A Field Guide to White Trash

Welcome coastal elites! As the Trump campaign continues to shred its way through the Republican primaries, many of you seem confused and frightened at your sudden realization that another 80% of the United States exists. Don’t worry! The cultural landscape of Middle America may be perplexing at first, but with a little education and effort, you, too, can wrap your head around it.

Rich white people often assume that poor white people are all alike. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and the really rich white people are the ones whose ancestors recognized this early. The assumption that elites like to set poor whites against poor people of color in order to keep both sides down is closer to the truth, but erases the much, much longer history of elites setting poor whites against each other. These days, these cultural conflicts flare up on a smaller scale than they used to — you don’t really see the Italians and the Irish gang-warring it up in Manhattan anymore — but like most downtrodden groups, poor whites often cluster in ethnicity groupings, if for no other reason than that when you don’t have money, it’s hard to move away.

I come from white trash. My mother was the first in her family to go to college; if my dad’s grandfather hadn’t been a doctor, dad might have been the first in his as well. I am also related to a hell of a lot of white trash, some of whom have entered the professional class like my parents and I did, some of whom didn’t. The following list is probably incomplete, but covers the major clusters I’ve encountered; if I missed some, please comment!

We’ll start with my own ethnic group, the Scots-Irish. From the Atlantic seaboard down through Appalachia to the Gulf Coast, the Scots-Irish are everywhere. Poor immigrants from England, like the Hatfields of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, usually get lumped in with the Scots-Irish, as do the Welsh. The Scots-Irish are famous for their love of drinking, fighting, singing, screwing, hunting, not spending money, and child abuse. Scots-Irish grandmothers may look sweet, and many of them are, but don’t cross them or they will end you. Even Scots-Irish men are terrified of them.

Cajuns are white trash with French ancestry. These days they inhabit the Gulf Coast, although originally they were French settlers who got kicked out of Quebec and the Maritimes. (Fun fact: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “Evangeline” is technically about Cajuns.) Cajuns are famous for everything the Scots-Irish are, except with a French accent. They have inherited the French taste for cuisine, and their food is much better than Scots-Irish cooking. (However, don’t tell a Scots-Irish woman this. See above.)

Texas in particular has a large number of Czech-Germans. Germany, Bohemia, Silesia, and Moravia aren’t all that similar culturally, but in the 1800s a lot of German and Czech immigrants ended up in the same places in the South and got along all right. If you’ve been at SxSW this week and wondered where the hell all the German and Slavic place names came from, well, now you know. They’re renowned for their beer and their sausages, and also tend to be avid hunters. A lot of them are Catholic. Much less talkative than the Scots-Irish, Czech-German white trash embody the principle of “it’s better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.” Also, Czech-Germans will never, ever stop feeding you.

Moving north across the Red River, Okies are an interesting example of what happens when you point fifty thousand people of varying backgrounds in the direction of two million acres of land and say “if you live on it, it’s yours.” Oklahoma has been the site of some of the worst droughts in American history, and Okie culture brings with it a healthy conviction that one can live through goddamn anything.

Further north into the Midwest, you run into the Polacks. This is technically a derogatory term for people of Polish descent, though I’ve also heard it applied to people whose Eastern European ancestors came from less well-known countries. In Europe, particularly France and Russia, Polish people are stereotyped as thieves or under-the-table laborers. In the US, you’re more likely to run into the stereotype of “Polish people are unintelligent,” although both continents tend to associate being Polish with being a plumber. Polacks are also the target of a uniquely American type of joke, the Polack joke, which has developed regional variations. In Texas, they’re Aggie jokes instead.

Further north still, in Minnesota and the Dakotas, you get the Scandahoovians. Tall, blonde, chubby, kind of dim and easy to put one over on, but friendly: there’s your stereotypical Scandahoovian. Jokes about Scandahoovians are kinder, on average, than jokes about Polacks; the Scandahoovian is still the butt of the joke, but about half the time, he outwits the Yankee. Scandahoovians will also never stop feeding you, but instead of sausages, it’s casserole and they call it “hot dish.” They’re quiet folks; I’m told this is a survival trait, acquired as a result of having to spend the entirety of winter either at home with your family or ice fishing. (Get into a spat with someone, and you’ll be doing a lot more ice fishing. So they keep things to themselves.)

