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Redneck Manifesto

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By sms10232004
Words 2135
Pages 9
Essay 1 What Goad means by White Niggers have feeling too is that every ethnic group and rich whites feel it’s okay to pick on poor white rural white people. What he does is compare the word “Redneck” with the word “Nigger” in how they are both used in today’s society through news stories. The double standard comes into play because one word is ok to use to describe poor white trash “Redneck” while the other word used to describe poor black trash “Nigger” is unacceptable. He uses the dictionary as an example of the double standard for both words. The word “Nigger” has a one word definition as “negro” with an apologetic disclaimer basically saying that it “is only acceptably used in Black English and very taboo to use because of its link with slavery” (Goad, 21). While the term “Redneck” is defined “as a poor, white, rural southerner often, specif., often one is regarded as ignorant, bigoted, violent, etc…” (Goad, 21)
Essay 2 Goad traces back class conflict to Preroman times when people were hunter gathers who either traveled alone or in small groups. When the alone people ran into these small groups they were prey just as the smaller groups were prey for larger ones. By necessity these groups became loosely netted communities of clans who stuck together or were taken over by invaders. These groups were usually absorbed into the centralized agriculture slave states by force. The occurred when the men who wanted to remain outside the city slave states who hunted alone were hunted by men to put them into the city state. The next conflict Goad talks about are the Romans. He talks about the class conflicts that Romans had with the barbarians (pagan and heathen), Huns, and Picts. The Romans viewed these people with disdain because they thought of them as uncivilized country folk who they were better then. Then the barbarians called Visigoths, Vandals, and Ostrogoth’s defeated the Romans and sent the European word into the dark ages. The class conflict within the Roman empire came from many outside sources of what the Romans considered lower classes that came together to overthrow the empire. The dark ages after the fall of the Roman Empire came about because of invasions, massacres, plagues, famine, cannibalism, and infanticide. Out of the dark ages came the Barbarian ruled slave states were in the class system you were either a landowner or a slave who was property of the landowner. This was the beginning of the Feudal system were everything on the land was owned by the landowner and he was able to do what he wanted with them. The way the feudalism promoted the oppression and exploitation of the lower class is by treating the serfs as property. The serf in the feudal system had no to very little rights. The lords of the feudal era were allowed to trade, sell, buy, and discipline serfs anyway they saw fit with no repercussions from the government or church. It was universally thought that the serfs deserved their status in life and how they were treated.
Essay 3 The class conflict and oppression that was transferred from Europe to America was based on the fact that the indentured servants were still treated as property in America as they were in Europe. In Europe were the serfs were treated as property so was the indentured servants who came to America either by the drums or spirits in England. Also, there were many English prisoners who were sent to America during this time period and sold in servitude. The vicious cycle of servitude was hard for many people to endure during their “seasoning” period. Also, during the early years of the Americas the Germans were sending their trouble makers and their political foes to be sold into servitude. In the 1600’s Cromwell sent many of his political religious foes (usually Irish Catholics) to the Americas and many more to the Caribbean. Basically the Caribbean and North and South America became the dumping ground for Europe’s excess poor white, convicts, and political opponents for over 200 years. This system perpetuated the existence of the lower classes in America by giving these people no hope. The system made the servants slaves for at least seven years with no rights because they were considered property. Many of the people who were forced, tricked, or shanghaied to come to America died on the way over. Once they got here they were sold as property. In some parts of the Americas 80% of them didn’t live through the first year of servitude. The ones who did make it past the first year either had time added to their servitude or when the completed their time they weren’t given what they were promised.
Essay 4 The evolution of black slavery in the south came from third factors. The first one was due to the color of their skin; it was a lot easier to recover an escaped black slave then a white one. The second reason was that you got to keep the black slave for their entire life not seven years. The final reason why black slaves became more popular to use was that they were better acclimated to the weather then the white slaves. The political oppression after the civil war and the types of laws that were used to perpetuate it goes hand in hand. The white plantation owners used the former black slaves as sharecroppers or tenant farmers. By doing this they were able to force the former slaves into working for them for pretty much free after the former slaves and the plantations owners settle their finances at the end of the years. The laws that were used during this time to keep the former slaves down trodden were called the Jim Crowe laws. The Jim Crowe laws were basically used to keep the former slaves segregated, unable to buy land, get credit, and almost impossible for them to vote. The separation of the lower classes works for the elite because it kept the focus off of them and what they were doing to the lower class blacks and whites. With this system the Elites still had a cheap labor source to produce their goods. It also helped the elites by maintaining class structure were they were on top.
