This morning I saw an old, painted-with-a-spray-can pick-up truck drive by with a huge Confederate flag mounted in the back. It had oversized yet worn-out off-road tires and wheels, a flat-black finish and rusted dual exhaust pipes, one hanging slightly lower than the other. The shirtless driver looked about 30, with a ball cap, poorly maintained facial hair and less than a full complement of teeth. And he was smiling. It made me wonder what the attraction is to such a backward, offensive and insensitive display of disregard for the feelings of others.
Do these people, many of whom proudly describe themselves as “rednecks” really think that they’re making some kind of a point? Do they have such low aspirations that being considered uneducated, unsophisticated, racist and simple are attributes that they believe one should display proudly? Are they so bereft of cultural awareness, so in need of identifying with some group, any group, that they will seek that of the lowest-brow available to them?
The evidence suggests that the answer is, in fact, yes.