2009 started off with history being made: Barack Obama as the first African-American President of the United States. He has been compared to Dr. King and his Poor People’s Campaign, as his economic stimulus package for this Great Recession has been compared to FDR’s New Deal for the Great Depression. Though he has a long road ahead, Obama knows he has a tough job to bail out the people in order to be the symbol for hope and change the world has been waiting for.
There has been good news and bad news for Detroit. The Good? The rising movie and television industry thanks to the tax incentive that allows films like Whip It and the Red Dawn remake to be shot here in Michigan — giving budding actors and filmmakers the chance to develop their craft as well as get their careers started as well as providing plenty of opportunities for filmmakers and others job-wise.
The bad? The automotive industry — the Big 3 — has been screeching to halt; growing increase in unemployment and crime, the Kwame Kilpatrick soap opera of police and political corruption and adultery, schools being closed down, D-DOT weekend bus services almost cut down, and that’s just the beginning and the middle, for the Motor City hasn’t been bailed out yet.
Still, the people have come together as a community with the Poor People’s Campaign in the South, the National People’s Summit in Detroit, and the March4Jobs event in Pittsburgh with the purpose of fighting the good fight, advocating racial and social justice, an Economic Bill of Rights to be presented to Congress, creating jobs, and so forth.
Nadya Suleman, the Octo-Mom of 14 children; Jon & Kate, Sarah Palin and her grandson’s father Levi — these have been the major stories of 2009, along with a recent story that went from being a domestic dispute/traffic accident into the full-blown media firestorm known as Tiger-Gate. It is the story of a golf superstar who made more than a hole in one both on and off the grass, crippling his endorsement deals and his image as a devoted and loving husband and father.
But they were none as big as the surprised double passing of eternal Charlie’s Angel Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. After years of being labeled as “Wacko Jacko,” the world forgave and forgot the sexual abuse allegations of children. Like Obama, they came together to praise him, and remember who he was and shall ever be: the King of Pop who wanted to heal the world and make it a better place for you and for me.
We don’t know what lies ahead in 2010 and for the next decade, yet we must remember that, though slow and difficult, change is coming, but it has to start with us.