In today's WSJ, black conservative Thomas Sowell posits a new (cultural) explanation for continuing racial inequality: "redneck culture". Sowell argues that those whites from Western Europe who crossed the Atlantic and settled in the South brought this type of culture with them. Black slaves and sharecroppers adopted this southern white "redneck culture", and it traveled with them as they migrated north. Sowell argues that,
" Today, the last remnants of that culture can still be found in the worst of the black ghettos, whether in the North or the South, for the ghettos of the North were settled by blacks from the South. The counterproductive and self-destructive culture of black rednecks in today's ghettos is regarded by many as the only "authentic" black culture--and, for that reason, something not to be tampered with. "
"Black rednecks"? "Redneck culture"? This is what passes for social science these days? (Note: Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.) Be prepared for the media blitz on this when the book comes out later this week. I wonder what Southern whites might think of this theory. I'm guessing Sowell might argue that the attractiveness of George W's "texas swagger" to red state whites is really an indicator of "redneck culture".