They were listless and slothful, did not properly care for their children, and were addicted to alcohol.
They were looked on with contempt by upper-class Southerners.
White trash is a derogatory American English predominately class slur referring to poor white people, especially in the rural southern United States.
The label signifies lower social class inside the white population and especially a degraded standard of living.
They were dirty, callow, ragged, cadaverous, leathery, and emaciated, and had feeble children with distended abdomens who were wrinkled and withered and looked aged beyond their physical years, so that even 10-year-olds' "countenances are stupid and heavy and they often become dropsical and loathsome to sight," according to a New Hampshire schoolteacher.
The skin of a poor white Southerner had a "ghastly yellowish white" tinge to it, like "yellow parchment", and was waxy looking, or they were so white they almost appeared to be albinos.
Fraser points out in her biography that Marie Antoinette was a generous patron of charity and moved by the plight of the poor when it was brought to her attention, thus making the statement out-of-character for her.In his novel Ange Pitou (1853), Alexandre Dumas attributes the quote to one of Marie Antoinette's favourites, the Duchess of Polignac.The Book of Jin, a 7th-century chronicle of the Chinese Jin Dynasty, reports that when Emperor Hui (259–307) of Western Jin was told that his people were starving because there was no rice, he said, "Why don't they eat (ground) meat?"Let them eat cake" is the traditional translation of the French phrase "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche", supposedly spoken by "a great princess" upon learning that the peasants had no bread.Since brioche was a luxury bread enriched with butter and eggs, the quote would reflect the princess's disregard for the peasants, or her poor understanding of their situation.