Jim Goad is an author whose work was once described by The New York Press as "relentlessly sad, ugly, hateful, raging, repellent, violent and brutally candid. as hard to put down as it is to read." Among his works include The Redneck Manifesto (Simon & Schuster, 1997) and Shit Magnet: One Man's Miraculous Ability to Absorb the World's Guilt (Feral House, 2002), which was written entirely in prison. Over the past fourteen years, he has worked as an independent publisher in Los Angeles , a radio talk-show host, a singer, an actor, a public speaker, the editor of a smut rag, and a Country/Western DJ. His first foray into the public light was as the editor and chief writer of ANSWER Me! magazine, which published four issues between 1991 and 1994. Among these was "The Rape Issue," which, directly or indirectly, was responsible for an obscenity trial, a White House shooting and the suicides of three British youths.
Jim recently - grudgingly - agreed to talk with Deek about his views on race. Here's what we came up with:
What is the modern minstrel act?
Check out The Baldknobbers, who do a self-conscious hillbilly act to the delight of crowds at Branson , MO.
What is the nature of whiteness?
It is to be stuck somewhere along the median of intelligence and penis size - dumber, yet better-endowed, than Asians.
Does one have to be white to be a true American?
No, but speaking English helps.
What the fuck is multi-culturalism?
The idea - no, the dogma - that we can all get along, even though no one can point to a historical example of it ever occurring.
Is racism separate and distinct from classism?
It's similar in that it's a way to stratify people. Totally different in that it's been historically used as a smokescreen to divert attention from class disparities.
What is "blackness"?
The big, luscious ass on my black girlfriend in the mid-80s.
What does nigger mean?
I suppose it started out as a mispronunciation of a Spanish word meaning "black," and it has become the most forbidden word in our lexicon.
What does redneck mean?
The sunburn a white manual laborer gets on the back of his neck. It, and all its variants (hillbilly, cracker, white trash, hick, etc.), are also the only currently acceptable racial slurs. Even writers are allowed to call someone a redneck without being fired.
What/who is the modern rockstar?
I think rappers are probably the only musicians who achieve ridiculous mythic status. Look at Tupac, for example - a convicted rapist who is now depicted as something on the level of Jesus Christ.
Please say something to me about Dave Chapelle.
Great, great comedian. Disappointed to hear he's a Muslim.
Are white people inherently oppressive?
Everyone is inherently oppressive. Hannibal and Genghis Khan were oppressive. Whites were simply better at oppression than most, but everyone has tried it.
Are all white people's hands bloody?
Nobody's hands are bloody. Collective guilt is a medieval idea.
Does white privilege exist?
In some ways. In other ways, such as the idea that a black person killing a white person isn't a hate crime, black privilege exists. Just as males have some privileges and females have others, I suppose.
Who is the leader of the rednecks? Is there a redneck hero?
If I told you, they wouldn't allow me into their tent meetings.
Why is it so wrong to talk about race as a white person?
Because there's the assumption of universal inherited racial guilt, which, as already mentioned, is a primitive, superstitious idea.
If white people can't say nigger, should black people not say redneck?
Well, if you value consistency, yes. And I value consistency. But I think anyone should be allowed to say anything without fear of physical assault, mob vengeance, or civil suits.
Dollar for dollar, is black poverty more abject than white poverty?
I've been through just about every notorious black urban slum in America , but I've never seen a place as poor as eastern Kentucky , which is almost entirely white.
Does embracing whiteness, redneckness, make one a racist?
According to some people, yes. According to some people, any white person who doesn't hate themselves is a racist. I've yet to hear a definitive description of "racist," though. It's entirely subjective.
Who is to blame for the current economic situation stateside?
The Federal Reserve, which, despite its name, is not a government agency but rather a consortium of private bankers who bleed every American worker by charging interest for printing worthless paper money.
Is race a determinate of culture?
I think they're inextricably entwined. No idea, really, where one starts and the other ends. People develop customs and laws - which is commonly understood as "culture" - based on things such as geography and climate. But one could also argue that skin color and intellectual aptitude also arise from the rigors imposed on groups of people due to geography and climate.
Say we all suddenly start getting along just fine without racial issues -- people look beyond color and we no longer judge each other by their skin but the content of the character. What the fuck happens then?
People will never get along.
Get more Jim Goad at jimgoad.net.