Some historical readings for our defenders of the redneck faith

Jan 07 2010 Published by under #FWDAOTI, Debate and Discussion, Racist Idiots


BikeMonkey Post
I have been enjoying the protestations of those who don't like my conceptualization of "redneck" as a pejorative directed against bigoted attitudes. You can read them here as well as in the thread following Isis' graphical depiction provided for those with reading comprehension difficulties. There are a few more comments at Adventures in Ethics and Science. In this fine discussion, commenters D. C. Sessions and Isabel have been maintaining that "redneck" is really not much different than "nigger". Furthermore they've been trying to establish that, historically speaking, those who maintain the real power in the US have treated those they consider to be rednecks and niggers more or less equally badly.
I have some additional readings for your consideration of these assertions.


The way I happened across this is a bit convoluted but I started with this, clicked this link ("Drapetomania"? WTF?) and found a fun little link to something at Google books.
De Bow's Sourthern and Western Review: A monthly industrial and literary journal, Vol. XI. - New Series, Vol. IV. July 1851 - January 1852
I obtained the entire pdf and started reading.
Article IV, Professor Dew's Essays on Slavery starts on page 23 of the publication. The good professor spends a good deal of time talking about the enslavement of tan folk by non tan folk but, to his credit, draws the fault back to European feudalism. I think Isabel will particularly enjoy the justification of the US version of black slavery in the South circa 1850s on the basis of the treatment of presumptively white peasantry in the European feudal systems of centuries prior.
Article VI, Samuel A. Cartwright, MD, has an essay on How to Save the Republic and the Position of the South in the Union which starts on page 184 of the publication. It contains numerous insights of value including:

But the hypothesis which is undermining our Union, "that the negro is a white man only painted black," has no foundation in Truth or Nature.
The reason is that the African is not constituted in mind or body, in the skin or under the skin, like the white man..
Slavery, therefore, of the black to the white man is not incompatible with the economy of Nature.
Chemistry could declare whether the composition of the bones, the blood, the flesh, skin and the secretions, be composed of the same elementary substances, in the same proportions and combinations, in the two races, or in different proportions and combinations

You can read the whole thing yourself and see where I might be missing something. But I sure as hell can't suss out where this presumably white doctor is thinking that rednecks are just like niggers. Where he's dissing those of socioeconomic disadvantage regardless of race. Maybe D. C. Sessions can find it for us? Sure reads to me like he's distinguishing white folks from black folks regardless of their socioeconomic privilege.
And how about that blue collar / labor / farming and the origin of the redness of the neck in question, eh?

The labor, requiring exposure to a mid-day's summer sun, from the laws of the white man's nature, cannot be performed in the cotton and sugar region without exposing him to disease and death; yet the same kind of labor experience proves to be only a wholesome and beneficial exercise to the negro, awakening him from his natural torpor to a new life of pleasure and activity.

I wonder who benefits from the strawberry and lettuce fields and might be awakened from "natural torpor" therein. Eh, Dr. Isis?
And hey, since this is ScienceBlogs and you people like to talk about the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge, there's a couple of more gems.

Neither party, North or South, has viewed the question of negro slavery in a philosophical point of view. It has been mere experience on the one side, and mere theory on the other.
Much of the knowledge, in regard to the physical differences between our white and black population, is confined to the few scientific men in private life, and to those persons in the South who have had opportunities of acquiring it by observation, but have not the requisite acquirements and opportunities for diffusing it.

Oh SNAP. Damn closed access publication! If only these men of private science and persons of opportunity in the South could have diffused their knowledge of the black to those damned theorists in the North..
Art VII. Slave Laws of the Southern States: Mississippi by Col. H. W. Walter starts on page 617 of the publication. I include this here because it delves into the real reason slavery should not be expanded in one of the slave states- environmentalism! (And capitalism, which was actually a good point given that those that want to cast the US Civil War (1861-1865) in economic terms make a good case that obsession with a slave-based agrarian economy was a big mistake for the South...)

Our "wild land" is now nearly cleared, and our slave force is fully adequate to its culture; yet our citizens are still pursuing the ruinous policy of expending all their surplus capital in increasing the number of their slaves. No rest is given to lands, and the soil is daily losing its strength and fertility
In our eagerness to grow more cotton, we have wholly neglected the more important duties of manufacturing our clothing and making our breadstuffs, and for both food and raiment are dependent on our more sagacious sister states.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg for this single issue. Happy Reading!

82 responses so far

  • Sam says:

    Nice strawman. It must have taken you a while to put so much effort into the creation of this very fine specimen of a strawman.

  • bikemonkey says:

    Do tell. How is this a straw argument when DC Sessions is going on about definitions of redneck and okie established when his grandmother was alive in a generation prior to the GI bill? How is it a straw argument when this self-same variety of skin tone essentialism is alive and kicking and appears in comments over at Greg Laden's Blog whenever he brings up race?

  • Tsu Dho Nimh says:

    BikeMonkey ... Citing an 1851 publication as evidence for today's culture is about as useful as citing an 1851 medical book when discussing surgical outcomes.

  • bikemonkey says:

    oooooh, this is going to be even better than I thought.
    Tsu, read comment 2. Then read it again. Then again.

  • Sam says:

    Your post is a strawman because their argument was not that "redneck" is not that much different than the n word.
    While both "redneck" and the n word are putdowns by elites towards the underclasses, the n word is in a plateau unto itself because it has origins with deep seated racism, persecution and lynching. Nothing in the history of the use of "redneck" comes close to the use of the n word.
    Bikemonkey, you made clear that in your mind, redneck equals bigot. This whole blog tempest is due to that definition being inaccurate to how most or many people perceive the word. It was certainly the first time I heard anyone say the "redneck" equals bigot.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    In this fine discussion, commenters D. C. Sessions and Isabel have been maintaining that "redneck" is really not much different than "nigger". Furthermore they've been trying to establish that, historically speaking, those who maintain the real power in the US have treated those they consider to be rednecks and niggers more or less equally badly.

    Nice pair of strawmen you have there, Chief.

