What does it mean to call someone a 农民?

One of the most derogatory expressions among urbane Shenzheners is to call someone a “peasant (农民 nongmin)”.  As a slur, it’s meanings range from stupid through uneducated to uncultured, but back home in the South, I’m thinking that the culturally appropriate translation might be “red neck”. However, I’m also wondering if “nigger” would work, especially given the connection to fields, agricultural labor, unfair renumeration, and constant disrespect from the country’s elite.

Why am I thinking about peasants, red necks, and niggers? Continue reading