The Hard Truth

By Thomas Sheffield

We Americans have grown too soft.  We have fallen victim of the constant praises being bestowed upon us even if they aren’t warranted.  We have become accustomed to hearing the US is the greatest country in the world!  We have the smartest people in the world!  We create the best businesses in the world!  We have the strongest military in the world!  We have the greatest healthcare in the world!  We have the greatest economy in the world!  We build the greatest products, grow the best crops, have the cleanest coal, and the best water, air and soil in the world!  Don’t get me wrong, I honestly believe this is the greatest country in the world because of our freedoms and basic rights of which we take for granted.  I also honestly believe we have become too comfortable hearing and telling ourselves how great we are.

Donald Trump became president because he has fooled many people by stroking the egos of the weak.  He says we have the best steel but doesn’t use it to build his buildings.  We have the best industries but many of the products he makes are made overseas.  He says we have the best workers but his hotels hire undocumented workers and does not pay a livable wage.  He says we have the best farmers in the world but pays them subsidies not to grow crops.  All the while farmers continue to go bankrupt.  He touts the country’s natural resources but rolls back the laws meant to protect them.

So, let’s tell the truth.  We do have the greatest economy in the world if you are already rich.  The economy is great but more and more of our friends, relative and neighbors continue to struggle and survive.  Tennessee has a median household income of $51,000.  It comes in 41st in the nation as we are forced to deal with lower paying, blue collar industries.  Yet, many of us are forced to work longer hours or to get a second job to make ends meet.  Meanwhile the quality of our lives continue to suffer as well.

The hard truth is many of us do not make a livable wage.  Black workers still make only 82.5 cents on the dollar earned by white workers.  The median white family has almost 10 times as much wealth as the median black family.  The hard truth is black unemployment is still roughly twice the white unemployment.  So if African Americans are not making as much and are still more unlikely to be employed as whites, then how is the economy the best in the world for me, my family and members of my community?  Do we get a participation award?  No we get a tough break and thanks for playing award.

We cannot afford to be comfortable.  I know you are tired, but we have to fight on!!!  We have to speak the hard truth and do the work of leading which is an action verb and not a proper noun.

Please feel free to contact me thomsustainableconsulting@gmail.com or you can follow me on Twitter @tcsheff. #Resist #WordsActionChange

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