixon line, living in a southern state.
But I have to ask a few questions here.
First, why is it bad to not have a college degree? Think about that for a second or two. Who are we talking about? The people who drive trucks. Without them, the store shelves would be empty and you’d have no gas for your car. When your toilet plugs up and you can’t fix it because you never learned how…Who do you call? You call an uneducated person who learned a trade that you can’t live without. To be honest, without uneducated plumbers, we’d all be living in a world of shit. What about when your electricity goes out? You have a master’s degree in sociology, but you can’t make the lights work. You can’t fix the sink; you can’t change the oil in your car.
Let’s be honest here, many of you highly educated, suburban rich people are unfunctional and virtually helpless unless you’re in front of a computer debugging code or analyzing the stock market.
But now you say, “Hold on, Skip. We’re talking about uneducated farmers.” Yes, that’s true. So, where would we be without uneducated farm workers? Most of us would starve to death. Be honest here. Michael Bloomberg was quoted as saying this about farmers:
“It’s a process. You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, you add water, up comes corn. You can learn that.”
Those are the words of a very educated and extremely ignorant man. I’m not a farmer, but I’ve been gardening my whole life, and I’m here to tell you that it’s not that easy. Joe Biden has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware, but he can’t fix his own toilet. He has a law degree from Syracuse University College of Law, but he can’t change the oil in his car or wire a light switch.
Second, why is it intrinsically bad to work on a farm? Farming is an inherently respectable profession with a long and noble tradition. President Jimmy Carter was a peanut farmer from Georgia. George Washington loved agriculture and ran a farm in Virginia. Farmers work very hard and they remain close to the earth and to common sense. Academia? Not so much.
Third, why is it intrinsically bad to be from the south? I would never dream of making disparaging remarks about a person from the inner city, simply because of their geographical home, but that’s what happens to southerners these days. The bigoted stereotype is this: people from the south are weak-minded and simple; they are stupid; they drink beer and shoot guns; they blindly and foolishly cling to guns and religion.
So, what does this have to do with rioting in rural America?
Over the weekend in Portland, a man was dragged from his car and severely beaten, and now he’s in the hospital in critical condition. The people who orchestrate and support the Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests are primarily from the school of higher learning. No matter how noble the cause may have started, it has since devolved into chaos and anarchy where innocent lives are cruelly taken and small business owners are victimized and their stores are destroyed, leaving them paupers.
And here’s to the point: don’t come to rural America to rape, pillage and plunder. It won’t end well for you. Now, some might misconstrue that as a threat, but don’t be so hastily inclined. I’m not threatening you; I’m trying to help you. You must understand that uneducated white people from the south don’t know any better. They’re so stupid as to believe they have the right to defend themselves while someone is dragging them from their truck and beating them senseless. After all, they are silly, uneducated rednecks.
Now, I must further caution you about coming up north to the rural Midwest and trying the same tactics. What is taken as noble and good in Seattle is frowned upon in fly-over country. You have to understand that Midwesterners are a backward people, still believing in the right to keep and bear arms; they go to church, even when the governor tries to close it down. They grow their own food; they fix their own cars; they even unplug their own toilets.
To put it quite bluntly, rural Americans are a soft-headed and backward culture.
And now, let’s make it personal. I’m an educated man, author of 16 books, host of a radio show; in that regard, I’m like you. However, I own lots of guns; I can change my oil and unplug my own commode. I guess that makes me the best of both worlds.
Just this past weekend there was a Black Lives Matter protest in my neck of the woods. It turned out to be very peaceful. Why? Because the protesters were outnumbered by more than two to one by uneducated rural Americans. There was no looting, no injuries, and no destruction of private property. No one was kidnapped from their truck and beaten. Why? Because uneducated rural Americans have the audacity to carry guns and shoot people who try to kill them.
Here’s a very important maxim, and you liberal city dwellers would do well to listen: “What you allow…you teach.”
When Seattle responds to looters by bending the knee, the looters are emboldened. When Portland allows rioting to occur for 3 months running, then negative behavior is encouraged and sanctioned by the elected officials who were entrusted to protect and serve the citizens.
By now most of us backward country folk have figured out what still eludes Portland and Seattle: Appeasement doesn’t work.
I’ve taught over 15,000 people to carry concealed in my home state. Now listen, Portland looters. Don’t come to my small town. The laws of deadly force don’t change simply because you’re angry and you feel wronged and entitled. Rural people, as witless and insensitive as they are, just don’t care about your politics.
Now, don’t get me wrong. If you want to come on out to the country and enjoy the lakes and streams, go fishing and use our beaches, come on out. You are welcome. However, if you journey out here to stir things up, well, then be prepared for some pushback. We don’t allow that, and we will educate you.
“So, welcome to the country, and we’ll leave the light on for ya.”
Don’t forget to give Skip a great Amazon review after you’ve read and love his book.
Skip Coryell is the author of 16 books, including “Civilian Combat: The Concealed Carry Book” and the post-apocalyptic adventure series “The Covid Chronicles” as well as “The God Virus.”