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Luanne

Do you consider people who live in mobile homes to be white trash?

Mobile home/trailer living  

393 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you consider people who live in mobile homes to be white trash?

    • Absolutely not
      208
    • Sometimes
      160
    • Always
      10
    • Other
      15


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NO, that would be ridiculous.

 

I don't like mobile homes because I am from tornado alley. I don't know that I would ever really feel safe living in one but I don't think any differently of people who live in them.

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No, I do not. My childhood best friend (still friends, although not as close) lives in a mobile home park.

Now, I will say that I know why some of the ones around here (in the south) get a bad rep. It seems like every time I talked to my friend, somebody was being arrested for something in the park, and it certainly was not a place I would allow my daughter to stay overnight (she has a daughter the same age as my own), but that has everything to do with her quality of neighbors, and nothing to do with that it's a mobile home park, kwim?

 

 

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As a child, I believed the stereotypes about people who lived in trailers and trailer parks. It was all I really was exposed to, and I had no reason not to believe it.

 

But there was a girl in school who was very popular: pretty, smart, well-dressed. The first time I went to her house, I was shocked. She lived in a mobile home, and not a particularly well-maintained one. She since has said that she had a very difficult family life as a child. So even then it became apparent to me that where a person is growing up--and even with whom a person is growing up--doesn't have to determine who they are.

 

In jr high I started dating a boy from a neighboring town. The first time I visited his house, again, I was shocked--it was a very well-maintained double wide trailer. His parents obviously weren't well off financially, but they were dignified and respectable. This experience started the notion that maybe just maybe, the stereotype wasn't true--maybe it wasn't just that the kids who lived in trailers had hope, but that the adults also could be just as respectable and responsible as any adults who lived in brick-and-mortar homes.

 

I also had an uncle who lived two states away from me with his wife and daughter. I rarely saw him, but when we visited, we stayed in his very nice double wide trailer in a large, clean trailer park. There definitely were some "southernisms" in his manner (loud, opinionated, laidback) than made it easy to assume that he was a good, respectable, but poor man who was doing the best he could to provide for his family. Imagine my surprise when I was told, sometime in college, that he had purchased a brick home on a nice plot of land--big enough that he'd moved the trailer over for his adult daughter to live in--and a brand spanking new truck--and that he had paid cash for every bit of it! His family hadn't lived in that trailer park because they couldn't afford "better," as I had so naively believed. They had lived there because underneath his gruff exterior, my uncle was a very principled, very hardworking man who refused to go into debt for anything, even a house. He had paid cash for everything his entire life and had saved a nice pile of money so that when he bought the house he wanted, it would be with cash.

 

No, I don't believe that the type of house in which you live has anything to say about your character, which is what the term "white trash" references. If someone is lazy and dirty and entitled and apathetic, that's what determines to what degree the term fits--not where the person lives.

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I personally have never heard someone use the term white trash before, except in American novels. Does the term white trash mean low-life's? or druggies? or something along those lines? or a battler who is down on his luck? I don't particularly associate that with people living in caravans.

 

 

Mostly people here who live in mobile homes or caravans are retired people. Caravan parks are usually in idealistic locations, right by the beach or by a river. The caravans are cheaper to rent than a house and smaller,-perfect for a retired single person on an aged pension.

 

Many rich retired people have very flash caravans and travel around the country, they are called grey nomads, and mostly people look at them as living a lifestyle that others aspire to achieve when they reach retirement age.

 

 

 

 

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I've never heard the term used in Canada, and I've never used it myself. I find it pretty disturbing. Seems to say more about the ignorance of the person using the term than a reflection on people living in a certain style of dwelling.

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My husband bought a mobile home for himself when he was very young and had to move on his own due to a horrible family situation. We lived there when we married and selling it provided a good down payment on our first home.

 

Through my work doing home based therapy for very young children, I go into a variety of homes and meet people who live in a wide variety of situations. I think it is extremely unfair to make judgements about someone based on where they live. Most are doing the best they can for themselves and their families. Some are happy where they are and others feel stuck or are trying to change their situations. You cannot tell who a person is from their home. Many times the people living in the most run down homes have so much going on in their lives...trying to make enough money to be able to eat, pay bills, and/or caring for sick/disabled children and/or other family members….fixing up their home is very low on their priority list.

