See this post.
Joe Bageant is a renowned commentator on the politics of class in the US. His previous novel, "Deer Hunting with Jesus", was turned into a play and an upcoming tv series. His regular online columns have made him a cult hero among political progressives and gonzo-journalism junkies.
Bageant’s latest book "Rainbow Pie: A Redneck Memoir" is a coming-of-age story set in post-World War II America in the small white tribes of West Virginia, where a massive social and economic shift from agrarian to urbanisation has resulted in the loss of meaningful work and community.
Representing the ‘hillbilly’ class as a minority, Bageant laments ‘the piece of the rainbow pie’ promised to his working class forefathers, which never materialised. He praises the ‘white trash’ trucker heroes, who stood up to corporate oppressors by unionising, helping to form a middle class, and finally affording an education for their children.
In this way, Bageant upholds Malcolm X’s teaching of ’embracing the slander’, stating "I’m so damn average that what I write resonates with people". However, he reasons that with the ‘corporatisation’ of the United States, Middle-America has become so politically disillusioned that it is now voting against its own economic self-interest…
Joe’s “Rednecks” have as their core culture their Irish/Scots Protestantism, the same background as my own family. In fact some time ago on my family history page there appeared this request:
I’m researching my Whitfield lineage and came across your site. Please note that I live in the States, and I am just beginning my research. My ancestor Jacob Whitfield, according to family records, is the son of Jacob Whitfield and Mary Gowrie. He immigrated to the States sometime around 1830 with an unknown uncle. He married Margarget Miller in Alabama on July 18, 1841. Jacob died in the Mexican War between 1846-1848 according to his son’s military pension records. I’m looking for any information which could prove/disprove this theory. Sincerely,
Possibly a connection. You see the coincidence on this document concerning my convict ancestor:
There were very many Protestant Irish among Australia’s settlers and convicts, but not being as distinctive as the Catholic Irish their story is comparatively unknown. Yet their numbers included the Wentworth family and many another prominent name. Some “forgot” any Irish connection – my own family did – let alone convict connections.
Kiama, south of Wollongong, was heavily populated by Protestant Irish.
My father told me once that the area from his birthplace (Shellharbour) down to Kiama and Gerringong was a hotbed of pro New Guard conspiracy during the Lang Crisis in NSW. A connection with this strand of the culture, I would think.
The US branch of the tribe seems to have developed differently from NSW, to judge from what Joe Bageant said. Different circumstances, different places.