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Thomas Sowell: Black rednecks and white liberals
TownHall ^ | May 5, 2005 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 05/05/2005 4:47:23 AM PDT by Tolik

Black identity has become a hot item in the movies, on television, and in the schools and colleges. But few people are aware of how much of what passes as black identity today, including "black English," has its roots in the history of those whites who were called "rednecks" and "crackers" centuries ago in Britain, before they ever crossed the Atlantic and settled in the South.

 Saying "acrost" for "across" or "ax" for "ask" are today considered to be part of black English. But this way of talking was common centuries ago in those regions of Britain from which white Southerners came. They brought with them more than their own dialect. They brought a whole way of life that made antebellum white Southerners very different from white Northerners.

 Violence was far more common in the South -- and in those parts of Britain from which Southerners came. So was illegitimacy, lively music and dance, and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery. All of this would become part of the cultural legacy of blacks, who lived for centuries in the midst of the redneck culture of the South.

 That culture was as notable for what it did not have as for what it had. It did not emphasize education, for example, or intellectual interests in general.

 Illiteracy was far more common among whites in the antebellum South than among whites in the North, and of course the blacks held in bondage in the South were virtually all illiterate. On into the early 20th century, Southern whites scored lower on mental tests than whites in other parts of the country, as blacks continued to do.

 Many aspects of Southern life that some observers have attributed to race or racism, or to slavery, were common to Southern blacks and whites alike -- and were common in those parts of Britain from which Southern whites came, where there were no slaves and where most people had never seen anyone black.

 Most Southern blacks and whites moved away from that redneck culture over the generations, as its consequences proved to be counterproductive or even disastrous. But it survives today among the poorest and least educated ghetto blacks.

 This is a much bigger story than can fit into a newspaper column, which is why I wrote my latest book, "Black Rednecks and White Liberals."

 White liberals come into this story because, since the 1960s, they have been aiding and abetting a counterproductive ghetto lifestyle that is essentially a remnant of the redneck culture which handicapped Southern whites and blacks alike for generations.

 Many among the intelligentsia portray the black redneck culture today as the only "authentic" black culture and even glamorize it. They denounce any criticism of the ghetto lifestyle or any attempt to change it.

 Teachers are not supposed to correct black youngsters who speak "black English" and no one is supposed to be judgmental about the whole lifestyle of black rednecks. In that culture, belligerence is considered being manly and crudity is considered cool, while being civilized is regarded as "acting white."

 These are devastating, self-imposed handicaps that prevent many young ghetto blacks from getting a decent education or an opportunity to rise to higher levels.

 Multiculturalism today celebrates all cultures but it is the poor who ultimately pay the price of that celebration in stunted development, missed opportunities and blighted lives.

 No one today would dare to do what Northern missionaries did after the Civil War, set up schools for newly freed black children in the South with the explicit purpose of removing them from the redneck culture that was holding back both races there.

 A wholly disproportionate number of future black leaders and pioneers in many fields came out of the relatively few and small enclaves of Northern culture deliberately planted in the post-Civil War South. What they did worked and what the multiculturalists are doing today repeatedly fails.

 But results are no longer the test. The test is whether what you say makes you feel good as someone who is a "friend" of blacks. But friends like that can do more damage than enemies.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: blackrednecks; blacks; bookreview; culture; dialect; dixie; language; rednecks; south; sowell; thomassowell; whiteliberals
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1 posted on 05/05/2005 4:47:24 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; yonif; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; Alouette; ...
Thomas Sowell:

 ...Teachers are not supposed to correct black youngsters who speak "black English" and no one is supposed to be judgmental about the whole lifestyle of black rednecks. In that culture, belligerence is considered being manly and crudity is considered cool, while being civilized is regarded as "acting white."

 These are devastating, self-imposed handicaps that prevent many young ghetto blacks from getting a decent education or an opportunity to rise to higher levels.

 Multiculturalism today celebrates all cultures but it is the poor who ultimately pay the price of that celebration in stunted development, missed opportunities and blighted lives.

 No one today would dare to do what Northern missionaries did after the Civil War, set up schools for newly freed black children in the South with the explicit purpose of removing them from the redneck culture that was holding back both races there.

 A wholly disproportionate number of future black leaders and pioneers in many fields came out of the relatively few and small enclaves of Northern culture deliberately planted in the post-Civil War South. What they did worked and what the multiculturalists are doing today repeatedly fails.