  • Stephanie Z says:

    bikemonkey, I'm going to play a little bit of a spoilsport. I wouldn't read too much into D. C.'s comment--which is not at all the same thing as me saying you're making a big deal out of this. It just means that you know he's never any good at telling you where he agrees with you before he tells you where he disagrees.
    If you asked him, "Do you think there's enough current use of 'redneck,' however class-related a pejorative it might be, as a signifier of racism for me to be understandably queasy at the thought that this person I've identified with might be antithetical to me in some very important ways?" I think you'd get a different answer than the one you're reading. Ditto with, "Are you suggesting that the class oppression of Southern whites is equivalent to the race and class oppression of African-Americans?" Not that you should have to do all the work, but sometimes you do when dealing with ASD and social niceties like acknowledging what one has heard before one speaks.
    Isabel, on the other hand, has clearly earned CPP's nickname. Every time she takes a class, it makes her an expert in a subject, and no one else should ever talk about any subject in which she hasn't become such an expert.

  • bikemonkey says:

    While both "redneck" and the n word are putdowns by elites towards the underclasses, the n word is in a plateau unto itself because it has origins with deep seated racism, persecution and lynching. Nothing in the history of the use of "redneck" comes close to the use of the n word.
    When you can get Isabel, DC et alia to start acting like they understand this, my work will be done here.
    This whole blog tempest is due to that definition being inaccurate to how most or many people perceive the word. It was certainly the first time I heard anyone say the "redneck" equals bigot.
    Let us just think on that "most or many" and the fact that you are hearing an equivalence allegedly for the first time that appears in every complete dictionary definition of the term.
    Prior experience shows that yes, I must insult your intelligence.
    Your "most or many" is not necessarily my "most or many". If you think the majority viewpoint is the only valid viewpoint for anyone to have, well...
    If it is startling news to you* that someone's percept of "redneck" is much closer to "klansman" than it is to "good ol' liberal Bubba Bill Clinton" then you are very unfamiliar with the experiences of large swaths of the US population. Minorities, yes, but substantial numbers of them. Even within a venue (science blogs) that has been established as enriched in the white and male, you have still observed that this association of redneck with bigotry is not isolated to me alone.
    So this tempest, as you put it, has arisen because those who feel themselves to be in the majority (and are) cannot imagine that any viewpoints other than their own are "accurate". Furthermore, rather than just assimilating an interesting new perspective or data point, somehow when faced with this idea it is an OUTRAGE!!11!!! that other people might just see things a little differently than they do. I find that a fascinating bit of psychology in a venue (ScienceBlogs, entire) in which many commenters like to go on about how skeptical and insightful and data driven they are.
    *and many comments here and at Isis' blog show that you are not alone in this previous ignorance.
    DC, read #2. and again, and again. then come back and explain how you were not attempting to make an Isabellian claim that poor whites have it just as bad as blacks in this country. It is possible I missed an exceptionally subtle point in your discussion , I'll admit.

  • bikemonkey says:

    It just means that you know he's never any good at telling you where he agrees with you before he tells you where he disagrees.
    Perhaps. And I suppose I should have caught on earlier that he was equating redneck with "okie" in a definition as old as the Dust Bowl era and therefore was either being really, really dense or intentionally derailing. It's just he sounded so similar to what Isabel is constantly on about and all...

  • Sam says:

    You are right. I was completely ignorant of the fact that there is apparently a subset of people in the US who are so ignorant that they think a redneck is equal to a bigot.
    Why would people such as myself be outraged at your ignorant claim that redneck equals bigot?
    1. Because we consider ourselves or origins to be rednecks (rural, white and from a low socioeconomic rung) and at the same time try to examine are thoughts and actions to when we may be consciously or unconsciously using our privilege in a way that hurts another group. I am the kid from Appalachia who grew up in a trailer home and saw and felt how urban and suburban students looked down upon me. At first they thought of redneck as an insult similar to hillbilly. I hope I managed to change that, at least for my friends with my actions.
    2. Because we know many others like us.
    3. Because it seems reminiscent of how urban elites look down upon those from "flyover" country.
    4. Because of the disdain that many show for rural areas and the people who inhabit them.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    It just means that you know he's never any good at telling you where he agrees with you before he tells you where he disagrees.

    No reason why he should be. Nor, all things considered, why it should be a consideration for anyone else.
    IMHO, a lot of harm is done when people try to read the secret thoughts behind what others say -- and even more when people expect others to read those thoughts.
    Shorter /me: I get tetchy when people make broad-stroke generalizations based on stereotypes. Maybe I should have put it that way to begin with.
    PS: thank you, Stephanie.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    Project much?

    So this tempest, as you put it, has arisen because those who feel themselves to be in the majority (and are) cannot imagine that any viewpoints other than their own are "accurate".

    Quoting:

    Bigoted acts and attitudes are the defining characteristic of redneck.

    Real pluralistic, that.

  • bikemonkey says:

    IMHO, a lot of harm is done when people try to read the secret thoughts behind what others say -- and even more when people expect others to read those thoughts.
    irony meter assplode, my friend. Your very first comment was nothing more, nor less, than this.
    I was completely ignorant of the fact that there is apparently a subset of people in the US who are so ignorant that they think a redneck is equal to a bigot.
    While I'm sure there are those too, this statement again goes straight past my position. Which is that I don't think of redneck as a class defining epithet absent the bigotry part. Furthermore, the points raised by Zuska and Pascale on Isis' blog should give you pause about whether adherence to the RedneckLabelTM does indeed represent a subterranean bigotry (which is a place I didn't go. yet.)
    I appreciate your reflexive suspicion about urban folk looking down on rural folks who live in flyover country. However is it impossible, in your world view, that people who spent a lot of time living rurally amongst the poor and working class who have interesting lawn ornamentation would come to the same conclusions that I express? Is any implied critique of the RedneckLabelTM validated/invalidated solely on the basis of whether someone has observed what you consider to be the set-of-redneck directly? If so, what is the experiential cutoff? 1 year? 5 years? 15? 20? .....?

  • Cashmoney says:

    Nice pair of strawmen you have there, Chief.
    Funny, the very first chapter of Isabel's ChoadToad book is entitled "White Niggers Have Feelings, Too". emphasis added.

