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Mocking rural people while opposing the Empire

December 23, 2012
By

YouTube video maker Amanda ‘BillyRock’ has a new video (attached beneath this article) which has been promoted on LewRockwell.com (she was also interviewed on the LRC podcast) and other libertarian blogs. The video is about an experience she had recently at a high school sporting event. Everyone was asked to stand and pledge allegiance to the US flag. Amanda tells the story of how she refused to stand and felt good for doing so. As someone who has done the same thing (at a Tea Party gathering, no less) I congratulate her on refusing to pledge her allegiance to the Federal flag. In the heat of the moment when everyone robotically stands and puts their hand on their heart and begins mumbling the words of the pledge it can take great resolve to refuse to participate in this statist ritual.

As much as Amanda’s stand (or refusal to stand, actually) is to be congratulated, there is another side of her video which is disturbing. Though we are not told exactly where the high school is in Amanda’s story, she describes it as being ‘very rural.’ She goes on to say, ‘like, we’re talking cowboy hats everywhere and the boots and the Wranglers and stuff.’ She then says it was an ‘America atmosphere.’ At this point she fakes what seems to be a Southern accent and mocks the thoughtless, pro-war attitude of the people. She makes a strong point about the war propaganda at the basketball game but she does so while mocking rural people. We do not know if she is making fun of Western or Southern people (in either case, it is traditional, rural White people who are the object of ridicule). Amanda herself sounds like she is from nowhere. She might hail from any US suburb or urban centre. Though she is against the Empire, she appears to share the social attitudes of the upper-middle class enforcers of political-correctness. In her short piece she manages to mock the dress, manners and accents of the rural people at the local high school game. Why was this necessary?

Better yet, why is it acceptable to mock such people while insulting any other cultural or ethnic group is taboo? Some might say that I am making too much of an isolated incident from a YouTube video. However, do we not see similar things on a daily basis? When someone wants to emphasise that another person or group is stupid or reflexively patriotic (which are generally connected as concepts in the US media) do they not often affect a Southern or rural-sounding accent? This has been repeated so many times in the media and society at large that I have even heard Southerners, who speak in at least a somewhat Southern manner, adopt an over-the-top Hollywood version of a Southern drawl when pretending to be stupid, thinking that this is funny. Is it any wonder that some Southerners, faced with the overwhelmingly negative stereotype of their native speech in the US media and society, have made a conscious effort to give it up? Sadly, many Southerners seeking a business career, in particular, have even taken classes to get rid of their accent. A recent NPR report on the disappearing Texas accent documented one such sad case. We’ve also seen studies which show that children who are not from the South acquire from their surroundings a strong bias against the Southern accent at a very young age.

This is partly what we mean as Southern nationalists when we speak of the anti-Southern agenda and bias of the United States. We are not treated well by people who claim they are our countrymen and that we are ‘one nation.’ Clearly, there is not only a political divide, but also a significant social and cultural divide which makes us distinct – so much so that we and our cultural markers are regularly the object of ridicule, flippant or otherwise, across the USA. Consider the situation of Southerners. We are in a forced-Union with people who make fun of our native speech, heap cruel insults upon usban our cultural symbols, attack those among us who show the least amount of pride in our identity, glorify our conquest and promote our demographic replacement. Given this, is it so surprising that millions of Southerners no longer wish to be part of the USA? The real surprise is that there are still some Southerners left who adore and stubbornly remain loyal to a regime and society which does not care for them.

Note: Amanda ‘BillyRock’ has since replied to this article, saying that she is pro-secession and not at all anti-Southern. You can watch her video response at this link.

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  • Jim

    There in lies the crux of the matter of Secession. Too many home made Yankees. Too many galvanized Yankees. I saw fellow Texans angry and upset over 911 and thought, would Yankees feel similarly if it had been Dallas or Austin, instead of NYC? I think not. There would have been the usual invectives. “Those stupid redneck Texans got what they deserve.” I see Yankee bloggers all of the time, calling for the extermination of Texans and other Southerners and even westerners who refuse the righteous rule of Yankeedom. How do Cowboys fit into a nation with Yankees, anyway? There’s a reason why cattlemen speak with Southern accents and peddlers sound like Yankees in every Western film.