 But results are no longer the test. The test is whether what you say makes you feel good as someone who is a "friend" of blacks. But friends like that can do more damage than enemies.


Nailed It!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of good stuff that is worthy attention. I keep separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson, Lee Harris, David Warren, Orson Scott Card. You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

2 posted on 05/05/2005 4:51:30 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
"But this way of talking was common centuries ago in those regions of Britain from which white Southerners came."

It would have been nice to know what part of Britain Mr. Sowell believes these cultural characteristics emerged. I can only imagine it must be Scotland as that was where my family and a significant number of those who settled North and South Carolina came from.

3 posted on 05/05/2005 4:55:38 AM PDT by Cornpone (Aging Warrior -- Aim High -- Who Dares Wins)
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To: Tolik
I'm not a redneck, I'm an Appalachian-American.
4 posted on 05/05/2005 4:58:18 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: Cornpone; wardaddy

I recall reading something about the Scotch-Irish. BTW, it must be Scottish because many Trinidadians of Scotch and partial Scotch descent have a bit of the same culture. The Irish would come pretty close too.


5 posted on 05/05/2005 5:00:01 AM PDT by cyborg (Serving fresh, hot Anti-opus since 18 April 2005)
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To: Tolik
I've been running into a lot of this lately. I was at a library booksale, and one [white female, mostly likely liberal as shown by the following comment] person in line commented to me, "I'm saddened that there aren't any minorities here, though."

This is rich.

I didn't want to start an argument, so I just said, after looking at the line, and thinking a moment, with all the sincerity in the world (because I did mean it), "well, I usually find that I can't base my opinion of whether or not diversity exists based solely on visual cues."

Pregnant pause.

"Uh, well, I meant that I don't see any African-Americans here."

Now, ain't that rich, on top of rich. So, when she said "minority" she meant a certain minority group, eh? Hmmmm. This gets so interesting.

I bet she had no idea by looking at me that she was possibly looking at a "minority." Any, I guess the several Indian families in the line didn't count, either?

My thought was, perhaps the members of the African American group she singled out was busy elsewhere. Say, perhaps running their businesses? Or they order their books online, instead of coming to library book sales?

I recall the attempt to put "white guilt" on me in college....but I didn't fit the category, they just assumed I did by stereotyping me per how I looked. I kept wondering why these professors tried to put a shoe on me that didn't fit. Man, I guess this lady in line is still wearing those shoes.

6 posted on 05/05/2005 5:01:52 AM PDT by elk
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To: Tolik

I get asked a lot where I'm from. Even after I tell people, people still ask (esp. black people) what are you? A label can mean a lot to people, a label can also doom a person. As soon as you figure out your identity someone else will come along to challenge it. I've lived around black folks a while and while it's good to know where you're from, I see a lot of people limiting themselves based on what they THINK black people are/should do.


7 posted on 05/05/2005 5:03:00 AM PDT by cyborg (Serving fresh, hot Anti-opus since 18 April 2005)
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To: elk

You know I've noticed that same thing too. It's a strange mentality isn't it?


8 posted on 05/05/2005 5:06:37 AM PDT by cyborg (Serving fresh, hot Anti-opus since 18 April 2005)
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan
I'm not a redneck, I'm an Appalachian-American.

Thanks for giving me your officially approved title. I've been calling you folks "Incestuous-Americans" for years and don't want to be insensitive. Celebrate diversity ... err, uh ... lack of diversity ... whatever...

9 posted on 05/05/2005 5:07:24 AM PDT by mikegi
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To: elk

Those shoes don't fit me either and I am white.

I reject white guilt. 'Pod.


10 posted on 05/05/2005 5:11:35 AM PDT by sauropod (De gustibus non est disputandum)
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To: Tolik

Very Aldus Huxleyian. Seems blacks--Epsilon Minus-- are invariably nurtured to belong to the bottom rung of society by lack of proper upbringing, education and general awareness of the world around them. Only thing I really have to say about this article is that where does black responsibility come in in raising blacks and breaking the cycle of degredation that they find themselves. I tired of blacks blaming white southerners, northern liberals, the Republican party and other "nerfarious" conspiratorial groups for their shortcomings. I say assign blame where it belongs if necessary, but also see your role in your own degredation.


