(None of this is to say that all Southern whites of today participate in such cultural stratification, or course. Nor is it to say that there is no such stratification outside of the South.)
I actually read a book on this issue, several years ago. It was not just about Southern cultural stratification, but it was about how, in general, especially in similar systems with definite stratification, groups low on the totem pole can be "encouraged" to kick groups even further down, as an attempt to reduce anxiety and anger, even though the result may often be to increase anxiety, unwarranted anger and other psychological issues.
Finally, he didn't get that "white trash" idea from nowhere. Behind Mr. Catawba College are parents and a peer group with the same mindset, most likely. And, for illustrative juxtaposition, Catawba is a private, and religious, college. No, not Baptist — it's "loosely affiliated" with the United Church of Christ, theologically liberal enough to be quasi-Unitarian.
But, the NCAA has already given it a noogie for use of the generic "Indians" mascot.
It is theoretically the type of place that would attract Southern Protestant "betters" too freethinking to go to an Episcopalian or liberal Methodist school.
Final note, especially for my humanist friends: Here is a good guide on how to talk about racial issues.