2015 Was a Year Full of Shock and Significance

Rep. Reggie Fullwood

OK, to say that 2015 flew by would be very cliche’ right? But it would be so true.

As the year comes to an end, the holidays just didn’t seem quite the same – especially with 80-degree weather in Jacksonville and 60-degree weather in New York City ????
Regardless of the weather, 2015 will be remembered as a year of significant change and astounding events.

One of my favorite stories or nonstories of the year was the fact that President Obama seemed to get his swag back. Whether he was clowning Republican Presidential candidates or attempting to sing at widely televised events – he seemed to be comfortable with himself again.

In fact, El Presidente seemed to be having the most fun he’s had in office, even appearing on one of those survival in the woods kind of reality shows. Gotta love Barack and Michelle! Speaking of the first lady – she continued to be her normal relevant self – focusing on education and health initiatives for kids – she was everywhere in 2015.
Speaking of politics, 2015 also brought us the three ring circus that is the Republican candidate pool for the presidency. And while I hate to waste precious Free Press ink on his buffoonery – Mr. Apprentice/The Donald/Big Hair/Donald Trump certainly has entertained the public with his bigotry, arrogance and rudeness.

We are talking about the first of his kind type of presidential candidate – his success is not based on policy or real vision for the country, but he is feeding on the fears of white America. It’s as if Archie Bunker hit the lotto and decided to run for president.

Congrats to The Donald – you have succeeded in making politics a much more filthy profession.

One of the major highlights of 2015 was the fact that black folk continued to use protest and social media to actually make a difference. Sure too many of us are tweeting, and posting Instagram pics from the gym or our favorite restaurant, but the “Black Lives Matter” movement was significant in 2015.
The revolution was televised and blasted throughout the social media sphere.

While we saw continued violence against unarmed black men in 2015 – the reaction was crystal clear. Black folk are fed up and going to make sure that the world knows. One of the most chilling moments from 2015 was the video of a white South Carolina police officer shooting an unarmed black man, Walter Scott, in the back eight times while the man was running away.

Mr. Scott ran from the police, which he shouldn’t have, but again he was unarmed and not aggressive towards the officer, which does not warrant eight shots in the back. #Blacklivesmatter!

How about the stunning mass murders that took place in June of 2015. While at evening prayer group at the historic AME church in Charleston, South Carolina nine black parishioners were gunned down by young domestic terrorist/white supremacist, Dylann Roof. And he had the nerve to think that his actions would start a race war. #Blacklivesmatter!

One of my favorite stories of the year came out of Missouri and no I am not talking about the issues in Ferguson this time.
The University of Missouri took center stage in the equality movement in November when student Jonathan Butlerbegan a hunger strike in protest to several racially motivated incidents went unchecked by the university president. On November 2nd, Butler announced that he wouldn’t eat another thing until the President was removed. So what – it’s just one black kid with some support from faculty and students right?

And then the football players stepped up and changed the entire conversation. Once 32 of Missouri’s football players made the public declaration that they were not playing another down of football until the President was gone and racial issues addressed, the school President’s fate was sealed. #Blacklivesmatter!
As usual I am running out of time and space so let me just quickly point out some of the major stories of 2015.

I refuse to talk about Bruce Jenner or Caitlyn because in the grand scheme of things it was only relevant to those who made money from the former athlete “coming out.”
While the roll out of the Apple Watch was a big deal to some – it was nothing in the grand scheme of all that happened in 2015.

I would much rather spend time talking about Star Wars and how it broke almost all box office records with it’s December opening.

The Paris bombings were devastating and a part of a string of terrorist attacks that ISIS took credit for that spanned the globe.

How about the Supreme Court shocking the nation and declaring the same sex marriage is legal in all 50 states. Talks about a monumental decision – it was easily one of the biggest stories in our nation’s history – forget 2015.

The Syrian refugee crisis was a major issue world wide with European nations being flooded with Syrians attempting to flee the country’s violent civil war.
Planned Parenthood was in the middle of mass confusion and under political attack from Republicans on Capital Hill that were doing everything possible to cut the organization’s funding. Fast forward to November and the organization was literally under attack from a maniac that killed several people at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic.

How about the death of Bobbi Christina Brown in a similar manner in which her mother died – it’s one of the saddestcelebrity stories of 2015.
I still didn’t get a chance to talk about the continued gun violence in America, the sorry Mayweather/Pacquiao fight, the Confederate flag coming down all over the country and Serena Williams having an awesome year.

So much to write about, but so few lines allocated.

Happy New Year, and may 2016 bring many blessings and prosperity your way.

Reggie Fullwood

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