there is much debate to the origins of the word, but one fact is known. the term in no way shape or form came from anything having to do with raccoons! get it through you heads people! it morphed from a phrase in cajun french. those who are poser cajuns, of acadian decent but grew up in the city and think their shit don't stink, think of it as an ethnic slur no matter the context in which it is spoken. other cajuns that still have a sense of humor, see the name as a badge of honor except when uttered by a fucking red neck. then it becomes a racial slur.
def. - a person typically of Acadian decent that grew up in the rural areas of what is now known as Acadiana that doesn't make apologies for his simplistic lifestyle nor does the coonass put on heirs simply to satisfy the sensibilities of others. also, coonasses believe rednecks look and sound stupid.
as a badge of honor:
You could tell that Fontenot boy was a real coonass by the way he grabbed that logger head and flipped him in the boat!
as a slur:
Stuuuupid coooonaasss, he prolly taint never hear thaat theys other food than riiiiice and graaaavy.