  • ginger says:

    Sam, are you trying to reclaim "redneck" from being derogatory in the same way people have tried to reclaim "bitch" and "queer"?
    It's pretty clear to me that, although I think the term "redneck" connotes bigot, there are lots of bigots who aren't "rednecks" and lots of "rednecks" who aren't bigots. It's still derogatory (Jeff Foxworthy hasn't helped). Working-class rural whites shouldn't be called "hillbillies" or "rednecks" or "po'whites" or "white trash" just because it's handier. Using a derogatory term to sum people up is a shitty thing to do, whether or not the term includes the idea of racism.
    Also, my husband is a middle-class college-educated white man and you're, like, oppressing him and stuff because he has permanent skin damage to the nape of his neck. (I make him wear one of those little hat-capelets like the French Foreign Legionnaires do, because we now live directly under the ozone hole.)
    For that matter, we once lived in a principally black neighborhood in Oakland CA. We owned a big red pickup truck with big gas cans and a scabrous paint job, and we felt compelled to put anti-racist bumper stickers on it just to be clear that we weren't the bigots we might appear while driving around in it. (With our baseball caps and sunburns.)
    (On a side note to Isabel in regards to her remarks at Dr. Free-Ride's about the reasons white people are nervous in black urban neighborhoods - we were still members of the cultural majority, and if either of us was afraid it was for reasons other than being racially outnumbered: large groups of irritable-looking young men hanging around on street corners at midnight are scary no matter their race or class.)

  • frog says:

    It doesn't seem that complicated, the use of "redneck" as a self-identification.
    Compare it to someone calling themselves "Latino". Now, that ethnic term is clearly just cultural -- you can have black skin, blond-hair or an epicanthic fold and be a Latino. You don't even have to speak Spanish -- you just have to identify with a group of cultures that have a history of Spanish language communications.
    But the ethnic identities of old America -- redneck, black, etc, are inherently race-conscious. You can't be a redneck with black skin. You can't be black with white skin -- well, you can, kinda, of course (so, Obama could identify himself as black, even though his mother was of the easily-burned skin type, but he can't identify himself as a redneck, even though his mother is of central plains, lower-class stock, no matter how many Buds he drank, how much he loved Nascar, or how many deer he bagged).
    Now, the issues with blackness are complicated with the existing racism in America -- you have to give folks slack who still need a race-conscious solidarity to fight existing racism.
    But what is the need for poor, light-skinned people to form solidarity via a term that highlights skin-tone? Why would that be a sensible and natural grouping to advance? Even more so, why would middle-class folks identify with a term that highlights a tendency to burn in strong sunlight? Hmmm....

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    But what is the need for poor, light-skinned people to form solidarity via a term that highlights skin-tone?

    You're assuming that they get a choice.
    Assuming that they have a choice, in at least some cases it's a matter of family or community identification: after a few generations of being told that you're X, it gets internalized the same way that family recipes do [1].
    [1] And boy, howdy! can you get some hum-dinger arguments over the proper characteristics of "cornbread" between a Illinois farm-country woman and her Cajun-by-way-of-Arkansas husband! Never mind the proper thing to do with bacon drippings.

  • Matthew says:

    Don't you have a grant to write or something?
    my .02, I've never heard "redneck" used as a synonym for bigot. It refers to an uneducated white person who makes a living by manual labor. It seems that "Redneck" might be commonly associated with bigotry, but it's not the same word.
    BM, you're wrong here.

  • frog says:

    DC: You're assuming that they get a choice.
    Choice? What's that?
    The question is, why is there a community that self-identifies with a skin-tone based term, and continues to do so? Not "we're from the Ozarks", or "we're country" -- but "we're rednecks"? It's not like the black community, where the race-based element of the identification is part of the oppression -- the race-based part is part of the distinction with black-people. It's the "complimentary part". ("I may be a redneck, but at least I'm not a ..." -- don't tell me you've never heard that!)
    Of course it's internalized. But what is it that's internalized? I don't think you have many options on that one -- poverty and race.
    It's not about blame. That's a one on one thing where the entire question is moot, because if a personal friend says "I'm X", I know exactly what she means at that moment. I don't need all kinds of interpretations for that.
    The question is, when a stranger says to me "I'm a redneck" -- well, they're obviously defining their group and the groups I may belong to on the basis of skin-tone (since I don't burn easily). It's about group identities -- and that's not a blame thing, that's a "what is the reality -- and how do we change it?" thing. If there's a group that says "We're rednecks" -- well, I know I can never join that group.
    Even with nationality based terms, you can reasonably say "I'm Vietnamese by marriage" or such -- but you can't say "I'm a redneck by marriage". If a poor black man and a poor white woman marries, the child isn't "half redneck".
    It's a heavily exclusionary term in usage as self-identification. I think that the "redneck" community is wrong to use it, point-blank.
    You can rescue hillbilly or even cracker but redneck will always be dangerous and unneccessary, since any claims they may have against more powerful communities has never been race-based.

  • Donna B. says:

    sigh... the term "redneck" originated as a religious and cultural slur in northern Britain -- they were all whites there at the time - it does not mean "white". It's pretty much become synonymous with "cracker".
    For a glimpse of the way the Colonial rednecks and crackers have culturally and politically 'evolved' over the years, The Jacksonian Tradition by Walter Russell Mead is a good place to start.
    http://denbeste.nu/external/Mead01.html (For further exploration, see Mead's Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World)
    Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fischer can explain even more, especially about the other group of Southerners -- the ones that actually owned slaves -- and the groups that settled the northern Atlantic states.

  • Isabel says:

    "attempting to make an Isabellian claim that poor whites have it just as bad as blacks in this country. "
    WTF bikemonkey I do not think that at all! and I have never said anything of the kind except when discussing very specific historical periods and places. But not overall in the history of the US - of course not! Blacks have certainly endured some special horrors. To even suggest that I would say otherwise is crazy, bikemonkey. I'm also pissed off that you made the same implication in your post.
    But a lot of what blacks have endured has been because their class position, and white slaves/servants/workers have endured many horrors and unfair situations also. I have never really thought of trying to quantify things. But in today's world, as in the very earliest colonial days, a black worker and a white worker have more in common than the white worker and the white boss, and most certainly the two workers hang out together more often. I think this is significant enough to warrant some discussion from time to time.
    BM, you could stand looking at things from another's perspective yourself, say a lower class white person. You're pissed off about the shit the white people in power are doing, but so are the LCWs! And rightly or wrongly (they are hard-working people who don't have a lot of time to analyze all this shit) they are not happy about sharing the blame for all your economic ills when they are transformed into racism as 'institutionalized racism' and blamed on 'whites' and even shouldering the blame when 'rednecks' are scapegoated, as they are here.
    But I get it, as Becca points out, in order to be PC on the class issue, we have to be committed to changing the whole society. Which sounds exhausting. Seriously.