  • Anti-Federalist

    Michael,

    My impression of this is that she noted the rural aspects of the people only for the purpose of bringing to light that these are the people who are most staunchly “pro American military.” You know that if you attend almost any sporting event in the South you will have ROTC/military guard trotting onto the field, a super-sized Federal flag carried on the field, Southerners singing songs to the glory of the Federal government and if you are lucky enough you will see a flyover by Federal warplanes (funded with our tax dollars). I think Southerners are the worst at this. This past summer I was at an Atlanta Braves baseball game. Whenever the Jumbo tron camera would pan over to someone in a Federal military uniform the crowd would erupt into cheers. I think public schools have been very successful at indoctrinating children into being good Federal patriots and these schools have been successful at programming people to accept the “one nation indivisible” doctrine.

  • Anti-Federalist

    By the way, here is ABillyRock’s response to a comment concerning her mocking people’s accent:

    “I grew up in rural America wearing cowboy boots and helping with neighbors’ farms and ranches. I wasn’t judging people by what they wear and how they talk: I was setting a scene so that you could imagine the situation.”

    • Michael

      Her tone was definitely mocking. And she may have grown up in rural ‘America,’ but she sounds completely deracinated.

  • Va_Steve_E

    You’ve made a big mistake here. This child is NOT one of us. More likely some silly “hipster” type who thinks she’s too “advanced” for her neighbors to comprehend her genious. Just being antiwar does NOT, in and of itself, make one a secessionist. Please be more careful and aware of what you are doing with your site.
    Merry Christmas.

    • Michael

      Did you not read the article? I don’t mind criticism but please make it valid criticism. I addressed exactly what you said in the article at length.

      ‘Amanda herself sounds like she is from nowhere. She might hail from any US suburb or urban centre. Though she is against the Empire, she appears to share the social attitudes of the upper-middle class enforcers of political-correctness. In her short piece she manages to mock the dress, manners and accents of the rural people at the local high school game.’

      • Jim

        To me, she sounds like she’s from Iowa or illinois. But in any case, she probably lives in a big town, whishing it were Chicago or Mineapolis, and tries to affect an urbane persona. On the other hand, she could be from Dallas, the daughter of transplants. But in any case, there are country folk in the “Midwest” who worship the Yankees their ancestors fought for. Even though, such Yankees heap as much scorn and derision on them as they do on Southerners.

        • Virginian Secessionist

          It’s true. Out here in Minnesota, the Federal Empire is worshiped. Same in Wisconsin. Now, I’m all for a Biblical level of respect for authority. But out here, that’s not what it is. Out here there is an ungodly level of love for the Feds, or more specifically for the Constitution.

          At college out here, my Freshman year I took a course called “Minority Cultures”, though everyone on campus calls it “Intro to Racism.” The effective point of the class is to teach us that we are racist simply because we are white. In that class we are taught such things as how the “Mammy” persona is not real, but was made up in the post-Reconstruction era by Southerners to try and make our antebellum era civilisation seem less racist. In fact, just about every aspect of the antebellum South is declared a lie and an attempt to hide the true horrors of slavery and our hatred for the black man.

          We are also taught that it is wrong to be ethno-centric, and that we should *always* meet other cultures on their level, even when they come to us. I remember a video they showed us (a clearly staged incident) in which a Japanese business man comes to Texas to do a business deal with a local Texan company. The Texan is a stereotypical Yankee idea of what “Texan” means: slightly fat, blue jeans, big honkin’ cowboy boots, a vest, a flamboyant cowboy hat, and a mustache as thick as his accent. When the Japanese business man enters the room, the Texan gets up from his desk and exclaimed, “Well HOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWdy, Pardner! Welcome to Texas!” He then proceeds to embrace the client in a very friendly manner, though an obvious look of discomfort is evident on the Japanese man’s face. At this point the video pauses and we hear a narration, “Our Texan friend here has made several mistakes. Can you guess any of them?” It is then explained that he should not have worn his native Texan attire to a business meeting, nor should he have used a Texan greeting, and he most certainly shouldn’t have given the guy a hug. He should have greeted the man according to Japanese custom. My immediate thought was, “If the Texan had gone to Japan, you’d be absolutely right. In Japan, we ought to respect Japanese culture, and a visiting Texan should live up to Japanese social expectations. But that’s not what we have here. The Japanese man is the visitor. He’s in Texas. If in Rome we should do like the Romans, and in Japan we should do like the Japanese, then in Texas shouldn’t we do like the Texans?” I asked about that, and was told it was “a very ethno-centric way of thinking.” There were plenty of other scenarios that put down Mid-Westerners, too. But it was always the South or the Mid-West. I don’t recall the Left Coast or Yankeedom ever getting accused of “ethno-centrism” or any such rot.

