By Nancy Morgan
November 2, 2009
In a much publicized rant that sent chills up the legs of millions of liberals, oops, progressives, Janeane Garofalo emphatically exercised her opinion of the millions of 'tea-party' protestors: "This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism, straight up. It is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks."
Anyone who has read Thomas Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals, knows that Garofalo's statement is either demonstrably false, or just plain racist.
Sowell, a fellow at The Hoover Institution and a prolific author (who happens to be black himself) actually documents the origins and evolution of the redneck culture. He makes the excellent, and unchallenged point that the inner-city culture celebrated by many blacks today is, in fact, derived directly from the redneck culture - which had its origins in England .
People migrating to America's south from the largely fringe areas of England, the Scottish Highlands and Ireland brought with them certain cultural values: Proneness to violence, aversion to work, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship, lively music and dance, style of religious oratory, touchy pride, boastful self-dramatization and vanity. These traits describe what came to be known as the redneck culture, and the people who exhibited these traits were labeled rednecks or crackers.
During the Civil War era, 90% of blacks in America lived in the South. They adopted many of the traits associated with this 'redneck culture,' which they then spread across America as they migrated after the Civil War. As Dr. Sowell so persuasively argues, these cultural differences were the actual basis of what we today label racism. Originally, what we now consider racism was an objection to cultural differences, not skin color.
Fast forward to the 1960's. Along came the liberals. Social do-gooders who ushered in the welfare state and altered the criminal justice system to conform to their own version of social justice. This allowed many of these counter-productive cultural traits to flourish, among both blacks and whites.
Many of the traits that are associated with the redneck culture have since died out in England , and many parts of the South. But many of the black Americans who chose to follow the media anointed spokespersons for blacks, Revs. Sharpton and Jackson, have kept the redneck culture alive in many parts of America 's inner-cities and ghettos. They mistakenly believe they are celebrating their own African-American culture.
So Janeane, for the sake of the social justice you so ardently advocate, I expect you should publicly apologize to all blacks for calling them rednecks. You were not just dissing conservatives, you were dissing millions of black Americans, many of whom were among the tea-party protestors. As this video clearly shows.
Three very public mea culpas should be sufficient. As atonement, we suggest you attend Hillsdale College for a full semester. Being one of the only two colleges in America that accept no federal funds, you will be exposed to courses on American History, the glories of Western Civilization and the value of capitalism. And a refreshing lack of liberal orthodoxy.
We won't hold our breaths. Most conservatives remain grounded in facts and reality. The same reality the left continually redefines to suit their purposes. We know that as long as one is a vocal supporter of leftist ideology, no explanations, facts, or mea culpas are required. Almost makes me want to be a liberal.
Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for RightBias.com