 

I have been in some of the poorest areas and worked with some of the nicest people. People who offer me a drink or a snack, people who are interested in watching what I am doing with their child so they can follow up during the week, people who are appreciative for any assistance I can give them, etc… 

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I don't think of other people as trash. I just don't. Lots of wonderful people live or have lived in trailer parks, including one of my bffs. It's not my cup of tea, but I am thankful that I have more options than a lot of people. Some people love them, and some of them are really cute!

 

We have this cute new retirement community in our city that is essentially a trailer park, but they don't call them that anymore and they're really nicely decorated these days - here any that have been set up since the 1990s are called mini home parks and they have real siding and roofing instead of metal. The old metal ones are still called trailers. I don't know why.

 

I know people who've bought them thinking it was all they could afford and it ended up being more expensive than a single family home would have been when you factor in lot rent and resale value. It bothers me when people who don't know better are fooled like this.

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I don't think it's a fair statement at all.  And the one double wide I've been inside was nicer than my stick-built house, that's for sure!

But the majority of trailer areas (whether parks or just the areas zoned for trailers) around here are pretty run down.  When I hear about them, or when I hear about the run down regular house neighborhood, or when people heard where I was living on the outskirts of Trenton, there is an internal "Eek!"

 

Being in a place where money and safety are big issues (which would be true in the places I've mentioned) probably does make people wonder whether (general) you are an integrated part of that "lifestyle" before even considering that (general) your spot isn't like that, or you're an outlier in a spot that is.

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I voted "sometimes."  I have lived in this area my whole life and have never once encountered a trailer park that wasn't trashy. I'm convinced that they simply don't exist here. And when I say trashy I mean literal trash, facilities that are caving in, public drunkenness, frequent shootings, documented drug activity, dirty unsupervised babies running around with nothing on but a soiled diaper down to its knees etc. It is the equivalent of a suburban ghetto. There is no division by color here; many races seem to live together in the same parks. I am not naive enough to believe that there are no respectable people living in these places, but the overwhelming majority live in a trashy manner and act the same way.

It does seem to be more common that individual trailers on their own land are far better maintained though. It's as if the parks themselves spawn a sort of pack mentality.

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Sometimes trailer parks can be trashy, no doubt.  The one we live in is very clean and well kept.  I've seen neighborhoods of actual houses though that are trashy as well and no one seems to mention them being "trash".

 

 

That would not be true where I live.  I live in a very small town (pop less than 2500) which has a few newer homes, lots of old homes (built circa 1900 or 1920's, which were the town's boom days) and lots of mobile homes.  There are cases where the mobile homes are just trash (as are the people who live there), but that is also the case of many of the homes.  This is a very depressed area, with a huge drug problem which is reflected in people's houses.

 

No one in this area would automaticly consider someone who lived in a trailer, "trailer trash".  It is very common in this area to buy your land, put a mobile home on it, than years later, when you have the money, build a house.  

 

Around here, "white trash" is reserved for those who live in squalor by choice (drugs, alcohol, etc...) and whose overall lifestyles reflect it.  

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http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/41778/what-is-the-early-recorded-use-of-white-trash-and-has-its-meaning-changed-over

 

This is an etymology discussion of the phrase. They give quotes from early writings that use the term. One describes that it was used by black house slaves or servants to desbribe whites who also were white servants or house help to the wealthy. In a few examples cited of literature or letters, the "n" word is also used.

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Where I live, white trash is used, rightly or wrongly, for several behaviors. Trailer park living can def be part of that perception. Other stereotypes: welfare users, people covered in tattoos, smoking, have children unmarried from several different men, being loud and profane in public, being uneducated, dressing "trashy". I heard it once from someone who saw a mom give her baby soda in a bottle (baby bottle.)

 

I don't hear it used for "general" poverty conditions...or "genteel poverty."

 

I have personally seen houses in worse, trashy shape than some mobile homes.

 

This may be wildly dependent on geogeaphic area. I think a trailer park here is often considered one step above cardboard box on the street. There are laws here prohibiting placing a mobile home on a plot of land instead of a house in a neighborhood of houses..

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I personally have never heard someone use the term white trash before, except in American novels. Does the term white trash mean low-life's? or druggies? or something along those lines?

I think of the lower-class family in this scene from "Idiocracy":

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I personally have never heard someone use the term white trash before, except in American novels. Does the term white trash mean low-life's? or druggies? or something along those lines? or a battler who is down on his luck? I don't particularly associate that with people living in caravans.

