The glass is half-full, not half empty

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2004

One year ago, Selmians wanted to know where our suppliers to Hyundai were.

There was much speculation, moaning and groaning over why Selma did not immediately land a supplier, especially compared to the likes of Greeneville, Luverne and other communities that seemed to have a magnetic force attracting what was believed to be the few suppliers.

One complaint was Selma could not attract these because of the actions of municipal government. The fact that squabbling took place in the city council chambers between the mayor and the council members was considered a reason why the Korean automaker decided not to send its suppliers to our community. Even though the majorities of the cities across the country quarrel and fight, it is never as bad as it is in Selma, according to some.

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Some people complained it was Selma’s demographics. It was said the demographics hurt the potential to attract these new industries. Because Selma’s population is 70 percent African-American, these naysayers said, Hyundai would not send its suppliers to our community.

There were even statements that the Times-Journal was to blame because of the so-called “negative” news that was covered and displayed on the front page and Web site day in and day out.

The fact is people in our community were upset because they thought Selma was overlooked. Those people needed scapegoats, and the above are just a few.

Now, thanks to the work of Team Selma and others involved, Selma and Dallas County can boast of the potential 300 jobs that the Hyundai manufacturing plant in Montgomery has brought to our area.

Interestingly, those same people are still complaining. There are still moans and groans that the numbers do not add up. We need a guarantee is what some say. Well, if you need a guarantee – buy a toaster. The people who make these announcements, such as the governor of Alabama, are considered the “experts.”

We must take these announcements and numbers at face value. If the time comes that the numbers don’t hold true, that will be the time to hold people accountable. Holding people accountable and merely complaining are two completely different actions, however.

If Craig Air Base came back to life housing thousands of soldiers with open wallets in anticipation of spending all their hard-earned dollars in Selma’s city limits, there still would be those people who could not be pleased.

Selma is moving forward. Dallas County has benefited from the Hyundai Manufacturing Company and will continue doing so.

Is this it, or as was stated in Monday’s announcement, is there more to come? We believe there is more to come.

Let us stop looking at our glass as half-empty and begin looking at Selma and Dallas County as half-full.