2016…what could have been a good, progressive year was not. Come July we thought “well, this HAS to be it. Only good from here.” We were wrong. It seemed just when you thought people couldn’t become any more hateful and resentful they did. 2016 proved that so many people still hold hate so near and dear to their hearts. It showed that many people place their own privilege above saving lives – let’s vote for less tax, not someone that supports LGBTQ+ and pro-choice movements. It was a fight from the beginning.
But one thing I am so glad 2016 has brought us, is the undying truth that there is a fight for justice and solidarity in people. Finally people are no longer sitting idly by watching and hoping someone will do something. They are the doers. They are getting involved and helping and making a better tomorrow for ourselves and our future generations. We are asking “why” – a question that seems to have been left by the way side for far too long. Why are black lives being treated like a nuisance not the carefully crafted God created people they are? Why are woman being told to wear more, and men not told to stop being a vicious animal? Why are kids being bombed and killed? Why. Why. Why.
There is so much about 2016 that makes me mad, makes me upset, and makes me cry. The obvious one is the election of the U.S. Watching so much hope disappear from myself and millions of others too was devastating. The U.S could have had their first woman president, they could have had someone that was going to fight for them – not fight against them. And they blew it. The world watched in awe (as did Hillary supporters) while the votes seemed to become a horror film no one paid to watch. It all seemed useless. It wasn’t just Trump’s policy’s. But the fact that so many people supported them. They said “hey, it doesn’t matter if woman can safely have an abortion as long as I can pay less tax”, they shouted “heck yeah, if Donald can assault woman so can I!” The most horrible picture I have ever seen is the photo of men as the results were announced. The pure hatred they held towards woman was evident, I knew that they were cheering for all the wrong ways they would treat any woman that crossed their path. It crushed me.But I followed the journey of many families in NYC and saw as they still held these values, they still held hope. And that gave me hope. That it wasn’t the end. Maybe it would take longer to get where we’re going, but we would get there. No one was going to give up.
If I could say one thing to 2016, it would be “fuck you.” Fuck you for all that you put us through. For the kids in Aleppo (and their families), for the families of the victims of the Orlando club shooting. Fuck you for the deaths of so many talented people – we didn’t deserve this. Fuck you 2016, for forcing Standing Rock to be a thing of protest not hope. People shouldn’t have to fight for their right to survive. Fuck you for still not allowing Flint to have clean water – even though it’s been two years. Fuck you for being such a hardass. It wasn’t fair. We didn’t deserve any of this.
2017 – the year of progress. The year we will move passed all that was 2016. We will not forget it. We will not dismiss the way we felt. But we will not linger in the turmoil. We will build new homes, build new relationships – we will build a stronger, better future. We have strength and we have hope, we cannot give in to 2016.