 

 

Mostly people here who live in mobile homes or caravans are retired people. Caravan parks are usually in idealistic locations, right by the beach or by a river. The caravans are cheaper to rent than a house and smaller,-perfect for a retired single person on an aged pension.

 

Many rich retired people have very flash caravans and travel around the country, they are called grey nomads, and mostly people look at them as living a lifestyle that others aspire to achieve when they reach retirement age.

I think of people on the American TV show Cops.

 

Trailers here generally don't move. RVs are the big things that you drive or tow around for vacations. "Snowbirds" are retired people from Canada or the north who drive their RVs down south for the winter, then return home to escape hell hot temps. Maybe like your gray nomads. :)

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My husband and I sometimes consider ourselves to be white trash. We live in Idaho, 6 people in 900 sq.ft., dirty little kids runnin' amok, chickens squakin'...LOL. No, seriously, I just thought I'd put a little humor in this thread. That is really what our lives are like; messy, crazy and not well-to-do, but centered around family, faith and farming. Of course somebody that uses that term 'white trash' in a true judgment has some issues. It's not the house, it's the value-system that matters.

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I don't think ones choice of housing determines what type of person they are.  White trash lives in all types of housing.

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Well some may call us white trash or trailer trash but we don't care. We live in our trailer knowing in 5 years or less the whole thing (including our 2 acres of land) will be completely paid for :)

if you pull into our drive way after a good rainy day, yes you may find our 5 yr old dd covered in mud.

We do plan on building a stick home or putting a modular home on the property when we get this paid off. We are leaning more to stick built though so we can build it as we go without any loans and get exactly what we want. We are able to do this because dfil is a general contractor and dh is considered one of his employees to use his contractor's discount at the local hardware store. :)

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Calling any human being "trash" (ie expendable, a throwaway) is dehumanizing and gross.  

 

I'm sorry you're hearing that from your mom.  It sounds to me like she's concerned about what people think of you, which is sad.  It's hard to shed stereotypes.  

:grouphug:

 

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The highlight of my childhood was at our summer place which was a trailer on a resort.  So, I definitely do not have negative associations.  

 

I have a friend with some land that came with a trailer.  They sometimes spend weekends there.  A mutual friend told me that I should use the term "mobile home" because the term trailer is derogatory.  I thought that was silly.  

 

My view is that I wouldn't want to be friends with someone that would look down on me because I lived in a trailer.  I haven't ever lived full-time in a trailer, but it has always been my Plan B.  

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I voted other because whether or not I consider a person trashy or not has NOTHING to do with what type of housing they in. The condition of their housing would tell me a lot about them.

 

In our area trailers are not that safe because of tornados and also they do not retain their value as a rule, much less increase. But often times they are a very good solution to a housing problem.

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Well some may call us white trash or trailer trash but we don't care. We live in our trailer knowing in 5 years or less the whole thing (including our 2 acres of land) will be completely paid for :)

if you pull into our drive way after a good rainy day, yes you may find our 5 yr old dd covered in mud.

We do plan on building a stick home or putting a modular home on the property when we get this paid off. We are leaning more to stick built though so we can build it as we go without any loans and get exactly what we want. We are able to do this because dfil is a general contractor and dh is considered one of his employees to use his contractor's discount at the local hardware store. :)

THIS impresses me.

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While many people have taken offense at the term "trash", the origins of this phrase are interesting. I wish I knew how to cut and paste on my iPad, but here's what Wikipedia says...."the term suggests outcasts from respectable society living on the fringes of the social order who are seen as dangerous because they may be criminal, unpredictable, and without respect for authority whether it be political, legal or moral." "The term white trash came into common use in the 1830s as a pejorative used by house slaves against poor whites."

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THIS impresses me.

It will all be paid off before dh and I hit 40 :) our dream house may take a little longer but how many people can say that their home and property are loan free before the age of 40?

His truck has a loan on it but not my car, we are trying to save money to buy me a new to us car in a few years with cash :) his truck will be paid off in a few years.

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In Florida plenty of retirees live in nice mobile home parks. Some even have their own golf courses.

 

So, no.

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Mostly people here who live in mobile homes or caravans are retired people. Caravan parks are usually in idealistic locations, right by the beach or by a river. The caravans are cheaper to rent than a house and smaller,-perfect for a retired single person on an aged pension.

 

 

Many rich retired people have very flash caravans and travel around the country, they are called grey nomads, and mostly people look at them as living a lifestyle that others aspire to achieve when they reach retirement age.