  • frog says:

    Donna B: sigh... the term "redneck" originated as a religious and cultural slur in northern Britain -- they were all whites there at the time - it does not mean "white".
    Sigh... oh my... LOL... RTFLMAO... (how many more annoying internet ways of registering my pretentiousness can I put).
    Who cares what it meant in the border country 300 years ago?
    Sure there may have been no non-whites there at that time -- therefore, then it would have distinguished people who worked in the fields, and those who didn't.
    But who gives a flying fuck? In the US today, there are non-white people. There are lots of them! Soon, the white people will be the minority of the population, if you haven't noticed.
    The name, by it's very internal structure, can not be applied to non-whites -- it's specifically about one's neck being burned, as opposed to being tanned -- "rednecks" today are very rarely fieldworkers. That's the way it's being understood today. Your argument is at the level of saying that "blue black" in Guinea in 1320 referred to the color of the shirt that a certain class of people wore, since everyone was black in Guinea, and therefore today blue-black doesn't apply to skin color. (insert here all those little noises where I show how superior I feel to you...)
    There's nothing worse than completely avoiding the substance of the matter with irrelevant academese. Yes, we all also know that a tomato is a biological fruit -- but that won't get you anywhere with the IRS. It's the equivalent of the Courtier's Reply in religion arguments.
    Then, you disprove your own point: It's pretty much become synonymous with "cracker". Show me non-white crackers in current usage... But at least, internally, that term doesn't point to whiteness --- one can imagine that its referent will be repointed at "poor, traditional, country person" with no referent to whiteness.
    Sigh.... ergghh.... aaaahh.... eeeeh... gachhh... ooooh... Maybe you should read up on semiotics and the difference between signs and symbols? Just sayin...

  • bikemonkey says:

    You're pissed off about the shit the white people in power are doing, but so are the LCWs!
    and yet, Isabel, and yet. The LCW keeps right on voting for the political party that supports "the shit the white people in power are doing" and not for the party that stands for policies that are demonstrably better for the poor. All the poor. And middle class for that matter. Damn straight I'm pissed off about that.

  • frog says:

    A play:
    frog: to fast in English means to go without eating.
    Donna B: Sigh... fast comes from the PIE *pasto meaning solid. Fast has nothing to do with going without eating, it means something solid. It's not even an independent word -- you have to combine it with a suffix to form a noun.

  • "For that matter, we once lived in a principally black neighborhood in Oakland CA. We owned a big red pickup truck with big gas cans and a scabrous paint job, and we felt compelled to put anti-racist bumper stickers on it just to be clear that we weren't the bigots we might appear while driving around in it. (With our baseball caps and sunburns.)"
    I've been terribly confused by this whole thing, and this comment has made me stop trying to understand at all. American can be a strange and confusing place to an outsider, sometimes.

  • Isabel says:

    "Damn straight I'm pissed off about that. "
    hold that thought. I recently saw a great quote on a thread - I will get back to you.
    But it has to do with the condescension I have talked about here before. You don't win anyone over by treating them like stupid fuckers who deserve to be scapegoats do you?

  • bikemonkey says:

    Cath@#25- are you kidding? that's the comment that makes the most sense.
    and Isabel, I am waiting with bated breath to see what you come up with the explain trailerpark Republicanism ...

  • Isabel says:

    "trailerpark Republicanism ..."
    lose the disrespectful labels though please, pretty please. It's disrespectful and fighting about it is exhausting.
    "For that matter, we once lived in a principally black neighborhood...owned a big red pickup truck with big gas cans and a scabrous paint job, and we felt compelled to put anti-racist bumper stickers on it just to be clear that we weren't the bigots we might appear while driving around in it. (With our baseball caps and sunburns.)"
    Maybe you could have just been a friendly, helpful and hospitable neighbor and helped dismantle some stereotypes, if you thought they existed.

  • becca says:

    Cath@VWXYNot?- I was once ran off a gravel road by a large red pickup truck. Until you see them attacking innocent girl scouts, you never realize how treacherous they are. I wish I had enough anti-racist bumper stickers for all the red pickups out there.
    Tangent: but the real ones to look out for are those goddamn black SUVs. There was one in my parking lot- in MY parking lot for the medical center- that had four bumper stickers:
    "OneBigAssMistakeAmerica"
    "WAR IS THE ANSWER YOU DAMN HIPPIE!"
    "Don't Spread My Wealth, Spread My Work Ethic!"
    "Kenya Called- They Want Their Marxist Back"
    I did NOT key their car. I am borderline more lawful good than chaotic good. But it was hard, so hard....

  • bikemonkey says:

    It's disrespectful and fighting about it is exhausting.
    You hold the entire key to economic justice in the US in your hands and you refuse to answer the question!!!! AIAEEEEEEE!!! answer the question!!!!!

  • Isabel says:

    Okay, okay I had to remember where I saw this. And Thursday is TV night!
    The entire thread is interesting, and the blog in general and links in the thread, all of which I haven't explored yet.
    http://blindprivilege.com/white-trash-blues-class-privilege-v-white-privilege/
    From comment #44 in this thread - please don't put to much stock in this particular quote, I think it is a partial explanation at best, but something about it rang true for me:
    "I recently read a well-written blog criticizing the rich, white born-again Christian singer Pat Boone for his screed in World Net Daily in which he compares gays to jihad terrorists that besieged Mumbai.
    The problem with the blog which justly criticized Boone was the title: “When Hillbillies Attack”. I have difficulty reconciling her “open-minded” liberal views regarding concern for gay rights with her classism, her stereotyping poor rural whites.
    According to middle and upper class “liberals”, poor whites are uneducated, stupid, disposable people who don’t count. I believe it is that type of arrogance which makes alot of poor whites resentful of the progresssives, and not receptive to progressive ideals. It also foments resentment against minorities, too. Poor whites feel like, “hey,what about us too”? "

  • Sam says:

