When a guest or host appears on a show like "Politically Incorrect" and derides a category of people by race, that's entertainment. ...But were the host to blanketly ridicule low-income minorities, that's hate speech...
Try it. Substitute "black trash" for "white trash." After all, a disproportionate number of blacks appear on these tabloid shows. Frankly, by not calling black guests "black trash," aren't we suggesting blacks who appear on "Springer" represent mainstream black America? Now that's insulting.
Picking on, demeaning, and ridiculing whites is OK. But by demeaning any group by race, we open the door and grant permission to demean others.
Bottom line, either race-based insults are offensive or they're not. Pick one.
So it was decidedly tacitly, by the culture, that it was somehow their fault for being so poor and backwards, and it became (or rather, remained) acceptable to mock them for being dirty, inbred, uncultured hicks...
...But not many people truly stop to think about how Billy Bob from Appalachia and Darrell from the Marcy Projects have exactly equal chances of becoming wealthy - roughly zero. And yet, since we've recognized some of the very real forces working against Darrell, it's (correctly) seen as uncouth to hold him responsible for being all poor-like, and maybe even for acting in ways we wouldn't approve.
It's not an insult to whites so much as it is an insult to blacks.
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