Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dave Poehlman, Dec 20, 2002.
I liked "JC and the Sunshine Band" the best!
Off topic -- I've always wondered: Is "White trash" considered a racist term? (To other races.)
I've heard people use it in mainstream conversation, and it doesn't seem to raise many eyebrows. (Jay Leno could probably say it in his monologue with nary a complaint.) As you never hear about "Black trash" or "Hispanic trash," the term seems to imply that other races are all trashy but for whites one must differentiate between the trash and non-trash. Otherwise, wouldn't you just refer to someone as simply "trash"?
Maybe someone can trace the origin of the phrase?
I live in SouthEast Georgia and I split a gut. I wish Brian's post wasn't relevant anymore, and it may only happen when Brian and others don't THINK to jump and make such posts... Carr on...
download the album from Bob Rivers site at www.twistedtunes.com some great suff on there.
Brian Perry wrote:
The new rule seems to be: it's okay to make fun of members of the American "founder groups": WASPs (what used to be called "old Americans"), Germans, Dutch, Scandinavians, and the like (but not any of the Catholic ethnic groups, for example). And that's because these remain, despite all denials, the prestige groups in the society. Say what you will about any of those groups and it really doesn't matter, since, according to the underlying social ethos, there's really nothing inherently bad about being one of "them".
The outsider groups, the marked groups, especially racial groups, are an entirely different matter, however.
Back to your topic . . . .
Actually, the disparaging descriptor 'white trash', circa 1831, has modified forms, expanding it's use to include races other than "founder groups" comprising the citizenry of the United States. One can find 'Hispanic trash', 'black trash', 'Asian trash', and other variations thereof used presently in various dialects, both comedic and non-comedic. Thusly, 'white' has simply become an adjective modifying 'trash' in it's use and has no underlying social ethos attached to it in present day English. Rex's assertions are consequently rendered antiquated when pertaining to the example cited in this post.
I was thinking along the same ideas and actually was surprised to see you all discussing it here.
Other than the bold statement white trash (which I have never heard anybody complain about) has anybody noticed that commercials, if they want to make someone look like an idiot, will always use a man and he will probably be white.
Still, theres no complaining. Strange. Its almost like its expected and we "deserve it". If it were a woman being mocked the fems would have an uproar and all hell would break loose just as, I'm sure, human rights would label it discrimatory if it was a visible minority. But never with whites.
Its just something I noticed in the last few years or so. It doesn't bother me and actually I could careless. I don't take offense too easily and I get called a "cabbage cruncher" all the time by my friends (look at my where the origins of my last name come from and you will understand) I think its funny. Am I "allowed" to call myself that? Are you "allowed" to call me that?
I will quite writing before I get myself into trouble
Michael, If surnames are any indication of origin, our origins appear to be from the same region. Is it then fair, using Rex's summation, to assume that we may utter disparaging remarks towards one another without fear of hurting one another's feelings, given the probability we comprise members of the same founder group, or does the fact that you live in Canada negate that assumption?
I appologize for all of the edits, and I am sorry if any posts show up on someone's E-mail account each time I edit a previous one. In all honesty, I have extremely limited interest in the current debate. I am simply using this thread to hone my writing skills, as Rex's eloquent post prompted me to do, and it is time I quit before I ruffle any feathers. I worked the night shift last night, so I was feeling frisky. It's off to bed...... By the way, thank you Dave for the link. It is a rather humorous cartoon IMHO.
James I'm not quite sure what its like in the U.S. but when someone here in Canada asks whats your nationality people will usually respond by saying their origins, in my case German with some English. Smartasses respond by saying Canadian and although this is true of all of us its never quite what the person meant when asking. Using Rex's assumptions living in Canada should not negate this because Germans are one of the founding (WASP)groups here too. I may be German Canadian and you may be German American but both our ancestry came to the new world for probably the same reasons. So does this put us on a level playing field? And to quote Rex:
Good point Jagan but you know what I mean
I'm sure that some very uptight PC white people would view it as a racist remark similar to Cracker or Honkey etc. It is just a sign of PC run amok, I hate PC and wish it had never been invented. Someone will ALWAYS be offended by something someone else says or does. So what. Get tougher skin. I find nothing offensive about it.
Michael Hein wrote:
James R. Geib wrote:
. . . it is time I quit before I ruffle any feathers.
Actually, the disparaging descriptor 'white trash', circa 1831, has modified forms, expanding it's use to include races other than "founder groups" comprising the citizenry of the United States.
One can find 'Hispanic trash', 'black trash', 'Asian trash', and other variations thereof used presently in various dialects, both comedic and non-comedic.
Thusly, 'white' has simply become an adjective modifying 'trash' in it's use and has no underlying social ethos attached to it in present day English. Rex's assertions are consequently rendered antiquated when pertaining to the example cited in this post.
white has always been an "adjective modifying trash" in the expression white trash. Where here has it been said or implied differently? However, the issue at hand is that of the total "expression" white trash. That is what linguists call a collocation, where words are fit together to form a fixed phrase whose meaning transcends the individual or the collective meanings of all its parts put together (a lexicalization worthy of a separate dictionary entry).
white trash is most definitely such a collocation and very definitely has an underlying social ethos attached to it. The biggest reason "black trash", "Hispanic trash", "Asian trash", and so on---all secondary and analogically formed to white trash---do not work as humor in the wider society---I don't know about "old-boy" networks---is that they do not connote the fundamental discrepancy perceived (guess by who(m)?) to exist between one's race, or "ethnicity", and one's worth or value, as the original most certainly does. If you're "white trash", you may be "white" and you may be "trash" (however defined), but you're not deemed to be trash intrinsically by the mere fact that you're white.
Like all humor, this works on the principle of discrepancy, the distance between the ideal and (that which is perceived to be) the real. In this instance, whites (however one defines that term) are necessarily inherently---or should I say "intrinsically", instead?---NOT "trash" (a fundamental tenet of "Western civilization"), so it becomes "fun" to suppose that some whites are so, despite their race, not because of it. The copy-cat terms don't at all have the same effect simply because the underlying social ethos---and, yes, there definitely is one---does not necessarily disconnect the two (race and personal value) in the socially marked groups (nonwhites).
If that sounds "PC", too bad. A collocation is a collocation is a collocation. They exist in any given language system to represent the fact that the pertinent culture itself has special categories, whether it be categories of things or, as here, of people with differing social status. (A fact.)
You want to know what's "antiquated" here? It's the idea that you have any solid knowledge of the way language works.