2012 was a year marked by tremendous highs and lows. Heroes were made and destroyed before our very eyes, thanks to social media and a 24-hour news cycle. Take a look at the folks who won and lost big this year:
Blue Ivy: Beyond sweet, swaddling infant, cherub Jesus, never before has a Black baby been so welcomed with such magnitude. Blue Ivy, has already won in life and, with her newborn cries wisely captured in daddy Jay-Z’s song "Glory," she is the youngest recording artist in history.
Gabrielle Douglas: Gabby faced many challenges to become the first, United States Women's All Around Gymnastics Champion. And she handled being it all with grace well beyond her tiny frame and years in age.
Serena Williams: From the Olympics to Wimbledon, Serena is slayin' 'em and keeping them real angry about it, too.
TVOne's Unsung and Life After: Imagine if Black History had a soundtrack with a warning label about the pitfalls of fame and the industry. Such is the glory of Unsung and Life After. From The Marvelettes to Gerald Levert to Arrested Development, to In Living Color, 227 and A Different World, we all grow ten feet higher with each episode. Keep up the great work, TV One!
Judy Smith, Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington and the Cast of Scandal :From the real life experiences of a crisis manager, to the capable screenwriting hands of both an award-winning writer and producer to the embodiment of a stellar actress, it only took a short, seven-episode season and the magic of (Black) Twitter to secure yet another #1 Show and a surefire Emmy sweep.
Twitter: Speaking of Black Twitter, this startup company has proven itself entirely worthy of its 140 characters-at-a-time phenomenon. Black Twitter is arguably largely responsible for the success of OWN, a handful of reality shows, the breaking of the Trayvon Martin story to mainstream media and the education of voters and the re-election of President Barack Obama. Twitter has risen to 400 million users worldwide and is preparing to go public with its stock. Get ready for many more tweets in 2013.
Michael Moore and the Occupy Movement: Michael Moore called it and with the Aurora and Newton tragedies, he doesn't even have to say, "I told you so." Occupy Wall Street and its sister movements changed the narrative of inequality in the elections and probably forced out the "47%" of Mitt Romney's tremendous blunder. But for all of its decentralized, seeming madness, the Occupy Movement showed its clear effectiveness during Hurricane Sandy, proving that ideology and the willingness to show up, even when government won't, still matters.
President Obama: Despite inheriting two wars, a recession and more death threats than any previous President, Obama still managed to save the auto industry, pass healthcare reform and get re-elected with a voting majority that we have not seen since the re-election of FDR. Brush your shoulders off, Mr. President!
The American People: Despite blatant attempts at voter suppression, from Voter ID laws, early voting restrictions, to faulty voting machines that voted for the opposite candidate you pushed, to offices and stations being purposefully short-staffed, the American people pushed through and stood in line for hours upon hours to exercise their civic right and responsibility to vote for Barack Obama and prevent the catastrophe that would have surely been Mitt Romney as Commander-in-Chief.
Out of Touch White Dudes: From Mitt Romney to Karl Rove to the Koch Brothers to ALEC to Donald Trump to Grover Norquist to Fox News, White dudes who remain out of touch with the reality of America's diversity in ideology, economic interest and its people will stay losing. Spending millions upon millions of dollars for all manner of malevolent campaigns and faulty goals, they still lost.
Wayne LaPierre and The NRA: When UK television has to make repeated disclaimers that the NRA press conference being aired in the U.S. is NOT a spoof, you have already lost in life.
Allen West: This clown not only implicitly participated in the right wing attempts at voter disenfranchisement of people who look like him, he had the nerve to refuse to concede his seat when the overwhelming voter response was to tell him, "You're Fired!!" Maybe the Koch Brothers will re-hire him, eh?
Katt Williams: He has been high and cussed an entire Oakland audience out, slapped a Target employee, is being sued for five million bones by his (previous) assistant and was just arrested for child endangerment. His mug shots are a hot mess but if he doesn't get intervention quick, his entire career and his life will be much worse. Indeed, he might lose them both. Don't be a loser, Katt. We want you to win.
Eddie Long: Following alleged sexual abuse and the error of supporting George Bush, Long had the nerve to have some type of wayward, wannabe Jewish ceremony that supposedly absolved him from all of his sins, declared him some type of messenger and had him placed on a throne and promulgated on the altar. After he and his rabid Rabbi offended the entire Jewish population, the Good Bishop Long apologized to the Jews, even though he can't find the time, energy or soul to apologize to his victims and his blindly loyal congregants.
Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson: It is rare to see a man who was full of so much win, get arrested and lose his wife, job, sponsorships and more, within a matter of hours. We hope he’ll follow Metta World Peace’s lead and find a good therapist to help him get back on track.