What is White Trash?
Note: This article is definitely NOT politically correct. You may be offended, you may disagree, and you may even laugh, but probably not all at once. In any case, try to read this as it was meant, -- as a satire, interspersed with a lot of sarcasm. The author is not a racist, satanist, redneck, or a member of any 4-H club. Note that this document is slanted and stereotypical, and is only meant as examples not uncommon to people that could be referred to as white trash even by others in their own communities.
The term White Trash is slang used as a disparaging term for a white person or white people perceived as being lazy and or ignorant. The phrase has been intended to refer contemptuously to cosmopolitan socialites (often in the phrase ‘International White Trash’). Some Australians are also called white trash.
White Trash in an informal sense, is a pejorative term often used to describe relatively uneducated white Americans with bad personal habits in a typically low socio-economic class. The term is often directed at those who are not necessarily happy with their economic
status, but do not attempt to better themselves through education or hard work. The term implies a lack of education and social refinement, and some people might argue that the term belongs to a category of insults focusing on behavioral characteristics (e.g., mannerisms, lifestyle) rather than overt racial characteristics.
Here is an example of who could be considered white trash:
- A person who chains the dog in the front yard, instead of the back yard.
- A person who works on their vehicle in the front yard, instead of the garage (considering that they even have a garage).
- A person who puts the trash in the front yard, and may burn it rather than taking it to a dump.
- A person who chews gum for purely for the purpose of making cracking sounds (noisy and quite disturbing).
White Trash in the American popular media is stereotyped as uneducated, lazy, vulgar, and showing little respect for authority or social norms. White Trash is often, though not always seen, as politically conservative.
Males are perceived to be white trash if interested in stereotypically "manly or macho" things, such as motors ports, tattoos, body piercing (late 1990’s), hunting and guns, chewing or smoking tobacco, alcohol, cheap beer and cheap, meaningless sex. They tend to avoid anything that could be considered classy, tasteful or girlish, such as fine art, ballet, or even fine food.
Females, perceived to be White trash usually have tattoos, and body piercing (late 1990’s), and are very aggressive in their social behavior.
1819--This term is often offensive and relates to a member of an inferior or underprivileged white social group.
1831--This term functions as a noun singular but plural in construction
1850-55 -- America – White Trash is slang for disparaging and offensive remarksto members of the class of poor whites, especially in the southern U.S.A. or poor whites collectively and contemptuously, to white people in general. This term coined by black speakers in the mid-19th century to refer to their neighbors, either pejoratively or ruefully and, it was also used by whites into the late 20th century. Another thing is it is often used with connotations of degeneracy and unpleasantness.
"1856-- Olmsted Texas [Bartlett]. In social relations, the Negroes are sensitive to the overbearing propensities of a proprietary who are accustomed to regard all white neighbors out of their own class as white trash.
1856--Stowe, of all the prizen critters that I know on, these ere mean white trash is the prizenest. They ain’t got no manners and no bringing up. Ibid., 1. 276, ‘The fact is,’ said Mr. Gordon, what with niggers, and overseers, and white trash, my chances of salvation are dreadfully limited.’
1866--Atlantic, xviii, 84. Tain’t no use honey; you don’t pear to take no int’res’ in yer own kith and kin, no more dan or’nary white trash."
During the 1980’s and 1990’s, many television sitcoms were developed featuring white trash families or characters. Some of these included:
Married with Children
Karla and Woody from Cheers
Roseanne, Grace Under Fire
Unhappily Ever After
King of the Hill
Grounded for Life
"The Drew Carey Show"