    Why would a poor white person choose to vote for the Republican party. To you, it was all about greed. Because the democratic party offers more programs to provide for the material well being of a person, people should automatically follow their greed. As a person who has voted for candidates of a number of parties and who grew up with these poor whites who voted Republican. You stated that only racism could cause a person to overcome their greed. But you miss pride, liberty and independence.
    1. Pride. Many of these poor whites I grew up with qualified for a number of government programs such a food stamps or reduced priced meals at school or welfare. It was a point of pride for these families to not take these government programs. While you may disagree with this mentality, you do have to admit it would be irrational for such a person to vote for a candidate strongly supporting further expansion of such programs. This mentality was fairly widespread.
    2. Independence. Having lived in urban areas for over a decade now, one of the biggest differences between rural and urban dwellers is the issue of guns. Guns are such essential tools and everyday items in most rural areas, even among the rural poor. In the urban areas I have lived, guns were seen as pure evil. Many urban people consider private ownership of guns as incomprehensible and many rural people see gun control as incomprehensible. And these convictions are held with deep passion by both sides.
    I think your post 20 explains your view that redneck = bigot. You seem to be so filled with hate towards anyone who votes for a Republican. And your mind is so closed that you think the only reason anyone would vote for a Republican is due to racism.

  • Isabel says:

    "Isabel, on the other hand, has clearly earned CPP's nickname. Every time she takes a class, it makes her an expert in a subject, and no one else should ever talk about any subject in which she hasn't become such an expert.
    Posted by: Stephanie Z | January 7, 2010 4:17 PM"
    What the fuck is wrong with you, [expletive deleted]? Lying through your teeth over at Laden's blog (what are you anyway his pitbull?) trying to defend his honor and now harassing me over here? Taking a class? What the hell are you talking about? Get lost asshole. You are a loser and write like a third grader.

  • MonkeyPox says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    Yo, 'belle! You just gotta be a parody of...of...I dunno, an actual person?

  • Nat says:

    frog really nailed it on the head for me.
    Whatever else redneck might connote to different people, it's hard to deny that it is an inherently race conscious term. Seems obvious then to wonder why a person would self-identify using such a term.

  • No, I wasn't kidding.
    I live in a very diverse neighbourhood - my immediate neighbours are immigrants from Vietnam, the Philippines, and India. Our tenant has a beat-up old truck that he parks outside our house. Several other friends have beat-up old trucks that they drive over to our place. It has never once occurred to me to wonder what my neighbours think of my friends and me as a result. If it did occur to me, I wouldn't address the problem through the medium of bumper stickers. In fact, I'd just do what I do already - chat to people when I see them, let their kids come into the garden to play with my cats, return balls and other toys that find their way into my garden, shovel the sidewalks outside both adjacent houses if I happen to be the first person out there with a shovel on a snowy day, trade surplus plums from our tree for one neighbour's excellent tomatoes (she's promised to teach me her secrets next year) and another neighbour's apples.
    The fact that other commenters find it so obvious that you need to put bumper stickers on a pick-up truck to prove to your neighbours that you're not a racist is the reason why I have given up trying to understand the subtleties of this argument.
    Becca, I've been almost knocked off my bike by a wide variety of makes and models of cars and trucks (and buses and cop cars and motorbikes and other bicycles). The most memorable was a woman in a fancy new convertible who yelled at me that she was on the correct side of the road and I was in the wrong and should get out of the f*%#ing way. Now, I may be British, but even I know that we drive on the right in Canada. Luckily another cyclist behind me backed me up and yelled back at her too.

  • bikemonkey says:

    The fact that other commenters find it so obvious that you need to put bumper stickers on a pick-up truck to prove to your neighbours that you're not a racist is the reason why I have given up trying to understand the subtleties of this argument.
    The comment was specific to a location that had a very high density of African Americans, IIRC. It should not surprise you that, although highly variable, there will be mean tendencies for certain subcultures and neighborhoods to affect a certain style of ride. Some places, the type of ride you have will say nothing about you whatsoever and nobody will give a crap. Other places, they will assault your huge sport utility vehicle parked amongst the Prii for being an enviro-hog. Other places, the cops will hassle you because your chosen ride is profiled as being associated with criminal behavior. Yet other places your car will be defaced for being manufactured by a "nonAmurrican" company. And some places, you fly the StarsNBars on your stereotypically redneck truck (Google images is your friend) and it might get defaced when you park it.
    No specific offense to Cath but good god you people need to get out more...

  • DrugMonkey says:

    you fly the StarsNBars on your stereotypically redneck truck
    Interestingly I discovered in taking my official work harassment training module that a company may (actually I think it was more "should") ban a confederate flag bumperstickered car from the company parking lot. I don't recall at this point whether that was based on State or Federal regulation/law...

  • becca says:

    Oh Cath@VWXYNot?- I've definitely had those experiences as a cyclist too. Usually, they're from people 1) unaccustomed to cyclists on the road and/or 2) who get angry after they get scared that they almost hit a cyclist. I don't stereotype drivers of those vehicles because you can't make more meaningful generalizations about them. And I only stereotype *any* drivers with a distinct sense of intentional irony. But I suppose it's possible people might allow their in-your-face personalities to shine through a little more via their choice of vehicle and the way they opt to use it (seriously, who *tries to run over girl scouts on purpose*??) here in the states than in other places. *insert speculate rant about American Identity and the Automobile*

  • Sam says:

    Drugmonkey,
    A company on private property can ban cars for pretty much any speech on the cars. At some auto companies, foreign cars were not allowed in the close parking lots.

  • DSKS says:

    Here's a good one. I'm ashamed to say that I had lived in the US for almost a year before I learned that the Stars and Bars was not just another name for the Stars and Stripes (bars, stripes, I mean c'mon).
    Worse, until I was about 16, I though the confederate flag was called "The General Lee", and that this was why the famous Orange Charge was called the same.
    I come from a small v. village, btw.

  • Stephanie Z says:

    Actually, Monkey Pox, Isabel did admit over at Greg's that she acts like a dumb young boy (shall we discuss misandry?) sometimes just to mess with people. I assume that sort of trolling is what she's trying to do here, because the alternative when looking at that comment is that she's trying to prove she's crazy.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    A company on private property can ban cars for pretty much any speech on the cars. At some auto companies, foreign cars were not allowed in the close parking lots.
    In context it went just a leeetle beyond "I don't like vegan stickers" or "Dude, your linux-love is not compatible with Microsoft's corporate outlook", Sam. It was in the context of the legal responsibilities of the institution under law, regulation and legal decisionmaking. Not individual corporate (private) preferences.
    Furthermore, the confederate flag was specifically identified as being broadly offensive to the point of risking institutional liability for harassment.
    I thought this degree of seriousness and specificity in the official harassment training speaks quite directly to the established ruling connotation of the confederate flag waving circle in the Venn diagram of redneck identity.

