Sunday, September 23, 2007

Let Me Be Perfectly Clear...

...about "black redneck culture," which I have addressed in earlier posts (e.g., here and here). It is a possible explanation for the persistent black-white achievement gap. (There is also IQ.) But blacks certainly do not dominate the boisterous, live-for-today, take-what-you-can-from-the-man, in-your-face, quick-to-take-offense, often-violent "lifestyle" that is summarized in the term "black redneck culture." White redneck culture is all too prevalent.

White redneck culture is not, as depicted in the following passage, restricted to the rural poor:
Rednecks typically are more libertine, especially in their personal lives, than other country brethren who tend towards social conservatism. In contrast to country people, stereotypical rednecks tend not to attend church, or do so infrequently. They also tend to use alcohol and gamble more than their church-going neighbors.
Redneck culture is no longer dominated by "rural poor to working-class people of rural extraction." It is alive and flourishing among whites of all socio-economic classes and in all locales: from small towns to large metropolitan areas.

The prevalence of redneck culture -- black, white, and tan -- is evident in popular culture. Look at what's offered and imbibed avidly via TV (both network and cable), movie theaters, CDs and DVDs, video games (or whatever they're called now), shopping malls, and professional sporting events (most notably basketball). Noise, violence, vulgarity, profanity, and prurience prevail, usually all at the same time.

Redneck culture has these essential -- and socially destructive -- characteristics: disregard for other persons and their property, indolence, a sense of entitlement (as if in compensation for the effects of indolence), a ready acceptance of myths and prejudices in place of facts and reason, a sneering attitude toward education and hard work, and (thus) a tendency to "live for today and let tomorrow take care of itself."

Liberty, which depends upon mutual restraint, cannot survive in a redneck milieu: a culture of moral anarchy which invites totalitarianism. The spread of redneck culture further encourages the emergence of totalitarianism because rednecks (of whatever race, class, and clime) are seduced easily by "bread and circuses" -- and perhaps by the promise of "free" health care.

(I am indebted to my son for a crystallizing conversation on this topic.)