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Italians. Italians compete with Czech-Germans for keeping you fat and happy, but they’re much more talkative. They also compete with the Scots-Irish for fighting you. I don’t know much about Italian white trash culture; I married into Pennsylvania Scots-Irish, and that branch of family sure loved Italian food and was happy to work with their neighboring Italians, but tended to keep to their own culturally. “Jersey Shore” is where most folks get their stereotypes of Italians these days, and I’m sure it only shows the shittiest, most laughable parts of Italian white trash culture. I’ve made a few Italian white trash friends, and they’re some of the most loyal people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.

If you couldn’t tell, I like white trash. I might be cashed-up these days, substituting “frequent travel” for bling as the obligatory bad habit, but fundamentally I’m still white trash. I am basically okay with this, although it sometimes makes conversations with elites awkward. But it’s okay, elites! It doesn’t have to be awkward unless you make it awkward. And, well, you’ve got one big awkward mess in front of you, trying to figure out why such a great huge swath of the country is cheering for a giant dickwad who just kinda happens to be Lord King White Trash. I hope this taxonomy gives you a better sense of some of the structure of the flyover masses of America that you’ve ignored for so long.

Good luck. You’re gonna need it.

About Meredith L. Patterson

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52 Responses to A Field Guide to White Trash

  1. Part Irish says:

    I feel like you forgot the Irish (not Scots-Irish), another group of poor whites who immigrated heavily in the mid-19th century. More common in the Northeast than anywhere else.


    • How do you draw the distinction? (I haven’t spent much time in the Northeast, so it’s less translucent to me.)


      • Brian says:

        Very different, I think.

        I haven’t had a lot of contact with the poor Scots-Irish, but I associate them with John Wayne and assorted cowboy movies. Northeast poor Irish – of which I am a proud half-descendant – are far closer to actual Irish, since most of us came here much more recently. Definitely not cowboys.

        Think of your average Irish stereotype – singing fighting and drinking songs, then drinking and fighting and falling off the roof – and you’ve got it. If you prefer more literary allusions, think James Joyce instead of James Ellroy,

        The other half of me is poor Italian. And you’re completely right – the Jersey Shore TV show was really just an exaggeration of the worst of the poor Italians, not really even an actual portrayal (or so I’ve been told; I’ve never seen the show). And New Jersey is NOT the epicenter – there are just not enough people there. Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island. That’s where we’re at (I grew up on Long Island).

        I grew up around guidos, and am related to a bunch. They’re definitely they’re own subculture. Think plucked eyebrows, club-hopping, weird club drugs and weird club-friends, lots of steroids, and everyone has an uncle who knows somebody. A lot of claims to mob ties by people who doesn’t actually have any because the mob was pretty much ground out of existence back in the Giuliani years. They’re also a shit-ton of fun.

        Loved, loved the article. Keep ’em coming.


      • Part Irish says:

        Scots-Irish are largely Protestant, largely rural, and largely exist south and west of the NYC metropolitan area. They’re known for, as you said, drinking, fighting, screwing, etc. I would add to that a certain disdain for urban-ness and a higher level of disdain for authority.

        Irish are almost entirely Catholic, largely urban or suburban, and are the ones you see maintaining an affiliation with the currently existing nation of Ireland. They were (are?) a large source of funding for certain groups in Ireland strongly in favor of reunification. Culturally, they also like to drink, etc., but there is a certain catholic-ness to it.


      • JG says:

        Scots-Irish are poor white fundamentalists. Irish are poor-white Catholic. So f*****ing Catholic it will kill you.

        I’m only a descendant of poor-white-Irish. Technically, you could argue that my grandad’s side-business of supply alcohol to Kentucky white-Scots-Irish-trash rum runners made him practically middle class.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. lliamander says:

    Insightful analysis. A couple anthropological questions:
    1. Is Yankee a good catch-all term for coastal elites, or is it just for east-coasters? I.e. what do you call west-coast elites?
    2. What about rural west-coasters? My impression is that many are Oakies who transplanted after one of those droughts you speak of, but I also see quite a few others (Czech-Germans, etc.).


    • Good questions! There’s probably regional variation in the usage of “Yankee.” In Texas it applies not just to coastal elites, but also to anyone from north of the Mason-Dixon line, and I’ve heard that usage throughout the South; to a Mississippian or a Georgian, New Yorkers, Californians, and Missourians are all Yankees.

      The rural West is a lot more jumbled up, due to the migration you describe, and I get the impression that many of its groups are more geographically distributed. (I haven’t spent much time in the west, and it was in coastal cities.) A Facebook friend pointed out that Idaho has English-German white trash, many of whom are Mormon or easily mistaken for Mormon; the Mormons themselves probably also constitute a cluster, although the LDS Church certainly has its elites too.


