Skip to comments.PM's 'redneck' remark draws Alabama fury
Posted on 04/01/2010 6:29:19 PM PDT by myknowledge
Furious Alabama residents have hit out at Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and demanded he issue an apology for his "redneck" comment.
US media organisations, including the New York Times and FOX News, picked up Rudd's remarks, which followed US comedian Robin Williams joking "Australians are basically English rednecks".
Alabama newspaper, the Birmingham News, ran an "Australia vs Alabama" headline on the most prominent section of its website and asked readers to comment.
They did not hold back, with one accusing Rudd of making a "racial epithet" while another wrote "if it weren't for some Alabamians fighting in the war, the Australians would be speaking Japanese".
"I'm going to go to the zoo and punch a kangaroo in protest," another wrote on the Birmingham News site.
"I spent a month in Australia.
"Ninety-five per cent of it is a desert wasteland and looks like a Mad Max dump. There is a good reason Britain sent its criminals there."
The furore began earlier in the week when Williams, who just returned from a two week trip to Australia, appeared on Dave Letterman's US TV talkshow and joked that Australians are basically English rednecks.
Rudd, during an interview on Eddie Maguire's Triple M radio show, responded by saying: "First of all, I think Robin Williams should go and spend a bit of time in Alabama before he frames comments about anyone being particularly redneck".
Alabama Governor Bob Riley waded in on Wednesday by defending the people of his state as "decent, hard working, creative people".
Rudd should expect plenty of irate emails and comments on his Facebook page with links to both pasted on the Birmingham News site.
"Calling someone a redneck is the equivalent of a racial epithet," a reader wrote.
"Australian prime minister and Robin Williams should apologise."
Another wrote on the site: "The prime minister should call with an apology".
The war of the words is not the only Australia vs Alabama battle, with the Alabama government furious about last year's 18 month jail sentence handed down by the Queensland judicial system to Alabama resident Gabe Watson for the manslaughter of his wife during a honeymoon scuba diving trip on the Great Barrier Reef in 2003.
An "extremely upset" Alabama Attorney-General Troy King is investigating whether he can prosecute Watson in Alabama in what could be a death penalty case.
Some Alabamians agreed with Rudd's redneck comment and defended Australia.
"I have been to Australia several times and it is a modern progressive society with strict environmental laws and good schools," a reader wrote.
"Basically the polar opposite of nasty Alabama. The PM nailed Alabama perfectly."
Another wrote: "I also have been to Australia and was amazed at the beauty and friendliness of the country and the people.
"Most nations remember how Alabama at one time treated the blacks in Selma, Montgomery and Birmingham - they have a perfect right to view us as a bunch of rednecks, and unfortunately, they are largely correct!"
“Actually, that is what the British think about Australians (LOL)....I have heard it from them many times.”
It’s true, they do think that about us... If they could play cricket or footy we’d probably care what they think.
Now, where’s my beer? my mouth is dry as a pommie’s towel.
“Not only did Australians rob graves to send aboriginal specimens to the British Musuem, according to writings of Edward Ramsey (Australian curator of the Syndney Museum), fresh “samples” were appreciated and he also gave tips on how to ‘plug’ bullet wounds.”
You know why we used to call aboriginals ‘boongs’? because that’s the sound they made when they ricochet off the bull-bar.
I can’t believe no one has posted the YouTube of Rudd eating his earwax during Question Time.
“Rule number two: no mistreating the Abos while anyone’s watching.”
Australia and Alabama...giving Mississippi a rest. Thanks.
Not enough attention has been given to this gem.
First off, Robin Williams has had 4 vessel heart bypass, and heart disease brought on by his chronic use of cocaine and alcohol. Other than being an excellent mimic, his knowledge of “rednecks” is without basis, but a simple place to go to make fun of working people... which he has never been. A redneck as a term has always been a proud one in the South. In 1891 it referred to working people and rural folks, farmers, who got necks red from the sun. A term of pride of place and hard work. Only a bigot like Williams could come up with this description of Australians. Australians were sent there as punishment- Van Deemans land. And they are way tougher than most Brits, period, and our most loyal allies for decades.
The term “redneck” was also used in The West Virginia Coal Miners March (1921) in the Battle of Blair Mountain when the coal miners wore red bandannas around their necks to identify themselves as seeking the opportunity to unionize. There was no derogatory implication at all, and the federal government sent US troops with machine guns and aircraft dropping bombs to kill hundreds of them, and help the mine owners, political friends of Warren G. Harding and the criminal sheriff of Mingo County, WV. In this part of the world, redneck is very much a term of great pride. Neither Williams or Rudd would know that, and both are aholes.
“I would have to go with ‘Breaker Morant’. There was another good film around that time called ‘The Club’. It had some of the same actors as were in ‘Breaker’.”
Breaker Morant is an all-time classic, but I’m just not that cultured..... During the court martial scene I was yelling at Morant “jump the guard, take his .303 and start blasting away.... take out the other guard with a kick to the family jewels!” alas, it was not to be.
Me, either. ;o)
There’s a reason that my reply is the only reply to your post.
I hope you figure it out soon.
BTW, we have manners...
“Now, wait. The rednecks of Alabama are upset at being referred to as rednecks????”
They shouldn’t be upset at all, the stats indicate that proportionally Alabama and Australia have the same number of deaths preceded by “hold my beer and watch this...” so we obviously have a lot in common.
Just wait until they find out the differencebetween a ‘cracker’ and a saltine...
I fail to see what fireworks have to do with this.
Fireworks: the other other ‘cracker’...
1) I suggest you read post #29.
2) Post #35 was pinged to me after this one
3) I’ve been to Alabama, and Georgia. I’m aware that many people in the south posses manners. However, judging from your judgemental post to me, I’m not sure I’d place you among them. You, at the very least, seem incapable of understanding humor. Seems that your screen name was aptly chosen - you appear to have much in common with the DitsyChicks.