Toby To State: Read Y’All White Trash Okies
(The process for posting comments on Okie Funk's new site is pretty much the same. At the end of each blog, you can click on "log-in" or "register" and give a name (it can be anonymous) and an email address, which is not posted. When you post for the first time, the system will ask you to register with an email. All you have to do is write in your user name and a real email address. There is nothing else. Remember, I'm playing with the design and technical configuration of the new blog.)
Oklahoma’s library poster child Toby Keith has come out with a recent album, and its title is sure to make the “official” intellectual community here proud the musician claims the state as his home.
Library officials, in particular, will be extra proud they selected Keith for a recent poster campaign to promote reading in the state.
Copies of Keith’s “White Trash With Money” should be given out to all Oklahoma school children, many of whom have already encountered Keith in his pornographic pose in the “Read Y’All” library posters plastered throughout the state.
When teachers pass out the free cds maybe they can then begin a discussion on the term “white trash” and its use.
Here is how such a discussion might go:
Teacher: Would someone define “white trash”?
Student: It means an inhabitant of Oklahoma.
Teacher: Okay. Anyone else?
Student: Doesn’t the word “white” in the term “white trash” mean that people of other skin colors are automatically trashy people. Isn’t that racist?
Teacher: Yes, it is racist, but you know we can’t criticize Toby Keith.
Teacher: Because he will put a boot in our . . .ahem . . . bottoms.
I want to put a too fine of a point on it here. The term “white trash” does make a linguistic claim that “white” is somehow special to someone trashy. In other words, the prevailing culture’s language has to qualify “trash” with “white” because it is somehow so unique that a white person could be trashy. I realize the term is commonly used to signify someone without culture, and some may argue the term is not racist. But there are trashy people with all types of skin colors. Why use “white” to modify “trash”?
Whatever your views on this issue, the use of the term “white trash” does conjure up a particular image that Oklahoma should try to avoid. Using “white trash” in the context of an album cover ultimately celebrates a group of uneducated, uncultured white people who tend to be more racist than other groups of people. These people will no doubt validate themselves by buying Keith’s album and celebrating their whiteness and trashiness. These same people would be more likely to listen to racist musicians as well.
What I find most absurd about it is how Keith has become such a big celebrity here in this state. His photograph on the “Read Y’All” posters was borderline obscene and the term deserved to be criticized for branding us with a hick image and vernacular.
And so now Oklahoma’s Ambassador of Intellectualism Toby Keith comes out with his white trash album after his jingoistic, nationalistic album. One song on the older album, “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue” claimed “And you’ll be sorry that you messed with/The U.S. of A./`Cause we`ll put a boot in your ass/It`s the American way.”
Now three years into a botched war under a lying president who believes in Keith’s brilliant foreign policy ideas, things seem a little different, don’t they?
But then a lot of people made millions of dollars and continue to make millions from the Iraq War. Toby Keith is no different. It's the American way under George Bush.