Is the term “white trash” racist?
A few years ago my knee-jerk answer would have been; no, of course not. Then I tutored several black students and my response changed. One of the students remarked on how humorous it was that white folks were calling each other “white trash” on Facebook. She asked me to explain it and immediately understood the stereotype. She seemed satisfied after explanation and we left it at that.
A week later I realized what had me so un-nerved about that situation; if they are trash, what the hell does race have to do with it? Just call them trash! In other words, why specify they are white unless it is assumed that all other races are trash already.
So, that is what I use now as a blanket term for trashy people - trash.
Is there any evidence that “white trash” is intended to carry some racist element?