          • Jim

            Well Virginian, as a Texan, I can say a few things about this. In Texas, cowboy clothes are for partying at the local watering hole, or chasing gals. At work, people wear the same clothes that everybody does in factories and offices everywhere else. Also, company execs are college educated, have refined Southern accents or as is mostly the case, they’re Midwesterners, not native Texans. Another thing, Where it concerns the WSI, you can drag them to the Library of Congress or any other Archive and they’ll say it’s all lies, or the writers meant something other than what they wrote at the time. They have to be this way, otherwise they’re forced to admit that they were lied to and were fooled by their teachers. I’ve meet Yankees who were shocked to find electricity and computers in Texas. This, despite the fact that Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments in Dallas, invented the integrated circuit. I always refer to the Midwest as the soft North. It’s really the North Central States, not the “Midwest”. But I say soft, because we can convert an Iowan or Illinoisan to our way of thinking. A New Yorker or a New Englander, who lives in the “Hard North”, we can’t. When I color a map, I use light blue for everything west of Pennsylvania and dark blue for everything east of it. On the subject of stereotypes. To us, all Yankees are named “Vinny” and “Theresa”, act like the characters in Welcome Back Kotter, are insuperably arrogant and poses a World view impenetrable to any facts to the contrary. It’s also interesting that WSI memoirs by Union soldiers from the Western Union, express almost as much vitriol towards Yankes as their Southern counterparts do.

            • Virginian Secessionist

              I knew that the video was a wonderfully horrid and hypocritical stereotype. My argument to the professor had been to say both that this was an inaccurate portrayal of Texans (how culturally insensitive of a programme designed to make us culturally sensitive), but that even if it had been accurate, why should the Texan (or Southerner, or Mid-Westerner, or whomever else) have to change *his* ways on *his* soil? This question was deemed thoroughly ethno-centric.

              I would agree with you on the notion of “soft north” vs “hard north.” But out here they are still very much sold on the concept of “Union.” They also have told me that talk of secession is “sedition.” I referred them to Jefferson and Madison and the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions. Then, as you have mentioned, they brought up the whole, “That’s not really what it meant” argument. It is as Julius Caesar once said, “Men most readily believe what they wish to believe.”

            • Jim

              Speaking on my own experiences, I can say a few things about this subject. All of these people have a great emotional investment in what they’ve been taught. To think otherwise is to admit they’ve been fooled and lied to. When I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, we sang patriotic Texas songs in school. I don’t remember all of the words, but one song went “Load your muskets well boys, fire boys, fire.” Which was about the WSI. Then of course there was “Texas our Texas” and “The Eyes of Texas are Upon You,” and “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” In Middle school and High school, we were taught about the War for Southern Independence and the great victories of the Texas army over the various Yankee invasions of Texas. Our teachers were Southerners or Texans. They laughed at the Idea that it was a “Civil War.” There was also no “Political Correctness”, which is a Chinese Communist concept, anyway. We had several kids move here from the Soft North, Iowa, Illinois, etc. Except for the accents, they were very much like us in that they came from the plains as well. We turned them into Texans in no time. It’s the urban types that think they have a connection to New York and points east. Even though Hard Northerners in the east deny any such connection exists, many Soft Northerners still aspire to be New Yorkers. Historians have noted this rivalry between the two sections of the North. Most western Union folk are unaware of it,though. They just don’t know that the Northeast places them in the same category as us. Moving along,. At work, we had a lady plant manager from Ohio. She had been educated in the North and had been given a thorough Marxist, Neo-Puritan indoctrination. Although she herself was unaware of it. We had a diversity meeting, as they call it. She proceeded to lecture us on Mexican culture. Being in Texas, we laughed at her, since Mexican and Spanish Colonial culture has had a deep impact on Texan culture. Spanish culture is just a part of the Gulf Coast region. But in her ideological blindness, she couldn’t see it. We reminded her that we weren’t in Ohio and that her ignorance, not ours, was the problem. There were no more such meetings afterwards, although many more were planned. What I have found is that most non-urban “Midwesterners” are amenable to our way of thinking. Urban and university types, are not for the most part. They have too much invested in the big lie. As an asside, I think the term “Midwest” is a misnomer. It may be the case when applied to the area between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. But I divide the North into two sections. The Northeast and the North Central states. Vermont is Northeast, Wisconsin is North Central.

  • cinaed57

    She could easily just be la femme du Austin who ventured beyond the city limits on a dare and was surprised to actually run into Texans.

    • Jim

      I checked out a link here at SNN, to a North New Jersey online paper. Out of curiosity, I searched for Texas, to see what came up. I found a story by a woman whom had travelled to Austin from New Jersey and found that she likes the music scene. She concluded that she’d go again, but was otherwise terrified of Texas and Texans outside of Austin.



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