 

Trailers here generally don't move. RVs are the big things that you drive or tow around for vacations. "Snowbirds" are retired people from Canada or the north who drive their RVs down south for the winter, then return home to escape hell hot temps. Maybe like your gray nomads. :)

 

For those outside the US: Yes, in spite of being called "trailers" or "mobile" homes, what people here are talking about are not RVs/caravans that people drive around in or pull behind their cars to go on vacation or travel about to different parks.  They're big boxy things that don't go anywhere except to be moved to the lot in the first place (or perhaps moved to a new lot someday, but you can't just hitch it to your truck and go).   A "double wide" is the size of two regular trailers put together.

 

Some  trailers/mobile homes:

mobile-home-replacement-program-62525.jp

mobile-home-29802.jpg

mobile-home-park-2.jpg

 

A double-wide:

 

MPK2V104-0.jpg

 

Double-Wide-Trailer.jpg

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No. I have several friends who live in mobile homes. Some are very neat, and others could really use a major clean...just like any house...including mine, depending on which day you choose to visit.

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Trailers look like that? !! They look like houses to me, or a cabin in case of the little one.

 

Yep.  That's why I thought the visuals would be helpful. :D

 

Some you can tell that they're "trailers" like the first two where you can see they even have a hitch, but many look rooted to the ground and have added porches or carports, and the double-wides can look a lot like houses, especially if there's landscaping.  The triple-wide mentioned in the article from the PP about the Governor of Arkansas was 2,131 sq. feet.  That's probably bigger than my house, and I seriously doubt it ever looked like it could move anywhere.

 

As you can see, some look more well-tended than others...

 

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Where you reside has absolutely nothing to do with being considered "White Trash" or not.  My mom grew up in the deep South and, yes, she referred to a few people as "Poor White Trash".  It wasn't about where they lived - it was about their lack of class.  And it was always said in a tone that suggested we just shouldn't expect any other behavior from them, because they didn't know any better.

 

When I was recovering from a bad illness last year I watched two days worth of "Real Housewives of Orange County" marathons.  Those were the types of people my mom would have called PWT.  

 

Also, last year I was on a mission trip to Southwest Virginia and we spent a week helping a few families fix up their trailer homes.  All of them were very poor.  NONE of them were anything close to PWT, as I understand the term.

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Here's the joke Redneck Mansion photo Leno used a few years ago. It's not considered trailer trash, because they've picked up the trash, no windows are broken out, and things are in good repair. True trailer trash has mounds of trash including discarded things that still have some life in them outside, and not just toilets or vehicles on blocks. That cuts down on the mowing.

 

redneck.jpg

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I detest that term and would never call anyone trash, 'white trash' or any other color.  People are not trash.  Distasteful people can live anywhere.

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Honestly I have known so many people living in mobile homes and there really isn't any connection.  Most of the time, they are blue collar workers or in a situation where they need to stretch the budgets.  I have known wonderful elderly living in mobile homes, committed homeschool parents, single people, people on their own acre of land in North Carolina, here in CA lots of people do, to save money because homes are SO EXPENSIVE here.  

 

Now my friends who live in Mobile Home parks, did often say that the caliber of people there are not good.  A lot of fighting, some drinking, just loud uncouth "trashy" behavior....more than they had experienced in other places.  However, I lived in luxory apartment /condo complexes and experienced some of that.  So the Mobile Home isn't the factor.

 

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Also, have you ever been inside some of them?  In a nice expensive park with high lot rent, they can be gorgeous and clean, especially the over 55 ones!  I visited several that had beautiful vaulted ceilings, laminate flooring, tile in all the kitchens and bathrooms, etc.  In certain climates they aren't such a bad idea, and it's better than having someone on top of you!

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Well some may call us white trash or trailer trash but we don't care. We live in our trailer knowing in 5 years or less the whole thing (including our 2 acres of land) will be completely paid for :)

if you pull into our drive way after a good rainy day, yes you may find our 5 yr old dd covered in mud.

