Monday, November 7, 2011

The Meaning of Redneck from the Eclectic Redneck Girl

My name is Genevieve.  I am a native Texan and I like to consider myself as an Eclectic Redneck girl.  I have had the opportunity to experience many things in life outside of my redneck territory.  As a result I am changed by those experiences.  I thought since I am so fond of being a redneck I would explain where the term came from and what it's original meaning was and what it means to me today.

Originally, the term redneck came from the later 1800's in southern Georgia and Alabama to refer to sharecroppers who worked in the fields thus getting a sunburned neck. They were called 'rednecks' as a term meant for hard working people.

The term was again used in the 1930's in a number of disputes in West Virginia. A large group of unionized miners marched south to Logan County, to pressure the mine owners there to allow their miners to become unionized. The union was formed due to the abusive conditions created by the mine owners and their outlawish guards who threatened workers with eviction and possible death if they joined the union which demanded fair pay.  

To identify themselves as they marched south, the miners all wore red bandannas around their necks. The publicity associated with the battles and the subsequent court cases created the term red-necks, and at that time they were viewed as the good guys in the conflict. 

Today, the term is used by comedians and commentators to refer to people who are uneducated, close-minded and racist individuals.  Unfortunately as a result people's view of a redneck is not a very positive one.

To me redneck is a way of life.  It is the southern way of living.  Being respectful and polite to others.  Saying yes ma'am and yes sir.  Enjoying a quiet evening sitting on the porch watching the sunset and the moon rise.  Loving your pickup truck like a biker loves his Harley.  Wrangler or Levi jeans and cowboy boots.

Now I re-frame from saying listening to country music because 95% of the time I don't.  I love my rock.  Mostly the only country I like is Country and Western.  I like listening to Marty Robbins, Patsy Cline, Waylon Jennings, (NO NO NO Willy Nelson!).  Some of the newer artist I like would be; Martina McBride, Holly Dunn, and Kathy Mattea to name a few.

My favorite song of all time would be Wildfire by Michael Martin Murphy.  The original version ONLY.  The others are just crap in my opinion.  (Warning, I have strong opinions but I am not closed minded.  I am willing to listen and possible be wrong.  Yes, I will admit it when I have been wrong.)

If you haven't heard the original version from 1975 in a while here it is:

The bottom line regarding the term redneck before I get off subject here is, I am proud to be a redneck.  Southern born where I was taught respect and morals.  

I am not now or have I ever been racist.  I was raised in a black community and my children are 1/2 Hispanic.  There is no room in my world for judgement of people.  I believe in accepting people as they are.  That is as long as they are simply living their life and not harming others.

I believe right is right and wrong is wrong.

I believe if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem for no action is still action.

Most of all I believe in being solution oriented.  Wallowing in the problem never gets it fixed so stop your complaining and do something positive to fix it.

I believe in gun ownership.  Remember there is a big responsibility in owning a gun of any kind.  Make sure you are well educated and respect this responsibility. 

In regards to hunting.  I was taught if you shoot it you eat it.  Taking a life should never be done simply for fun.  Any life!
I believe in green, sustainable living.  To me it is just common sense.  I was taught to rely on no one.  I alone was responsible for my needs.  
I don't think it is a good idea to support things that are slowly killing us.  It is time to learn how to live better.  Better for ourselves as well every thing that surrounds us.
Last but not least.  I have an Associates Degree, I am a licensed massage therapist, and a Kundalini Yoga Instructor.  Yes, now you see were the eclectic part comes in.  As you can see.  I am educated.  I love learning and I do so every chance I get by any means I can find.

So to those of you who have learned what redneck means by listening to those people in the media I ask that you take the time to get to know the real people.  I think we are pretty decent folks and I look forward to getting to know you too. 

Redneck Girl by Bellamy Brothers