Jonas Wilkerson, a carpetbagger, would naturally marry white trash. Scarlet knew to get rid of his ass… Scarlet, like any self-respecting Southern woman, knew trash when she saw it. Seeing white trash is easy. Grubby footed and dirty-diapered kids running free through the aisles of Wal-Mart. Run down trailers, washing machines on the plywood porch, cars bedecked in primer and rust… one never knew where one ended and the other began. Skinny, thin-armed, not fully grown facial hair, greasy locks, and tattered ball caps (Kid Rock). Meth, sugary cold dranks, Lil’ Debbie snack cakes, and cartons of cigarettes are a white trash’s staples. We know ’em, and love ’em… they make us look better. Rednecks have culture… NASCAR is definitely a culture, white trash have nothing but cigarette stains and anger. Your mom shortened it to just plain “trash”… said in a whispered tone as you were out with her. She would spy them and say it like a cuss word… low and guttural from her mouth. Most have to be born into trash, it’s hard getting that low without being born into it.
Trash aren’t just ignorant… they have a way of being that just speaks volumes about what they are and what they want. Sometimes one expects the kids to be better… an endearing hope that there is a potential contributing member of society underneath the dirt and grime… but quickly the innocent child becomes an angry cur… bristle-haired and bare-fanged. Being reared in that type of life is hard to overcome. Opportunities are hard to come by when your parents don’t possess the idea of bettering the lives of their children. Trash is what trash is. Trash aren’t always poor, trash is also a state of mind. Trash even tries to go to the prom.
Texanna Edwards got barred from attending her prom in Trenton, Tennessee. Ms. Edwards wore a dress that replicated the Confederate States of America Battle Flag. Ms. Edwards knew exactly what she was doing when she attempted to enter her prom (after being warned by a teacher that the dress would be inappropriate) in the dress… Ms. Edwards wanted attention. An expression of Southern “heritage” is her excuse. I don’t know Ms. Edwards’ intelligence level, but I am willing to bet she doesn’t know the difference between the CSA Battle Flag and the CSA’s “national” Stars and Bars flag.
Ms. Edwards is probably smarter than a lot of us give her credit though. She may not have known she was wearing the CSA Battle Flag but she knew why she was wearing an ugly dress. Prom is about getting attention. Parents “ooh and ahh” over their kids’ outfits, grandparents make special trips just to get their picture taken with their dressed-up grandkids… I know because my sister posted a ton of pictures on Facebook of her daughter (my niece) in her prom dress and one of them had my Dad in a ratty US Army veterans ball cap standing proudly beside her. Giving these kids attention is part of the prom pomp and circumstance… unfortunately Ms. Edwards craved just a little bit more. Ms. Edwards now has gotten it… her and that ugly dress have made the news. Some want to argue that it is “just” a dress, but admit it is ugly. Sorry, that isn’t “just” a dress… that is a cry for attention and an attempt to make a little splash. Ms. Edwards you made your splash… now go away.
Some might accuse me of betraying my “Southernness” by thinking she is an idiot and a piece of trash. Question my Southernness all you want, I was raised to recognize trash when I see it. Recognizing trash is a Southern art form. Trash make us want to thank our parents for caring enough to keep our dirty-diapered asses covered when taking us in public.
Then we have trash that comes in a suit and holds a position of authority. Berean Baptist Church Pastor Sean Harris in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is straight-up trash because he is an ignorant ass. Pastor Harris urged partitioners to “man up” and “punch effeminate children.” This amazingly stupid speech was part of a sermon in which Pastor Harris was telling his flock to vote for a North Carolina amendment that would limit the types of domestic unions as valid. North Carolina is the only “Southern” state that doesn’t have a state constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriages. Basically… in the heat of this political speech disguised as a sermon, Pastor Harris decided to inform parents on the proper way to beat the gay out of their kids. I don’t have kids, but I am pretty sure beating their asses is not the most productive way to “straighten” them out. Trash is what trash is.
Supposedly, the wife of the North Carolina Senator who authored this bill told poll workers that it was partially intended to protect the Caucasian race. “The reason my husband wrote Amendment 1 was because the Caucasian race is diminishing and we need to uh, reproduce” is reportedly her exact words. Whether true or not, a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage does sort of smack of bigotry. Trash is what trash is.
Margaret Mitchell was Southern, and she knew that if you were going to write a book about the South… you have to at least mention white trash. Coupling Emmy Slattery with Jonas Wilkerson was her way of identifying the evil of Jonas with the trash of Emmy.White trash doesn’t just come in the form of carpetbags and cigarette stains, it also comes in a prom dress and a pastor’s Sunday suit. Trash is what trash is.