2020 first started off with devastating fires that decimated Australia’s landscape. The exit of Britain from the European Union as well as Britian’s Monarch stepping back from their Royal duties.
2020 was also marred by the dreaded COVID-19 or Coronavirus Disease. (Which I'm sure both words including “pandemic” will be the most searched words in 2020.) Nothing of this magnitude has ever affected the whole wide world since The Black Death during the mid 1300s. It sparked an unprecedented global public health crisis which still continues a year later.
The first COVID-19 case started in China in January and lockdown occurred there in February. By March this dreaded disease put all the world in lockdown.
Nevertheless, despite nearly 20-million deaths worldwide and counting, there are still a lot of doubters who claim that COVID-19 is just a Government hoax to get people to inoculate. It’s a shame that the COVID Self-Assessment Centre is on speed dial and a favoured link on my browser.
The Internet was used as a weapon to spew misinformation on the pandemic. Fake news at the highest level. It doesn’t help either when a prominent leader of a powerful nation holds undiscerning opinions about COVID-19. Like suggesting injections with disinfection could possibly be a cure. Really?
But like with any fearmongering, people turn to the Internet to seek out information quickly. Although many realize what they read may be untrue, that information nonetheless gets passed on, and so on, and so on. You get the drift. (Reminds me of yet another old commercial). It’s like that old adage; sensationalism sales.
Despite a vaccination that rolled out in December, who knows when life will return to normal: not having to wear masks; meeting friends and even giving hugs. Maybe a new normal will be in order, whatever and whenever that may be.
The March issue of TIME Magazine portrayed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the front cover. The edition addressed “The Fight for Equality” which described the Civil Rights Movement then compared to today, six decades later. I couldn't help but think that Dr. King was rolling in his grave to think that 57 years after his “I Have a Dream” speech, marches and demonstrations for racial justice still prevailed.
In May, the documentary of Congressman and Civil Rights icon, John Lewis appeared in theatres. Entitled John Lewis: Good Trouble, describes his dedicated contribution to the Civil Rights Movement and his continued fight for people’s rights as City Councilor and then in Congress. A close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis died in July. The same day another civil rights icon, Reverend Cordy Tindell Vivian also died. Reverend Vivian worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and he too was a prominent leader for non-violence.
John Lewis appeared on the front cover of TIME Magazine’s Augst issue entitled “Conscience of a Nation.” During the March on Washington, prior to Dr. King’s iconic speech, John Lewis also gave a very compelling speech. Back then he was a prominent leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNNCC) who spoke to a large audience at Lincoln Memorial. At twenty-three he was the youngest speaker at the March.
For the first time Black, Indigenous, Asian and other ethnic minorities were appearing in advertisements, shows and programs, some for the first time. Seven professional sport teams plan on changing their names and/or mascots that were racist in origin against Indigenous People. Even well-known products like Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s and some rums were changing thier logos. Amount time too. Canadian Novelist and Essayist Lawrence Hill, addressed this in the article “Good riddance Aunt Jemina, and goodbye to Uncle Ben, too” in June. Plus, all around the world, removal of monuments linked to slavery and/or racial injustice were being removed.
The #Me Too Movement did not start with sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein which surfaced in 2015 but by Activist Tarana Burke back in 2007. As a youth camp director in 1996, Tarana could not listen when a young girl tried to disclose a sexual abuse allegation against her mother’s boyfriend. Tarana was mortified seeing the look of rejection and hurt on the young girl’s face as she directed her to another counselor.
Also subjected to sexual abuse in her life, Tarana could not deal with what the young girl was going through nor could she admit at that time, that she too endured the pain and shame. As a result, she started the Me Too Movement. In the beginning it was to assist children but soon saw the need to address and include adults. As Tarana reported: “When you experience trauma and meet other people that have a similar experience, and you show empathy for each other, it creates a bond."
The #Me Too Movement went viral three years ago which saw the fall of many high-profile men with Harvey Weinstein being the most popular. More than 85 women came forward with sexual misconduct ranging from sexual harassment to rape against Weinstein which he denied all claims. In February Weinstein was found guilty of two criminal sexual assaults and third-degree rape and was sentenced to twenty-three years.
This movement also brought home that even famous actresses encounter sexual harassment in their workplace too. Something that unfortunately occurs far too often than people realize. The 2019 movie Bombshell addressed this issue with a Televisoin Reporter for Fox News.
The support and following that the Me Too Movement ensued, showed that women are not alone and hopefully are coming forward to express they will not stand for anymore abuse in the workplace.
women. Asian, White, Latina, Native American women
who throughout our nation's history have paved the way for this
moment tonight. Women who fought and sacrificed so much for
quality and liberty and justice for all. Including the Black woman who
too often are overlooked but often proved that they are the back bone
of our democracy. … Joe Biden had the audacity to break one of the most substantial barriers that exist in our country and select a woman
as his Vice President.
be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this
is a country of possibilities. And to the children of our country,
regardless of your gender, our country has sent you a clear message: Dream with ambition, lead with conviction, and see yourself in a
way that others might not see you, simply because they’ve never seen it before. And we will applaud you every step of the way.
Maybe after all, the slogan “You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” is still relevant.