  • Isabel says:

    Trolling? You are being the [expletive deleted] troll [expletive deleted]. Explain how I am being a troll. Let's hear it. I have been involved in a very difficult conversation over here, often answering questions directed at me, and digging up requested refs etc. Why don't you read a thread before you comment you rude, self-centered fool. Stop derailing the thread. Define your own purpose here.
    Right nothing but being a stupid [expletive deleted]. Making stupid comments intended to harrass a specific individual because you are still angry at them for comments they made on a completely different blog on another subject that nobody gives two shits about (I really hit a nerve when I caught your idol in a lie didn't I?). You should be banned by Drugmonkey for that. We are not on Greg's blog anymore. Go away.

  • MonkeyPox says:

    You're right, 'belle, and we should all apologize. Talking about bigotry can be very difficult for some people. It makes them reconsider their fundamental assumptions.
    At least, I assume that's what's bugging you.
    That and your hatred for humanity.

  • Isabel says:

    DM,
    since when do you delete expletives?
    Why do you let some troll on your site to insult people trying to have a conversation but then censor angry defensive replies?
    I had every right to call her what I did after two derailng personal attacks. But you don't ban CPP's profanity.
    WTF?
    I am sick of being attacked. It is pretty obvious that I am not crazy. CPP is the asshole (can I say that?) responsible for the fact that I am repeatedly attacked by derailing trolls like MonkeyPox and SZ. This "loony" reputation he has engineered is the hook SZ is hanging her vicious lying hat on here.
    "That and your hatred for humanity."
    I am defending a hated group you moron. All my anger is directed at jerks like you. I don't have time to hate anyone, and I don't find mocking people amusing, as most seem to around here.

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    I assume that sort of trolling is what she's trying to do here, because the alternative when looking at that comment is that she's trying to prove she's crazy.

    Stephanie, do you have a problem with crazy?
    That sorta worries me since it's not far from "weird" to "crazy" and $HERSELF repeatedly tells me I'm weird.

  • MonkeyPox says:

    So, 'belle, are you "leaving and never coming back"?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    since when do you delete expletives?
    I try to have a light hand on the comments as you well know. Sometimes it gets a little too far over from attacking behavior to attacking the person. And there are a few key words having to do with class characteristics that I'm not so keen on.
    you don't ban CPP's profanity.
    As a co-blogger, CPP falls into the category of "some are more equal than others". That's just the way it is. I register my lack of appreciation for his more excessive attacks on Sol, both on blog and privately.
    It is pretty obvious that I am not crazy.
    If I thought in any way that you were mentally less-abled I would crack down on the deployment of terms indicating the same. I agree that use of such terms, even colloquially, gets close to the use of "lame". it is certainly something we might take up although probably you'll want StephanieZ and G-lad for that sort of semantic discussion.
    I had every right to call her what I did
    obviously there are different ways to express one's opinion of another and as emerges in the civility and other discussions, superficially "civil" language is not necessarily that. I am not sure this trumps my objection to class-directed ad hominems, though

  • Funky Fresh says:

    I sincerely suspect that this is a game for Loonabel. How far can she push before someone finally decides it's enough?

  • "It should not surprise you that, although highly variable, there will be mean tendencies for certain subcultures and neighborhoods to affect a certain style of ride".
    Should it surprise anyone that said mean tendencies don't necessarily transfer across international borders, and are therefore confusing to outsiders?

  • Isabel says:

    "class-directed ad hominems"
    I don't get it. I thought one of the terms may have been perceived as sexist maybe. But not all even.
    "I sincerely suspect that this is a game for Loonabel."
    please explain, in detail WTF you are talking about. How is my participation on this thread indicative of game-playing in any way?
    "How far can she push before someone finally decides it's enough?"
    WHAT is enough? You have no clue what you're talking about you pathetic jackal.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    "jackal" is on the approved list.

  • bikemonkey says:

    I cannot believe I am not getting any props for sleuthing out this excellent archival material, btw. Has anyone actually read any of the source yet?
    Can I get an Amen for Google Books?

  • Stephanie Z says:

    No, D. C., I have no problem with crazy, as much as it takes extra work to deal with sometimes. On top of that, I don't think Isabel is crazy. I presume, though I could be wrong, that she merely has an unwillingness to deal with reality rather than any real inability. It is kind of sad when you discover that the world isn't full of bad people you dislike and good people you like. It's much easier to just keep pointing and saying things like, "You lie!" without getting specific enough that people can argue with you.
    I do have a problem with pointlessly abusive, however, and Isabel tends to piss me off on that score, since there's no content to anything she says when she goes off and no point except "Talk about what I'm talking about." I'm a bit amused that she told someone on DM's blogroll that she shouldn't comment at DM's blog, however. Not in that being there gives me any license, but in the presumption involved.
    Isabel, I commented here in response to a specific misunderstanding I've seen happen too many times between people I like and admire, particularly in the context of race and class. It's described in my first comment in this thread. I thought bikemonkey was conflating two different behaviors and that one of them, coming from someone he respects at least a little bit, would cause him needless pain. Fixing that required separating D. C.'s behavior from yours, which is the only reason I commented on you at all. Deal.
    bikemonkey, I apologize for my part in a further derailment of your point.

  • Stephanie Z says:

    And I love Google Books as a reader. As a writer, I have some serious issues with them, but that would be another tangent.

  • Isabel says:

    "I cannot believe I am not getting any props for sleuthing out this excellent archival material, btw. Has anyone actually read any of the source yet?"
    I hear ya. I haven't gotten any feedback from you or PP on the Jim Goad book. I am waiting with bated breath.
    '"jackal" is on the approved list. '
    DM where is that approved list posted I'd be interested in seeing it.
    Yes I do put some effort into producing succint yet colorful writing in order to entertain your readers, out of my deep respect for (most of) them.
    Not that anyone has ever complimented me about it or thanked me, but hey I don't do it for the cookies. I'm on your side bikemonkey - no response to my ideas?

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    I cannot believe I am not getting any props for sleuthing out this excellent archival material, btw. Has anyone actually read any of the source yet?