11 posted on 05/05/2005 5:12:27 AM PDT by Jeffery T.
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To: elk
I guess the several Indian families in the line didn't count,

Indian as in India-Indians or Native Americans?
12 posted on 05/05/2005 5:15:25 AM PDT by Cronos (Never forget 9/11)
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To: Tolik

I've been working on my family history for several years now. I know that most of my ancestors were from England. They came over in the 17th century and settled in Virginia. Most of them then moved to Kentucky, then Missouri and some of them to Texas. At each stage they acquired more education and gradually went from being dirt farmers to preachers, wage earners, etc. To my knowledge, my mother is the first woman in her family to have a college degree and I'm the first to have an advanced degree.


13 posted on 05/05/2005 5:15:40 AM PDT by Mercat
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To: Cornpone

I believe that he refers primarily to the 200,000-400,000 Scots-Irish or "Ulstermen" who immigrated during the 18th century to Appalachia then on into the south and west.


14 posted on 05/05/2005 5:17:33 AM PDT by catpuppy
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To: cyborg

I've enjoyed watching Tiger Woods' handling of that issue. That young man is one class act.


15 posted on 05/05/2005 5:18:19 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (Official Ruling Class Oligarch Oppressor)
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To: FreedomPoster

I like Tiger too, very classy guy.


16 posted on 05/05/2005 5:21:31 AM PDT by cyborg (Serving fresh, hot Anti-opus since 18 April 2005)
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To: Chgogal

Ping...


17 posted on 05/05/2005 5:28:24 AM PDT by Cornpone (Aging Warrior -- Aim High -- Who Dares Wins)
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To: mikegi
Thanks for giving me your officially approved title. I've been calling you folks "Incestuous-Americans" for years and don't want to be insensitive. Celebrate diversity ... err, uh ... lack of diversity ... whatever...

You must have northern blood in you, all arrogance and condescension.

18 posted on 05/05/2005 5:29:51 AM PDT by SouthernFreebird
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To: SouthernFreebird

I am guessing the freeper was being sarcastic... one of the dangers of no sarc tag? (I hope).


19 posted on 05/05/2005 5:30:59 AM PDT by cyborg (Serving fresh, hot Anti-opus since 18 April 2005)
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To: Jeffery T.
I tired of blacks blaming white southerners, northern liberals, the Republican party and other "nerfarious" conspiratorial groups for their shortcomings. I say assign blame where it belongs if necessary, but also see your role in your own degredation.

I think that you're listening to Jackson and all the other hustlers too much. My own anecdotal evidence: I took my 5 year-old daughter to a robotics competition north of Atlanta a few months ago. It was high school teams competing from all over the Southeast. Now, if there was anything that should be considered "white" or "white/asian", it is robotics and even that's stretching it (it would actually be a tiny subset of those groups). Anyway, there were several schools competing that must have been made of predominately black students (from LA, SC, GA).

Anyway, I got the impression that there's a quiet revolution taking place in the black population. One that's not going to make Jesse Jackson and his goons happy.

20 posted on 05/05/2005 5:33:23 AM PDT by mikegi
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To: Cornpone
Years, ago, in a Reader's Digest, iirc, they had an article on the "British" emigration to the US.
With an accompanying map w/ arrows, from/to.

FWIW.

And, I believe the The History Channel had something on the English recruiting "thugs" to takeover parts of the
rural South during the revolution.

21 posted on 05/05/2005 5:36:03 AM PDT by Calvin Locke
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To: SouthernFreebird
You must have northern blood in you, all arrogance and condescension.

Lighten up. BTW, my mother was from Valdosta, GA, my father from Boerne, TX, and I was hatched in Jackson, MS.

22 posted on 05/05/2005 5:38:56 AM PDT by mikegi
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To: cyborg
"I am guessing the freeper was being sarcastic.."

Maybe, but it was funny!

23 posted on 05/05/2005 5:48:16 AM PDT by Mr_Peter
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To: mikegi

I am a flyover country redneck and proud of it.


24 posted on 05/05/2005 5:49:42 AM PDT by Piquaboy (22 year veteran of the Army, Air Force and Navy, Pray for all our military .)
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To: GodBlessRonaldReagan

LOL!


25 posted on 05/05/2005 5:56:06 AM PDT by Calm_Cool_and_Elected (Be nice, I'm new here)
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To: cyborg

I've been to Trinidad, and I was struck by that same similarity that you mentioned. It was a bit muddied, as I was there with a church group, and we were interfacing with hindus primarily, and some muslims, so my cultural perceptions were more framed within the paradigm of God, but I did notice it nonetheless.


