I knew…

by Elise Lockamy | @warriorlise

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I knew. On October 3rd, I scooped up a (free) morning edition of the Wall Street Journal from the hotel lobby on my way to catch my shuttle to LAX.  During my read, I took note of the following words on the front page.

“The results mark another instance of voters rejecting counsel from their government and the establishment, after the U.K. vote to leave the European Union in June.”

After reading that line referencing the recent voter rejection of a Colombian peace treaty with rebels, I knew that the United States would experience its own “buck” to the establishment.  I didn’t want to believe it, but I knew that Donald Trump would be the next President of the United States.

As much as I love Jesus, I’m not big on that whole Republican kick. So, no, I am not thrilled about Mr. Trump’s election.  However, I am excited to report that alongside the rise of this outside occupier, rises a non-traditional crop of political leaders and decisions that also evidences voter rejection of the status quo.

Kamala Harris is now the junior senator of California.  She becomes the second Black woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate.  The state of Minnesota elected its first Somali-American Muslim female legislator, Ilhan Omar.  And some more states opted to raise their minimum wages. The culture is shifting and if it’s moving toward increased diversity in representation and reduced economic disparity, I’m here for it!

I’ll be watching Mr. Trump’s administration closely.  I know that many of my #woke and #empowered peers will be too.  In fact, I hope we all apply for jobs at the White House, ready to buck the establishment there so that it favors equity.  In the meantime, we gon’ be alright ya’ll.  We gon’ be alright.

The Most Despicable Term I’ve Ever Heard

by Elise Lockamy

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I can hear my mother’s voice now.

“You let her do that to you!  You are not a garbage can! DO NOT ACCEPT TRASH!”

With her words in the back of my mind, I grow disheartened when I hear the term “white trash”. Themes persist in its denotations – backwards, derogatory, disparaging, inferior, rural South, underprivileged, uneducated, and poor.  Google Images of trailer parks, confederate flags, tattooed toothless bearded pot-bellied men, and guests of the Jerry Springer show flood my search results.  The sloth of society.  The meth users. The social service leeches. The ones of questionable hygiene and moral stature.  White trash.

We throw away items that have lost their use and value.  We no longer need the empty peanut butter jar, used aluminum foil, or the comb with missing teeth.  As I stare into my trash can I realize that I, by various means of consumption, have used up the items I discarded until they’re no longer valuable to me.  Is it the same with this perceived underclass?  Have we, the other, positioned ourselves to use up a group of people – in this case poor whites – until they are no longer valuable to us?

I believe “white trash” is a cover-up term.  Those in positions of power and access choose not to acknowledge (the social and public policy failure that is) poverty amongst white Americans and thus relegate them to a disposable sector of society.   We create social labels to categorize and distance ourselves from the other.  In this case, “white trash” is the crab pot.  I firmly believe the wall built to section off poor whites will reveal itself to be a two-way mirror for society’s ruling class.  They too will see their own faces in the faces of America’s poor.