NJ deputy mayor resigns over post calling Pine Barrens residents – aka ‘Pineys’ – ‘inbred imbeciles’

She called them country bumpkins, so they gave her something to “pine” about.

The deputy mayor of a south New Jersey town has resigned over a social media post in which she slammed so-called “Pineys” — folks from the state’s rural Pine Barrens region — as “mentally deficient, inbred imbeciles,” according to officials.

Natalie Stone, who held the position in Tabernacle,  sparked outrage when a 2020 Facebook post she made deriding folks in the area was dug up by political opponents,  the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday.

“There is ACTUAL TRUTH to Pineys being incestuous, illiterate, mentally deficient, inbred imbeciles supposedly responsible for generations of morons and prostitutes,” Stone wrote, adding she’d just read a book about the region.

us news, new jersey, politics, social media, nj deputy mayor resigns over post calling  pine barrens residents – aka ‘pineys’ – ‘inbred imbeciles’

Tabernacle deputy mayor Natalie Stone resigned earlier this month. facebook/Natalie Stone

The Republican pol’s comments infuriated some residents of the town,  located in Burlington County, which dubs itself “the gateway to the pines” and led to calls for her resignation last month.

“This is how the Deputy Mayor of Tabernacle (a Piney town) feels about Pineys,” one woman wrote on Facebook.

Residents then called for her resignation on April 22, and one town official even alleged her comments about folks in the region were racially charged, according to the local paper, The Pine Barren Tribune.

“She made racial remarks!” Committeeman William Sprague, Jr. said after asking if she could be “fired.”

Stone, who was elected in January, apologized at a public meeting and ultimately resigned earlier this month.

“The reason I left was because I realized I wouldn’t be able to get anything done when it was apparent that people would rather spend more time ridiculing committee members than working together to find solutions to the many issues in Tabernacle,” she told the Inquirer Tuesday.

us news, new jersey, politics, social media, nj deputy mayor resigns over post calling  pine barrens residents – aka ‘pineys’ – ‘inbred imbeciles’

Residents were outraged by a post calling Pine Barrens residents “inbred” and “morons.” facebook/Natalie Stone

“There have been daily posts about me for two months straight.”

She claimed critics had dug up the old Facebook post and launched an online bullying campaign as a result of bad blood over a different civic issue.

Locals’ claws came out, she said, because she voted in favor of demolishing Tabernacle’s 19th-century town hall earlier this year, leading to “uncontrolled uproar” online.

Most of the online wrath was directed at her and “not the two male committee members who voted the same,” said Stone, who has acted in several indie films.

She also said she was reading “New Jersey’s Lost Piney Culture” when she made the post.

The book tackles early misconceptions of Pine Barrens residents, including former New Jersey Governor James Fielder’s assertion that people who live there should be sterilized.

The term “piney” is largely embraced among people born and raised in New Jersey’s unique Pine Barrens, with some even sporting “Piney Power” T-shirts and bumper stickers.

The word, however,  was historically a derogatory way to describe early settlers in the area, which has a large pine forest and sandy, acidic soil unsuitable for traditional farming.

Urban dictionary defines a “piney” as, “a person who lives in the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey and is given to wearing unbuttoned flannel shirts with Lynyrd Skynyrd or Molly Hatchet tour shirts underneath…Known for yelling, “Freebird!” whenever they are in the audience at a live concert.”

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