2007 was one hell of a year. The hopes and fears of a few years came to rest in these twelve months. The Subprime Mortgage debacle, Michael Vick’s “Dog Days” and the Asian product difficulty have marked 2007 in a way that will keep it at the top of our minds for years to come.
While there are lists of top ten news stories and top ten Black news stories, this is my top ten list of things that stuck in my craw and stayed on my mind. Add your own.
1. Why does the Catholic Church have over half a billion to settle child abuse cases? And why will the Catholic Church relocate and protect the accused child molesters, but come down hard on people who merely divorce? I had some extreme difficulty with people boycotting R. Kelly concerts, but not even discussing the children violated by the priests who are given protection by an institution that claims to represent God. If R Kelly is to be castigated, then I don’t see nothin’ wrong...
2. Why is anyone surprised that big business has turned its back on the very source of cheap labor it depended on for years? At some point, it had to come to an end, but the efforts of illegal immigrant workers to unionize and garner a “living wage” after displacing American workers by agreeing to work for sub-minimum wages certainly made the turn come quicker.
3. Why is Dr. Phil starting to look like Rikki Lake Reloaded? I don’t watch the show, but based on the commercials, this guy is going straight for the dysfunctional family drama and where he once looked halfway respectable, he now looks like a low-rent clown juggling his credibility for ratings.
4. Who thought it was a good idea to ruin the classic cartoon “Underdog” by making it a live action film? Hollywood has seen a modicum of success by turning classic television shows into movies, but the really successful ones paid some attention to the original story line. With the new “Underdog” flick, the only thing preserved was the actual name. They could have taken a page from the “Scooby-Doo” movie and used an animated dog, but using a live action dog forced them to alter the story so much, that the only thing that remained was the name.
5. Why are folks surprised at the reaction to Michael Vick’s dogfighting drama? Americans who love dogs typically love them more than children, especially whites who fight to save animals while humans live in squalor and die unnecessarily. No one wants to talk about the fact that Vick is the first person to be prosecuted for this crime. Ever. And, for you morons who think that his plea bargaining means that he was truly guilty, witness his three “friends” who dimed on him to save their a**es and his a**hole father who gave up childhood information for free. He had no chance.
6 Why is anyone surprised that retarded little Georgie still claims to be able to “take out” al-Qaida leaders? After six years and changing focus as many times, this warmongering idiot has moved from Afghanistan to Iraq and from Pakistan to Iran. He’s garnered nothing but oil and work for his friends, while American soldiers come home in body bags.
7. Isn’t it a sign of the times that so many Americans seem to be reaching their boiling points? Take a look at drivers in the major cities across the nation-road rage abounds. And if public shootings are any measurement, consider the tragedies at Virginia Tech University or Omaha’s Westroads Mall.
8. Why are any morons still discussing Barack Obama’s “Blackness?” Are they prepared to discuss whether Hillary Clinton is “White” enough?
9. Remember when Americans could feel secure buying a product that was made in some Asian nation? Well, those days died in 2007, when more than 100 products out of the 152 products recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission were products made in China. Baby swings were trapping children, baby carriers were dropping babies, old school Easy-Bake Ovens were trapping fingers and burning kids and notebook computer batteries were burning computers.
10. Why won’t anyone take the blame for the Subprime mortgage industry meltdown? For quite some time, Subprime lending was the key that unlocked doors to homes for a slew of new homeowners, who otherwise, may not have purchased or may have purchased much later. That appeared to be good news. The bad news is that another slew of people have lost or will lose their homes as a result of poor lending practices, preying on gullible buyers and/or pandering to fraudulent buyers, with severe individual and national economic results. The housing industry, regulators and the media saw the disaster coming, but no one did anything to stop it.
2007 was off the chain. Let’s hope 2008 is better. Happy New Year!
Darryl James n is an award-winning author who is now a filmmaker. His first mini-movie, “Crack,” was released in March of 2006. He is currently filming a full length documentary. James’ latest book, “Bridging The Black Gender Gap,” is the basis of his lectures and seminars. Previous installments of this column can now be viewed at www.bridgecolumn.com. James can be reached at