From Sandusky to Sandy Hook to Obama's re-election... the good in 2012 was outdone by the bad
2012. This is one expiration date I wish I could hurry. It was a very tragic year from its opening moments and except for a few brief successes—presidential re-election and Summer Olympics—the overarching narrative of 2012 has been wanton destruction, bloody mayhem, tragic loss, especially among our most innocent... the children.
This month's still unexplained massacre of 20 first and second-graders in the tiny hamlet of Sandy Hook, CT was of such a mind-numbing proportions that it overshadowed the conviction 11 months earlier of former Perm State football coach Jerry Sandusky who was given what amounted to a lifetime prison sentence for his conviction as serial juvenile sexual predator... The continuing carnage of American troops in Afghanistan (many times by allies who've been trained by US Army troops) also continued to eat into the nation's patience with a war that has now outlasted all of the wars our country has ever waged.
The continuing toll left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy still plagues several thousand families in the New York-New Jersey metro area as they struggle with the tough decision of whether to rebuild homes and businesses in areas where the effects of climate change (namely, raised sea levels) already have been felt.
One indicator of just how tough 2012 actually turned out to be is best evidenced by the fact that politics provided one of the year's few upbeat stories with President Barack Obama's rather easy victory to a second term overcoming GOP-inspired voter suppression tactics in more than a dozen key states, including Pennsylvania.
Another smile inducer was Gabrielle Douglas, one of the leaders of the American women's gymnastic team, who became the first African American female to win a gold medal in her sport. Regrettably though, a misguided tribe of black female social media twit-wits decided to chastise Douglas via the internet complaining about her hairstyle.
And then just in time for the Christmas season, the School Reform Commission threw us a new monkey wrench when they announced plans to close 37 schools (11 of them high schools like Strawberry Mansion and Germantown) all in the name of greater effeciency and hopes of saving at least $29 million. The expected blow-back from effected parents, students and staff has already begun and is expected to last well into the beginning of the new year.
Among those whom we lost in 2012, regrettably again many of our exiting African Americans were just too young: including the likes ofTrayvon Martin, the black Florida teen who was shot by a white neighborhood watch volunteer; singing sensation Whitney Houston, actors Michael Clarke Duncan and Sherman Hemsley, writer/activist Rodney King, Soul Train founder/host Don Cornelius, 1970's disco diva Donna Summer, and 1950's vocalist Etta James.
Local notables who died in 2012 included Arlen Specter, the longest serving US Senator in the history of the commonwealth and Joe Paterno, who was forced to watch his legendary status as coach of Perm State football get sacked by the full weight of the Sandusky scandal.
On the health front one bit of good news came mid year with word of a home kit for testing for the AIDS virus. Ora Quick, at $40 per, is an over-the-counter product available at local drug stores that can provide results in about 20 minutes. Now, at least there is no valid reason for anyone not to know their status.
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Our work doesn't stop at America's borders, and I want you to know what your support has made possible. In the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the NAACP funded four projects with the $200,000 that incredible NAACP supporters like you donated to help the country rebuild.
The NAACP views it as "lynching's cousin". In a nutshell, that's the reason that NAACP President/CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous predicts the end to the death penalty in America within the next 10 years. "We're moving fast," says Jealous. "This is one of our top national priorities as it has been for the last 104 years..."
On Monday, January 14, 2013, at 8:50am, a five year-old female student was abducted from Bryant Elementary school, located at 6001 Cedar Avenue. The child was taken out of the Hazel Street exit of the school, then left on 61st Street.
A Florida judge has denied defense requests to end 24-hour GPS monitoring of George Zimmerman while he is out on bond in the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. Judge Debra Nelson denied bond requests from Zimmerman's defense team Tuesday.
Wearing a T-shirt with his son's picture on it that says "Kill Guns, Not Kids," Ron Davis said he is staying positive and focused four days after laying his son to rest. He is organizing a candlelight vigil that will be held at Friendship Fountain on Saturday, December 15th.
President - Barack Obama (D)
Vice President - Joe Biden (D)
U.S. Senate - Bob Casey Jr. (D)
Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the US elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.