What exactly is a red-neck?
Rednecks and redneck culture are celebrated today. "Redneck" is a somewhat complicated term that means different things to different people, and its meaning has continued to shift over time. The word as applied to Americans dates to the late nineteenth century, when it referred to farmers with sunburned necks. Shortly thereafter, some southern Democratic populists wore red neckties or kerchiefs as a symbol of pride and embraced the name. Similarly, in the early twentieth century, coal miners who belonged to unions were also associated with the term and embraced it as well. However, the term has also often since been used as a slur or pejorative.
As the twentieth century progressed, the term became associated with poor, Southern whites, particularly men, who usually lived in rural areas. They were seen as being unsophisticated and uneducated. Another similar term often used to describe them as "hillbilly."
By the 1970s, "redneck" was being applied to those who lived beyond the South, and a wide amount of assumptions and stereotypes were made about people who were labelled with it. Some who were given the moniker embraced it, or embraced it in part, while some rejected it. Some of the attributes ascribed to those characterized as rednecks were that they were inbred, uneducated, truck-driving, ultra-conservative, uber-patriotic, gun-owning, backward, and against modernity. Some were labelled as racists, and some were seen as being "white trash."
As is apparent, there are many views of what "redneck" means and who is a redneck. Some embrace the term and see it as a symbol of pride, while some reject it. Regardless of your views on rednecks or redneck culture, today is a day to remember the impact it has had on America
We were poor; we raised our own food and my father hunted for meat; we lived in the country. All of which makes me a red-neck, maybe even a hillbilly and proud of our self-sufficiency.