(Ben Sellers, Headline USA) “White trash” has been getting a bad rap lately.
Last week, the term resurfaced in headlines after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., accused the president’s son of engaging in classless behavior over his corrupt influence-peddling schemes.
“Hunter Biden is the biggest piece of white trash in America,” Greene said during an apparent speech for the Hancock County Republican Party in Ohio, which she later posted on Twitter.
The unflattering comparison to the Biden family was but the latest affront to an oft-misunderstood demographic, born into the lowliest of circumstances, that has long withstood the slings and arrows of, basically, everybody else.
Ironically, Greene herself was accused by Bill Clinton’s former campaign manager, James Carville, of dressing like “white trash” after she wore a white fur coat to the Feb. 7 State of the Union address, where she subsequently heckled President Joe Biden.
James Carville: “I have a degree in white trashology. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s definitely white trash. The level of white trash in the GOP is astounding. I’ve never seen it manifest itself like now. Kevin McCarthy isnt white trash. He’s white Jello.” He said it, I didnt!#TheBeat pic.twitter.com/1k6TcVaUs8
— Kenny BooYah! 🖖🏾 (@KwikWarren) February 8, 2023
“I have a degree in white trashology,” Carville said. “Marjorie Taylor Greene’s definitely white trash. The level of white trash in the GOP is astounding.”
In a column Wednesday, Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr reiterated Greene’s charge, noting that Hunter Biden’s attempts to duck child-support payments for 4-year-old Navy Biden—his lovechild with Arkansas ex-stripper Lunden Roberts—constituted more evidence to support the “white trash” claim.
“That’s one of the definitions of white trash—you don’t pay child support,” Carr argued. “You deny paternity, you hide income, you cry poor mouth, you lie on the F.I.D. forms, you lose your gun, you have sex with your sister-in-law, you leave your ID in a rented car along with your crack pipe, when you get jammed up you go into rehab, over and over and over again.”
All of this, however, seems inherently unfair to those who actually qualify as “white trash.”
By definition, the term refers to Caucasian families living below the poverty line, typically in the rural South.
That criteria applies to neither Hunter Biden nor Marjorie Taylor Greene, both of whom enjoyed affluent and privileged upbringings. Greene is co-owner of a construction business started by her father; Hunter Biden’s father somehow became wealthy as a public servant.
But apart from its pejorative use, there is no firm definition about what socioeconomic bracket or behaviors “white trash” refers to specifically.
“The use of the term provides middle- and upper-class whites a means of distancing themselves from the poverty and powerlessness of poor whites, who cannot enjoy those privileges, as well as a way to disown their perceived behavior,” notes Wikipedia’s article on the subject.
Even leftist media like NPR seem to acknowledge, with some surprise, that it is still socially acceptable to scorn and mock so-called white trash, which puts the group in a unique category among the likes of pedophiles—although the latter is fast becoming one of the Left’s latest pet causes.
Yet, if white trash is defined by its contemptible and gauche behavior rather than its extrinsic circumstances, it still seems inherently unfair to lump in those who don’t know any better with those who choose to act accordingly.
Moreover, there is at least one important function that white trash serves in our modern society, which is currently under siege from every angle by Marxist-trained social-justice warriors.
It offers the ultimate exculpatory evidence against accusations of “white privilege” and systemic racism. Those concepts—promoted by Critical Race Theory—stem from the perversion of Karl Marx’s original notion of a class struggle that ultimately leads lower-class proletariat masses to topple the existing power structure.
Because such a prospect had little appeal for the CRT-peddlers in elite academic institutions and limousine liberals on Capitol Hill, it was necessary to bring at least some of those oppressed masses—the minorities—into their own camp.
Leftists promise to right the wrongs of social injustice, but only for certain marginalized identities (including some voluntary, lifestyle-based ones) that check the right boxes. Doing so helps ensure that those currently in power can, more or less, remain that way while avoiding bloody revolution.
As for the rest, lower-class whites who have nobody left to ally with or advocate for them make a convenient scapegoat on whom to pin all of the failings of the ruling class.
But so long as there is a category of whites who are universally reviled—on equal or lower footing than the lowest of any minority sub-strata—there can be no convincing case made that skin tone carries with it any underlying benefit.
If the pillars of American democracy are somehow able to withstand this vicious onslaught, then we can thank our sturdy foundation of white trash for continuing to prop us up.
Ben Sellers is the editor of Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/realbensellers.