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Friday, October 28, 2016

From California to the New York Island

From the Redwood Forest to the Gulf Stream waters

This land was made for you and me.

–Woody Guthrie, 1944

For what it’s worth, almost everybody in Arkansas who can find Massachusetts on a road map was appalled by state Rep. Nate Bell’s grotesquely inappropriate Twitter post. (Of course not everybody can, but that’s a different issue.) At the height of the manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombers, the Mena Republican informed the world, “I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?”

Reaction from New England was swift, often witty and rarely polite. “Go put on a pair of shoes and fry me up some squirrel, Gomer,” my pal Charles Pierce wrote on his Esquire blog. In a post entitled “Bite Me,” he urged readers to remind Bell “that God loves him as he loves all mouthy hicks.” Joe Koehane, the Boston-bred columnist, was less circumspect: “Might want to take a flight up north and try saying that in person, you waterheaded, little-d**k hillbilly a**hole.”

Note to Nate: Anybody who thinks Boston’s a city of Perrier-sipping pantywaists has clearly spent no time there. It didn’t help that in photos, Bell looks less like a Navy Seal than a guy who’s never personally assaulted anything more lethal than the buffet table down at the Squat n’ Gobble Barbecue Shack. Many Bostonians speculated that his fondness for big guns originated in less-than-robust manliness. Southerners are sometimes surprised to learn that when provoked, New Englanders remember the Civil War too—particularly the Irish.

Back home, Arkansans long sensitive to being caricatured as ignorant hayseeds urged Bell to resign. My sainted wife, a lifelong Arkansan (apart from our three long-ago years in Massachusetts), summed things up wearily. “Oh my God,” she said. “He’s just pathetic.”

It’s merely ironic that “redneck” remains the last socially-acceptable ethnic slur in American life. Fools like Rep. Bell help make it so. It’s a wonder the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce or the Parks & Tourism people didn’t have him kidnapped and transported to Mississippi.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • johninPCFL

    I guess it’s OK with the Arkansas idiot that the guns used in the MA police murder by the marathon bombers were obtained without any background check. Nice that he backs criminals, illegals, and terrorists having free access to any weapons they want.

  • clarenceswinney

    1945-1980 democrats worked hard in creating a successful middle class
    that had jobs that paid enough to afford a nice home,
    Health Care and Education for children.
    Since 1980, it has been decades of loading them with debt in order to afford a middle class life style. Since 1980, the top 1% had a 281% after Tax income and middle 20% got 25% which was less than. Inflation. The wealthy had the money to loan and took advantage of it.
    The Outsourcing of our Manufacturing Industries was biggest sham and hit on the middle class and decent paying jobs.
    The Tax Code was loaded with goodies for the rich and corporations
    There is a series of Solutions to reverse course before we go over that cliff.
    Progressive Flat Tax by Group. Tax Total Income not AGI with the loads of exemptions
    Assure a progressive Flat Tax that will balance our budget and start paying down that horrid Republican created Debt of $15,800 Billion
    Fed fund campaigns and election—6 months—3 primary 3 general—free equal tv time—No personal or outside money. Debate a week=12-=adequate to evaluate candidates
    Since no need to raise campaign funds keep em on job not on road.
    Ban ALL federal employees from accepting anything with a financial value.
    This closes K Street Bribery.
    It give middle class a chance to win an election since they cannot be bought.
    Burn the tax book—It gets enough revenue $1100B that immediately balances our budget.
    Start anew—Exemptions must serve a common good not fat wallets
    clarence swinney burlington nc

  • old_blu

    I would be so embarrassed if I lived in Arkansas right now. At least Davy Carter had the good sense to make a real apology for the jack ass.
    I loved the Uncle what a great guy he is, I watched his interviews, very good.

  • Me thinks he doth protest too much.

  • Allan Richardson

    I just learned in a documentary program that “redneck” originally referred to Scottish Presbyterians who fought against the Church of England. They signed an oath in their own blood and wore red scarves to identify themselves. Their descendants in America, who now belong to other churches (mostly Calvinist in outlook like the Presbyterians), have inherited the name, and the loudest, most obnoxious ones have inherited the stubbornness, but with less intelligent understanding of what they are stubborn about.

    But red-state “rednecks” do not have a monopoly of working-class work ethic and strength. As mentioned in the article, the Boston Irish have those same traits, and it is possible that the “rednecks” are secretly ashamed that their ancestors fought in Northern Ireland (Ulster) to oppress the ancestors of America’s Irish Catholics. But we are all Americans now, even the Chechnyan immigrants (and the Czechs also) and we need to stand together as Americans. So despite being a Rays fan from Florida, I salute the Red Sox on this occasion.

    • GrannyKits

      A documentary program not withstanding, most people in the South consider “redneck” to mean a hardscrable, often uneducated farmer. The red neck caused by being bent down over the fields in the sun.