I received some clomplaints over the post below. I guess I didn’t make my point good enough. The saying you can take the girl out of the trailer park but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl is a racially directed term at white people. I was trying to compare and contrast. I didn’t choose African Americans as a racial slant; I took it based off the many ESPN texts which come to my phone on a daily basis which seemed relative to trying to find the answer to whether or not that statement is true or not. I do understand whether you are white, black, Mexican, or Chinese there are good people and there are bad people. This stems from every single social and economical level from the ghettos to the trailer park, to the suburbs. I made a point saying the quote of trailer park to ghetto, was untrue, because of so many different variables. Those are blanket statements which are simply untrue.

“You can take the girl out of the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park out of the girl,” the saying goes you can take a girl out of the trailer park; give her riches and she will still act like trash. I wonder from time to time if this is a true or false. Does it have its merits? I wanted to really dive in beyond the re-hashed examples of Brittany Spears, or that one girl who married some old rich guy then went to do playboy… her name escapes me. I wondered if the saying would fit if I were to say; “you can take the man out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the man.

To analyze this spin on the more popular saying; all we need to do is look at our professional and college athletes. We see ghetto born athletes who with all the money, fame, and responsibility as roll models their talents have brought them; they can not seem to stay out of trouble. The few examples out of the many are Michael and Marcus Vick, Plaxico Burress, and Gilbert Arenes.

Michael Vick had everything, yet pissed it all away to finance a dog fighting ring, while his little brother was dismissed from Virginia Tech. due to on and off the field issues. Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg at a New York nightclub with an unregistered firearm, and Gilbert Arenes pulled a handgun out in the locker room and pointed it at his teammate. I subscribe to ESPN text alerts so trust me when I say this type of behavior happens daily. 

We were all stunned to find out Ricky Williams gave up millions upon millions of dollars; so he didn’t want to quit smoking dank. I liked smoking marijuana as much as the next guy, but put 32 million dollars and the chance to play professional football and you bet your ass I would have enough common sense to quit and stay out of trouble. He had the rest of his life after football to get cheefed, but only a small window to be great.

These examples and thousands of others could cause us to make such a blanket statement. We just don’t hear enough about all the good things these players do for their community and helping those less needy, many of which are fixing up the very ghetto’s they came from. We do not hear enough of the Michael Dunn’s of the world, if you do not know who he is then my point has been proven. He is an ex Atlanta Falcon who founded a countless number of charities and nonprofits. I suppose it is bigger news to report the negatives than the positives.

There are far too many variables at work here. You can take the girl out of the trailer park as well as the man out of the ghetto as long as they do not take it with them. There is nothing wrong with helping out the community you came from; it is an entirely different situation when you take the lifestyles and behaviors with. We seem to always hear about the bad things our idols are doing, but get very little press on the positive things they do.

I am tired of hearing about sports figures, who do not realize they have millions of young fans looking up to them; our children will mimic their idols. They do not realize how lucky they are to get a free education, make it to the pros, providing their families with a better life then they had, and the achievement of living a life long dream very few get to experience. I do not think this applies to everyone.

I know of several athletes who have taken their experiences and created positive things, and many who the money and power only ushered in their destruction. I am not sure which one of these scenarios is the norm. I suppose it is up for debate.

What do you think…

  1. Nicole says:

    Everything is relative….. you spend what you make, you befriend those that are the same status, mind frame, and beliefs as you, People will do what they do and what they know regardless the amount of money or for that matter the amount of people that love them begging them not to.
    You as a middleclass husband, father, and working man think “wow” look at the money these kids make. Look at all the material items they posses. Look at the fact that they get to go out to a stadium every Sunday and play football, the greatest game ever, and that is their job they make millions doing. You say how lucky are they….
    John doe the resident at the home you work at who is young, maybe even right around your age, who spends his day, every day, in a nursing home…. Moving from inside his room, to inside the home to out front of the home, that’s it 24 hours a day 7 days a week. The highlight of his day to go out and smoke a cigarette. Who lives with only men and is told when he can do something and when he can’t. Then he sees you pull up every morning, in your Pacifica, dressed in your nice clothes, carrying in your coffee and telve pack of pop, grabbing your bag and kissing your wife good bye for the day, knowing in 8 hours you will get to leave to go home and see your precious children who love you unconditionally, have a dinner made for you based on what you like, not what is on the menu, Then you get to work on your lap top in your 4 bedroom house in the suburbs that you get to freely come and go and do as you please, and every other Friday you get to pick up your paycheck which is far far more than the government money he gets to have ….And John Doe thinks wow look at him, look at what he has, look at his car, and his clothes, and his wife, and his house, and his kids, and the amount of his paycheck. And he hears you decided to cheat on your wife, do drugs, fight dogs, whatever even though you knew those actions would leave you without all the great things listed above. And John Doe thinks “God what a fool he threw all that away to what have some sex, do some drugs, and fight some dogs….Gee if I had what he had I would never cheat on my wife, use drugs or gamble……just as you say about those athletes.
    It is relative, people with riches beyond your wildest imagines, people who are wealthy, people who are well to do, people who are middle class, people who are poor, and people who have nothing but the shirt on their back….they all will do what they do they all will be who they are at their core and will always look at someone else and think “Gee if I had the fortune that guy had I would then be a better person”….. its to bad more people cant say “Wow I have so much right now to keep it I better be the best person I can to those I love so the fortune I have now never goes away and I find myself like John Doe”
    That’s what I think anyway…

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      I aree with your point. I was having this same situation. Life always seems better oj the other side only to discover you were not meant to flow against the Tao’

  2. I’m a little taken aback at the examples you offered. It’s probably not intentional, but you only listed black athletes who were born into financially less well-off circumstances. What about white athletes who keep getting themselves in trouble and who weren’t born in “the ghetto”?

