When used by people living in cities, the two terms—"redneck" in particular—generally point to a sackful of red-state stereotypes: Confederate flags, guns, racism , and a kind of prideful ignorance and a not so subtle reference to another contentious term—"white trash. At their simplest, a "redneck" originally meant someone who has been sunburned from working outdoors, and a "hillbilly" is someone who lives in the hills. But the meanings have twisted over time—when union miners fought the industry that was exploiting them in the early 20th century, they reportedly wore red bandanas on their necks to identify themselves. Today, many proudly self-identify as rednecks not as a nod to that rebellion but to link themselves to a set of cultural and political markers, an entire philosophy of living. But official histories of these terms always fail to convey the shades of meaning that they take on. Sometimes the words can be empowering when they are used by the people they describe , and sometimes they can be cruel when they are used by outsiders.
Patrick Green, 34, from West Columbia, West Virginia
Recent waves of protests and strikes in West Virginia invoke the memory of a now notorious figure in American history: the redneck. A West Virginian enlisted in the armed forces during the first world war was less likely to die than one working in a coalmine. In , black, white and immigrant mineworkers took up arms to battle the coal companies that controlled and exploited every aspect of their lives. United, they wore red bandannas to identify each other in battle. The West Virginia mine wars were the bloodiest labor conflict in American history. Culminating in the Battle of Blair Mountain in , more than 10, miners marched from the Kanawha valley toward Mingo to join other striking miners in protest. Chafin commanded a private army of more than 2, mercenaries and multiple airplanes equipped to drop bombs on workers. Siding with Chafin and the coal bosses, President Warren G Harding sent federal troops too, armed with gas and more planes the fourth time that troops had been called in to squash organized miners in the mountain state.
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Redneck is a derogatory term chiefly but not exclusively applied to white Americans perceived to be crass and unsophisticated, closely associated with rural whites of the Southern United States. This word is usually considered offensive. By the s, the term had become offensive slang, its meaning expanded to include racism, loutishness, and opposition to modern ways.
West Virginia Redneck Woman Redneck is a derogatory term chiefly but not exclusively applied to white Americans perceived. It was. Contrary of popular beliefs West Virginia which is considered " Hillbilly " Territory owes its State existence for. Later, in , the redneck girl grew up and country singer Gretchen.