That's why we were distressed to hear NBC's Andrea Mitchell stumble over the notion that Barack Obama might actually be interested in wooing working class voters in Virginia. When Obama spoke in Bristol, Virginia, this week, Mitchell said: "This is real redneck, sort of, bordering on Appalachia country."
Okay, Ms. Mitchell, how many stereotypes can you imply in a single sentence?
Let's count a few:
First, she implies that Obama is an elitist, which means (apparently) that he would not care about "rednecks" in the mountain South.
Second, she implies that uneducated "rednecks" (read "hillbillies") would (apparently) never vote for a Democrat or a black man—never mind that the Bristol area is represented in Congress by a Democrat and has been for many years.
Third, she appears completely unaware that some people in the mountain South find the term "redneck" offensive at worst and inaccurate at best.
As it happens, Bristol is part of rapidly growing area called the Tri-Cities that includes Kingsport and Johnson City, Tennessee, home to dozens of major industries, colleges and universities, and much more. It's not New York City, we admit, but it's not a cultural and intellectual wasteland any more than, say, good ole Tulsa or Oklahoma City.
A word of advice to Ms. Mitchell: Next time, skip the stereotypes.