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Trailer Trash Fantasy League

By Sikivu Hutchinson

It’s always been the secret wish of people of color to play down home Deliverance-style crackers in a special trailer trash fantasy league like those Civil War enactment confabs where white men get off on pretending Dixie never died.  Better still, it’s always been my personal ambition to enact a trailer trash fantasy league at a public school as an official observation of authentic white culture.

Weeks after Anaheim—home to Disneyland, i.e., the “happiest place on earth”— was still reeling from a series of police shootings in the Latino community, the city’s predominantly white Canyon Hills High celebrated its fourth annual “Seniores and Senioritas” day for graduating seniors.  The day featured white kids sporting sombreros, sagging pants, gang paraphernalia, ICE and Border Patrol gear as well as girls with fake pregnant bellies pushing baby strollers.  The racist display was only shut down due to the activism of 19 year-old Jared Garcia-Kessler, a former student who was told to “get a sense of humor” when he initially complained to a school official.

Anaheim and Orange County (the “O.C.”) have long registered in the American popular imagination as sun-kissed playgrounds for white Middle America.   Despite having a predominantly Latino and highly diverse Asian community the O.C. is widely perceived as one giant tanning bed for spoiled rich white trust fund babies and their gated community sequestered parents.  This perception is part and parcel of the media whiteout of Latinos, who, despite being 45% of California’s population, are grossly under-represented in West Coast-centric film and TV productions.  Mainstream representation of Latinos is little more than a goulash of illegal alien, gang banging, spicy Latina broken English spewing stereotypes.  A recent New York Times article focused on the TV industry’s attempts to court growing Latino audiences with the same old stale racist themes about breeder Latino families, border jumping and criminality.

The 85% white faculty at Canyon Hills High mirrors the faculty composition of UC San Diego; which elicited a firestorm in 2010 when white UCSD fraternities staged a Black History Month “Compton Cookout” in which participants were asked to wear gold teeth, cheap clothes, FUBU attire, etc.  The Compton Cookout inspired massive protests, renewing discussion about admission, retention and graduation rates for black students and the miniscule number of tenured black faculty.  Given the fever pitch xenophobia, nativism and anti-undocumented immigrant hysteria in the U.S. it is no surprise that the Seniores event was allowed to roll on for three years with virtually no incident or protest.  Garcia-Kessler’s intervention is a commendable strike against the business as usual apartheid that defines K-12 schools.

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Comments

  1. says

    I… had no idea. I see subtler versions of this minstrel type stuff in movies but the shear blatant borderline charcoal on the face racism is shocking, especially since I was always told by the media from California that my region (SE US) was the super most racist of all. Not to say the South isn’t racist as hell, but the media portrayal pretending it is only the South is obviously bullshit.

    I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. After leaving the southeast I had hoped an urban, blue state would be better, but it is just different. In fact where I am now I learned new insulting epithets for races, ethnicity’s and even skin tones within the same race/ethnicity. And new stereotypes.

    • blackskeptics says

      West coast racism is just more subtle; Orange County is a hotbed of legislative white supremacy given that a majority Latino and Asian population is being governed by a predominantly white City Council, school board, school district, etc. It’s doubly ironic because the historic Mendez vs. Westminster case (1940s forerunner to Brown vs. Board) was spearheaded by Mexican American parents from Santa Ana in O.C.

      • says

        Reminds me of the GOP racism. Just subtle enough to “joke” about birth certificates or “welfare presidencies” that if someone points it out they can be accused of “race baiting” or being oversensitive and lacking in humor.

        The south is learning subtlety too. My high school was, like the make up of the county I lived in, predominantly black. At least in the underclassmen grades. By graduation they had either managed to hold back certain students enough from an unreasonable attendance policy that counted detentions and suspensions as unexcused (and of course those tended to be handed out to students of a certain skin tone) and forcing the same students onto non college track course loads. Each year starting in about 4th grade my classes got whiter and whiter as I stayed in the “college bound” group while they managed to slowly drain out the hispanic, black and native american students. This way my high school maintained a high rank, academically, because no one counted the kids outside of the college track for graduation stats.

        Plus the increased push every year for vouchers. The state politicians sung praises for vouchers more than anything else, and even at that age I could see those vouchers were intended to increase the segregation they had once lovingly held on to. Magnet schools and such weren’t in my state yet, but from my friends in the mid atlantic they are another popular form of public funded segregation.

        • M Groesbeck says

          Yeah, the totally mysterious and unintended by the administration process by which the “college-prep” and “high-achieving” tracks just happened to become whiter and whiter with each passing year were entirely present in my southern California, supposedly-super-progressive public high school. Where the people reinforcing the whole scheme considered themselves obviously more racially-sensitive than Southerners, largely due to a difference in accent.

    • says

      Lets not forget that the LA riots of the 60s had to do with the California government refusing to enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Not nearly as much has changed since then as a lot of white people want to believe.

  2. Mike Check says

    I kinda get how people in rural Iowa or Idaho can miss the reality of the heterogeneous, multi-ethnic, varied culture of other parts of America, but how can anyone in California miss that? Or maybe they don’t miss it, they just don’t give a fuck because extreme wealth makes being an asshole okay?

    • im says

      That blog is kind of funny, especially because I wish that my beautiful and horrific race could just hurry up and take it’s place among the people of the world.

      Actually, I’ve heard that in Japan, Christianity is treated as exotic sometimes. Although that sounds largely symmetrical unlike most cultural oppression here.

  3. cynthia curran says

    The OC was the way it was because the person who did the show thought that the OC of 1970 and Riverside of 1970 would play better. Outside of Mexicans few would probably be interested in a show about Mexicans immigrants, just telling the truth. In fact, LA has more racial problems than OC even if a reported came out on hate crimes. The County government report shown it on the racial hatred and violence and it was closer to Santa Clara than LA, doesn’t mean that whites don’t like Hispanics or Asians it that Orange County is no worst than La. Conservative or Liberal politics aside. The state believe it or not with less hate crimes is Alabama and sometimes California comes the highest.

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