Matt Forney
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The Redneck Manifesto by Jim Goad

redneck-manifestoReading this book gave me a strange new respect for Jim Goad.

I first heard of Goad, amusingly enough, via one of my readers in the (very early) days of In Mala Fide. (This was before he took over as editor at Takimag.) After reading the darkly humorous essays on his website—including the infamous “Let’s Hear it for Violence Towards Women!“—I ordered his memoir Shit Magnet from Amazon and read through it in a couple of days. I left his first book, The Redneck Manifesto, for later. I shouldn’t have.

The Redneck Manifesto is yet another required book for people in this part of the Internet, because it’s a funny work that pioneered many of the ideas we take for granted. As a defense of “white trash,” the most maligned social group in America, it’s not merely an attack on anti-white liberals, it’s a scholarly work debunking many of the myths surrounding race and class in America.

And Goad wrote it all the way back in 1997.

It’s a fair point: why are rednecks, hillbillies and poor whites America’s collective whipping boy? The left says it’s because whites have been somehow oppressing minorities for centuries, yet rednecks and white trash are just as poor as the blacks they’ve supposedly been oppressing. The same dweebs squirting tears over Trayvon Martin and trying to convince us that no, Rachel Jeantel isn’t an illiterate retard love to crack jokes about the “stupidity” and “inbred” nature of those white bumpkins out in the sticks. Goad collectively backhands them for their hypocrisy:

Don’t you just hate ’em? Every gap-toothed, inbred, uncivilized, violent, and hopelessly DUMB one of ’em? Jesus, how can you not hate ’em? There’s no class of people with less honor. Less dignity. No one more ignorant. More gullible. They’re a primitive breed with prehistoric manners, unfit for anything beyond petty crime and random bloodletting. Their stunted, subhuman minds are mesmerized by cheap alcohol, Lotto fever, and the asinine superstitions of poor-folks’ religion. They stop beating their wives just long enough to let ‘er squeeze out another deformed rug rat. They scatter their hand-me-down genes in a degenerative spiral of dysfunction. They breed anencephalic, mouth-breathing children. Vulgarians. All of them. Bottom feeders. They really bring down their race.

If you know Goad from his other writings, you know exactly what to expect from The Redneck Manifesto; lots of vulgarity, violence and black humor, leavened in this particular instance with scholarly chops. It makes reading the book an absolute breeze—I plowed through it in a day-and-a-half—but some of his more graphic sexual references may put off readers who are more interested in the factual veracity of his arguments.

To be sure, Goad unloads both barrels at the myth of “white privilege.” Through historical research, he shows that discrimination against poor whites has always been a reality of American culture, and actually predates the settling of this country in the form of the feudalism of the medieval era and the Roman Empire. Goad reveals that contra the myth that blacks and white liberals tell themselves, as many as half to two-thirds of whites who came to the New World did so against their will, either as prisoners (England shipped their convicts to America before the Revolution forced them to use Australia for that purpose instead), indentured servants or actual slaves:

An estimate published in 1670 alleged that ten thousand British subjects had been kidnapped that year. A pamphlet issued ten years later reckoned that ten thousand Brits were still being captured per year, every year. If those stats are reliable, this would total a hundred thousand British kidnapping victims in the 1670’s alone. In the history of slavery in America, fewer than four hundred thousand black slaves were imported. For all the bad rep Amerikkka gets about black slavery, it probably received no more than six percent of all African slaves shipped to the Western Hemisphere. (Psst—blame Brazil.) Making only mild extrapolations from these British kidnapping estimates, and surmising that roughly ten thousand whites were also abducted yearly for a forty-year run all told, the total of unwilling white immigrants brought to America would equal or surpass the number of Africans forced here against their will. And this estimate is probably low, as indentured servitude flourished for over two hundred years, not forty. And I’m not country the fifty or sixty thousand convicts dragged over here in the 1700’s.

