Whoa! I think we are using different definitions for “redneck”. Maybe this is a purely local thing, but around here the definition of “redneck” changed about 30 years ago. Originally “redneck” referred to “ignorant farm boys” and was seen as a label invented by Yankees (yeah, some people were still fighting the Civil War) so they would feel superior to the poor, dumb Southerners. To a certain extent the label was accurate - life was hard for rural Southerners and there was a serious lack of opportunities for education and travel, especially for the young men who often quit school at the earliest opportunity in order to help support their families, and not long afterwards found themselves with a family of their own to support. “Naive” and “uneducated” are better descriptions, but don’t quite have the sting of “ignorant”, do they?
However, during the Martin Luther King/civil rights marches/desegregation years, the definition of “redneck” changed. It began to be used to refer to someone who was ignorant and proud of it, and whose immediate solution to any disagreement was violence. As a matter of fact, there was a running joke around here about the definition of “redneck” based on a real event in our little ‘Dari-Delite’ type restaurant.
A group of high school students that included a black couple had to this little restaurant on a Saturday night outing. An older man who was a well-known drunk and trouble-maker was seated at a nearby table with a group of his friends, and began to loudly toss around racial slurs. Despite the danger, the young black man decided he was going to have to confront the man, but his friends stopped him and one of them loudly remarked, “Don’t pay attention to him, he’s just a damned redneck.” Whereupon the older man leaped to his feet, grabbed something in his jacket pocket, and said, “Who you calling a redneck, boy?”
Since everyone knew that this man frequently carried a pistol, the entire restaurant froze for a minute, expecting bloodshed. The man’s friends grabbed him and quickly hustled him out of the door (meanwhile saying things like “You don’t want to go to prison over some damned nigger, do you?” :rolleyes: )
From then on, around here the definition of “redneck” was someone who would shoot you for calling him one.
Manda JO is right, Huntsville is like a whole 'nother country (I have relatives who live there). Another little “country” all its own is the UAB Hospital, where they do world-class medical research. I only live about 60 miles from Birmingham, but it is practically 19th century around here. Well, just read about Judge Roy Moore, and imagine a town of 15,000 where the majority think he’s a hero!