You Might Be a Redneck If

This was my last week at the Star Democrat and, although I’ll miss my colleagues, I really left the news business just in the nick of time. Three things happend this week—two of which we discussed on the Todcast—that might have mortally wounded my already flagging faith in a free press for impoverished rural areas.

The first was a simple “Man on the Street” interview highlighting the “controversial” renaming of the Atlanta Braves to something more sensitive (I don’t know or really care about it). What set me off wasn’t the question or even the answers, which could all be boiled down to “I’m white and I’m scared of people who aren’t white.”

What got to me was the fact of the continued existence and use of the phrase “political correctness.” A fat white guy said he was against changing the Braves’ name. “Where will the political correctness end?” he asked.

“It ends with me calling you a Fuckin’ Redneck.”

This is the new answer to questions about political correctness.

The question about whether sports teams are racist and whether it is as racist to “grant” that it is racist by changing the name, is pretty sticky and complicated. I’m not going to get into it here.

The point “political correctness” misses, mostly ’cause it’s derided by retards, is racial epithets rely on tone and context, not on actual words. They are a shorthand way of saying “I hate you and everyone like you.”

Political correctness terrifies people who don’t like a world where they can’t paint with broad brushes without repercussions. You can still say whatever you want, but so can people who are browner than you. You can say that Mexicans bad for sneaking across the boarder, you just can’t expect Mexicans to vote for you or buy your products if you do. That is what political correctness means.

Political correctness is odorous because it is shorthand for: “Now I have to coddle Mexicans and blacks and all the other filthy nonwhites in the world and that is inconvenient to me.” This is why I chose “Fuckin’ Redneck” as the correct response to complaints about political correctness.

It is vilely direct. It is aggressive and it shows broad-sweeping distain for all of the negative connotations of intolerance. Throw in a little sister-kissing allusion and I believe we could actually cure people of their fear of political correctness.

Sen. Richard Colburn is not likely to be cured of it in his lifetime, which was the second topic in this week’s Todcast. We rarely get too political because I don’t like giving politicians attention. I feel it encourages them to continue to say stupid, hateful things. Because of cuts in staff and in common sense at one of the newspapers I worked for, the editorial page has been ceded to a politician for spreading hate.

I believe because he has gone unchallenged for so long, Colburn missed the “race-baiting is passe” memo that has leaked out to some politicians. In his 1,000+ word essay that took the place of an editorial, he said the death penalty must be kept because the very poor would otherwise kill people as a way of gining entry to the luxuries prison affords those with life sentences.

Yeah.

The horror of the statement is not that he made it. There is no rhetoric to which a politician will not resort. Rather, the fact that he knew how well it would go over with his constituency, that the dominant number of likely voters agreed with this most shallow view of crime and punishment (not that any of his likely voters have read Crime and Punishment *zing*), is soul crushing to me. And the thing I will miss least as I take my leave from print journalism.

There’s plenty more on this week’s Todcast, including a special State of the Beer with Uncle Mike, tentative plans for TAP (our Todcast Anniversary Party) and a special rendition of “Cheers.” Take a listen…

 

Tony Russo
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Tony Russo has worked as a print and digital journalist for the better part of the 21st century, writing for and editing regional weeklies, dailies and destination websites including OceanCity.com and ShoreCraftBeer.com. Tony has written two books on beer for the History Press. Eastern Shore Beer (2014) and Delaware Beer (2016). He lives in Delmar, Md. with his wife Kelly and the only of his four daughters who hasn't moved out. Together they keep their dog and cat comfortable.