Date: Wed, 24 Aug 1994 17:42:45 -0700 From: Judith Rascoe 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 trash."