    • lewy14 says:

      Re: Yankee – no, there’s material variance within that demographic.

      Old Yankees cluster into, very roughly, “Establishment WASP” and “Swamp Yankee”.

      The latter is indeed a thing, and it’s how I identify.


  3. Justin says:

    Um, hello? No mention of the large swathes of white trash in the southwest? The Inland Empire, the high deserts, the wrong side of the rockies in the Pacific Northwest? It’s like we don’t count, just because it’s not a coherent ethnic group.


    • Y’all totally count! But I don’t know the west very well. I’m always interested in learning more, though.


      • Joshua Tolley says:

        I’ve spent most of my life in the west, but only among that segment whose ancestors were polygamists, and a few of those who have held on to Grandpa’s wife collecting habit. Here the lines between rival segments of European ancestry blur, and you end up with something like you described among the Okies. Not only did several generations of our ancestors sit around watching it not rain and waking up to find the last milk cow dead from coyotes, but half the time Dad wasn’t around because he had three other wives in different bits of blighted desert that he had to care for — or perhaps he’d abandoned the lot of them to go chase Potential Wife #5. Which means the whole town had to band together pretty well, or they were all toast. When Dad stopped by, he always did his part in the baby making department, so everyone has seventeen little brothers and sisters, and we started getting creative with names (cf. https://bycommonconsent.com/2016/03/28/mormons-name-their-kids-the-darnedest-things-born-in-2015-edition/, for example). So you’d best be on your toes around us lest you offend Helaman, BryLee, LeVarr, or one of the cousins, because we’ll … well, we’ll probably just lovingly bring you cookies and pester you with false sweetness and inane comments about how much we ‘preciate ya’, until you run away screaming. Bless yer heart…


      • Andy says:

        Speaking for myself and my experiences, here, so don’t take it too seriously. I was born and raised on the wet (West) side of the Pacific Northwest. Raised urban poor in the Portland, OR area mostly. Mother’s side were poor farmers in Willamette Valley (Eugene, OR area) that migrated to Oregon from Kansas during the Great Depression. Now I’m raising my my family as upper-lower class (thanks mainly to an affinity for computers and overpaid government employment) in rural wet Washington.

        Here is what I have observed about the urban white poor in the Pacific NW. We are ethnic mutts. I believe so many ethnic white groups came west and have intermarried that most of us have completely lost our ethnic identity. Ask one of us, “What kind of last name is that?” and you’ll get back, “I’m not sure.” We’re an irreligious folk, and don’t hold to many identifiable traditions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_in_the_United_States). We move around a lot from one community to another for jobs, to get close to (away from) family, or just get bored and want a change of scenery. We get along with just about all other white poor because we don’t recognize any differences. Our prejudices are mostly directed at the small minority of non-whites, or when we feel particularly patriotic, Muslims.

        I have observed that the rural poor are a little different. They are, like the urban poor, indistinguishable from each other. However, there are virtually no non-whites to be “othered” so youths differentiate themselves from poor whites in the other communities. It is mildly amusing to me to see a group of white boys give another group cold stares or shout obscenities at them even though they have the same attire (“Carhart” is a clique, not a clothing brand here) and are perched on identical pickup trucks (compact, lifted, covered in mud) because they are from the next valley over the hill. Adult rural poor tend to “other” some far-away government (state capitol or D.C.) or city folk. You could categorize them as “hillbillies” who come from families of loggers, fishermen, and truck drivers. They tend to raise livestock rather than crops. They differentiate themselves from “rednecks”, the rural poor on the dry (East) side of the Pacific Northwest that are mostly crop farmers, whom I am not very familiar with.

        I would like to point out that most of us don’t think of ourselves as “poor” or “white trash”. Poverty doesn’t come up in our conversations. Our children are catching on to the Internet (broadband really is becoming ubiquitous) and most are starting to carry smart phones. Not all our cars are “beaters” and at least half of us are overfed. I’m guessing compared to other countries our “white trash” would be seen as living like kings. We’re only poor when we compare ourselves to the fancy city folk we see glorified on TV, wearing “city clothes”, driving shiny little cars, and sipping lattes. In summary, I believe the “white trash” in the Pacific NW is its own breed, without clearly identifiable ethnic or religious backgrounds and not as poor as some think we are.


    • I’ve lived in Vegas on and off. I once heard Henderson called Hendertucky. I assumed that implied a large scots-irish presence.