    For example, Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I believe he was born into a middle class family. Ben seems to have a problem forcing himself on women and then laughing about it.

    What about Floyd Landis? He’s the fellow who “won” the 2006 Tour de France. He was later stripped of his crown under suspicions of doping and has now admitted that he was totally juiced.

    If we look at Major League baseball, the majority of players accused of steroid use are white, not Latino or black. I’m sure some of them came from impoverished homes, but a lot of them did not.

    Lastly, just because someone grew up in “the projects” does NOT mean they naturally will have a troubled character. People who don’t know how to keep themselves out of trouble come from ALL socio-economic groups. Some supposedly are devoutly religious and some are atheists.

    In fact, if you want to look at one group that seems to be in the news all the time re outlandish and “naughty” behavior, look at fundamentalist Christian preachers. They rail against sins of the flesh (fornication, prostitution, pornography, drug usage, and particularly homosexuality) and yet so many of them exhibit these very behaviors behind closed doors.

    Almost every single one of them is white and many of them come from privileged backgrounds.

    • Tim Lundmark says:


      It was not intentional it was what popped in my mind so I went with it. The example I gave about Warrick Dunn was he came from the ghetto and turned out to be a great man. I understand and agree with the examples you gave. I thought I came to the conclusion the statement is false. I just do not understand any color athletes who throw their lives away.

      I was in no way trying to single out a specific race, this one had more examples to draws from. Perhaps I should delete this post?

  3. Maybe you could add an addendum, not delete it.

  4. No. Your addendum doesn’t explain away the racial slant at all. I was thinking more in line with adding text that stated that athletes (people, really) from ALL races and walks of life have problems in this area. White athletes like Landis, Roethlisberger and Roger Clemens have been in the news just as much as the three you mentioned.

  5. Marcus T. Tolbert says:

    I have been here for quite a while now and have enjoyed it very much. Keep on keeping on.

  6. Sean says:

    lots of people sorry for ghetto people but the people in the ghetto are not sorry for themselves , They dont want to speak properly and stop drinking and stop smoking pot , most people that smoke pot have bad attitude . The ghetto people like to live the way they do becasue they dont want to work and dont like to work so it is a free for all life , If someone deicde to give them a chance in life and give them a job the first thing they do is steal from the person that give them a break . Lets stop pretending and making excuses or people who dont care about them selves and lets face reality . I grow up poor and still are living check to check but i dont steal nd i have great attitude and are trying to go to school a little at a time when i can save enough to do it . U must have goals in life and dreams not have rum and pot in your life .

    • Sean says:

      The govenment and the lawmakers are the reason why they ghetto live the way they do , The government condone in crime and let people steal and commit crimes and get away with it . remember petty crimes turns to large crimes . If the goverment dont get tufer on crimes then we will see the end of our youths in the future , I dont believe in rehablitation it doesnt work , They already know how to cimmit crimes by rehabillating then is maing them smarter and wiser and as soon as thigs dont go their way or things go bad for them they will go back to what they use to do but only this time they have more knowldge in how to commit a crime because of the teaching they get from the rehablitation.

    • krysmeyris says:

      It’ll be really nice if a mature person like yourself use the word “most” when writing this types of point of views…

  7. Darlene says:

    Ok lets use the example of children. When I met my fiancé he lived in a ghetto, his ex lived in a ghetto with her 5 children ( 2 of which were his). We have been together for 3 years now and the first thing we decided to do if possible was to move out of the ghetto, for our children. I had never lived in a “ghetto” until I had met him and subsequently moved in. We have lived in our current suburban home for 2 1/2 years, and his children who were quite accustomed to the lifestyle cannot break the habits of the ghetto, they are now 6 & 7. I am finding it very hard to break the cycle for them. Their mother still lives in the ghetto and when they are at our home they cannot break their habits. They break things senselessly, want to act like wild animals out doors ( not the usual play in the yard, and act loud like most children) run out into the streets, swearing, twerking, smashing anything they can find. I really thought i could help these children by taking them out of the ghetto and showing them a different lifestyle but apparently as of so far: You can take the child out of the ghetto but you cannot take the ghetto out of the child :/.

    • Darlene,

      I want to start by saying I used “Ghetto” only because of the popular quote. I believe the linguistics used to describe someone’s “Social Class” is far more powerful than we realize.”Ghetto” “Projects” “Section 8 Housing” ect. Sends a message to the child and those living under such titles of hopelessness and complacency. This mixed with mass media results in children being socially constructed without even knowing it. This is a topic for another time. I am not sure of visitation time or what your specifics are, but it sounds like you guys have a very tough road ahead, but this is a battle WE as a society cannot afford to lose. The transition between homes is like walking into an alternate reality. Having three siblings at his ex’s house only compounds the problem.

      Thank you for commenting and giving me something to add to my list of things to write about. I am no expert, but always willing to give advice.

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