I just had the most interesting conversation with a black man, about several things really, but one in particular I thought I'd share. We started talking about my book, and he asked me the title. When I told him "Southern Fried White Trash," he was mortified and said "Please, anything but that." It puzzled me.
I couldn't for the life of me understand why that title would offend a black man. Then he explained to me that, coming from a background in which stereotyping and name-calling were givens, he thought calling anyone "white trash" must be terribly offensive. I get that. I do. Just as I am horrified to hear one black person call another the "n" word (see? I can't even type it, it so offends me), he doesn't like the term "white trash."
I tried to explain to him that, just as the "n" word is used as a term of endearment among blacks and is therefore not offensive at all COMING FROM ANOTHER BLACK PERSON, sort of the same is true when a white person calls another "white trash." As I have pointed out in the book, real white trash people are as proud as can be to be called "white trash." The only people whom I can think of that might be offended would be whites who really aren't white trash, but have been called that anyway.
Wow, I do believe racism is pretty much eradicated from our society, but I am reminded every now and then that color words are still loaded guns when pointed at people here in America.