Can you help me with this sentence:

Thanks to an errant uncle, the girls were considered trash without the benefit of being particularly poor or, courtesy of their half Spanish mother, all that white.

I have problem with the meaning of this sentence. Not so much with the meaning of individual words, but I can't connect all the things said here into a meaningful whole, especially the 'courtesy of their half Spanish mother'. I don't know what does that have to do with the fact that 'girls were considered trash'. Does the word 'without' relate to 'the courtesy..'? (We don't find much about the mother in the context.)

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This cannot be current.

The girls have an uncle who has behaved badly (in the opinion of their community)

They must have therefore inherited his bad behavior.

The fact that they were not very poor does not excuse them

The fact that their mother was half-spanish does not excuse them.
There is a racial sub-text here.

the girls have inherited the skin-tone from their mother
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I guess 'courtesy' has a pejorative sense, if so, then the whole phrase would mean:
the bad reputation of the uncle for being errant was enough to spoil their(girls) names, without adding the reputation of their mother for her courtesy(in its negative sence), or being poor
No; courtesy of means from. Not couretesy meaning politeness.
Antonia - it would help to know the source of this text. If it is American, I would guess it refers to an American phrase "poor white trash." This would be used to describe poor, white, uneducated, unsophisticated, perhaps dishonest or unscrupulous people living the the American rural South. In this case, I think it means that the girls were not exactly "poor white trash," because they were not poor and were not entirely white, but they were considered "trash" -- "not respectable" -- nonetheless because of their Uncle. In this text, both "thanks to" and "courtesy of" mean "because of."
If you are left wondering why a half-Spanish mother would result in the girls being considered "not all that white," (or, "not exactly white") I can only guess that in the rural South (possibly of the previous century; let's hope people are more enlightened now) any foreigner with darker skin than the local people would be considered somewhat inferior.
PLEASE don't let anyone be offended by this explanation - I am just trying to explain what I think the original text means!
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I know what 'courtesy' means, but never heard of 'couretesy'; anyone knows anything about that? Thank you
Finally, with all that explanation, I don't understand why the whiteness of the mother should create a problem. Hold on,I think I am getting the point; if the errance of the uncle, being poor, and having a white mother are considered as the negative points, then they should be from a colored community, or the story happens in a place, where being white is a disadvantage. In this case my first interpratation of 'courtesy' is 'nul et non avenu'.
I think "couretesy" was just a typo for "courtesy." And it's not that having a white mother would be a disadvantage, but rather that, because the mother was half-Spanish, she was not "white enough" to be considered really white. The point is that in the society depicted, "poor white trash" was a term for a particular social condition. If someone in this society was considered "trash," they were usually "poor white trash." These girls did not exactly fit that description, as they were not poor and not entirely white (according to the local standards). However, they were still considered trash (because of their uncle) They were just not the typical kind of trash.

Wow, I have now memorized the original quotation. I would like to know what book it was from, or who the author was, just out of curiosity.
What do we understand from 'all that white', not enough white, or 'excessively white'
and the term is a legal french term for 'rule out'.
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