We do plan on building a stick home or putting a modular home on the property when we get this paid off. We are leaning more to stick built though so we can build it as we go without any loans and get exactly what we want. We are able to do this because dfil is a general contractor and dh is considered one of his employees to use his contractor's discount at the local hardware store. :)

 

 

you should look into a DOME HOME!! You are actually living a dream we once had.  When you pay off the trailer, look into the Dome Home thing.  They are indestructible and really cool.  :o)  

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Honestly I have known so many people living in mobile homes and there really isn't any connection. Most of the time, they are blue collar workers or in a situation where they need to stretch the budgets. I have known wonderful elderly living in mobile homes, committed homeschool parents, single people, people on their own acre of land in North Carolina, here in CA lots of people do, to save money because homes are SO EXPENSIVE here.

 

Now my friends who live in Mobile Home parks, did often say that the caliber of people there are not good. A lot of fighting, some drinking, just loud uncouth "trashy" behavior....more than they had experienced in other places. However, I lived in luxory apartment /condo complexes and experienced some of that. So the Mobile Home isn't the factor.

When I was in youth politics one of the provincial politicians, a formidable figure in the party and later a cabinet minister, lived in a double wide. I don't know if he still does.

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We downsized into a used single wide mobile home a few years ago. The neighborhood in our park is nicer than the middle class 'family' neighborhood we used to live in plus the mobile home park is actually pleasantly situated on a small private lake. Another plus is that our mobile home will be paid off this year and our monthly lot rent is less than the property taxes we would have had to pay assuming we ever managed to pay off our house. I guess you could say we are 'laughing all the way to the bank'. And I get to buy MORE curriculum now than I would have been able to afford if we had kept the house......lol.

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Do you really think people are going to proudly post that yes, they do indeed consider anyone who lives in a mobile home to be white trash? 

 

I voted "yes" to be contrary, but apparently 7 other people voted yes as well. I seriously doubt it means they firmly hold that position  :laugh:

 

but we do have a bunch of members, so I suppose it's possible. 

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People are not trash.

 

 

I fantasize about owning a tiny, minimalist home when my kids are grown and gone. I threaten my kids that one day I will buy an RV and park in each of their drive ways for 3 months of the year. :driving:   

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Trash can live anywhere. Mansions, trailers... One's type of residence doesn't mean anything.

 

We are considered the "White Trash" of the neighborhood. Five kids, small house, Homeschoolers! The rest of the close houses are multi-story, brick, and fancy-smancy (with double+ the house taxes of ours). One of the fancy houses has been for sale for a year already - and now has renters that make us look like fine upstanding citizens. I have jokingly commented to my dh that we are no longer the only "WT" on the street.

 

[....] it's about lifestyle and values rather than place of residence. Kind of the Caucasian equivalent of "ghetto".

 

I do use the term White Trash - usually in reference to my previous paragraph. I wouldn't have said it was the equivalent to "ghetto" until I met someone from the South who uses that term rather differently than I have always known it to be used. (So, it depends on what "ghetto" means in the previous quote!) I do agree that when I use "WT" - it refers to people's lifestyle & choices vs. the conditions in which they live. 

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Do you really think people are going to proudly post that yes, they do indeed consider anyone who lives in a mobile home to be white trash? 

 

I voted "yes" to be contrary, but apparently 7 other people voted yes as well. I seriously doubt it means they firmly hold that position  :laugh:

 

but we do have a bunch of members, so I suppose it's possible. 

 

I didn't vote since I live in one myself but I am really curious about the people who voted always!

 

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The white trash moniker requires more than just a trailer.  Is there a mid-80's vintage us-made pickup up on blocks in the front weeds, along with at least one other non-running car? How many screen doors are stacked by the side of the trailer?   Need more info...

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I agree that "trash" is not a moniker anyone should bear, but in the interest of full disclosure, there is a house nearby that my family deems "the hoarder house." It's truly like something right off the horrifying tv shows - and that's only what I can guess while driving past! Sometimes i'm tempted to stop by and beg them to just let me clean up.

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I'll answer this way.

I would not dare make a blanket statement that the thread statement is true "just because" - whether the people are white, black, Hispanic or polka-dotted! :)

 

IMO, there are decent people of all colors living in trailers, apartments, homes, etc.   Conversely, there are other people of all colors that are "trash"-like b/c of there behavior, whether or not they live in a trailer, apt, home, etc.

 

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Considering that I have family who live in trailers, I certainly hope not.

 

I really dislike the term "white trash"-to me it's no better than any other racial\ethnic\prejudicial term and is ugly, hurtful and useless.

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Trashy, no.  Death traps, yes, if you live in tornado alley!  We lived in the OKC area for a while, and every single spring the storms seemed to hone in on the most vulnerable structures.  Terrible.

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