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29 Dec 2012

From Sandusky to Sandy Hook to Obama’s re-election… the good in 2012 was outdone by the bad

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December 29, 2012 Category: Philly NAACP Posted by:

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

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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