Like any word, it carries no connotation in itself. The connotation is whatever people want to ascribe to it.
I AM a redneck. Right now there are 5 cars parked in my front yard... one of them runs. I qualify on about 50% of Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a
redneck if..." jokes (I mowed my yard once and found two cars and a tractor... my brother-in-law mowed his yard once and found my truck - TRUE). Both
rear windows on the car that runs are sealed at the top with duct tape... works good, since the car is silver and both quit working at about the same
time. I have worked on car motors supported by a chain from a tree limb. I have driven a car with a wire stretched across the roof to run power to
part of it so it would be legal. In my prime, I outran every local cop in this area at least once, usually because I didn't want them to confiscate
my out-of-state beer. Heck, with the exception of the jumps (which were obviously staged with multiple cars... some of those are physically
impossible), I have performed most of the stunts on "The Dukes of Hazzard."
But that doesn't mean I'm dumb. I hold an AAS degree in Computer Information Systems with a GPA of 3.867, an AS degree in Engineering and
Mathematics with a GPA of 3.899, and I have a GPA of 4.0 in the BSEE program at UAH. I have a Professional Tutor certification from the local college.
I have designed and built electronic stuff for 30 years, using only the cheap tools I could afford or stuff I made myself. I do all the maintenance
and repair on my car(s), my home, and my land. Not much on the home and land breaks, though, because I designed and built it all. Professional
repairmen hate me.
It doesn't mean I am lazy. Right now I'm working two part-time jobs, going to UAH full-time, caring for a wife with a heart condition and caring for
my mother who is in poor health. Somehow I find time to be on the All Things Survival Radio Show, visit ATS as much as I can, tutor two school kids,
do some computer repair on the side, and I am building a new robotic base for the IEEE club at UAH to use in their competitions.
Forget all the stereotypes... I am not racist, not homophobic (maybe homo-apathetic?), not dumb, not lazy, not stupid, and I still have all of my
teeth (for the time being
). Stereotypes are useless fantasies that insecure people invent to try and make their own lives look better by
If you call me a redneck, it means nothing... ABSOLUTELY NOTHING... to me. Heck, it's my real life nickname. Yell it in a crowd and I will literally
turn around to see who is calling me. Oh, it started as a derogatory remark, sure, way way back in high school when I was introduced to kids whose
parents had money. But I LIKE being a redneck, so it quickly became a nickname instead of a cutdown. They have a lot of money, but I'm the guy who
will make stuff he needs from stuff others throw away (my father actually made a tractor, now mine, from a Briggs & Stratton motor he found in a
junkyard, some pulleys, and sheet metal... and to do so he first had to build a forge out of rock he found in our mountain). I'm the guy who will do
the stuff that has to be done when everyone else is complaining about not having enough time. I'm the guy who will survive, thrive even, when
everyone else is sitting crying and wringing their hands in despair.
I went to my 30-year class reunion a few years back. Me and one other guy (who lives maybe a mile and a half from me and runs his own farm) had to
help the others onto the flatbed, go get some more hay, and pretty much do all the work. As old as I am, I can still get around and do, while they
were having trouble walking. I guess all that money wasn't the big deal they used to think it was. They were comparing who took the most meds. I
don't even have a doctor; don't need one.
The thing is, anyone can do what I have done with any word they want. The offense never comes from the person who says it; the offense always comes
from the person getting offended. We just live in a society where people like to be able to blame someone else rather than grow a skin. You wanna call
me a redneck? Go right on ahead! It's what I am; it's what I want to be. If it's not what you want me to be, well, that sounds like a personal
problem to me. Good luck with it.
Personally, I think all people should be proud of who and what they are, or they should change it. It's that simple, and others will respect that
pride in oneself.