Date: Wed, 24 Aug 1994 17:42:45 -0700

From: Judith Rascoe boise[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]WELL.SF.CA.US

Subject: Re: What is a Racist Term?

"Racist term" seems like a useful phrase, defined as an insulting epithet

used by a member of one race or ethnic group to refer disparagingly to a

member of another group. In this sense I guess "poor white trash" is only a

'racist term' when the speaker is non-white. But I also agree that the

PWT is not racist per se since it is also often used by high-status

whites talking about low-status whites.

One interesting aspect of PWT, it seems to me, is that it has almost no

joking or affectionate connotation. There are examples of racist terms that

are very insulting if used by outsiders but are often tossed around

teasingly and even warmly inside the group. But I've never heard anybody

refer affectionately to himself, his friends or family as "poor white