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Old 11-11-2009, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Westsylvania
2,405 posts, read 2,917,881 times
Reputation: 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Ah, the irony of being accused of feeling superior from someone delivering smarmy lectures on the use of "hillbilly." It practically makes my day.
Smarmy? Your original use of the word bespoke an ignorance of the facts I recounted for you (and anybody else who cared to read). Ignorance makes my head hurt. I was only looking out for myself. Practically made your day? Sorry I couldn't finish the job.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,110 posts, read 56,078,373 times
Reputation: 24786
Speaking of ignorance, learn what "bespoke" means.

I'm not ignorant of the origins of the word, though its racial connotations aren't nearly as explicit as you make them out to be. But I'm also not ignorant to the fact that there are varying degrees of pejorative connotation, and that not all pejoratives are equal. To equate "hillbilly" with "n***er" evinces an incredible tone-deafness to historical context.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Cleveland Heights OH
13,463 posts, read 10,113,212 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creepsinc View Post
The unemployment rate (the official one, anyways) is a couple points below the national one. So, relatively, no. 8.5% is still high, though.
The key word being "relatively." It's at 12 1/2% in Portland OR where I am.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Under Mount Doom
8,987 posts, read 5,766,360 times
Reputation: 4585
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
To equate "hillbilly" with "n***er" evinces an incredible tone-deafness to historical context.

Not to inturrupt the flow of this fine Hatfield and McCoy-style feud, but I would point out that the perjorative views of both rural Appalachian and African-American poor have very similar origins. While we like to think that the poster boy for racism is the southern redneck, the poverty and ignorance of the rural poor in the South put them on pretty equal terms for several centuries. White Appalachian peasants had almost nothing to do with setting up the racist system in the South, though they almost certainly resented the meddling of the north during reconstruction and the unequal assistance of northerners towards blacks during the civil rights movements, but not so much poor whites in the same situation, and that probably spawned the angry white male.

I would argue that most people feel very comfortable trashing rural, ignorant whites, assuming they are just idiots or completely to blame for their situation, but assume that rural, ignorant blacks problems are all the blame of someone else. Truth is, they have much more in common than they differ. Both cultures arose from an unjust, stratified social system that birthed self-reinforcing cultural patterns of low educational attainment for the bulk of the people. Naturally, reactionary behaviors and tendencies follow from that ignorance, regardless of race. And it would be naive to think that in the competition for wealth and status, coming from the bottom rung, rural poor whites and blacks would find themselves in conflict.

As an interesting (to me) aside, Scots-Irish and others who passed through the Appalachia to the South to become Southern Baptists are among the lowest acheiving white ethnic group educationally. Currently they have about half the percent women going to college (28%) as Irish Catholics (46%) who came a century later and passed through the cities of the north, were equally poor, but at least they had access to education and economic mobility. The former are among the chief supporters of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, etc. the latter among the chief producers of college professors (or authors like Mr. O'Neill). So, two groups with very similar racial characteristics have very different social and educational mores in our culture now, all tracing to the history of their immigration and the influences thereafter. My point with this long-winded hortatory post is that the ethnic origins of the "hill***y and *****r have more parallels than you think, and lasting consequences for our society. Both are equally worthy of fundamental respect, and compassion.

Last edited by Fiddlehead; 11-11-2009 at 03:48 PM..
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Westsylvania
2,405 posts, read 2,917,881 times
Reputation: 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Speaking of ignorance, learn what "bespoke" means.

I'm not ignorant of the origins of the word, though its racial connotations aren't nearly as explicit as you make them out to be. But I'm also not ignorant to the fact that there are varying degrees of pejorative connotation, and that not all pejoratives are equal. To equate "hillbilly" with "n***er" evinces an incredible tone-deafness to historical context.
First of all, I addressed the "historical context" of the word "hillbilly", and if you don't get it, I'm not the one who's tone-deaf.

Second of all:

be⋅speak  [bi-speek]
–verb (used with object), -spoke or (Archaic) -spake; -spo⋅ken or -spoke; -speak⋅ing.
1. to ask for in advance: to bespeak the reader's patience.
2. to reserve beforehand; engage in advance; make arrangements for: to bespeak a seat in a theater.
3. Literary. to speak to; address.
4. to show; indicate: This bespeaks a kindly heart.
5. Obsolete. to foretell; forebode.

If you want to read one of the other definitions into my usage of the word, fine. Whatever makes you feel smart.


And there's nothing smarmier than dismissing an entire socioeconomic class with one word.

Last edited by creepsinc; 11-11-2009 at 03:44 PM..
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Westsylvania
2,405 posts, read 2,917,881 times
Reputation: 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post

I would argue that most people feel very comfortable trashing rural, ignorant whites, assuming they are just idiots or completely to blame for their situation, but assume that rural, ignorant blacks problems are all the blame of someone else. Truth is, they have much more in common than they differ. Both cultures arose from an unjust, stratified social system that birthed self-reinforcing cultural patterns of low educational attainment for the bulk of the people. Naturally, reactionary behaviors and tendencies follow from that ignorance, regardless of race.

.
Entirely the point I was trying to make with my first post. The powers-that-be (almost entirely white, but in no way all or even most whites despite what the ivory tower types would have you believe) have pitted poor whites and poor (or all) blacks against each other since the two groups first met. To believe otherwise is to make one a tool of the worst kind.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,110 posts, read 56,078,373 times
Reputation: 24786
Quote:
Originally Posted by creepsinc View Post
And there's nothing smarmier than dismissing an entire socioeconomic class with one word.
Oh, I dunno. I'd say patronizing them by painting them as hapless victims of a mild pejorative (which some have adopted for themselves) might qualify.
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Old 11-11-2009, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Westsylvania
2,405 posts, read 2,917,881 times
Reputation: 1126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drover View Post
Oh, I dunno. I'd say patronizing them by painting them as hapless victims of a mild pejorative (which some have adopted for themselves) might qualify.
Which group are we talking about now? That could apply to any of them.

Haven't you already gotten enough egg on your face for one day? Take a bow and move on.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:16 AM
Yac
 
4,286 posts, read 3,580,022 times
Back on topic guys.
Yac.
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:18 AM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV
815 posts, read 1,068,716 times
Reputation: 676
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fiddlehead View Post
Given the well-known appreciation of all Appalachians for urban culture, am I the only one who sees a bit of irony in the title?

The Paris of Appalachia seems like it would right along with:

The Athens of Kentucky

The Innsbruck of Nebraska

The Venice of the Mojave Desert

The Banana Belt of Idaho

The Riviera of North Dakota

The North Woods of Florida
Haha, you are correct. More or less it's sort of a ploy on the the upside and downside of modern day Pittsburgh. Kind of an ironic title with a double meaning: "Pittsburgh is a wonderful and unique city" and also "Pittsburgh is the beacon city and an example of insular/hillbillie Appalachia". It looks like he has the overall situation correct. Let's face it...we're a nice part of the country, but we ARE a little rough around the edges overall and it's no secret that the city as a whole is caught up in the past. Every city/region has it's problems, and that would be ours. It looks like a really good read, I might have to check this out.
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