‘Redneck’ issue handled poorly

November 14, 2019   ·   0 Comments


As in many small towns all over Ontario, this year the Shelburne Fair Board put on the “Redneck Games”, quirky and fun games like hay bale rolling, spoon races, turkey calling, hog calling and husband calling to name a few. These games are meant to promote fair participation and community spirit and were enjoyed by everyone. 

There is considerable time and work involved for the many volunteers of the Shelburne Fair so it must have been a huge shock when a “nameless” person complained to Deputy Mayor Steve Anderson of being offended and concerned about the racist term “redneck”. The deputy mayor supported this “nameless” person and the matter was brought to Council, at which time Council supported the motion to put strings on any future funding for the Fair.

In Canada, today, the term “redneck” is defined as a person who enjoys country life, the outdoors, fishing, hunting, country music, pick-up trucks, 4-H, small-town fairs, and above all else, family, friends, neighbours and community. You will not find any reference to racism.

I actually am sorry for this “nameless” person who feels such a deep resentment as to try to ruin the reputation of a respected long-time Community organization.

The Town plan recognizes diversity, inclusiveness and heritage but in this case have shown intolerance and bigotry. The Town owes the Shelburne Fair Board and the residents of this town a public apology for the handling of this complaint. 

Connie Sawyers

Shelburne Resident



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