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Posts Tagged ‘reaction’

The Long, Long Trailer, Keith Olbermann’s ‘Trailer Park Trash’ – Frank Rolfe, Mobile Home University, Response

April 24th, 2017 No comments

It is amazing to me that any media person can stereotype millions of Americans without being worried about their career being at stake.

In today’s politically correct world, why is it acceptable to use such a derogatory term as trailer park trash?

Newscasters and journalists are losing their careers over the use of every other insulting slang term  — however minor — simply from special interest groups threatening to boycott the advertisers. So why is “trailer trash” the one insulting term in the U.S. that you can use without any fear of reprisal? Is it because the average American feels it’s true, thanks to the consistent negative portrayal of the industry in the media?

Not too long ago, the reverse was true. “The Long, Long Trailer” starring Lucille Ball was a big film in 1953. Elvis lived in a “trailer park” in the films “It Happened at the World’s Fair” in 1963 and “Speedway” in 1968. Back then, the media portrayed “trailer park trash” as wearing tuxedos and driving sports cars — a 180 degree difference.

So why did they change their tune?

I think that education is the solution. Those in the industry know that there are some terrible properties out there, but they are a tiny fringe group of the 44,000 communities in the U.S. The average manufactured home community resembles a traditional subdivision — sometimes nicer than the surrounding subdivisions. We can only change the “trailer park trash” stereotype by convincing the general public that the term is unfair and offensive and not a statement of fact. That would generate a grassroots movement to protest the term aggressively and that, in turn, would scare the media away from ever using it again. If any journalist who uttered the phrase “trailer park trash” immediately lost their job, then it would disappear overnight.

So how do you educate the public about what our residents are really like? One method would be to fire off a barrage of articles — backed up by facts — on why the term has no place in a modern America; tied, via Google, to every article in which the negative terms are used.

Another would be to talk openly and honestly to the media and let them walk properties and talk to residents and break down their perceptions.

Finally — and this would be very expensive — to do a proactive public relations campaign that is clever and effective.

Am I offended by the term “trailer park trash” in the media recently? Certainly. I’m also disappointed and amazed. But I think it also serves as a wake-up call that our industry has a huge amount of work to do. When these negative terms disappear forever, then we will have done our job and elevated the industry to the next level.  ##

FrankRolfeRVHorizonsMobileHomeUnivtKeithOlbermannTrailerParkTrashRemarkIndustryVoicesManufacturedHousingIndustryMHProNews

The headline and this graphic are produced and provided by MHProNews, a common practice among many in media to illustrate opinion or letters to the editor columns.

FrankRolfeRVHorizonsMHUnivPostedINdustryVoicesManufacturedHomeIndustryCommentaryMHProNewsFrank Rolfe
RV Horizons and Mobile Home University

(Editor’s Note 1: Rolfe’s comments are made with respect to a tweet by Keith Olbermann, published in an article on Washington, D.C.’s ‘The Hill,” see link here, or at the top, above.

Note 2: MHProNews contacted several top people at the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), as well as their media contact, to give them an opportunity to share a comment or respond. As of this time, more than 48 hours later, they have not done so.)

Proposed Austin Area Manufactured Home Community Blocked – TMHA’s DJ Pendlenton’s Reaction

July 22nd, 2016 No comments

This is an unfortunate outcome.  Here was a situation that seems to be a perfect fit for a new manufactured home community development.  The 10 acres in question residing in the city are attached to 50 more acres in the county – where it is anticipated that the property owner will create a new community anyway – at least according to one of the commissioners. 

The Cactus Rose community in Austin has grabbed headlines and sparked all manner of reactions from the media and politicians, including efforts to now include manufactured home tenants in a Tenant Relocation Project the city is working on. 

Here is an owner that would accept the displaced residents, which up until now there are no other options for them and a clear unwillingness by the city to lift zoning prohibitions elsewhere or create a new community with city land. 

However, this solution was rejected by advocates of Cactus Rose due to lack of public transportation, presumably hoping to hold out and continue to leverage their situation to get a bigger buyout or dedicated land from the city they deem acceptable.

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Graphic collage credits, top image/headline – Austin Monitor. Bottom photo/text – MHProNews.com.  See related story, linked here.

The blatant pre-textual reasons provided by those who testified against and voiced by some of the commissioners, while frustrating and illogically, are sadly nothing new. 

Citing concerns over flooding because the engineer told a nearby homeowner they would be “re-grading” the land, increased traffic congestion, and taxing a nearby school that is already at capacity, can seem reasonable out of context. 

Trouble is many of these same opposing views were fine with single family (housing), or as one commissioner mentioned, multifamily projects for the exact same 10 acres. 

Any of the alternatives that are deemed acceptable would have the same impact on land topography changes, and increased traffic and school congestion.  If these are in fact the concerns, then logically the only thing they should have been advocating for or acceptable with is no development ever of any kind. 

As pointed out in the article, it can appear traffic, schools and flooding were the issues presented, but what was really driving those in opposition were not those issues.  They were opposed to the people they stereotyped in a public meeting that they thought they could expect to move near them, because they viewed those people as bringing increased crime and vandalism. 

Like for so many diversified housing development decisions that fall short politically, not from logic or sound argument, but rather those who would tell you they are for affordable housing options, just Not-In-My-Back-Yard (NIMBY-ism). ##

dj-pendleton-mhpronews-com-executive-director-texas-manufactured-housing-association-DJ Pendleton
Executive Director
Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA)