Sunday, August 22, 2010


I don't self-identify as a "red neck". I have to say that first. I know people who do, and who take pride in it. Personally, I don't get it. To me, a "red neck" is an uneducated person who lives in the country. And yet, I live in the "country" and know educated people who call themselves "red necks".

I don't get it.

But I also don't think it's appropriate to call people red necks as an insult. Insulting someone based on their income or education or hometown or race is never appropriate.

I volunteer for St. John Ambulance, and I was a volunteer first-aider at an event called the Verona Mud Drags. People race cars with really loud engines and way too many housepower (2,000-3,000). I don't get it, either! But I also won't laugh and call them rednecks, as one of the other volunteers did. According to him, he couldn't believe the low intelligence of people who live in this town.

Well, I don't think that most people at the event don't actually live in that town, since it's a small town and there were a lot of people there. But as I live two towns away, I thought this person was rude to make a statement like that. Actually, I know I would have been offended by that statement even if I didn't live in the area. To judge everyone in the area based on where they live, and to judge everyone at the event based on this event, seemed ... ignorant.

I will admit, there were people at the event who were ill-mannered, like the two teens who were chewing tobacco and spitting everywhere. (And they were clearly under 19, making their activity illegal here.) There were women who appeared as if they had not bothered to brush their hair this month. (Yes, that is a harsh thing to say, but that's what it looked like.) There were young men (maybe my age) wearing shirts with very rude messages. But though I found some of these behaviours sad or offensive, I wouldn't judge the entire community based on the actions of the people at this event. Nor do these actions necessarily make these people bad people. Sure, they may have questionable judgement (the t-shirts) or may have succumbed to peer pressure (the chewing tobacco) or may not have self-esteem or self-pride (the messy-haired women). But that doesn't automatically make them bad people.

Besides, there are a lot of other things I can judge people about - for example, the parents of the child (probably around 10) who I observed careening around the grounds of this event on an all-terrain vehicle (four-wheeler) at very fast speeds, almost hit my car in the parking lot (yeah) and not wearing a helmet. Don't get me started about the many reasons this was wrong!

On an unrelated, neat note, a family who had been on Wife Swap had been there. Apparently, the mom (at least prior to going on the show) did all the cleaning, cooking and "women's chores", while their husband races at these mud drag events. I don't know who they were, but it wasn't that big an event so I probably saw them. Random, eh? :)


  1. Well, down here being a redneck is more a state-of-mind... generally of lower class, lower education, but not always.
    But most people who identify with it call each other "redneck" out of fun. Why?? Not sure... but hey. Different strokes for different folks. ;-)

    Don't you all have Wal-Marts up there?

  2. Yes, we have walmarts ... but they're different somehow. They're not as ... walmarty. Maybe I'll try to take pictures next time I'm there and show you :)