Racism or Classism - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Which would the term "white trash" fall under? My inlaws and I are having a debate.

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#2 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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Both.
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#3 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 10:36 AM
 
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Classism.
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#4 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 10:37 AM
 
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My first thought is classism.

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#5 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 10:46 AM
 
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My first thought is classism too, because the insultive part is their economic status, but I realized that its racist too because the term itself implies that being white in that economic class is really lowering yourself, whereas it is not unexpected for a non-white person. Otherwise, wouldn't the term just be 'trash?' So both.

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#6 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 10:46 AM
 
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until there are no longer first class and second class citizens of any nation, everywhere is war.

oh and to answer the question. both.
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#7 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 10:47 AM
 
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Classism.

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#8 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 10:54 AM
 
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My first thought about how I was going to respond when I first read this post was going to be Classism. But then I got to thinking about it and noticed the "WHITE" part of the "white trash".

I would definetly have to go with them both. You are labeling one by color and you are also labeling one by class. Does this make any sense?

Therefore, you both are right either way you look at it!
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#9 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 10:59 AM
 
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I've hear the term used to describe vulgar, tacky and/or immoral white people of all socio-economic groups. You can be rich, live in a McMansion, drive a Hummer, wear tacky bedazzled faux fingernails, stand out in the yard in a toob top cussing the kids with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and be considered white trash.

I think it's racist.
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#10 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 11:00 AM
 
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It's classism, and slightly racist as well. Not so much towards whites, though, as indirectly towards other races.
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#11 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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Both.

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#12 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 11:16 AM
 
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I think it's both, but usually heavier on the classism, lighter on the racism when I've heard it used IRL.
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#13 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RBinTEX View Post
I've hear the term used to describe vulgar, tacky and/or immoral white people of all socio-economic groups. You can be rich, live in a McMansion, drive a Hummer, wear tacky bedazzled faux fingernails, stand out in the yard in a toob top cussing the kids with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and be considered white trash.

I think it's racist.
I agree that I hear it for all socio-economic groups but the context is usually along the lines of "they may have money but deep down they're still nothing but white trash" so I'd have to say more classist.

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#14 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 12:01 PM
 
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It's classist as well as racist toward people who aren't white. The implication being that one has to qualify trash with "white" to distinguish it from trash in general.
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#15 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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I interpret it as a classist term, but can see it as racist as well.
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#16 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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Both. The implication is that the person is "trash" for being poor and that it's either somehow unexpected for that race (as if a non-white person would be "trash" regardless of socioeconomic status) or that it IS expected for that race (well of course she's trash, she's white!)

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#17 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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both, leaning to one or the other depending on how it's used.
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#18 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 01:49 PM
 
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both.

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#19 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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My mind goes to Racist first. But it is also classist.
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#20 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 02:45 PM
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both. trash would be the classist part. the racial modifier does sort of imply a subtle racism though.
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#21 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 02:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
My first thought is classism too, because the insultive part is their economic status, but I realized that its racist too because the term itself implies that being white in that economic class is really lowering yourself, whereas it is not unexpected for a non-white person. Otherwise, wouldn't the term just be 'trash?' So both.
Good point, I never thought about it that way before.
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#22 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 02:50 PM
 
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classism

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#23 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 02:59 PM
 
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Both.
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#24 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 03:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymoo View Post
My first thought is classism too, because the insultive part is their economic status, but I realized that its racist too because the term itself implies that being white in that economic class is really lowering yourself, whereas it is not unexpected for a non-white person. Otherwise, wouldn't the term just be 'trash?' So both.
This, exactly.

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#25 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 03:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Individuation View Post
It's classism, and slightly racist as well. Not so much towards whites, though, as indirectly towards other races.
yup.
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#26 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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Both. The classism part is obvious. The racism part IMHO is twofold. First, by specifying "white" it implies that people of other races are by default "trashy." Second, the term "white trash" actually started out referring to white people (in the Appalachians and the West) who mingled in some way with blacks and Indians, whether through intermarriage or living in the same community or so forth. It's a toned-down version of "n-word lover." It also is VERY commonly used against biracial white/Indian people. It is thusly that I am FAR too intimately familiar with it. Hate it.
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#27 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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It is classist, but also racist, since you have to specify that it is "white" trash, versus black people or latin people or whomever, who are automatically assumed to be trash by virtue of their race. This phrase either confirms that or implies that people of color are trash and only the poor white folk are trash, whereas non-poor white folk are not. That's how it's both.
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#28 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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I say both.
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#29 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 04:18 PM
 
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Not sure if anyone posted the Wikipedia entry yet or not, but here they are saying both, too.

Quote:
White trash is a racist slur with a classist component targeted almost exclusively at non-Latino white people and connoting low social status or poor prospects (i.e., downward mobility) or lack of education. To call someone white trash is to accuse a white person of being economically, educationally or culturally bankrupt.
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#30 of 30 Old 05-04-2007, 04:26 PM
 
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Classism, and to a lesser degree racism.

I'm writing a paper right now on environmental classism and racism.
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