It could’ve been worse.

It was bad…

I have always been poor. For generations back the Simpson and Gibson clans (along with an assortment of Goatchers, McMasters, and others) have been accurately considered white trash.
We were not always sure where meals would come from, moved almost as often as rent came due, went years without a traditional Christmas, and were all on some form of welfare.
For some, this may be a point of embarrassment after conditioned to believe that savings account balances are accurate assessments of character, or that the rich were favored by God or worked extensively to achieve and became great because they were the most superior specimen the human species had to offer. That the family which achieved was the better family.

…but it could’ve been worse

I never, not for a second, felt alone as a child. There was family everywhere it seemed. Holidays were family reunions with booze and food and the loudest conversations in the history of the world. Most times there was a fight or at least one hell of an argument that was forgotten by dinner or right before anyone left. Grudges were not held as long goodbye hugs. We were white trash, and blood family meant allies, and you needed allies when rich whites didn’t claim you and black people couldn’t.

it was bad…

When I speak at high schools or middle schools there are always a few kids who are labeled as such and are ostracized for it, much as I was at their age, and have never seen an adult openly admitting they have been or are white trash. They feel doomed and assume that anyone labeled like them will fail, which is true more often than not across the country.

However many don’t see the bright side.

…but it could’ve been worse

I have failed multiple times and have been given multiple chances to try again. Mostly because, even though the trash part follows it, the front part of that label is still white. This is America after all, and White Trash are the most American people in America. Some feel they are owed something because they are white and they seem to think that because the rich are mostly white they should be rich too, or that other poor people should wait to get jobs til all the white have one first.

Most of us don’t feel that way, not my people.

My people and I are a part of a bigger picture that so few see. The middle row in a huge family photo, we are lost in the shuffle among those on the edges and can barely see over those down front. We hold little true hope for the future, only dreams. But today is good, and might just last forever, if we can only get enough of anything to last us for today.

it was bad, but it could’ve been worse

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