Photo: Aude Guerrucci (Pool/Getty Images)

It’s been another wild-ass year of news here at The Root. In 2018, we saw both a blue wave—one propelled by women candidates and people of color—and a veritable tsunami of white tears over the (squints) presence of black people in public spaces. It was the year we welcomed the monstrous success of Black Panther, and paid our respects to the Queen of Soul (some a lot better than others). It’s the year we saw the White House push increasingly draconian and cruel immigration policies on black and brown migrants, all while Donald Trump continued to drag us through his Hooked On Phonics struggle via Twitter. And through it all, our faves—problematic and otherwise—kept us awash in all manner of #blessed, #stressed, and just #mess.

So which stories captivated you the most? Below are the posts that drew the most eyeballs on The Root this year. We’ll let you sort out why.


Photo: Mark Mirko (The Courant via AP, Pool, File)

1. That Nasty College Student Who Smeared Bodily Fluids on Her Black Roommate’s Belongings

[Brianna] Brochu, you might remember, was arrested after boasting about rubbing her used tampons on her roommate’s bag, as well as contaminating her eating utensils, toothbrush and other beauty products.

“Finally did it yo girl got rid of her roommate!! After 1 1/2 month of spitting in her coconut oil, putting moldy clam dip in her lotions, rubbing used tampons [on] her backpack, putting her toothbrush places where the sun doesn’t shine and so much more I can finally say goodbye Jamaican Barbie,” Brochu wrote in the caption for photos posted on Instagram.


The state, it is worth noting, avoided filing hate crime charges, a decision that earned the Hartford State’s Attorney’s Office loads of criticism. However, State’s Attorney Gail Hardy insisted that “the state does not bring criminal charges for personal or political reasons,” citing that there was no evidence that [Chennell] Rowe was being harassed because of her race or ethnicity.


Photo: Getty

2. It’s Official: The President Is an Idiot and This Tweet Is the “Smocking” Gun

Let’s not get caught on the president’s inability to spell. What’s more shocking is that the president is fully admitting to paying for porn actress Stormy Daniels services calling it a simple private transaction. For those keeping score, the shifting rationale on payment for Stormy’s services has shifted from there is no there there to there is a there there and she smacked my ass with a rolled-up Forbes magazine!


Photo: Lacy Atkins ((The Tennessean via AP Photo))

3. Cyntoia Brown Will Have to Serve 51 Years Before She’s Eligible For Release, Tennessee Supreme Court Rules

In 2004, she was tried as an adult for killing Allen. She said she shot him because she feared he was going to kill her. During the trial, she said there was always a gun pointed on her during her captivity. She said she was hit, choked and dragged. She feared for her own life, and she acted out of that fear.

It didn’t matter. A jury convicted the then-16-year-old to life in prison. Under the then-Tennessee law, she would only be eligible for release after serving 51 years of her sentence.


Photo: iStock

4. An Open Letter to White People Who Are Upset Because Black Panther Is So Racist

Plus, I’m probably making up the white outcry when someone floated the idea that Donald Glover might be the next Superman, or Idris Elba could play James Bond. I probably imagined that wypipo were upset about John Boyega playing a Stormtrooper, just like I dreamed about Rihanna or that woman who thought I was handsome. (I’m pretty sure she said “handsome and cute,” not “standing on my foot.” I mean ... I was actually standing on her foot, but that’s neither here nor there.)

Because white people have repeatedly stood up for inclusion and diversity in casting, we would like to admit that this is our fault.


Screenshot: ABC 13

5. ‘If Your Seat Belt Isn’t Tight, You Fucked Up’: Possibly Drunk Flight Attendant Goes HAM on United Flight

On Thursday, a passenger tweeted to United saying that she was so unnerved by a flight attendant’s behavior that she was compelled to snitch tell the pilot, saying that the attendant said, “If your seat belt isn’t tight, you fucked up.”

Inquiring minds want to know: Did the stewardess mean you “messed up,” as in, you made a mistake, or did she use the inherently more black English intonation “You fucked up”—as in, you are messed up in the whole entire game?


Screenshot: YouTube

6. Childish Gambino’s ‘This Is America’ Has Been Colonized

It was only a matter of time before someone co-opted Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” video, but who knew it would be so horrible? YouTube comedian Nicole Arbour, who got dragged a couple of years ago for a fat-shaming video, decided to put a “feminist” twist on Donald Glover’s latest.

Arbour’s “This Is America: Women’s Edit” is, of course, filmed in a warehouse and talks about equal pay and titties.


Photo: Getty

7. Double Exposure: Nicki Minaj Performed Through a Major Wardrobe Malfunction at Made in America

Nicki Minaj has never been known for her modesty, but on Sunday she gave the Made in America festival audience in Philadelphia much more of a show than they’d expected. During her headlining performance, her low-cut velvet tunic repeatedly slid open to fully reveal both breasts (which we won’t be showing in full here)—and what may have been wardrobe tape clearly failing at its job (if so, you had one job, tape!)


Screenshot: Donald Bardwell (Facebook

8. ER Doctor Suspended After Mocking Patient Suffering From Anxiety Attack

Bardwell was hospitalized Monday after experiencing an anxiety attack after a basketball practice. His father, Donald, said that Samuel has a history of anxiety attacks, for which he takes Klonopin. It treats seizures, panic disorder and anxiety. Samuel had not been taking the sedative prior to the Monday anxiety attack.

“She never first came in and introduced herself,” Donald told SFGate. “She never said her name, she never asked for his name, she never really examined him.”


Screenshot: Spectrum News NY1

9. Watch: Roomful of Rich, White NYC Parents Get Big Mad at Plan to Diversify Neighborhood’s Schools

Schools on the Upper West Side—one of the wealthiest and whitest sections of Manhattan—are looking to adopt a plan that would require all local middle schools to reserve a quarter of their seats for students who score below grade level on state English and math tests.

The plan is designed to make Upper West Side schools more reflective of New York City’s diverse demographics, and make sure underprivileged students have access to the sorts of advantages and resources that the neighborhood’s well-funded schools can provide.

Well, that plan didn’t go over so well in a room full of wealthy white parents.

Photo: Getty


10. White People Are Cowards

They know the reality of disproportionate police brutality, but they don’t have to worry about their children being shot in the face. Their kids receive good educations. Their kids can wear hoodies whenever they please. Little Amber and Connor’s résumés don’t get tossed in the trash because of their black-sounding names. Their children’s futures are determined only by work ethic and ability. Therefore, they stay silent on the sidelines.

That’s not evil.

That is cowardice.

And rounding out the rest of the top 25: