After the mess that was 2016, most of really hoped that even with a Trump presidency ahead of us that 2017 would be better a year. That was not the case. In the end, 2017 was filled with just as much, if not far more, bad news. Between mass shootings, fidget spinners, the MTA, natural disasters, XXXTentacion, and a government hellbent on destroying America’s relationship with the rest of the world and the inhabitants of it, 2017 will go down as a year that’s worth wishing never happened.
As we prepare to enter 2018, here are 17 things that made 2017 a year to forget.
Donald Trump’s Inauguration
Politically speaking, 2017 is ending just as terrible as it began, and this year of things we’d like to forget started with Trump placing his hand over a bible to take the oath of office with the sounds of police flash bangs and protest chants in the background. In the days after the inauguration,the Trump administration’s main order of business was to defend the size of the crowd, which was definitively smaller than past inaugurations. Several hundred protesters were arrested at the inauguration, many of whom are currently facing decades of prison time. –Joshua Scott Albert
welcome to hell pic.twitter.com/Sv7Jfu7Hjk
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) January 20, 2017
Heather Hayer was in Charlottesville to protest the presence of white supremacist who had gathered there to defend a Confederate statue of Robert E. Lee. She was then murdered by one of those white supremacist when he drove his car through a crowd of protesters. The event rocked the nation and shed a little more light on the rise of white supremacist organizations under the Donald Trump presidency. The white supremacists who had gathered in Charlottesville chanted statements like “Jews will not replace us” and “Fags go home.” Another white supremacist called someone a “nigger” before he fired his gun in the protester’s direction. Trump responded to the events by calling some of the white supremacists who had gathered “good people.” –JSA
This Entire (and only) Press Conference Trump Held In February
It was about a month after Trump took office that he decided to hold his first apress conference as president, and boy was the world in for a treat. It ran for over an hour, but it’s implications of just how terrible his presidency would be will last forever. Out of all the crazy things that happened during this event, one of of the most absurd was Trump not even knowing what the Congressional Black Caucus was.
Reporter: Are you going to work with the CBC ?
Trump: Who ?
“the Congressional Black Caucus sir.”
Trump: set it up!
“I’m a reporter.”
— ‘85 Pinotagé📍 (@ken_plush) February 16, 2017
Here’s the full press conference, in case you’ve tried to remove it from your memory. –JSA
This summer America was rocked by three major hurricanes, and the communities that they devastated are still struggling today. Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey caused billions of dollars of damage in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico and were responsible for more than a thousand deaths. Puerto Rico, a territory of the United States, is still struggling just to get power and other necessities. The Trump administration, which has yet to recognize that climate change is caused by humans, has rightfully come under fire for how they responded to the crisis Hurricane Maria caused in Puerto Rico. After the storm, Trump picked a Twitter fight with Carmen Yulín Cruz, San Juan’s mayor, after she criticized the government’s response. Trump replied that Puerto Ricans “want everything to be done for them.” –JSA
Mass shootings have been a epidemic in America for quite some time, but this year seemed especially bad. On October 1, a lone gunman opened fire on a crowd of concert goers from the window of his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vega. He killed 58 people, including himself, and nearly 600 more people were wounded. That shooting was the largest mass shooting in American history, and yet no meaningful gun legislation was passed as an effort to curb future mass shootings. A little over a month later in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a man who shouldn’t have been allowed to have guns in the first place walked into a Sunday morning church service and killed 27 people, including himself. That shooting was the biggest mass shooting in Texas and the fifth-deadliest mass shooting in American history. Still, no meaningful gun reform was passed. –JSA
America Pulls Out Of The Paris Climate Agreement
In June, Trump kept his campaign promise to destroy the world and announced that he’d be pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, a mutually agreed upon accord aimed at combating human induced climate change. Just about every country in the world was a part of the deal, with the exception of war-torn Syria. Trump’s decision to pull us out signaled to the world that from America’s perspective, fighting deadly climate change isn’t going to be a priority under the direction of the Trump regime. Trump said he was pulling us out of the agreement because it wasn’t a “good deal” for America. Thankfully, the way the agreement was initially drafted could prevent us from ever actually pulling out of the sensible global pact. The deal doesn’t allow for any nations to pull out until 2020, a few days before the next presidential election. So if we (lord willingly) elect a new president three years from now, we may still remain in the deal that’s sole purpose is protecting civilization. –JSA
The Death of Prodigy
Prodigy was a legendary part of the NYC rap aesthetic, an influential slang originator, and was responsible for some of the most quotable bars ever. He specialized in literal murder music with graphic (novel) imagery. Fans knew he had sickle cell anemia, and one thing to take away from his death is that he was in the hospital because he was in near constant pain. To possibly alleviate that kind of pain for someone else someday, make a donation to the Foundation for Sickle Cell Disease Research. Let them know you did it for P. –Andrew Matson
This was a year to square your ethics with the music, art, and design you supported. Rape and sexual assault allegations were made (A$AP Bari and Kodak Black, among other), and in XXXTentacion’s case, court documents revealed horrifying claims that included that he beat up his pregnant girlfriend, said he would kill her, and repeatedly broke plastic coat hangers over her legs. Where did you draw the line? Now with more access to rappers’ personal lives than ever before, we had to, and definitely should, think about whether good SoundCloud songs, features on hits, and a solid album were enough to compromise our morals. –AM