    BM, you've done a stellar job of scratching the top few nanometers of 19th century racist rationalization.
    Please don't take this wrong, but I hope you weren't sincerely expecting epiphanies for anyone who reads this blog. Obliviousness of that degree is best found on WorldNutDaily and some of Andy Schlafly's haunts.
    As I think becca pointed out, our disagreements are in another direction entirely; on points like historical (and present) racism, sexism, etc. you and I agree far more than we differ.

  • Bikemonkey is a known conflater. His mom kept catching him doing it, but he just couldn't stop.

  • Tsu Dho Nimh says:

    @54 I cannot believe I am not getting any props for sleuthing out this excellent archival material, btw. Has anyone actually read any of the source yet?
    Dude, I have better material than that on my bookshelves.

  • bikemonkey says:

    I haven't gotten any feedback from you or PP on the Jim Goad book. I am waiting with bated breath.
    I scanned the pages available on Amazon. It looks idiotic and whiney. No way would I pay money for it. I did notice that it makes the direct equivalence between "redneck" and "nigger" right in the first chapter, though. So I guess I'm on safe ground when I say that you are making this equivalency point, seeing as how you lurv this book sooooo much.

  • Stephanie Z says:

    Okay, CPP, sometimes caving to the inner 13-year-old pays off. 🙂

  • Having Loonabel and Communication Is My Field here duking it out is motherfucking awesome!

  • D. C. Sessions says:

    CPP@59:
    Damn. Wit. Funny even.
    That's enough for one day.

  • Greg Laden says:

    OK, some of us are having a little argument on the side. A bet really. Who exactly broke Isabel? Zvan? Monkey? Laden? CPP?
    I'm going with Zvan.
    And by broke, I mean [Expletive Deleted]

  • Greg, you and Communication Is My Field fucked her up big time with your fucking tag-team discourse.

  • DM says:

    Pshaw. One cannabis post and she'll be fine...

  • Isabel says:

    Who is broken?
    Bored with the repetition of it all. The endless cycle that goes nowhere. I'm headig off on a fun weekend instead, starting off with Avatar in 3d.
    Yeah the two liars tried to gaslight me but bullying always bores me. The banality of evil and all that.
    Although it would help whatever discourse is left on this blog if DM would publish that damn list.
    Anyway, I need to clear up some more simplistic thinking. SZ, just because you are on someone's blogroll it doesn't mean you have free trolling rights all over their site. You would think a child could figure that out.
    Similarly Bikemonkey, thinking Redneck Manifesto is a great book does NOT mean that:
    1. I agree with your ill informed interpretation of the few parts you glanced at but did not read
    2. I agree with everything that asshole says.

  • becca says:

    I agree with Isabel. I think a list of approved vs. unapproved insults would be hilarious. For those of us who want to be uncivil in a kosher way. Here's my take:
    Uncivil yet kosher:
    *jackle
    *ignorant slut (if and only if applied when all parties know the reference)
    *asshat
    *jackhat
    *willfully ignorant
    *cockdoucheweaselmonkey
    *mean and nasty and ugly and horrible father rapers
    *muppethuggers
    *smegwad
    *painted maypole
    *scumsucker
    *Santorum (The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. )
    *in desperate need of Jameson
    Uncivil and derailing to discourse:
    *redneck
    *c**t
    *n*****
    *moist
    *lame
    *gay
    *shrew
    *nazi / hitler-like
    *terrorist
    *in desperate need of a deep dicking
    Please note, I am in no way trying to define a list for anyone but me, but this *is* based extensively on what I've seen to date.

  • Stephanie Z says:

    Isabel, this:

    SZ, just because you are on someone's blogroll it doesn't mean you have free trolling rights all over their site.

    is much more meaningful if I haven't just said this:

    Not in that being there gives me any license...

    You would think a child could figure that out. Enjoy your movie.

  • DrugMonkey says:

    DSKS, why are you apologizing for *that*? I mean heck, I just learned about your chavs recently. I'm sure you Britlanders have all kinds of fauna we USians know little about.

  • BGT says:

    hey, just checking, I have been following this post since the previous one.
    checked out Isis as well, though I must admit, Zuska doesn't really interest me normally. But, sprogblogging does.
    But, just checking on the folks defending the redneck appellation as just meaning some one poor and working hard in the field for a living? Any of y'all from Byhalia MS?

  • BGT says:

    For my fellow rednecks from further north, I have to say, and I am sorry to say, give up on redeeming redneck for at least several generations. I know in some places, and even here it did mean poor folk who worked in the fields. But, most "colored" people worked in the fields as well around here, and they even worked cheaper than us rednecks. Sort of the old version of the Central and South Americans that come to us today. I can sincerely say that most of the folks who were rednecks that I know from what was rural MS two decades ago enjoyed calling themselves rednecks, and enjoyed being racist. Pardon the content of my quoutes, but my cousins went to public school in MS in the early 80's, and a common bit of rhyme was : Fight, Fight, nigger and a white, white don't win, we all jump in.
    I must reiterate at this point, that those folks were very well happy to call themselves redneck, and used it as an identifier as their culture. I am sorry to say that they probably have ruined that term for many honest poor working folk, particularly from DC's area. In some ways, I am proud of being a redneck, for the portions that repeat what DC was trying to say, that the original meaning of a redneck was someone who worked hard in the fields all day. Many of those were simple farmers. But, there was that element who lynched as well, and unfortunately, that element has brought shame to that appelation. I was lucky, while I was raised in that environment, my grandparents (whose family's necks were as red as can be) sent me to private school, and the schools they sent me to helped to educate me, and to open my mind. I still have memories of shame in how some of my upbringing in MS caused me to react to people who were not of my same very pale skin.
    In some ways, I am proud to have been brought up a redneck. There is honor in hard and simple work. However, that work doesn't have to be in the fields, it can be the simple repetitive tasks in a lab culturing samples, or a paleontologist working to dig fossils out of the gruond.
    I am afraid though, through the actions of people not so far in the past, and particularly from my area, that we can't really jump in to immediately rescue the redneck applation from the damage that was done to it in the last few decades. It may come back at some point, but it will not be any time soon.
    I do try to rescue that appellation in my own way around here. I do refer to myself as an educated redneck at work, and in my environment, it does provide some amusement for my coworkers. Those coworkers have varied backgrounds. Several are from foriegn countries, and a few are people from MS. I will let your imagination provide their skin tone.
    Redneck didn't have to be a synonym for racist, but I am afraid that folks from my state did their best to make it so in the past. For that, I apologize to my brethren up north in OK.
    This post was way to long, and at the moment, I have had a few beers. So, my apologies if it the post doesn't always follow a steady stream of thought, but there are many angles in the history and source of this word.
    DC, I know you have the yankee meaning of redneck in the back of your mind, but there are more of us southern rednecks than you yankees.
    Bikemonkey, I understand the point that you were trying to make, but FFS dude, not all of us rednecks fit the picture that you are painting, and I will agree with DC on that.
    Isabell, as best I can tell, you need to get on better meds.
    SZ, you provide some sense of rationale for many of your posts, and I welcome that.
    Greg is often more obtuse than I, but even though I agree with him on about 90% of the things that he posts, I am still a liberal who will not give up his guns, and I have posted my reasons on his blog previously. 🙂
    OK, this is way too long, and I need to sober up before posting again. This whole "redneck" argument brings up too many memories of incidents that I have honestly tried hard to get past.

