Adios, 2016. You came and left so quickly it’s hard to believe. I lost a number of good friends this past year to you. Their demise was part of God’s plan even if I didn’t like it.
Chicago, meanwhile, bid goodbye to Gary McCarthy as police superintendent while welcoming Eddie Johnson. Sadly, Chicago’s murder rate continues to soar. I don’t know what number of people are truly responsible for the majority of the shootings and killings. But I am positive those killers are living off someone else’s dime, and until we attack the problem from a 360-degree angle, we are not solving anything.
Racism in its “rainbow shades of appearance” continues to rear its ugly head. Some actions are overt, others covert. Olivet Nazarene University’s Moodle testing program was called into question by a black student who alleged it was programmed to fail her. Just like we were once lied to and told that the internet was anonymous, we need to be cognizant that testing via technology isn’t free from designating certain folks for failure under the guise of neutrality.
We had a historical election pitting two of the most disliked candidates in history against one another. Race was at the undertone of the entire campaign. It has been fascinating watching some black folks’ reaction to the lost by one and the win by the other. As a people, we spent the past eight years so enamored of the racial aspect of the current president that I pray we won’t spend the next four years complaining about the racial aspect of the next president.
Jesse Williams’ speech at the BET Awards has now faded from memory. A good speech without a corresponding game plan to put it into action has made that speech “forgotten chatter.” “Cultural appropriation” became a much-used term, allowing the offended minority group can claim victimization status. This also applies to the term “racist.” It was lobbed about so freely that its use is losing meaning as folks apply it whenever they can’t come up with a legitimate response.
The Rio Summer Olympics gave us two memorable gold medal champions. Simone Biles in gymnastics made every routine she did look easy. Simone Manuel in swimming proved that we can swim!
Curtis Jackson, the homeless guy who made the display window on North Avenue his spot never returned. Hopefully he found a better place to live than on the streets.
I became a Netflix addict in 2016. Luke Cage gave me a black superhero I could believe in. Celia; La Esclava Blanca; Pablo Escobar – El Patron Del Mal; La Nina are some of the best series that have come out of the Spanish language stations. Series that address social ills are an excellent way to tell one’s story on screen, which is impossible to do in a two-hour movie.
Illegal immigration has remained a constant, unresolved situation, dealt with only in patches. One of the reasons Donald Trump resonated with a lot of people was his ability to bring the issue to the table and force many who had been lying about it to tell some truths. During the campaign, Trump said in effect that one should never let his opponent know the game plan. As political pundits sit around unable to pinpoint Trump’s moves, I wonder if he is doing as he stated? As a journalist, I am assured that Trump will give me plenty of commentary for fodder.
Have a safe and happy New Year!