  4. leviriet says:

    I’m a Boston-raised Bay Area born Oxford student with, to put it mildly, limited access to the real world. I pride myself on the fact that, unlike many of my friends, I know multiple people I’m not related to without college degrees and no plans to acquire them. This is not an accomplishment by normal standards. If you have a writeup, or have one that you’d recommend, on making spaces less hostile to people who didn’t go to Ivies, I’d appreciate it.

    In particular, I’m worried about communication that relies on shared media, and I don’t know what to do about it. I can trust that my friends in Boston have some knowledge of greco-roman, norse, and Christian mythology, and as such I can contrast different ideas of leadership and patriarchy between the three to talk about particular people or events or concepts. And that’s the tip of an iceberg that ranges from Hamilton to the West Wing to Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo. It’s not the most important problem, but most of the others that I’m aware of have solutions in the form of “stop being terrible”: I don’t know what to do about shared culture.


    • Brian says:

      You’re right: you have limited access to the real world.

      Stop worrying about safe spaces. Nobody gives a shit. Least of all the people you’re condescendingly trying to “help”.

      If you think that your knowledge of greco-roman, norse and Christian mythology helps you in contrasting practical ideas of leadership, you’re out of your mind.

      If you want, start meeting people outside of campus. If you don’t, nobody cares.


      • Marisa says:

        Huh? I didn’t think this was a serious question, looking for a serious answer. I thought levireit was just being a bit cheeky and playing up the character of “gentle, kind, elite full of impractical learning and idealistic nonsense”. You know, the character the post addresses at the beginning.

        Or maybe I missed the fact that you were being cheeky and playing up the character of “Irish-Italian looking for a fight”?

        Anyhow, re. your earlier comment, I think your differentiation between Irish and Scots-Irish is accurate and important. Two entirely different groups with very different cultural norms.


      • Brian says:

        I hope you’re right – I’d be thrilled if I misread that post. I read it, though, as an elitist non-ironically using safe space jargon. It’s bad enough when limited to hapless college students. It would be intolerable if it were extended to the general populace. It is so belittling and condescending.

        Sorry. Lousy mood, unrelated to this stuff, and this is a happy blog. I promise my future comments won’t be judgmental.

        Liked by 1 person

      • OrkneyOctopus says:

        As a pencil necked college boy who moved to the middle of a corn field and whose nearest neighbors are now mostly cows, my suggestion is to give up trying to make your world safe for the denizens of flyover country, and instead try to join theirs. Developing friends among those with no sheepskin is a good first step. Another good one would be realizing that contrasting ideas of leadership, for instance, appear not only in world mythology but also in sheepdogs and horses. I’m a computer nerd living among farmers, ranchers, and mechanics, and I owe whatever progress I’ve made in the community to acknowledging my day to day profession doesn’t ultimately feed anyone, and by demonstrating a willingness to learn how the real world works. It was a great compliment when a neighbor asked me for suggestions on how to fix her roof, even when I had to admit I had no idea.


    • Simon Penner says:

      I don’t think that communication has to rely on shared media. It makes it easier, but it’s hardly necessary.

      Most human experiences are not that unique. We all have our challenges, our daily events, shared experiences that we’ve all had.

      So you can’t bond over your shared understanding of the classics? How about your shared experience of reveling in nature? Your shared appreciation of delicious food? You shared love of family and friends?

      It might be difficult at first, disorienting. You might not recognize these similarities, because their flavour will be different. But it’s possible. Find these shared experiences.

      Out of my personal life, here’s a freebie recommendation: I suspect that the toxic backroom politics in academia, about who gets tenure track and what direction research in a department goes, is very very similar to the toxic backroom politics in church leadership councils. Ask them about that! I’m sure you’ll find out you’ve got more in common than you think


    • nydwracu says:

      I can trust that my friends in Boston have some knowledge of greco-roman, norse, and Christian mythology, and as such I can contrast different ideas of leadership and patriarchy between the three to talk about particular people or events or concepts. And that’s the tip of an iceberg that ranges from Hamilton to the West Wing to Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo. It’s not the most important problem, but most of the others that I’m aware of have solutions in the form of “stop being terrible”: I don’t know what to do about shared culture.

      High-church redneckitude at least used to exist. There was an expectation that every cracker would have at least a Bible and a book of Plato’s dialogues somewhere on his farm. I was raised in that tradition (maybe not the Bible — mom was a commie, dad was a druid* — but they made me read Walden when I was eight), so it could still be alive.

