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southlandshari's Journal
Posted by southlandshari in The DU Lounge
Wed Dec 14th 2005, 06:46 PM
But I have no problem being called a redneck, and I have no doubts about my progressive politics. My family has deep roots in Alabama, where I was born and raised. My grandfather and all three of his brothers were county agents, men who worked for the extension service, finding ways to support rural farmers and, in the process, build stronger communities in our state and improve relations between blacks and whites. I am intensely proud of my family history in that regard, and the origins of the word "redneck" that are rooted in the sunburned necks of poor white farmers in the Deep South are nothing to be ashamed of for me.

Are there ignorant and racist rednecks around? There always have been and always will be, I'm afraid. But the same could be said about any random sample of residents of any state or region in this country.

But there were and still are many, many honest and decent "rednecks" about the South, and I see no reason for me to buy into a stereotype created by the Hollywood machine which has little use for me, my vote, or my efforts on behalf of peace and justice and a democratic United States. That stuff, you see, just doesn't sell as well as two good ol' boys, a chick in miniscule shorts, and an overblown buffoon of a small town sheriff in the Deep South.

But oh, how I wish it did.

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