2015, Hopes and Dreams
From Donald Sterling, to the roll-out of the Affordable Care Act, to same-sex marriage, to religion and American corporations, to legalized marijuana, to Ebola, Boko Haram and ISIS, to Michael Brown, Eric Gardner, and street protest, to terrorism, torture and videotaped beheadings, 2014, was a hell of a year.
Many did not live to see the New Year, some peacefully, others tragically; violently. The rest of us barely survived. Hopefully, 2014 will be better.
Still, we refrain from making new years resolutions. Like vowing to exercise more and eat less, well-meaning yet empty promises are fleeting. Within a week we are exercising less and eating more, the exact opposite of what we so recently promised. At best, the entire exercise warrants a “bah humbug” approach as we increasingly grow comfortable with our sins.
However, while our self-discipline may be lacking our desire to dream is not. And so in no particular order, this is the Blackacre wish list for 2015.
Wish # 1: That we all survive another year. Given the anguish of 2014, this alone would be a major accomplishment.
Wish # 2: That we finally move beyond the social and political quagmire of race and gender. We do not expect to resolve centuries of unresolved strife in one year. Nonetheless, we grow increasingly weary of ethnic and gender conflicts, especially those that combine the flash points of race, sex and the criminal justice system. Two thousand and fourteen (2014) saw a slew of such incidents, each worst than the last.
We therefore pray that we have seen the last of Michael Brown, Eric Gardner, Renisha McBride, Jordan Davis, 12-year-old Tamir Rice or any other young minority in harm’s way. We also hope that no further officers are targeted for retaliation. This is the absolute worst response we could imagine; a battle we cannot hope to win.
And let there be an end to divisive gender warfare and the all too often political exploitation thereof. We have had our fill of domestic violence (Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson), or complaints of assaults (Bill Cosby), that are decades old.
Wish # 3: That we put an end to black on black crime. Closely related to the first wish, the fratricide and mistreatment within is an inexcusable blight on all African-Americans. It diminishes our worth, lessens our standing and like the targeting of police officers, black on black crime is the worst thing we could possibly do.
Wish # 4: That we take seriously the problem of climate change. Politics aside, last year was the warmest year on record, replete with killer tornadoes, massive hurricanes, floods, droughts and other severe, unpredictable weather phenomena. But climate change affects more than the weather. It threatens our economy, natural resources, international relations; our very existence. As such, the next international crisis may not be a matter of oil, territory or ideology. It may well be a question of who has access to clean air and water.
Wish # 5: That we raise domestic politics above the current level of puerile petulance. The political shenanigans, name calling, intransigence and narrow-mindedness of 2014, does more than harm the nation. It is damn embarrassing.
And given the fact that 2015 is the start of the 2016 Presidential election, the maturation of domestic politics has never been more vital to the nation and by extension, the world. If America doesn’t lead, who will?
We can only hope that domestic politics does not become more sophomoric, crass, dull-witted, venal and destructive of a functioning democracy than it already is.
Wish # 6: That we experience a meaningful reduction if not end to gun violence in America. Last year there were 50,144 incidents involving guns, 12,308 of which someone died, 22,254 of which someone was injured, 278 involved mass shootings and 1,512 were accidental but no less deadly. http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/. When it comes to gun violence, America is regrettably, the world leader.
Wish # 7: That we see an end to saggin. We realize that we border on obsessive compulsive anxiety regarding this matter but enough is enough.
Wish # 8: That for at least a year, the world know peace. Specifically we wish a lasting resolution of the Arab/Israel conflict and an end of international terrorism. While we have no reasonable expectations that it will happen, we nevertheless pray for an end to wars, invasions, military occupations, kidnappings, beheadings or terrorist/militaristic activities of any and all kinds.
In short, we hope for a better world. On the cusps of this and every other New Year, our only desire is peace on earth and good will towards man.
So on behalf of the Blackacre family we wish you all Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year.
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and CEO
Blackacre Policy Forum