      * Rednecks get weird too. A girl I knew in college came from a farm in redneck accent country and ended up in some Young Republicans stuff, a group of Wiccans, and the college’s anime club. She started the anime club. By the time she graduated, it had more power in campus politics than the student government. This actually happened. I think she’s a lawyer now.

      The Wiccans hung out at the local goth coffee shop with dragon-worshiping pagans and furries and one dude who collected skulls. In redneck country.

      Then there was the time I visited a friend in Appalachia right after she moved in and her next-door neighbor turned out to read More Right.


  5. Alistair says:

    I’m pretty confused about who you’re counting as white trash. Is it anyone whose ancestors were at some stage poor immigrants to the USA? If your mum went to college and your dad’s grandfather was a doctor, would anyone really think of you as a cashed-up bogan or “fundamentally still white-trash”? Are you using the term in a similar way to how dictionaries define it, or are you redefining it?


    • Virgil says:

      Do you mean to imply that one’s cultural background is erased within two generations of removal from the original conditions? Someone must have forgotten to tell the Czech-Germans. Guess I’ll have to tell them to stop giving me such delicious food.


      • Alistair says:

        Not at all! What makes you think that’s what I’m trying to say? What I’m trying to get at: having ancestors who were poor white immigrants doesn’t make you white trash, at least not in the way that most people seem to use the term.


      • Virgil says:

        She spent at least a paragraph specifying the differences between her and… I guess the best term would be “pure” white trash. Typically, lack of a college/higher education is one indication of status that tends to be applied to white trash, and that was the distinction drawn in the third paragraph.

        “I come from white trash.” != “I am white trash.”


      • Alistair says:

        From the article: “but fundamentally I’m still white trash.”

        Putting that aside, there’s this: “I am also related to a hell of a lot of white trash, some of whom have entered the professional class like my parents and I did, some of whom didn’t.”

        How are people still white trash when they’ve entered “the professional class”?


      • Virgil says:

        ‘From the article: “but fundamentally I’m still white trash.”’
        serving as, or being an essential part of, a foundation or basis; basic; underlying:
        fundamental principles; the fundamental structure.
        of, relating to, or affecting the foundation or basis:
        a fundamental revision.
        being an original or primary source:
        a fundamental idea.

        Funny. I don’t see anything one might confuse as “completely equivalent”.

        ‘Putting that aside, there’s this: “I am also related to a hell of a lot of white trash, some of whom have entered the professional class like my parents and I did, some of whom didn’t.”
        How are people still white trash when they’ve entered “the professional class”?’

        The article was from the perspective of culture. Are you trying to imply that a job change causes an immediate disruption of someone’s cultural upbringing, memes, values, etc? I gotta admit, that’s one hell of a magic trick.


    • jdgalt says:

      I took it as the point of the article that white trash remains trash forever, even if one of them becomes as wealthy as Donald Trump.


      • This is basically how the elite mindset works, yes. Class membership, like fine wine, takes time to age. This is why we have the terms “old money” and “new money”; these are divisions among the moneyed strata. There’s even something of a hierarchy: the Pennsylvania Main Line is “old money” compared to Silicon Valley billionaires, but to the Boston Brahmins, they’re “new money.”

        Having money also isn’t the same as being money. You are money if you don’t need to work, although some people who are money continue to work for other reasons.


  6. Be careful when you mention this term in the presence of Donald Trump https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R1vT87nrUQ#t=5m29s


  7. vendorx says:

    Speaking as midwestern white trash, I don’t think we’ve been ignored. I think many opportunities have been granted us but, sadly, poverty tends to breed ignorance and hostility and as a result most white trash has easily been conned into rejecting meaningful social programs or philosophies to rally instead under the flags of, “hate government, hate blacks, hate gays, hate muslims,” etc. etc. etc. I see it among the voters in my state regularly, people who will eagerly eschew any measure that might help them maintain their homes, find work, build infrastructure, etc.

    In short, these people haven’t been ignored, they’ve done this to themselves by favoring bad candidates and bad policies. Trump is just them doubling down on this, refusing to take responsibility for their own actions or voting records, and electing instead to start punching themselves in the face twice as hard.


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  9. JG says:

    I feel like you are missing a group in here somewhere – the authentically American white trash with no clear ethnic group. This is my husband’s family.

    Key traits – may have once been farmers but now solidly working class and union. No real ethnic identity, may not even be aware of what country their family came from. Family get togethers heavily feature foods without a single green vegetable, fruit only in a jello salad, and little smokies in BBQ sauce. Even funerals. Especially funerals.

