(Photo by elljay on Pixabay)
You’re trying to get to your next class, just keeping to yourself as you walk down the hallway. Then you see them, and a small shudder runs down your spine, “the hicks”. All camo, belt buckles like billboards, some of their mouths reeking of chewing tobacco. You’re eyes widen. They’re loud, offensive, and rude to everyone that isn’t one of them. You try passing them, but they’re taking up half of the hallway, and then, chaos. They bang on lockers, push and shove, and scream. You finally make it through, and the nightmare that is your school, is over. For now…but how on earth do this group come off as offensive and supremacist? Also what is white supremacy and how does it effect our school?
I: What Makes a Redneck, a Redneck?
First off, we are not going to ask Jeff Foxworthy, and I am not using him as a reliable source. There’s no way to truly say what makes a redneck…Jeff.
But there will be a lot of comedic writers that think they know what rednecks are and will be glad to tell you. But there seems to be something particular with,
“What differentiates rednecks from poor whites is the perception of rednecks as racist, hot-headed, too physical, violent, uncouth, loud, mean, under educated—and proud of it” (Facing History).
Certain areas of the U.S have been seen as more redneck than others, ABC even talks about the South as,
“those folks who ride lawn motors, decorate their trailer and taxidermy racoons and think NASCAR is the greatest thing since Skoal chewing tobacco” (ABC News).
So hicks and rednecks already start off with a bad reputation, as they can also be seen as white supremacist or “homophobe”.
But really what is white supremacy and homophobia?
Where do the problems start?
II: The Definition of White Supremacy and Homophobia.
To begin the dive in, not just hicks or rednecks can be supremacist or homophobic, anyone with their own beliefs can have different views that others.
We can see anyone treats others differently by the way they were raised or how they see the world. The SOAW (Schools of America Watch) defines white supremacy as,
“historically based, institutionally perpetuated system of exploitation and oppression of continents, nations, and peoples of color by white peoples and nations of the European continent, for the purpose of maintaining and defending a system of wealth, power, and privilege.” (SOAW).
The believe of whites over ruling came as slavery came to the U.S., and the fight Southerners had to want to keep slaves. The belief that whites were the masters over other men, just by the color of their skin.
Even after the Civil War, there was segregation of colors and whites, where Caucasian people wanted nothing to do with those who were seen as not good enough, or even seen as disgusting.
Racism still effects the world today, as the controversy with the Confederate flag in the State of Mississippi’s flag.
Homophobia has become more of a relevant topic in the growing progressive society with the legalization of gay marriage on Friday, June 26th, 2015.
What makes people hate LGBT? It goes back to before the Common Era.
“And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:23-24).
“But what I can say is that the state is not doing a service to the child and to society by not putting that child in a home where there is a mother and a father. This is common sense. This is nature. And what we’re trying to do is defy nature because a certain group of people want to be affirmed by society. And I just don’t think that’s to the benefit of society or to the child.” (Rick Satorum, 2011)
III: The Want to “Stand-In” In School.
Kids can be embarrassed to go to school, any kid has flaws.
However some could be embarrassed to face their peers just by being themselves.
With the mostly white populated school (don’t pretend it’s not), our students could be unfamiliar with ideas of diversity. This calls for the realization that white people (yes, including me) can and are different extends of racist.
“I have to everyday wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply embedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose everyday to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way.”(Kim Radersma).
“She argued that until white people admit they have a problem, they will not be able to fight against white privilege.” (Kim Radersma).
The truth is our past mistakes and no tolerance have left wounds and automatic flaws in our system.
This effects the way colored students are treated, and has created a real gap in the education system.
African Americans currently score lower than European Americans on vocabulary, reading, and mathematics tests, as well as on tests that claim to measure scholastic aptitude and intelligence. This gap appears before children enter kindergarten.” (New York Times).
Homosexuals can feel huge impacts from discrimination as well. The distraction of the people around them have show real, visible consequences.
“Gay and lesbian youth are at greater risk for school failure than heterosexual children.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
The proof is in the pudding, or rather in the grade book.
The distraction of the judgement of others thoughts on you can effect the way you perform in school.
The way you treat others can change them in more ways than you think.
Though it could be difficult, people can change their minds to focus on the positives of others.
If you see a hick, banging on those lockers, just know change is your responsibility.
(I honestly do not know if they can stop thinking about big belt buckles or chew-able tobacco, to realize it’s everyone’s responsibility.)
Sources: -Facing History (www.facinghistory.org) -The Students of America Watch (soawsoaw.org)
- ABC News (abcnews.go.com)
-The New Civil Rights Movement (www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com) - MacIever Institute (www.macieverinstitute.com) - The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) - York College (www.york.cuny.edu)