26 posted on 05/05/2005 6:02:16 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (...a sheep in wolf's clothing)
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To: ovrtaxt

Most every black Trini knows black pudding and callaloo, all creole cooking that people think comes from blacks and indians but is really Scotch-Irish food tweaked with caribe seasonings. I'm happy about people doing mission work there :-)


27 posted on 05/05/2005 6:10:07 AM PDT by cyborg (Serving fresh, hot Anti-opus since 18 April 2005)
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To: Tolik
Black Rednecks

I use the term "trash". There are white trash and black trash cultures. They are both characterized by high crime, absent fathers...and loud TVs blaring 24/7.

28 posted on 05/05/2005 6:13:57 AM PDT by Drawsing (Congress doesn't need to see the light...they just need to feel the heat..Ronald Reagan)
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To: mikegi

I'm glad to hear that. I think that Jackson and his goons dont want this type of information to get out to the black population because their career(s) would be over. I know that there are plenty of blacks who exhibit well-adjusted behavior. I was just focusing on those who continue to dwell on the "blacks as victims" rhetoric.


29 posted on 05/05/2005 6:36:56 AM PDT by Jeffery T.
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To: Tolik

Bump for later purchase of book.


30 posted on 05/05/2005 7:12:59 AM PDT by BJClinton (Giuliani/DeLay 2008)
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To: Jeffery T.
I'm glad to hear that. I think that Jackson and his goons dont want this type of information to get out to the black population because their career(s) would be over. I know that there are plenty of blacks who exhibit well-adjusted behavior. I was just focusing on those who continue to dwell on the "blacks as victims" rhetoric.

The problem is that the freak show, aka the MSM, only focus on things that advance their agenda. Of course, I'm not minimizing the terrible problems in the black population. A quick look at the statistics shows that the average black person is six times more likely to be murdered than other groups (and 90+% of those murders are black-on-black violence).

31 posted on 05/05/2005 7:16:11 AM PDT by mikegi
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To: Tolik
I don't know if it makes its way into the book, but a scholar at Yale claimed several years ago that there are great similarities between gospel and Ulster-Scots hymns. The Scotsman had a report on it here.

This whole concept of cultural exchange and persistence is fascinating.

32 posted on 05/05/2005 7:20:11 AM PDT by untenured
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To: Tolik
Bravo! The whole point is that white liberals praise and excuse in Blacks what they stridently and loudly condemn in poor whites. Is there a better formula for creating bitterness and jealousy than condemning one party for something and then turning right around and praising that same quality in another???

Violence, "pirate English" ("I be"), emotional Fundamentalist religion (nothing wrong with that, btw!), dysfunctional families, and whacked out Birch Society-type conspiracy theories ("Jewish doctors invented AIDS!") are all considered "revolutionary" and "leftist" among Blacks while being labelled the exact opposite among poor whites.

Blacks and poor Southern whites are two people divided by a single culture.

33 posted on 05/05/2005 7:21:18 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Build the Temple! Make Bobby Fischer watch!!!)
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To: Tolik

I used to have a lot of respect for Thomas Sowell, in fact I have some of his books. This article sounds like he is just another Yankee that hates anything Southern and blames
Southerners for all the woes of blacks. Doesen't sound like much of a conservative to me any more!


34 posted on 05/05/2005 7:38:26 AM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: Tolik

I forgot to mention the flip-side of the same coin: partisans of white Southern culture who will condemn Mr. Sowell because they exalt and defend among Sothern whites what they condemn in Blacks--liberals in reverse!


35 posted on 05/05/2005 7:42:04 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Build the Temple! Make Bobby Fischer watch!!!)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

Very funny coming on the heels of post# 34.


36 posted on 05/05/2005 7:43:39 AM PDT by eyespysomething (hmmm....)
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To: antisocial
I used to have a lot of respect for Thomas Sowell, in fact I have some of his books. This article sounds like he is just another Yankee that hates anything Southern and blames Southerners for all the woes of blacks. Doesen't sound like much of a conservative to me any more!

Translation: "It's okay for Southern whites [which I am, btw] to behave like ghetto Blacks because that is their quaint culture; but Blacks who behave like rednecks are leftist enemies of all that is good and pure in the world."

Somebody sounds like a liberal here, but it ain't Mr. Sowell.

37 posted on 05/05/2005 7:50:32 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Build the Temple! Make Bobby Fischer watch!!!)
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To: cyborg

It's funny you say that, I live in Dorchester, MA which is what many people consider "South Boston" even though it is a seperate part of the city.

