2016: Was It Really The Worst?

A look at some of the things that made us question whether this was a good year

2016 has the reputation of being a bad year

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2016 has the reputation of being a bad year

Jewel Sanders and Jeremy Shaner

Many people seem to think 2016 was a tragic year due to things like a tough Election cycle, Hurricane Matthew, celebrity deaths, police shootings and “smaller” events like the recent Chattanooga school bus crash that killed children.

The Election cycle ended with the election of Donald Trump, but the victory has been fuel for protests. Before the win, the debates between Trump and his opponent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were some of the most anger and insult-filled the public has seen. The candidates traded personal attacks over the eighteen month campaign, and they rarely talked about policy.

Hurricane Matthew hit the southeastern United States as a Category 1 storm in October. It caused lots of damage to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Central and eastern North Carolina was largely underwater, and schools and businesses were closed down or damaged because of this terrible disaster. In addition, many houses were destroyed.

Prince, a great man, singer and inspiration to people passed away unexpectedly on April 26,2016 at the age 57. He had plenty of fans, and some of his popular songs are “Purple Rain,” “Kiss” and “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” Iconic boxer and activist Mohammed Ali died this year. The flamboyant fighter was as popular for his antics and statements as he was for his activism. He went to prison for refusing to fight in Vietnam in the 1960’s. Space pioneer John Glenn passed away in the final weeks of the year. These were just a few of the many celebrity deaths that happened this year.

There are plenty of stories involving police officers shooting and killing men. This issue has been looked at many ways, including as a huge race issue in the country. Many people claim to see an increase in police shootings of unarmed victims over the past three years. These events have sparked the Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements, and they have caused people to question their relationships to authority in their communities.

On a “smaller” scale, a school bus crash killed six children and injured one in Chattanooga, TN. Students claimed the was trying to injure them. The 24 year old driver was taking students home from school when his bus slammed into a tree at such a speed that the vehicle split in half on impact. There were thirty seven children on the bus ages 6 to 10. The police determined that the driver crashed the bus on purpose.

While 2016 was not a completely bad year, a search of our memories is likely to land us on a bad event from the year. Here’s hoping that 2017 is better.