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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 17, 2008 / 14 Sivan 5768

Apologia pro redneck, Or: In defense of a word — and a people

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This time it's a duly certified, establishment-vetted, card-carrying member of the Mainstream Media who's been caught, tried and convicted by the always watchful PC Police. This time it was no Howard Stern or Don Imus, or even a football coach lettin' 'er rip at a press conference. This time it was NBC's own, always respectable if not downright pedestrian Andrea Mitchell, aka Mrs. Alan Greenspan. Goodness. What did she do? It seems the lady went and referred to an area of southwestern Virginia as "redneck, sort of bordering-on-Appalachia country."


Ooh-wee!The linguistically delicate of southwestern Virginia are still squealing. These easily offended types must be crying in their martinis — because the folks who prefer Schlitz couldn't care less. The real rednecks in southwestern Virginia must be wondering what all the fuss is about.


It happened when Ms. Mitchell was using her cultivated nasal tones to describe footage of a campaign stop by the Democratic presidential nominee presumptive and a former governor of Virginia in lovely Bristol, Va. And this is what she dared say:


"Interesting images today ... Barack Obama, Mark Warner in southwest Virginia. This is real redneck, sort of bordering-on-Appalachia country...."


You'd have thought she said Those Dumb Crackers. All overly sensitive heck broke loose on the poor woman.


The speech cops swooped down on her in an instant. How dare she use the R-word? The local paper got all uppity. To quote the Bristol Herald Courier: "To correct Mitchell, Bristol doesn't border 'Appalachia ... country.' It is part of the Appalachian Mountain region. While the region faces challenges, it doesn't deserve to be the butt of jokes."


The butt of jokes? The use of "redneck" when referring to what was once known as the Southern yeomanry is now a joke — and one in bad taste at that? The rednecks in these parts, and probably everywhere, tend to 'ppreciate redneck jokes. ("You might be a redneck if you're stopped by a state trooper, he asks if you have an I.D., and you say, 'Bout what?' " —Foxworthy, J.)


So what term are we enlightened. reconstructed, re-educated Americans of the thoroughly thought-reformed 21st century supposed to use instead of "redneck" — working-class white? That's not English, it's sociologese. Redneck is a brief, vivid descriptive phrase for an American type we all know. Once upon a time, brief, vivid description was what good journalism was about. Naturally the term now has been declared verboten.


Andrea Mitchell, on her way to the stocks, was quick to apologize for speaking plain, the ultimate sin in our denatured times:


"I owe an apology to the good people of Bristol, Va., for something stupid that I said last week. I was trying to explain based on reporting from Democratic strategists why Barack Obama was campaigning in southwest Virginia.


But without attribution or explanation, I used a term strategists often use to demean an entire community."


What's the world coming to? Here we have political strategists talking plain and reporters using mushspeak. The world's done turned upside down.


Sure, some words should be off-limits, and everybody knows which ones they are. That is, everybody who had a mama who threatened to wash his mouth out with soap if he ever used that word again. But "redneck"? What next? Will we be forced to say "the Y-word" when we mean Yankee?


Every time a perfectly good American word is lost, we are all deprived. And the cumulative effect is a life-destroying erosion of the language, which is sapped of its power, vitality and variety. Redneck an insult? Rednecks would only laugh at the idea — because rednecks are proud of who they are. That's why they can afford a sense of humor. In a world of anemic, self-censored, pre-washed, so-called commentary, their pride is refreshing.


Who are these rednecks anyway? One inadequate definition would be to say they're the descendants of the Scots-Irish who pushed the American frontier across first the Appalachians and then ever westward, spreading as far north as the hills of Pennsylvania and as far south and west as wide-open Texas, leaving their manners, speech and customs an indelible if often unremarked part of the American character.


Oh, yes, rednecks are also fighters. Which means that, ignored and snubbed in times of peace, or just patronized by those who think their very name an insult, they are always called on when the country's in real trouble. To this day, they are part of the backbone of the United States military. They are, in short, people to tie to. They will stand their ground, as America's enemies have discovered since 1776 and long before. They need no one to come to their defense, let alone shield them from their honest name. Yes, they can be touchy, but only about matters of honor.


Rednecks embrace simplicity as a welcome change from the kind of fraudulent sophistication you can hear at a click of the channel on television or on National Platitudinous Radio. But that doesn't make them simple. Quite the opposite. Their code is as involved as any Bedouin's, and maybe more so than the Southern gentleman's. Indeed, the two — gentleman and redneck — are part of the Southern whole, complementing and competing with each other, each half-envying, half-pitying the other but aware they share an indissoluble bond that involves the land, the language and whatever is the essence of what the South is, or was. Both may now be endangered species, united by what they are not: false.


Those who object to the name redneck, if not the species itself, might as well take offense at Arkie or Okie or black or Creole. Hasn't the Southern language lost enough distinctive words, and therefore distinctive thought, to the bowdlerizers, the euphemizers and sanitizers who would leave the treasure of the Southern tongue as barren and burned-over as the once green acres Sherman ravaged on his march to the sea? Enough verbicide. The toll has already been too heavy. Let's not lose a word that sums up a whole ethos.

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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