Dorchester is probably one of the most Irish neighborhoods in the country - though it is pretty diverse, pretty much every white person here identifies themself as Irish (even if they aren't).

Currently, there are thousands of Irish immigrants in this part of the city, most of them are illegals who plan on staying only a few years. Most of them are poorly or moderately educated farm boys from tiny towns in Dingle, Kerry or Donegal.

Anyway, there is definitely a subtle backlash against the Irish Guys in my neighborhood. They are all nice guys, for the most part, but they do carry on like 16 year olds when a good number of them are over 30.

I've heard them referred to as Green N****rs by people who would never use that word to insult a black person, and who have parents or grandparents who come from the old sod themselves.

It exemplifies how there is a lot more than race behind people's prejudices.


38 posted on 05/05/2005 8:08:55 AM PDT by Conservomax (There are no solutions, only trade-offs.)
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To: Conservomax; untenured

Thanks for more info.

Fascinating!


39 posted on 05/05/2005 8:40:09 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

Mr. Sowell is absolutely right! I have an old engraving from 1840 that shows an English peasant girl talking to a man on horseback. The caption at the bottom of the print is "Who Axed You?".


40 posted on 05/05/2005 8:44:50 AM PDT by Tokra (I think I'll retire to Bedlam.)
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To: Onyxx

bump for later


41 posted on 05/05/2005 8:49:26 AM PDT by Unknown Freeper (Doing my part...)
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To: untenured

Rock and Roll. Invented by Southern blacks and whites as a mix of black R&B (which grew out of African musical styles) and hillbilly country music (which was very British-Appaliacian), then exported to and in many ways refined and perfected in Britain!

There are even quite a few impressive English rappers these days....amazing how the cultures are still influencing each other.


42 posted on 05/05/2005 9:44:37 AM PDT by To Hell With Poverty (From the rainbow center of the bluest part of a good Red State)
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To: cyborg

Sowell's hair sure has gotten grey.


43 posted on 05/05/2005 9:48:25 AM PDT by wardaddy ( Lucchese Belt Raised)
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To: mikegi
I was hatched in Jackson, MS.

At Adams Eggs on Fortification St.?

44 posted on 05/05/2005 9:52:41 AM PDT by wardaddy ( Lucchese Belt Raised)
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To: Zionist Conspirator

"Translation: "It's okay for Southern whites [which I am, btw] to behave like ghetto Blacks because that is their quaint culture; but Blacks who behave like rednecks are leftist enemies of all that is good and pure in the world."

Somebody sounds like a liberal here, but it ain't Mr. Sowell."

I don't say it's ok for Southern whites to behave like ghetto blacks. I've noticed very few that do where I live.
what I object to is the premise that the Scotch-Irish immigrants had little interest in education. What about all the early colleges in the South? Many there were very well educated and probably more (percentage-wise) than in the North. Many in the North were recent immigrants and Irish. His whole arguement is so bogus that it reminds one of a liberal. I know of absolutely no blacks that behave like rednecks. Obviously his idea of rednecks is very different than mine.


45 posted on 05/05/2005 9:57:14 AM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: stainlessbanner; 4ConservativeJustices

What do you think of this?


46 posted on 05/05/2005 10:15:07 AM PDT by antisocial (Texas SCV - Deo Vindice)
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To: Cornpone
It would have been nice to know what part of Britain Mr. Sowell believes these cultural characteristics emerged. I can only imagine it must be Scotland as that was where my family and a significant number of those who settled North and South Carolina came from.

It's said the Irish settled much of the South, especially the Protestant Scots-Irish from Ulster. They had a reputation as pioneers and as brawlers. The other group was the Borderers who lived in Northern Britain and Southern Scotland. Like Northern Ireland it was a comparatively wild and remote part of Britain in the 18th century. The two groups blended together on the American frontier.

Probably it wasn't so much that such people were different from the English. You could see a lot of the same characteristics in Dickens' London or in early Australia. But the Ulstermen and the Borderers were further away from cities and the very settled and controlled life of East Anglia, where many New England Puritans came from.

David Hackett Fischer wrote a lot about this topic in his book Albion's Seed. It's worth a look. One thing he says is that the Gaelic-speaking Highlanders who settled in the Cape Fear area didn't mingle well with the Lowland Scots or the Scots-Irish. They had been on opposite sides of some conflicts in the old country, and didn't trust each other. The Highlanders had had their rebellions and been crushed mercilessly. Thus they tended to be more obedient and law abiding in the New World.

