November 21, 2014

Sometimes I just want to watch junk TV and read romance novels and avoid all the societal issues that make me so frustrated and angry and deeply deeply sad.

Sometimes I just want to rant and rave and march and scream and …

Why? Because the American Dream doesn’t really exist. And we keep lying to ourselves. Because the U.S. is behind (and often far behind) the rest of the world in any kind of life dream. And we keep denying that fact.

The reality in the U.S.? Racism still thrives. (And having a black President doesn’t change our racist history and contemporary racist behavior.) Sexism still thrives. (We’re something like 82nd in the world in the number of women in our federal legislature.) Reproductive justice (Pretty much a joke). Basic human rights like universal healthcare and universal childcare and damn good accessible education — not really. Certainly nowhere as good as most other western nations.

The U.S. being so wonderful and so exceptional…doesn’t much exist. But we keep pretending.

Have you read Nicholas Kristof’s op ed series “When Whites Just Don’t Get It”? Everyone should read this series. Every single teacher in no matter which subject could make students read this series and talk about it.

Read “Inequality, Unbelievably, Gets Worse” (Steven Rattner, New York Times, November 16, 2014) Now read Joseph Stiglitz’s “How Inequality Is Killing the American Dream…And What We Can Do About It.” Stiglitz isn’t just ranting. He’s an economist!

I think that the U.S. is broken…very very broken. And there are far too many people who don’t recognize the breaks. There are too many people who think this broken-ness is all about individual responsibility: “Just pull yourself up by your bootstraps, buddy!”

Apparently the conservative industry (and yes, I believe it’s an industry) doesn’t care about achieving anything. The conservative industry wants to break this country even more. I’m tired of a dysfunction government. Shouldn’t that be illegal? Read Charles M. Blow’s “Partisanship Breaks the Government.” 

When will voters realize that “just kicking the current bums out and electing different ones” isn’t actually a meaningful strategy? When will people realize that there is a range of awfulness within the bum continuum. I want the less awful bums when I vote.

When will Americans acknowledge the truth about the failings in this country? When will Americans look to other countries and note some of their greatness — and demand…YES DEMAND…that the U.S. change?

I’m very sad today. Maybe I’ll go read a romance novel.

Oh… I can’t. I have client work to do. Maybe these wonderful philanthropic organizations will make me feel better. They usually do.

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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