    Heavily and almost casually racist in general but not personally. Generous to a fault when you’re in trouble but will hold a grudge over anything when you’re not. Hates Obama. Hates Hilary. Will still vote democrat.


    • Thanks for this! Another one it occurs to me that I left out, in retrospect, is “military,” which has its own cultural markers and I suspect is hopelessly intertwined with non-ethnic white trash.


      • Drang says:

        Those Drill Sergeants spend a lot of time drilling (heh) in the fact that “The only color here is ‘green'” (or “blue”, depends on service.) Marines will make jokes out of the fact that “Jones is a Dark Green Marine”, but the important part is that he is a Marine.

        The key fact about the US Military (for the purposes of this article) may be that the officer ranks tend to be filled by the middle class, and NCOs tend to be from working class backgrounds.
        Lower enlisted come from all segments of society, you get a lot of college boys deciding they want to to do something interesting, dropping out and enlisting for one “hitch.”


  10. Eric Wilner says:

    Another thing about Scandahoovian jokes: as far as I can tell, only Scandahoovians still bother telling them. Which is maybe why they tend to be kinder and better-informed that Polack jokes – it’s almost like the difference between Jewish jokes and Jew jokes.
    Scandahoovians on my father’s side of the family, Scots and Jews on my mother’s side. Such a combination!


    • Interesting! Humor is such a huge part of cultural identity, and it has a lot of transformational power. It reminds me of the notion of ‘reclaiming’ slurs like ‘queer’ or ‘sperg’, but with more semantic flexibility, so it can subvert the trope in a positive way. Humor as covert prestige, possibly?


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  12. chosenbreed says:

    Is it just me or did some of the class-based divides make their way across the Atlantic? 🙂


  13. Rob says:

    As a British person, one of the things I learned growing up was that British society has very clear class divisions, and American society has, if not none, then fewer and smaller such divisions. I now wonder if this is such an advantage for American society, as it would appear that the divisions still exist but are just harder to talk about without a thousand-year history of very explicit class discrimination.


  14. How is “white trash” not a slur like others meant derogatorily toward a group of people based on skin color? Or, is this like people of that group being able to use their own slurs toward one another?


  15. Drang says:

    Lot’s of Czech-Germans in the Upper Midwest, too. German is still the most common ethnic background in Michigan; one of my family heirlooms is a collection of marriage and birth certificates from churches in Detroit, all in German.
    in WWI, the 70th Division was raised in Michigan and Wisconsin and supposedly the Germans cried foul at the antics the German-speaking regiments got up too…


  16. the Pun-Isher says:

    Stubbornness is one of the most wonderful two-edged swords the Celtic community has…as long as you aren’t in earshot of the ensuing argument. I’d like to thank you once again for smacking the SJWs down with cold hard logic and Texan common sense (that heckler’s veto crap is REALLY getting old).

    Domo arigato gozaimasita!

    The fact that you’re also acquainted with Milo over at Breitbart just gives me the giggles – kind of reminds of partying in mixed company back in the U of H days. Feel free to holler the next time you’re down around Houston (although life is really too short to actually live there).


  17. Wyfaggro says:

    I guess my own brand of White Trash would be the Standard American variety. One aunt managed to trace my mother’s side of the family almost back to the Revolutionary War before losing the threads, while my father’s side goes back to well before the war (late 1600s). However, at this point our ethnicity is so mixed we can’t really be considered anything but American. The vast majority of our family does not have college degrees, most of those who do are teachers, which I don’t really count (sorry, Mom. a 2 year degree isn’t really a college education). Very rural people, even the ones who technically live “in town” i.e. not on an actual farm.
    I still refer to myself as a redneck and I don’t really care if other people think that makes me a racist hick.


  18. Roger Ritter says:

    An odd subset of all this are the Italians in Texas. Around the end of the 1800s, a lot of Texas counties decided to build themselves a nice stone courthouse. For this purpose, they imported Italian stonecutters. Once the work was done, though, there wasn’t much call for stonecutters, so they had to shift into other lines of work (those that didn’t just go home). Over time, the successful ones became just “white”, and the unsuccessful ones became “mexican”. By the 1970s, there wasn’t much sign that there had ever been many Italians in Texas (except for all of the nice stone courthouses).


  19. RJ Miller says:

    A link to this article with a census data interactive definitely belongs here:


    Charles Murray predicted the future so many times that I’m really started to wish his critics were right when they’ve accused him of exaggerating trends and correlations.

    Sadly they probably aren’t.


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