47 posted on 05/05/2005 10:19:58 AM PDT by x
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To: FreedomPoster; cyborg
I've enjoyed watching Tiger Woods' handling of that issue. That young man is one class act.

I guess you haven't witnessed a lot of what he says when he's not being interviewed then.

PS, I'm not a Tiger basher, just a knowledgable golf observer.

48 posted on 05/05/2005 10:31:09 AM PDT by Protagoras (MYOB)
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To: antisocial
I used to have a lot of respect for Thomas Sowell, in fact I have some of his books. This article sounds like he is just another Yankee that hates anything Southern and blames Southerners for all the woes of blacks. Doesen't sound like much of a conservative to me any more!

I didn't pick any of that up in this article. But if you have read many of his books, maybe you should give him the benefit of the doubt and read the book before you settle on that conclusion. Just my opinion.

49 posted on 05/05/2005 10:34:34 AM PDT by Protagoras (MYOB)
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To: antisocial
Thank you for your very restrained response to my perhaps overly provocative post. My point was simply that it is a general tendency of human nature to condemn in others what one excuses or even celebrates in oneself and one's own. And I hope I made crystal clear my disdain for the hypocrisy of the liberals in this matter.

I will not argue with you about schools in the North vs. schools in the South, since each region had its educated and illiterate citizens. Neither will I be so forward as to contradict you when you say you know of no Southern whites who behave like ghetto Blacks, since you know your own experience.

However, I do wish to insist that many of the alleged "characteristics" of each of those two cultures is shared by the other, howevermuch the members don't want to admit it, and each is hypocritical when it excuses or praises in itself what it condemns in the other. Among these characteristics is the violence associated with a sort of "code of honor." This is illustrated by the code duello of the Southern aristocracy, the blood feuds of the poor whites of the mountains, and the violence of the ghetto between gangs or gangster rap clans. Another commonality is the language. "Black English" most certainly does not come from Africa (most certainly not the Anglo-Saxon obscenities which liberals like to think of as so "quaint" and "revolutionary" and "African"). "Ax" is Chaucerian Middle English, and the use of the infinitive of the verb to be was characteristics of certain British Isles dialects as well as of "hillbillies" and "pirates" (to this day the verb "ate" is often pronounced "et" in the British Isles). Even the omitted "r" in such words as "bu(r)st" has its origin in the aristocratic British pronunciation. I believe Mr. Sowell has actually written an article on the origins of "Black English" in the dialects of old Virginia.

Another cultural commonality of Blacks and poor whites is the very dualistic religious outlook, ie, a fervent emotional religious belief that often clashes with a very profane, alchoholic, or promiscuous lifestyle. Liberals often accuse white Fundamentalist preachers of sexual peccadilloes (the "Elmer Gantry syndrome"), yet white Southerners make the exact same accusation of Black preachers in order to discredit the "civil rights" movement. And is a suggestive blues record backed with a gospel song in praise of J*sus really that different from the same phenomenon when the A-side is a country song about drinkin' and cheatin'?

I also would like to point out that poor Southern whites and Blacks (or at least he latter's liberal white supporters) often exchange the very same accusations: laziness, stupidity, sexual immorality, etc. Were the "degrading" pictures of Blacks in the popular culture of another day (Willie Best, Stepin Fetchit, etc.) really that different from the "inbred backwoods morons" that are in our day (in the memorable words of Jim Goad, author of The Redneck Manifesto) "the only cardboard cutup left standing in our national ethnic shooting gallery"? And of course poor whites and Blacks have always belonged to essentially the same social/economic class and have had many of the same basic experiences (and note that after the last election blue state liberals were only too happy to accuse the red states of living off "welfare" created by their productive labor!).

What I am saying is that there is a sort of common low-class experience and culture common to the two oldest and most similar American ethno-cultural groups, as may be evidenced by watching most any episode of "The Jerry Springer Show" or "Divorce Court" and all other similar garbage (and no, I don't watch them). Call them Black/White trash, Black/White trailer park culture, or what you will. But the point is, partisans of each group enjoy hypocritically sailing into the other for all these characteristics that are basically held in common. That's all I'm saying.

50 posted on 05/05/2005 10:35:00 AM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (Lo' ta`amod `al dam re`ekha.)
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