Assumptions on rednecks and Confederate flags
posted by Ectheleon
Im making this post after listening to fridays show and hearing jayar’s and Ana’s Oppinions on the "rednecks" and people who wear/support/fly the confederate flag, the following is my thoughts on the matter. Many will misjudge or prejudge and assume alot, but please read it with a open mind and not under the guise of modern Outlook on it.
What is a Redneck? To minorities, and many not in the culture its a Derogatory word, meaning someone from the backwoods, toothless yocals, white racists from the south. The truth is, many Whites (and yes even some blacks consider themselves rednecks *gasp* yes its true) think this term is more meant for their lifestyle.
A little more insight into who i am. I am from virginia, i was raised in del ray alexandria, which was a almost entirely black area of alexandria. I have had, what i consider a unique up bringing having seen racism of ALL stripes, from blacks hating whites ,to whites hating blacks, to blacks and whites hating muslims and Asians. My father was born there, but his mother was from Kentucky… my family later moved out of alexandria into northern virginia, near the potomac (For privacy reasons i wont list the exact city as my mother held office in a virginian city as mayor, and she is a republican so my written statements may cause her grief , we dont share much in the ways of politics… me bieng leeeeebral and all).
Now a little bit more about me thats actually relevant to the discussion. My father’s best friend is from west virginia…. Listens to blue grass…. is a cival war re-enactor, primarily plays the role of the south, but contrary to most peoples thoughts, the northern soldiers are sometimes Southerners who play northeners cause they are the less popular Role to play. (usually 2x as many southern soldiers to northern so they ask many to switch roles and carry mixed uniforms for that purpose)
So i had quite a upbringing going from city boy to southern virginian. I got to know many of the people that were bieng discussed (some probabyl attended the festival detailed in fridays show.)
that brings me back to my question, what is a redneck? To these people, its a endearing term, meaning someone who works hard during the day… redneck to them means a sunburnt neck from bieng out doors working hard all day…. its a sign of culture, southern lifestyle, enjoying the simple things…. where we would go to movies, these people enjoy Fishing/hunting/dancing/sin ging/inventing crazy entertainment devices (youtube this if you want to see one, "redneck rollercoaster", youll see what i mean).
Racism to them MOST of them is not spouted, I happen to know a few Black familys that call themselves Red necks because they enjoy the same things their white counterparts do. the Southern food, the southern church etc etc. ITs a Southern culture thing 100%.
Do not mix Rednecks with white supremacists. they are different things….
Now that brings me to my second topic.
The Rebel flag, To modern times it is a symbol of Racism, opression, slavery, a violent war that to many in the north who do not educate themselves on the matter a war that should of never been fought.
Ask someone why the cival war was fought today, and you most likely will get "Slavery". & nbsp; While this answer is not WRONG, it is not Correct. The truth is , slavery was a part of what caused the cival war, in itself not a big part. It was more a block that when pulled caused a chain of events.
The brief history of it was this. The south for a hundred years was deeply invested in the growing of cotton/tobacco/crops. The north focussed primarily on manufacturing and industry. Americas Primary Exports were Tobacco and Cotton. the majority of the GDP was These two products, of which they were also 2 of the highest taxed goods in america. In the south the taxes were so high that in order for a Farm/plantation to produce a profit, slaves were not "a benefit" but a neccesity. Now i wont defend slavery, it is wrong, was wrong, should never of happened, i am merely stating what happened to clarify things to people.
So the situation with the south was that the north was passing bills to limit the sale/import of slaves, to make expanding states Slave free, and was starting to draft legislation to Make the owning of slaves illegal (emancipation). This was something that needed to happen (should of happened sooner) but this is where you HAVE to stop, and go back to the time, and put yourself in the boots of someone in the south. The legislation passed was basically telling them they were no longer going to be profitable, they could not afford to PAY workers to do the work that needed to be done to turn a profit. The tax rate on their goods was so high, it was even proposed in many areas that the rates would be increased. THus assuring the end to their lifestyle, familys that had run plantations and farms for generations would be out of business etc. It was not about slavery, to be quite frank. If the north had included tax breaks, and Help with employment like they had in the north, their probably would not of been a cival war.
Slavery did play a role, but in the end it came down to having your livelyhood taken away, bieng told that you were out of a job.
We also like to Vilify slave owners as Evil savage racists, when many were family men/women who did not abuse their slaves, Most in fact would not whip their slaves, (infection in that day could kill, a lashing would chance infection which would kill the slave, plus in that day slaves were like Farm tools today , its disgusting to think of them in that way, but thats how they were… you wouldnt break or risk destroying the most valuable thing on your farm which was your equipment).
Now im again not here to defend slavery. DOnt get me wrong i am totally on your side (the reader) on it, it was a nasty time period, but the ability to see things from the other side is a valuable one, one that we ALL should do.
Now what does all this have to do with the rebel flag? Well many in the south view this not as a Flag of slavery, but a flag their fathers and grand fathers and great grandfathers fought under, to them it doesnt mean opression, but doing what must be done to protect your family and your livelyhood. it was about standing up to what they viewed as opression and honoring the ultimate sacrifices that many of their ancestors payed.
The flag today is viewed by the other side under slanted eyes, history clouded…. blurbed down to clips "cival war fought over slavery, north won etc etc etc" but it skips over the bulk of it… the ability to walk a mile in another mans shoes etc…
To put forth my meaning into something you can grasp onto.
Until hitler used the swastica, it was known as a symbol of Good fortune…. it had nothing to do with evil or Hate…. because it was tied to hitler it is now known as a mark of pure evil….. even though hundreds of other cultures adn thousands of years… it simply meant… good luck.
On The Web: www.theyoungturks.com/story/2009/7/20/3938/52160/Diary/Assumptions-on-rednecks-and-Confederate-flags