Sistah Diaries

Finding the humor in chaos

You can’t call Trump offensive and then use the term “uneducated whites”

This has been the most bile-inducing election since I’ve been old enough to vote. Through it all, I’ve bitten my tongue and respected the passionate beliefs and stances on both sides. Outside of a couple of funny videos, I didn’t personally post anything on Facebook about the campaign, the election or the candidates.

But in the aftermath of the election, I have finally reached my breaking point. I have to speak out on the usage of the term “uneducated whites.” (Let me be clear – I didn’t support either candidate. Let’s get that out of the way, before I’m accused of being an “uneducated white.”)

Please, my beloved fellow citizens of these United States, do not criticize Trump out of one side of your mouth for being offensive and divisive, and then say he was elected by “uneducated whites.” I find that term highly offensive and here’s why…

I’m an “uneducated white.”

I’ve also, throughout my lifetime, held positions that typically require a degree: Writer, editor, publisher, office manager, marketing director and SCHOOL TEACHER. All without a degree. And I’d be happy to show you a list of references of people who can attest to the fact that I performed these duties as well as any “educated white.” In fact, I have glowing reviews from previous employers anytime I need to list them as references.

I performed the same duties as an “educated white,” but I have always been compensated as an “uneducated white.” This is why I insisted that my kids attend college – not so they’d be more “enlightened” or “intellectually superior,” but so they would be fairly compensated for their efforts.

In my personal experience, when you are an “uneducated white,” you have to work extremely hard and be incredibly creative to prove that you are worthy of the same opportunity as someone with a degree. You have to be clever, diligent and determined – all things that are not taught in college textbooks. Ask Ted Turner, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs (God rest his soul), Mark Zuckerberg and Ralph Lauren — all “uneducated whites” — or “uneducated billionaires,” if you prefer.

I have contributed to three college educations – I paid household bills while my ex went to engineering school, and saved both of my kids thousands of dollars in room and board while they attended college, by letting them continue to live with me for free. So while I’ve assisted three other American citizens in getting a degree, I remain an “uneducated white.”

We’ve been electing solid presidents long before this election, and since our country was founded by immigrants, how many of those early presidents were elected by “uneducated whites”? What if the other candidate had won, and people dared to say that she had been elected by “uneducated minorities”? Can you begin to see how terribly offensive this is? Can you see that it’s not OK to call Trump offensive and divisive and then say he was elected by “uneducated whites”?

My grandfather had an eighth grade education and became a general in the Air Force. My other grandfather served in the Navy during World War II and was offered the G.I. Bill when he got home to attend college for free. He didn’t take it because he already had a wife and a son. He had to go to work. He didn’t have four years to get a degree, even if it was free. He had mouths to feed. My grandfather was one of the smartest people I’ve ever known, but he would be viewed today – despite his bravery, loyalty and patriotism – as an “uneducated white.”

I think this passage – from an article written by (self-described) liberal elitist Garrison Keillor in the Washington Post – was my tipping point…

The Trumpers never expected their guy to actually win the thing, and that’s their problem now. They wanted only to whoop and yell, boo at the H-word, wear profane T-shirts, maybe grab a crotch or two, jump in the RV with a couple of six-packs and go out and shoot some spotted owls. It was pleasure enough for them just to know that they were driving us wild with dismay — by “us,” I mean librarians, children’s authors, yoga practitioners, Unitarians, bird-watchers, people who make their own pasta, opera-goers, the grammar police, people who keep books on their shelves, that bunch.

He closes by saying, “Let the uneducated have their day.”

Maybe grab a crotch or two, jump in the RV with a couple of six-packs and go out and shoot some spotted owls??? Geez that sounds a lot like the gross generalizations we hear when ignorant people talk about women, minorities and the LGBT community.

I’m an uneducated white. I live in a rural area (another thing being highly condemned right now). I’ve never grabbed a stranger’s crotch, I don’t own an RV, and I wouldn’t know what a spotted owl looked like if it swooped down and pecked my face. It’s interesting to note that I HAVE been accused of being the “grammar police” and that I have shelves – with books on them. Gasp.