I’m happy to say that I didn’t spend a single dollar on this spinning piece of plastic that hypnotized Americans this year. The moment came across a subway entrepreneur trying to sell these trinkets to me on the train, I laughed and thought I would never see such tomfoolery again. Less than 24 hours later, everyone and their mother had one. And then that little-ass kid Matt Ox came through with “Overwhelming” and solidified his five minutes of viral rap fame with fidget spinners. However, I will take a second to give a much needed shoutout to J-Walk for trying to Matt Ox his way to fame with his cringe-y song, “The Way That I Spin It.”–Lei Takanashi
The quickest and cheapest way to register yourself as an bonafide fucboi. Clout goggles were first popularized by the legendary Kurt Cobain and should have died with him. Thanks to high fashion, rappers, and social media, these shades were given a second life with the worst name possible. Rocking a cheap pair of plastic sunglasses will not give you more “clout” or give you 200 more followers on SoundCloud. They will , however, at least give you something to hide behind as people point and laugh at your stupidity. –LT
As a New Yorker, I try my very best to not shit on the MTA. I mean, damn, the trains and buses are all we got. And growing up in New York, you know the MTA is always ass, especially when you are taking the train anywhere outside Manhattan. But this year, the MTA reached a new low. It wasn’t just subway delays or service interruptions by random “sick passengers,” what we saw in 2017 was the complete devastation of a subway system that’s over a century old. A crowded F Train was stuck in a tunnel for a hour during the summer and had passengers locked in a subway car with no AC. There was not just one, but two major derailments. People’s lives were actually at stake this year. Turns out the reason why the system is collapsing is the same reasons as why everything in America fails: the horrible decisions made by politicians. –LT
Repeal of Net Neutrality Regulations
Imagine that you’ve been studying for hours or working like a dog, and all you want to do is sit back, relax, spark an L and binge watch the most recent season of whatever show it is that you’re into. You open your computer and boom, you visit Netflix and out of nowhere, you’re forced to pay an additional $5.99 to your Internet Service Provider to visit that website. Well, that’s what happened just this month when the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal Obama-era regulations that were put in place to protect consumers. The killing of net neutrality sparked outrage online and already, numerous lawsuits have been filed in an effort to prevent the changes from taking place. If and when the new regulations take place, the primary benefits will be large corporations like Comcast and AT&T. -Joshua Scott Albert
The Destruction of New York City Journalism
Between shifting advertising models, the influence of social media, and a government intent on discrediting news outlets that they don’t agree with, journalism 2017 as a whole has had a tough year. But with the loss of DNAinfo and Gothamist, New York City was hit extremely hard when their billionaire CEO, Joe Ricketts, abruptly shut down the website and removed years of content. He made the decision just one week after 25 of the 27 company’s NYC employees voted to unionize. After the vote, Ricketts said, “As long as it’s my money that’s paying for everything, I intend to be the one making the decisions about the direction of the business.” When the massacre was over, 115 people lost their jobs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. In New York, DNAinfo and Gothamist were go-to resources for city-dwellers looking to be a little more aware about what was going on the neighborhoods around them. –JSA
The Deluge of Sexual Assault Claims
Hannibal Buress helped kick this movement off in 2015 when he called out Bill Cosby’s drugging, raping ass during his stand-up routine. But 2017 was the year when stories of epidemic harassment and assault by powerful men broke over and over again, often on a daily basis. There was Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Louis C.K., Roy Moore, Charlie Rose, Russell Simmons, and Bill O’Reilly…to name a few. The list was long and keeps growing, as more victims finally feel that they can publicly share their stories. It all pointed to rape culture as the norm that we have to unlearn.–AM
In the same tune as the many sexual assault allegations, we had new claimss about R. Kelly. There have long been talk (and court cases) about his sexual misdeeds, particularly those involving minors. Reports surfaced this year that allege that R. Kelly has been running operations in several states where he cons young women into being his personal sex slaves. One of the victims said, “He would slap you in your face. He would physically harm you, and he would put you in a room, and he would lock you in a room for days.” One of the women involved spoke out to say that the allegations were not true, but even in the video she released, it was obvious that she was being coached by someone behind the camera. –JSA
The Passage of the Tax Cuts Bill
While Trump hasn’t built a border wall yet, or launched us into Civil War II or WWIII, the bastard was able to get the tax cuts he promised on the campaign trail passed. His “accomplishment,” however, is just another of his messes that Americans will be tasked with cleaning up. The biggest issues with this just-passed legislation is the flawed thinking behind it, that tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and huge corporations will trickle down to the employees that make those companies thrive. Historically, that’s never been the case. The additional cuts will likely go to fattening the pockets of CEOs and shareholders. Additionally, the rather mediocre tax cuts that Americans will see in their paychecks (which on average will be about $15 every two weeks) are set to expire in 2027. Not only did the legislation cut taxes for the one percent, Republican lawmakers also managed to slip in a provision that will cost 13 million people to lose their healthcare coverage. The bill also adds more than a trillion dollars to our national deficit. –JSA
The Campaign to Get Roy Moore Elected
Even though Roy Moore lost the Alabama special election to fill the Senate seat left empty by Jeff Sessions, the creep has yet to concede. The campaign to elect Roy Moore not only showed the true colors of his supporters in Alabama, but just how low the Republican party would go to push their self-righteous agenda. Not only did the GOP support him after knowing he had twice been removed as a judge, that he said that gays should be jailed, that he said Muslims should not be allowed to serve in Congress, and that he took money from white supremacists, but they also supported him after numerous sexual assault allegations, two of which allegedly occurred when the victims were minors and Moore was in his thirties. Thankfully, he lost to Doug Jones, but he only lost by about 20,000 votes, and had the sexual assault allegations not surfaced shortly before the election, he likely would have won. –JSA