You know you're a redneck if you're not welcome in Salem, NY, for the 4th of July parade;
Steven Saunders, the third assistant chief of the Salem Fire Department who is in charge of publicity for the parade, said the term is not offensive.
“A redneck is a hillbilly, and a lot of people could fit into that,” he said, adding the term also has a connection to farming. “I think it’s comical that people are upset, but it’s really only a few people.”
According to Webster’s College Dictionary, the term is derived “from the characteristic sunburned neck acquired in the fields by farm laborers.”
The dictionary goes on to define the word as slang for “a poor, white, rural Southerner, often specifically one regarded as ignorant, bigoted, violent, etc.; often a derogatory term.”Putting aside the information that the Village of Salem in upstate New York (near the Vermont border) has at least three assistant Fire Chiefs, it is in fact located in a valley surrounded by hills, and agriculture seems to be the main industry (according to the town's website);
Agriculture continues to dominate the rural setting, but modern farming and related agribusinesses now dot the countryside in addition to dairy, potato and sheep farming. Farm stands selling sweetcorn, raspberries, blueberries, maple syrup, dried flowers, wool and angora spinning materials, offer local products to Salem visitors.Would the yeoman farmers' parade suffice?