This is our response to a video spread by Milo Yiannopoulos: “Asian Trump Supporter Smashes Liberals and Identity Politics”.
What is Redneck Revolt?
The history of the white working class is one full of resistance, collectively and individually, against the rich elite that hold power over all of our lives. From massive armed uprisings like the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921, to the resistance to coal mining in predominately white rural Appalachia today, white working people have been in conflict with those that uphold predatory economic, political, and social systems.
The history of the white working class is also one filled with collaboration with those same rich elite power holders. White working people have played the role of footsoldiers for the political and economic elite, participating in genocide, enslavement of other peoples, and overall protectors of the ruling class. White working class participation in state and paramilitary organizations and formations like the Ku Klux Klan, the Minutemen, the U.S. Armed Forces, and the Council of Conservative Citizens has undermined the struggle for freedom among all people.
It is with these conflicting histories in mind that the authors of this blog hope to incite a movement amongst white working people that works toward the total liberation of all working people, regardless of skin color, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, nationality, or any other division that bosses and politicians have used to fragment movements for social, political, and economic freedom.
Why the term redneck?
The history of the term redneck is long and complex. One of the earliest recorded uses of the term comes from the 1890’s, and refers to rednecks as “poorer inhabitants of the rural districts…men who work in the field, as a matter of course, generally have their skin burned red by the sun, and especially is this true of the back of their necks”.
In 1921, the term became synonymous with armed insurrection against the state, as members of the United Mine Workers of America tied red bandanas around their necks during the Battle of Blair Mountain, a two week long armed labor uprising in the coalfields of West Virginia.
Today, the term redneck has taken on a demeaning connotation, primarily among upper class urban liberals who have gone out of their way to dehumanize white working class and poor people. Terms like “white trash” have come to signify the view among these same upper class liberals of poor rural whites.
To us, the term redneck is a term that signifies a pride in our class as well as a pride in resistance to bosses, politicians, and all those that protect domination and tyranny.
Why would whites be opposed to white supremacy?
White supremacy is a system of violence and power that ensures that political, economic, and social power is withheld from people who aren’t white.
As white working class people, we have all benefited to a certain extent from the system of white supremacy that exists within the United States. However, this same system, and our participation within it, have also ensured that white working class people will stay poor and also relatively powerless in this society.
The greatest threat to those that pull the political and economic strings in this society is a unified resistance movement among poor and working class people. The vast majority of those that live in the United States, have relatively no power over the decisions and conditions that affect our lives. The overwhelming majority of those that live in the U.S. are poor or working class. We are the ones that see our paychecks (if we happen to even get one) gutted, our pensions and benefits dry up, our communities destroyed by drug abuse and poverty related crimes, and our entire lives spent struggling to just survive.
At moments that white working people have looked beyond their skin color and have worked alongside movements of poor and working class people of other races, the power of the ruling elite has become the most threatened. It is when the white working class has started to view itself in terms of class and not race, that liberation has waited just around the corner.
White supremacy is a system that white working people have helped protect, but it is also a tool against us. Our allegiance to a politics of white racism has allowed the rich to continue to hold onto power.
If we, as white working class people, want to see a reality of political, social, and economic freedom, REAL freedom, then we must directly contribute to a struggle against all oppression, especially white supremacy.