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Poll: "White Trash"

Please respond with a simple "yes" or "no" to this question.

Is the phrase, "white trash," when used angrily to describe a person or a group of people, a racial slur?

A person on my FB newsfeed used this phrase to describe certain Americans and when I and others asked her to edit the remark, because we didn't think it had a place in the public square, she and others refused and defended the phrase. I am curious to see what people here think.

Re: Poll: "White Trash"

  • I'm white and don't take it as a racial slur. 
  • No
    HeartlandHustle | Personal Finance and Betterment Blog  
  • name calling yes, racial slur no
  • To me, it depends a bit on who is saying it.  If a white person uses it, a very rude phrase, but I don't think they're racist against their own race.  However, if the person using it is not white, than it starts getting into racial slur territory for me.  Because they are referencing the race of somebody who is a different race from them.

    I'll give an example.  I'm white, but live in a city that is 80+% black.  If someone who was black was annoyed at me and called me "white trash" in an angry tone.  That would most definitely feel like a racial slur to me.  It wouldn't if they were white or if it was said by someone I know in a joking tone.

    With that said, the phrase "white trash" usually strikes me more as a derogatory comment about someone's financial means.

  • csuave said:
    name calling yes, racial slur no
    This sums up my feelings as well.
  • Thanks for your feedback everyone. My feeling is that while it isn't a racial slur necessarily when used from a white person to another white person, it does contribute to the overall racism/racial language trouble we have in our nation.

    I wasn't sure either, but I did look it up in a few dictionaries online. Many used words "racial" to describe it as well as "derogatory." Sadly, I also came across an entire dictionary of racial language broken down by races and then alphabetized. "White trash" is in it and is considered racial and inappropriate for societal use.
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