Don't be a gullible fool

© 2020 Jim Spence There are two great stories out there in American folklore that need to be re-told to the American public. Both are true stories of amazing women born into poverty in America, who made it big in terms of both fame and fortune.

The first astonishing rags to riches American success story begins with a little baby girl born in the south in the middle of the Great Depression (1932). She is the older of the two future stars. She was the oldest daughter of eight siblings. This young lady grew up in a small town in Eastern Kentucky. Her parents were uneducated people of very modest means. Her father worked as a laborer and her mother worked odd jobs while raising eight children. Both parents and the older children in the family worked daily during the growing season at subsistence farming, just to make ends meet.

The youngest of the future stars was born during World War II (1942) in Memphis, Tennessee. She was not born in a hospital, but rather in her own family's home. Her father, originally from Shelby, Mississippi was a Baptist minister. This future star grew up as part of a merged family. Both her parents had children from previous relationships in addition to the four children they had together.

Both of these young ladies sang in choirs at their churches, though neither was necessarily recognized early on as having world class vocalist talent. Each of these young ladies also relocated to the north and to the northwest before they were adults. The eldest moved to the state of Washington, and the other to Buffalo, New York before going on to Detroit, Michigan.

Both women lost a parent young in life. The eldest lost her father to lung disease when she was 26 years old and he was 52. The younger future star lost her mother to cancer when she was just nine years old.

Neither woman was an overnight success. Both paid stiff dues to climb the ladders in their singing genres. However, decades later when their professional careers wound down, they were awarded Grammy’s for Lifetime Achievement to go with all the other awards, honors, and trophies on their mantles and in their trophy cases.

The eldest superstar remains alive today. Loretta Lynn, the "Queen of Country Music," is 88 years old. Lynn's net worth is estimated at $65 million dollars. Lynn, a coal miner’s daughter continues to live the great American Dream.

Sadly, the younger superstar died just two years ago at age 76. At her passing, Aretha Franklin, The "Queen of Soul," had also lived the American dream. Franklin's estate was estimated to be $80 million.

From very humble beginnings both women brought the ultimate combination of intangible advantages to their lives. Both had the opportunity to develop their singing voices in church and then in very modest surroundings before ascending to the highest status of their profession. Both worked hard, took risks, sacrificed, and overcame what might seem to some like impossible circumstances. Only in American can young women from the poorest of American families in Appalachia or Detroit become real life queens.

Anyone who has seen the devastating poverty that comes with all large families of modest means, whether in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, or Detroit, Michigan understands the numerous adversities both these women faced.

Yet like so many women who have come since the rises of Loretta Lynn and Aretha Franklin, millions of American females in one form or another, have enjoyed the American dream thanks to talent, drive, persistence, and making enough good choices.

The lesson here should be simple. The American dream is not some sort of monolithic set of circumstances with determinant outcomes. The American dream does not have to lead to net worth totals of somewhere between $65 million and $80 million dollars, let alone all the luxuries that might come with those extraordinary sums of money to still be quite be extraordinary.

Yes, the American dream means many things to many people. However, the common thread in the American dream is being able to see how far your talent, ambition, drive, and persistence can take you based on where you want to go.

The idea that somehow “privilege” based on a certain "race" is required for any American boy or girl to successfully pursue the American dream, is the biggest lie foisted on the public in decades. This horrific lie, which is quite sadly, fundamental to the Black Lives Matter narrative, is deeply political in its very nature. And anyone who is buying what politicians are selling, whether they be white, black, brown, or otherwise, are swallowing what cynically selfish politicians WANT THEM TO SWALLOW.

There is a phrase that describes these purchases: It is called...simply being a gullible fool.