2008 was like A Tale Of Two Cities. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.
On the one hand, the economy is so deep in the toilet that some people can't imagine that things will get better.
On the other hand, we're so far down, that there is nowhere to go but up.
2008 was a history-making year for African Americans and Americans in general, with the election of Barack Obama.
In the midst of jubilation over the election of America's first Black president, some people are forgetting that institutional racism still exists, a war is still raging in the Middle East and some people can't eat or hold on to their places of shelter.
2009 promises to be a much better year, if only because we will finally get rid of the warmongering idiot who has helped to depress the world economy while making his oil rich buddies even richer.
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.
Top Ten Thoughts From 2008:
1. Why are so many Black people acting like Barack Obama will save us and that all we have to do is sit back and wait?
Instead of waiting on Jesus or the President-elect, we need to get down to the business of self-improvement and creating our own reparations by repairing ourselves.
2. Why is anyone surprised that big business is getting bailouts while the average citizen who has fallen on hard times is receiving the cold shoulder from a government that has claimed to be about small government interference?
We've been hearing the Republican Party talk about how Welfare cripples people and that the government should not be in the business of "saving" people, yet Bush and his cronies have no qualms about providing Welfare to big business, while offering a few crumbs to the average taxpayer. Now, ain't that a kick in the chiclets?
3. Why would anyone give two craps about the fate of OJ Simpleton?
Some folks are still talking about how the fool got away with murder, but I guess he was feeling rather Teflon and got caught up. Personally, I just don't want to keep hearing about him and if that means he goes bye-bye for a long time, then so be it. It's a fate of his very own design.
4. Why are so many racist assholes pretending that all is well in the world for African Americans just because a Black man has been elected president?
In addition to the fact that Barack Obama is the president of the entire nation, there is no way he could attack all of the issues that Black people face. In four years as president, he won't even be able to deal with all of the issues the nation faces. And, he is only ONE MAN!
5. Why won't anyone admit that we are in a Depression?
For decades, Americans have used the expression "Harder than times in '29," referring to the era of the Great Depression. Currently, many Americans are beginning to compare those times with the times we are enduring. And really, there are a great many similarities-too many, in fact, to deny that we are actually in a Depression.
6. Shouldn't we do more than mourn the death of comedian Bernie Mac?
Why can't we take his death as a clear sign that no matter how much fame and wealth a person has, personal health should still be taken seriously? Bernie
Mac was under the care of a doctor, but he was still living in ways that helped to cut his life far too short.
7. Why are the oil companies playing with our emotions?
Gas prices were as high as giraffe booty and then suddenly took a plunge. We already know that they will climb sky high again, so why don't the oil companies confess that they are just trying to see what they can get away with, which of course, is everything.
8. Why isn't it clear to everyone that Iraq is the new Vietnam?
Certainly, the presence of American soldiers helped to stem the tide of violence in Iraq, but five years into the game, there is still a great deal of violence and mayhem. It's beyond time to pull out and let that sovereign nation plot it's own course while we plot our own.
9. Why should American Automakers get a government bailout when they have been avoiding any responsibility to the American consumer?
Let's see...bigger vehicles and few alternative fuel vehicles, plus crappy quality...why don't we just let 'em fall apart and see who else steps in?
10. Will Americans actually allow the change on the horizon to come to its full fruition?
American came a long way in the 1960s with the change brought on by the Civil Rights Movement and upheavals in societal norms. Yet, violent psychos and virulent racists helped to stem the tide on the bright future American was on its way to enjoying. We have a great deal of promise currently, even in the midst of all the financial meltdowns, but Americans will have to get out of their own way in order for the best to come into existence.
2009--bring it on!
Happy New Year!
Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology "Notes From The Edge." He released his first mini-movie, "Crack," and will soon release his first full-length documentary. View previous installments of this column at www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at