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Reply #3: A Literary Explanation [View All]

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rwenos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-16-07 12:58 AM
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3. A Literary Explanation
Edited on Sun Dec-16-07 01:01 AM by rwenos
If you've ever read Harper Lee's marvelous novel, "To Kill A Mockingbird," about the small town South in the 1930's, you would get a good explanation of "Poor White Trash." The term referred then, and I think still does refer, to the Bob Ewells of the world. Bob Ewell, a poor white man -- and his daughter Mayella, who made a ridiculous trumped-up rape charge against an African-American man, which resulted ultimately in his death -- were "Poor White Trash."

I'm no sociologist of the American South, but I think the term refers to rural, poor Caucasians, most sharecroppers or other landless and asset-less. The bottom of the economic ladder, in the Caucasian community. The group who have historically felt, in their economic insecurity, that they needed to feel "better" than SOMEONE, and thus fixated on keeping African-Americans down.

These "Poor White Trash" were looked down on by the established Caucasian bourgeoisie as low-life, uneducated, rural, morally-defective.

On edit: This group were loyal members of the Roosevelt coalition, from 1933 until 1980. Then Ronald Reagan told them it was okay they hated everyone with more economic success than they. That made them become Republicans. Welcome to the "New South."

Anyone else have a better working definition?
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