What Cracker is this same that deafs our ears with this abundance of superfluous breath?
-William Shakespeare The Life and Death of King John act II Scene II
My people came here as offal. That is to say they rode here on slave ships. Indentured. Lowland Scots. Discarded by the British. We were delivered to Savannah and Oglethorpes’ Colony to work off our debt and return home. That never happened.
That didn’t last long. The Spanish in La Florida knew who would fight rival British to the death so they granted us land in the peninsula allowing us to herd our meager cattle and tend our crops in the subtropical heat.
We were born fighting with the tenacious double helix that made is perfect for border wars and hardscrabble.
My kith and kin have fought every war this country battled. Yet we were the lowest of the low. The stereotypes popular culture loves to laugh at from Deliverance to Carl Hiassen.
We have been here as pioneers and canon fodder to help build this country alongside the Seminoles, escaped slaves and Minorcans. No one in Boca Raton or South Beach really knows us, but we drained that swamp their million dollar condo sits upon.
After so many generations, I am happy to read about us in Shakespeare. My generation is only the second to fully achieve literacy.
I’m not white trash. I’m pure cracker.