Essay 5 This chapter supports the Marxist Conflict Theory for employment by explaining it isn’t blacks verse whites, but bosses versus employees. Goad goes on to talk about how the inequality of opportunities in the class system in the United States usually dictates your view on life, educational opportunities, which translates into a person’s job opportunities. This can be demonstrated from the book by the following, “Sociologist Max Weber once defined ‘class’ as ‘chances on the market.’ Almost everyone except politicians and rich schmucks realizes that we don’t all hurtle out of a bleeding womb with an equal chance.” (Goad, 103) One of the examples of exploitation and oppression in the chapter is the coal being mined in Appalachia. The example is of the elites taking advantage of a land grab for railroads to run through Appalachia and for them to exploit the large coal deposits. The book explains how the capitalist came in and either forged signatures to obtain property rights or bought the mineral rights for what was underground and then forced the people off their land. Then the people the forced off the land were used for cheap labor living in mining towns. While the miners lived in the company owned mining towns they usually became indebted to the capitalists because they were paid in company credit. With the company credit they were able to purchase items from the company stores and pay rent, but they never made enough money and soon became indebted to the capitalist. The capitalists were making money from both the mining operations and almost all their money paid in wages back through rent and their general stores. If someone complained or were maimed or injured at the mined there were forced to leave so a new family could move into their house and start the cycle all over. When the miners tried to break this cycle they were portrayed as uneducated backwoods fools in the media and were met with violence. The capitalists of the mining towns used a variety of tactics to their disposal to keep the miners in line. The first things they did were being in cheaper European labor to water down the wages. The next step they would use would be the local police whom they owned or Pinkerton agents (private police). The final step to quell the miners down would be to have the President send in the army or National Guard.
Essay 6 According to Goad the “Playing Hard” aspect is about the Redneck’s lifestyle; where they work, live, and mindset. It is not so much where they work as to what kind of work they do when they are there. What I mean is that their jobs are physically demanding, monotonous, or repetitious by nature. They cannot relate to management or their bosses who in their eyes don’t do very much. The environment they live in is usually a depressed area where there are a lot of dilapidated buildings or houses, drugs running rampant, bars, liquor stores, gun shops, coffee shops, convenient stores, and fast food places. The mindset is about the need to release stress or tension. In regards to their employment they usually have a hard time making ends meet even when they work two menial jobs. With their physically demanding jobs that put wear and tear on their bodies they need outlets that can use to release their frustrations of their lives. These releases would come in the forms of physical entertainment such as; wrestling or fist fighting with each other, sex, and watching violent media entertainment. With the monotonous or repetitious jobs they need use drugs, like caffeine or crank, sometimes to keep them awake through their shifts. With regards to their environment and mindset Goad explains that since they live hard lives that carry over to their play time. He also explains that with his pent up anger up his life he needs to see and wants to see the violence in his play time to help him release his tension and stress. Then he goes on to say that this is because he and the other Rednecks are hard men so soft things are not what they do or listen to. This where he uses the example of the wrestling matches to show where the good guys always wins and that there are usually consequences for the losers like getting their heads shaved.
Essay 7 Goad states that “religion has always been a sponge mop to absorb class tensions. It’s a safety valve. Without it, class matters would come more sharply into focus.”(Goad, 171) What I get out of this statement is that the social class differences would be much more transparent without the distraction of organized religion. I also get out of Goads statement is, that he thinks if we didn’t have religion then the wars over religion would become over class differences. The other point Goad tries to make about religion was from a Nazi concentration camp survivor, Viktor Frankl, who said, “what he observed in the concentration camp was that it wasn’t the strongest bodies that survived the camps, it was the inmates who had the strongest ideas to live for – whether it was belief was philosophical or religious or the promise of a reunion with relatives. The idea didn’t have to be factual – many prisoners family members were already dead – but the hope was what kept them going.” (Goad, 149) I think what Goad was trying to say here is that it doesn’t matter what you put your faith in as long as you put into something.
What I get out of the “Praying Hard” chapter is that the lower white class isn’t into traditional religion. They are into having faith about things other than god like Elvis, Bigfoot, and space aliens or as Goad called it, the past religion (Elvis), the present (Bigfoot), and the future (space aliens) or the holy trinity of white trash religion (Goad, 170). If they do worship god they do it in extreme ways. A Good example of Redneck’s extreme beliefs in a Christian god is the snake charmers. The snake charmers are people who take the literal translation of quotations attributed to Jesus in the sixteenth chapter of the Gospel according to Mark (Goad, 152)

Goad, Jim. "The Redneck Manifesto: How Hillbillies, Hicks, and White Trash Became America's Scapegoat." New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1997. 21, 103, 149, 170, & 171. Paperback.

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