Moving Forward in 2018

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

HAPPY NEW YEAR, CHARLESTON!  I haven’t heard too much this year about New Year’s Resolutions.  Oh well, I think that’s a good thing.  I don’t know about you but I rarely keep most of the resolutions I make.  Like, I do the crazy stuff like staying away from sweets.  I don’t know why I even put that on the list.  I know doggone well as soon as someone flashes a piece of cheese cake in my face, there goes the “not eating sweets” resolution out the window. Then, on the same list I vow to walk and exercise more. Yet, at the end of the year, nothing hasn’t changed.  I am still as fat as the year before.  So, no more resolutions for me.  I will just try to live a more healthier and better life.  Those are not promises but lifestyles I can live up to.

Last year came in with a bang and went out the same way.  The first bang, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President and it has been banging ever since. It’s been a year of “You are Fired” in the White House and a year of racially motivated incidents.  And, let’s not forget the “Me Too” year.  Ladies came out pointing fingers at some very high profiled men who sexually harassed them in the workplace or molested them as children or young women seeking to climb the ladder to success. The President was caught on tape making light of groping and making unwarranted sexual advances toward women.  Yet, he was still elected and other high profiled men were forced to resign from their positions.  That says a lot in terms of where this country is headed in terms of morals.

The investigation into Russia tampering in the 2016 election of Donald Trump is still ongoing and getting closer and closer to the White House.  The President singled out the media for reporting “fake news”.  Whenever the media report something #45 doesn’t like, it is referred to as fake news.  If the truth be told, the real fake is the President.  Yet, it really is difficult to determine truth from fiction when he lies so much.  The tragedy is this country has a President that is a known liar seeking to overturn all of the policies put in place by virtuous President #44, Barack Obama.

You know it’s bad when the President backs Roy Moore for the Senate when his campaign has been clouded by women who accused him of sexual abuse when they were children.  We are talking about the highest office in the land supporting a candidate accused of sexual abuse.  Well now, looks like old folks were right when they said, “birds of a feather, flock together”.  It was a very challenging and close race but Doug Jones, Democrat, won the election.

And let’s not forget, the trigger happy fool in North Korea, Kim Jong-un, threatening nuclear war with the US.  That’s what happens when you have two fools in office.  When you are dealing with a fool, someone has to have some sense.  It goes to the point of the high price this country is willing to pay for electing a “hot headed” President.  Y’all might be ready to die, but I ain’t ready to go out like ‘dat.  Let me go out for a cause—not because of foolishness.

Not all of 2017 was bad news.  Dylann Roof, murderer of the Emanuel Nine, was sentenced to death. The church took him in and he took out the lives of nine churchgoers.  He is still in jail espousing his radical racist views: but he can act tough and talk all of the racist smack he wants; he is going to die for what he did.  His life is over at such an early age. And each day he lives, the nine deaths will flash before his eyes and torment his soul. Irrefutably, everyone was born with a conscious and a soul. Dylann Roof is no different.

Walter Scott’s family finally received the guilty verdict they were waiting for. Walter Scott, a black man, was gunned down by white police officer, Michael Slager, after being stopped for a broken tail light. This was the case of more than a dozen black men in 2017.  Many of the police officers caught up in similar situations were found not guilty and walked away from prison time.  Walter Scott’s case will go down in history as a case where justice was served.  A police officer was charged and sentenced for a crime against a black man.  Maybe, just maybe, in 2018 officers will do “justice and show mercy” to all persons regardless of race.  Perhaps, black men can safety drive through the streets of this country with expensive cars and not be profiled.  Every black man with an expensive car or chrome wheels is not a criminal and should not be viewed as such.

Let’s put aside those things of 2017 that has held us down.  2018 is a new beginning.  You can either move forward or regress to the past.  I choose to move forward.

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