White trash is a derogatory American English racial slur referring to poor white people, especially in the rural South of the United States, suggesting lower social class and degraded standards of living. The term suggests outcasts from respectable society living on the fringes of the social order, who are seen as dangerous because they may be criminal, unpredictable, and without respect for authority whether it be political, legal, or moral. The term is usually a racial slur, but may also be used self-referentially by working-class whites to jokingly describe their origins or lifestyle.
It always tickles me when people call me white trash. Clearly the official definition doesn’t apply to me in any way whatsoever, but the slang definition (redneck, hillbilly, etc.) also couldn’t be further from the truth. I wonder, then, what makes them think that calling me white trash would be insulting? Let’s explore this phenomenon.
- Am I white trash because I am overweight? Surely there are no fat rich people. But I can lose weight – you’re ugly on the inside and that will never change.
- Am I white trash because I receive government assistance? Well, here’s the thing – I never did before Poke fucked up our entire life. I never needed it, I never wanted it. I still don’t want it, but I don’t have a choice.
- Maybe I’m white trash because I am a SAHM who runs her own home-based business? Or could it be that I’m white trash because I have a college degree, like everyone else in my families?
- I might be white trash because I don’t spend thousands of dollars on clothing for myself or my children. Because I prefer inexpensive or second-hand clothing, that means I am trashy. It has nothing to do with my disgust at the sheer amount of materials being discarded and piling up in landfills, leaving a mess for future generations.
- Oh, I know! I’m white trash because I come from a middle class family, my parents (both bio and adoptive) all own their own homes, my father makes over $90K per year, and I went to private school my entire life.
- Am I white trash because I occasionally feed my family fast food and/or food from a box, like mac’n’cheese or Hamburger Helper? Well, not so much Helper now that Poke is gone – that shit is gross.
- Perhaps I’m white trash because I have four rescue cats as pets. Everyone knows that white trash have lots and lots of animals roaming around.
- Maybe I am white trash because I live in a trailer in a trailer park? Oh… wait. I live in a house with a fenced in yard in a nice suburban neighborhood. Weird.
- I know! I am definitely white trash because I believe in equality for all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., and I am liberal leaning socialist, and I enjoy having Obama as president, support gun control, love the ACA, and yet I’m still Catholic and pro-life.
- I must be white trash because both my children are physically and mentally/academically ahead of their peers.
- Am I white trash because I drink my wine from a box? Yeah, okay, you’ve got me on that one. That is kinda trashy… but I also like to save money, so I’ll take it.
Overall, I think it’s pretty clear that I am most definitely not white trash. To me, when someone stoops to calling me that, it’s obvious they have absolutely zero fodder for the fight. They say to themselves, “Damnit! That bitch says nothing but the truth! I can’t prove her wrong! What can I do… hmmm… I know! I will call her names. That’ll show her!” It’s all quite amusing. Call me names, insult me, I don’t care. You can say what you want, but I know the truth, and all my friends and family know the truth as well. The only person who is coming off as trashy – and ignorant – is you.