The Redneck Manifesto also corroborates Mark Ames’ claims in Going Postal (hahahahahaHAHA) that black slaves were treated considerably better than white indentured servants. Goad even does the unthinkable in this Puritan Anglophilic country; he brings up the plunder of Ireland by Oliver Cromwell’s Puritans following the English Civil War. Usually glossed over in history books (along with all the other tortures that the English inflicted on the Irish), Goad notes how Cromwell and his cronies transformed the Emerald Isle into the world’s largest open-air rape camp, selling countless Catholic Irish into slavery in the Americas, where they were worked so hard that close to eighty percent of them died within the first year of their servitude.

Take your “white privilege” canard and shove it up your lily-white ass.

Goad also points out that bashing “white trash” has a long pedigree in American culture, going back to just before the Civil War, when slave-owning Southerners encouraged their black slaves to look down on poor, non-slave-owning whites as a means of social control. He also brings up how even during the “golden age” of Ellis Island, immigrants were brought to the U.S. mainly as a way to keep wages down and enrich the capitalist class. Despite his extreme language and willingness to use racial slurs with abandon, Goad’s message is aggressively moderate and almost Marxist, as he argues that wealthy whites foment racial hatred as a means to keep poor whites and blacks—who have more in common than they think—at each others’ throats. This kumbaya-saying gets a little sickening near the end as Goad calls for racial reconciliation in the same way that clueless conservatives whining about “reverse racism” do:

Though I may be a white man, my shit’s brown just like everyone else’s. As très cliché as it sounds, I try to take people on an individual basis. I’m neither a negrophile nor a negrophobe; I’m for negrofairness. Don’t pick no pea pods from my patch, and I won’t rob no rhubarbs from you. Don’t take my parking space, and I won’t steal your hubcaps. I’m no fan of white supremacy—everyone knows the Jews and chinks are superior. Interracial dating doesn’t bother me, but the very concept of dating does. I don’t mind being called a devil so much as I’m bothered by the fact that people believe in the existence of devils. And I have no problems with anyone who has no problems with me.

The other major issue with The Redneck Manifesto—or at least it might be an issue for some people—is that the book’s focus changes somewhat abruptly a third of the way through. After Goad is finished explaining America’s history of discrimination against poor whites, he moves into a series of loosely connected observations on white trash life, centered on the St. Johns neighborhood in Portland where he was living at the time. Additionally, the final third of the book is devoted to Goad’s political rants. These segments are no less entertaining than the rest of the book, but some people may find the shift to be annoying:

Some of the gals make an effort to splash on perfume and change their panties, but there’s really no need. Any woman, no matter how severely disfigured, who’d dare stray into this bar with an operational vagina and a pair of milk-teats is guaranteed of being able to grab at least one desperate stud by the hose and drag him out the back door as if he were a pull toy. Even if a disembodied hairy vagina—a solitary organ without arms, legs, head, ass or torso—were somehow to muzzle atop a bar stool, that amputated muff would have two free drinks and three marriage proposals in under a minute. So why squeeze on high heels and shovel on makeup if they’re all coming off, anyway? Any mustachioed fishwife willing to drop her sweatpants behind the restaurant dumpster is considered a goddess here. So relax, ladies—they’ll fuck you just the way you are.

Additionally, I was touched by The Redneck Manifesto because I’m barely a generation removed from the “white trash” that Goad describes. While I’m as middle-class as they come, my dad’s family are authentic Catholic rednecks; doubly cursed, doubly discriminated against, doubly impoverished. Without getting into the details, I know for a fact that the “white privilege” that urban upper-middle white liberals pontificate about is complete bullshit.

They’re a class of Harper Lees, desperately trying to scapegoat poor whites for the racial hatred that they fostered and they alone benefited from.

The Redneck Manifesto is worth reading alone for Goad’s hilarious prose, but it’s also an important sociological work. It’s a broadside against several decades of leftist lies drilled into our skulls. If you want to understand America better, you need to read The Redneck Manifesto.

Click here to buy The Redneck Manifesto.

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