The point is this – a college education doesn’t somehow make you more enlightened or intellectually superior. It doesn’t make you more capable of casting a carefully considered vote. And in the case of Mr. Keillor – who we have to assume is highly educated – it doesn’t safeguard you from being ignorant.

 

Kat Hobza

Kat Hobza

Festis and Festina's mom, Mateo's lady-friend, web mistress, mediocre fly-fisherwoman, sub-par golfer, brilliant dancer, expert whiskey drinker, professional smart ass and Media Empress/HBIC at sistahdiaries.com.
Kat Hobza

5 Comments

  1. Merlin

    Hallo, (sorry if my english is not good. I am from Europe)
    The problem is that some people don’t understand what is important in life and in our world. There is a difference to believe a candidate to what he says. I think it’s not a good idea to just believe what Trump says. I support none of them (Trump or Hillary). I actually thought that Bernie was the best but anyway. Uneducated in a weird word to use in this situation. You can still find facts about these candidates even if you are uneducated or less educated or whatever. There are people thinking that they’re so smart, but do the most stupid things so it does not mean that when you have high education that you are necessarily smarter then others. You just have an other intelligence. I am not high educated but a normel education (difficult to explain).

    The most that worries me is that Trump does not see the climate change and he says that it does not even exist which I disagree with him. He wants to use the money for more buildings and stuff. well maybe it’s good for america and the jobs, but meanwhile the climate change continues getting worse. It’s time to get more attention for it, but now the hope is almost gone…. I hope he will change his mind. I just needed to share this. btw, if you don’t believe me about the climate change.. just search it. It’s actually just logical sense.. the climate changes and that is not always a problem, but because we live a life that can be problem with the climate chance.

    About the racism…. yea it actually does not surprise me that he uses that to get people to him. He knows that people are angry at the politics and at some people. He uses it to win, but Hillary uses other to win as well. Actually they are both bad and that made the choice very hard. Even though I don’t live in America, I have seen Trump a lot on television which was weird because it was not even important to show on the news. I always ask myself “why does this happen?” The media decides so much and it’s scary. There are much other things that are weird on this election but it’s going to be a too long story already so.

    Reply
  2. Caring Hillary Supporter

    Uneducated means high school degree or less. Statistically it is defined and a fact. Just like LGBTQ+ is a category and Black, Asian, Hispanic is a category. Trump calls you “working class” but he means uneducated. It is how politics works, you get a category of people to like you. You elected a man who lumped you into a category and played on your fears. Statistically, uneducated white people elected him. It is completely different to compare uneducated to the vile things Trump has said about Mexican Americans, Hispanics, Muslim Americans, women, Black Americans. These groups of people experience discrimination every single day for something they were born with. That daily pain and violence far out weights your high school or less category, something you could change any day by enrolling in classes. Have compassion and empathy for what people of color and other minorities are suffering through right now. A man abused them and then got elected president. To ignore that hate and violation makes you just as evil as the bully.

    Reply
  3. Kris McCullough

    Well said!

    Reply
  4. Sarah

    I think there is a false assumption that education refers to formal education, and that uneducated therefore must mean lacking a college degree. No one has actually said that. If you’ve spent your life educating yourself via exposure to diverse, viewpoints, and cultures…if you spend your free time reading…if you seek out opportunities to learn …I think you are wrongly categorizing yourself uneducated. Self-selecting a name (and in this case a misnomer) is no one’s issue but your own.

    Reply
    1. Kat Hobza (Post author)

      I respectfully disagree. Post-election, “uneducated whites” is a term used to define people lacking a college education. A public education through 12th grade (or the equivalent) is federally mandated. Therefore, we can assume that all voters have at least that level of education. I didn’t self-select the name. Media outlets are saying (please google on your own to confirm) that Trump won because of uneducated white males. My point was not to dissect the meaning of uneducated, or to incorrectly label myself as such. My point was to demonstrate that those who call Trump offensive need to realize that the term “uneducated white” is also offensive and insulting. Thank you for reading!

      Reply

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