  • Isabel says:

    "Isabell, as best I can tell, you need to get on better meds.
    "
    Another asshole. Can you help us out here and articulate your thoughts a bit more clearly? You mean you are too stupid to follow what I am saying?
    If it's over your head so you say "your crazy."
    That's the gist of it.
    That is why CPP will argue specifics with Sol, in between rants, but never with me. That's okay I am not looking for a debate. I am enjoying exposing your pathetic hypocrisy.
    Part-time progressives all. PTP's.
    Interesting. DM admits there is not the slightest evidence that I am crazy. So DM, what is your take on everyone saying so?
    You are correct, you know, it is offensive. Oh, it must be so hard being politically correct ALL the time. I understand that you have to make exceptions.
    I think it IS an ad hominem, even though I've heard he arguments to the contrary.
    "don't listen to her she's crazy!"
    It's also classic sexism.
    I guess I really am sort of awe-inspiring.
    And CPP and BM wimped out. I should have known. Bikemonkey is not looking for solutions, he's picking a scab, and can't control himself.

  • Isabel says:

    "I'm a bit amused that she told someone on DM's blogroll that she shouldn't comment at DM's blog, however. Not in that being there gives me any license, but in the presumption involved."
    This is what you said, moron.
    What is the presumption involved, asshole?
    I said get lost because you were being a stupid, useless, derailing troll, not because you were "commenting". Why is a major participant in a thread telling a troll to get lost "presumptuous?" What a strange thing to say.
    And who the [expletive deleted] are you to be "fixing" anything around here anyway? Don't you have a life of your own of any kind? Do you really need to constantly spew your drivel all over the internet in order to feel alive, as Greg apparently does?
    I no longer read anything you write so don't bother. Your vapid spewing disgusts me.

  • Stephanie Z says:

    It's okay, Isabel. I didn't really expect you to understand.

  • Anonymous-ity says:

    Of course, Isabel could also get her own blog.

  • Isabel says:

    Of course, Isabel could also get her own blog.
    Posted by: Anonymous-ity | January 9, 2010 12:43 PM
    Beat ya to it. And actually, at this point, it pretty much is my [expletive deleted] blog.
    SZ: BINGO!

  • Jeezus motherfucking keeryst Loonabel, I thought you said you were bored and were gonna do some fun shit this weekend? What the fuck happened?

  • BGT says:

    For all my drunken effort, no one called me a troll?

  • ginger says:

    (Out of town for a few days, am therefore responding late to this):
    {quote}
    "For that matter, we once lived in a principally black neighborhood...owned a big red pickup truck with big gas cans and a scabrous paint job, and we felt compelled to put anti-racist bumper stickers on it just to be clear that we weren't the bigots we might appear while driving around in it. (With our baseball caps and sunburns.)"
    Maybe you could have just been a friendly, helpful and hospitable neighbor and helped dismantle some stereotypes, if you thought they existed. {end quote}
    It's a very dense urban neighborhood, full of secured apartment buildings. It's possible to get to know the neighbors in your building, but not much beyond that. Nobody knew whose truck it was when we parked it on the street (we had a characterless 4-door sedan as well, and one parking space, and yes, we know we were killing the planet). Certainly when we drove a block away or more, no one knew us, so we expected people to stereotype us.
    The people in our building knew and liked us fine, except we were renters and they owned. That's a different class problem that seems to transcend race, creed, and (some) borders. We would have offered the use of the truck to neighbors if they'd needed it, as we have in other neighborhoods, but it didn't come up.
    We didn't worry people we knew would draw the wrong conclusion, or that someone would vandalize the truck - we were concerned that someone who didn't know us would feel threatened. Maybe I'm a meanie on the internet, but I don't want to intimidate (or be perceived as trying to intimidate) some little old lady from Smyrna, Georgia who grew up avoiding people who looked like us and drove a truck like ours. Oakland was a big industrial town that drew a lot of African-Americans out of the South and into the shipyards and factories during WWII - we thought a fair amount about whether we were being tortured liberals or whether we were being reasonable. For the cost of a couple bumper stickers, maybe we could make it clearer that even though truck and necks were red, we posed no threat.
    Cath, it's an experience I think I could only have had in the US, and I agree, yeah, if it's incomprehensible, there might well be cultural subtleties here that are escaping you. I have this problem now that we live in Australia - in addition to new race things to navigate, and the class stuff that's analogous to US and Canadian class stuff, there are class prejudices within whites about hair color, texture, and style that I just don't grasp, as I lack the cultural antecedents. (Also about more predictable stuff like schooling and accents and language and possessions, but I anticipated those. Not so much the hair thing.)

  • bikemonkey, I'm here via Stephanie's blog. If you're interested in the intersection of class and race, I strongly recommend a couple of short pieces by Thandeka: The Whiting of Euro-Americans: A Divide and Conquer Strategy and Why Anti-Racism Will Fail.
    As for whether redneck = racist, to northern and west coast liberals, it does. To other folks, it depends on the context. But even in the case of people who think redneck means racist, it's still classist to use an insult that assumes all poor white Southerners are stupid racists.
    Now, if you want to be classist, that's cool. I'll defend anyone's right to be rude. But if you want to be polite to folks, using redneck for racist isn't helpful.

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