Tell The Uncomfortable Stories And Make Sure People Hear You Just Like Muckrakers In History

Tell The Uncomfortable Stories And Make Sure People Hear You Just Like Muckrakers In History

"All art is propoganda"- W.E.B. Du Bois


In the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, there were what are called Muckrakers. The term came from a day when Teddy Roosevelt was asked by a few journalists to answer some questions on the street. Journalism was a new profession created in wake of the newspaper's rising popularity, it was not a renown profession and President Roosevelt added to their poor public reputation in a famous quote in response to those journalists; "I will not have them rake muck over my good name!" and thus, coined the term "muckraker" as a colloquialism for a journalist or someone who set out to "stir the pot" by revealing the injustices and discrepancies in society through photography, art, news articles, literature, or other media.

We owe such things as the regulation and inspection of meat, drugs, and food, as well as the progression of the refrigerator to Muckrakers like Upton Sinclair who wrote a book about the horrific conditions of the meat packing industry of his time. Ida Tarbell pioneered investigative journalism and what would become our modern profession of social work through writing and speaking about the pain, mistreatment, and injustice women and children without homes face.

Urban reform, the invention of the garbage collection system, destruction of tenements and implementation of proper urban housing, and more refined sewage systems can be accredited to Jacob Riis and his book called How the Other Side Lives which sought out the stories and faces of people (primarily immigrants and people of color) forced to live in tenements which were cramped, shabbily built city housing that harbored disease and poverty.

So many journalists are being killed all over the world, not excluding the US, for writing the truth of the world around them. We need stories, we need faces, we need documentation of people's lives to keep so we never repeat what they have to have or let their reality die.

Tell stories.

In the words of W.E.B. Du Bois, "all art is propaganda". What is propaganda? "Ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause." At the first meeting of what would become the NAACP, W.E.B. Du Bois said this to encourage the people at the meeting to tell their own stories and not let anyone tell it for them.

Everyone is born with a microphone and a story to tell, but the volume is different for everyone. It is naturally turned up or down for you based on your identity and society, which promotes a surplus of the same stories and maybe what is worse, a telling of someone else's story for them by someone with a higher volume on their microphone. Pass mics, don't speak for people. Tell your own story and help others tell theirs but never tell it for them. Art of any kind promotes some kind of message and cause, so do stories and the danger of telling someone else's is taking it from them and using it to promote your cause instead of theirs.

This is not a competition, people telling the stories of the people should not be pitted against each other, but respect the value of their voice by letting them proclaim it but always lift it and back it up.

And rake some muck. Tell the uncomfortable stories and make sure people hear them. Tell the truth, especially if it's uncomfortable, enraging, and scary. But let it be the truth because history is nothing if not the truth. If we do not remember people and their voices for who they truly were, no washing of their stories for our comfort and their belittlement.

Listen, speak, and rake some muck.

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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.


Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.

About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.

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The 2020 Race Is Feeling The Bern

Everything you need to know about Bernie Sanders entering the presidential race.


This morning, February 19, 2019, Brooklyn-born Bernie Sanders announced he is running for president once again.

Unlike his run in 2016, though, Sanders now joins a crowded field of progressive candidates, one of which is Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

In Sanders's own words, this campaign is "about taking on the powerful special interests that dominate our economic and political life". Sanders went on to say that this is a "pivotal and dangerous moment in American history," and "We are running against a President who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction".

In his interview with CBS, Sanders explained that it is "absolutely imperative that Donald Trump be defeated", and described candidates whom he is running alongside as his "friends".

Regarding policy issues, his focus remains the same as in previous years, planning to focus largely on women's reproductive rights, lower prices for prescription drugs, and criminal justice reform.

Sanders is also widely recognized because of his goal of universal healthcare. His Medicare-for-all bill that was drafted in 2017 outlines the establishment of a "national health insurance program to provide comprehensive protection against the costs of health-care and health-related services". According to estimates, however, such a plan would increase federal spending by $2.5 trillion a year.

When it comes to education, Sanders plans to make preschool for all 4-year-olds free, aiming to fund this plan through tax increases on the wealthy as well as Wall Street transactions.

More widely acknowledged is his "College For All Act", which would provide $47 billion a year to states in order to eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees at public colleges and universities. Additionally, the act would cut student loan interest rates nearly in half for undergrads.

In terms of social issues, Sanders is pro-choice when it comes to abortion rights and opposes policies which discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, such as Trump's push to ban transgender people from the military.

The New York Times discusses the idea that the political field of the 2020 run might leave Sanders a "victim of his own success", in that the multitude of Democratic candidates are embracing policies which Sanders championed in the last race.

"Ironically, Bernie's agenda for working families will be the Democratic Party's message in 2020, but he may not be the one leading the parade," said talk show host Bill Press.

Moreover, victories by women, minorities, and first-time candidates in the 2018 midterm elections suggest that "fresh energy" is preferred by Democrats, which potentially poses a challenge for Sanders.

Conversely, though, Sanders is also starting off with certain advantages, such as a "massive lead among low-dollar donors that is roughly equivalent to the donor base of all the other Democratic hopefuls combined".

Donald Trump responded to Sanders's announcement by saying, "First of all I think he missed his time, but... I like Bernie. He sort of would agree on trade... the problem is he doesn't know what to do about it. But I wish Bernie well."

By and large, Sanders is another strong candidate, and it will be interesting to see if he can generate the same energy and support now that he did in 2016.

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