Below are our choices for the ten most important stories of the past year. When we say important, we’d like to stress that they caught the attention of the American public for an extended period of time, as well as news outlets. They are in no particular order.
LeBron James’ “The Decision”
Entering free agency, LeBron James was the most loved basketball player on the planet. After free agency was done, he automatically became not only the most hated basketball player to ever play in Ohio, but the most hated basketball player in the country. “The Decision” changed many lives, but most of all, it showed how quickly you can go from loved to hated in sports.
South Africa World Cup
Though South Africa has only made 10 percent of what it invested in the World Cup back, this event of epic proportions could not be measured in profit. The world’s greatest game was brought to the world’s second biggest continent and the country put on a first-class show.
The Bishop Eddie Long scandal
From allegations of sexual coercion, to a private mediation, and allegations of mortgage fraud of his parishioners; whether guilty or not, this hasn’t been a good year for the Bishop.
Charlie Rangel censured
After being censured on a vote of close to 5 to 1, Rangel admitted guilt, but said he never intended to pad his bank account. He simply chalked it up to some accounting errors. The censure caused Rangel to be removed from his powerful position on top of the House Ways & Means Committee.
It’s at 16 percent and things don’t seem to be getting any better. While many Black groups and leaders have called for Pres. Obama to address this problem directly, the President sees focusing on Black unemployment solely as a landmine he can’t afford to step on.
The Shirley Sherrod fiasco
Alright, let’s go one by one: the White House denounced her, the NAACP denounced her, and she was then fired. Then magically, she was asked to come back to the USDA in a higher position, the NAACP apologized and so did the White House reluctantly. Who was the culprit? Conservative gotcha video taper Andrew Breitbart, who cut out the important parts of her whole speech.
A 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti in early January and devastated a country that was already decimated by centuries of lack of development. Close to 300,000 people died in this tragic event. The international response was amazing, but to date, only 10 percent of funds have been used towards helping the Haitian recovery.
One of President Obama‘s promises to his base before being elected was to provide Healthcare to all. While the public option may have been missing, the passage of this law is one of the great policy initiatives in history.
BP Oil Spill
The BP oil spill began in early April killing 11 people. It went on to last over three months costing many in the Gulf their livelihood for decades to come. Almost 200 million gallons of gas were dropped in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Republicans embarrass the Democrats in the Midterm Elections
63 House seats, six Senate seats; that’s what the Democrats lost two years after an anti-Republican wave rode Barack Obama into office. Now, with his approval ratings at an all-time low, the country turned their backs on the President and the Democrats, and chose to put their faith into the Republicans.