Yesterday, along the lines of my blog post regarding my disgust with all the casual litterers around here, I posted a statement on my Facebook wall; verbatim:
Attention, hillbillies- Please stop using the side of the road, and all of nature for that matter, as your personal trash can. Do you think your trash just disappears when you throw it out your car window?
Literally, more people commented bitching about my use of the term “hillbillies” than the actual point of the post! Remarks defending “hillbillies” and insinuating I was being racist (guess what– most of the people who live in this area not only ARE in fact white, but also ARE ACTUALLY racist…) abounded, and it felt like I spent more time “clarifying” the point than actually discussing the real problem– the fact that people feel it’s okay to casually trash the planet. The fact that so many people missed the point of the post in favor of getting all butthurt over my use of a fairly innocuous pejorative (that was directed at no one specific person incidentally) has caused me almost as much irritation as the topic about which I was initially posting.
Plainly put: How about just put your trash where it fucking belongs no matter what color you are, who you marry, or where you live?
This may seem like a small thing, but maybe if more people focused on actual issues instead of every perceived slight, this world would be a nicer place to live.
Get your priorities straight, people.
To be fair, here are three different definitions of the term “hillbilly.” But to most people I know, there are country folks…and then there are hillbillies.
Hillbilly is a term (often derogatory) for people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas primarily in Appalachia but also parts of the Ozarks in the United States. Due to its strongly stereotypical connotations, the term can be offensive to those Americans of Appalachian heritage. (wikipedia)
A person who lives in the country far away from cities and who is often regarded as someone who lacks education, who is stupid, etc.(Merrium-Webster)
(derogatory usually) an unsophisticated person, esp from the mountainous areas in the southeastern US (World English Dictionary)
The interesting thing about this is that, although the term is often considered derogatory, I’ve recently found a lot of people seem to actually self-identify as “hillbilly” to an extent, but still get offended when others use the term (much like the use of the n-word, only in the case of the term “hillbilly,” without the historical context to actually justify their hurt feelings. Regardless of what some whiners may say, the two terms are not nearly equally offensive, given the history in this country of oppression of and violence against black people.)