As the year 2017 waits in the wings to spring onto the stage and initiate us all into the Trumpian era, where the modern-day equivalent of one of the Three Stooges occupies the Oval Office, it is time to look back at the year that was. There will be countless retrospectives on the triumphs of the past year, complete with awards, rankings and 20-20 hindsight, but no one ever remembers the losers.
Here is a look back at the top five groups of people who lost in 2016:
Feminists took no prisoners in 2016, pouncing on anyone who dared to subjugate or minimize black women. Bill Cosby finally faced legal action after more than 40 years of accusations of rape and sexual assault. When Nate Parker’s problematic defense of a college rape case against him became public knowledge, his movie The Birth of a Nation flopped. Many people blamed its demise on the efforts of black feminists, combined with his decision to set aside historical accuracy and shoehorn a couple of rape scenes into a historical drama. Washed-up, one-hit wonder Trick Daddy even caught clapback for warning black women that they’d be obsolete once white girls learned how to fry chicken. Ultimately, his magnum opus proved to be correct: Black feminists made sure that in 2017, we wouldn’t know “nann nigga” like him.
Not even fellow black women were off-limits. The patron saint of self-righteousness, Ayesha Curry, stoked a sea of side eye and backlash after she insinuated that modest dress was an indication of a woman’s worth. Even beloved icon Erykah Badu was put in check after a series of tweets in which she advised young women that longer skirts could protect them against boys who couldn’t control themselves because of their hormones.
Even though popular opinion is still split about the most important issue of the last year—whether Beyoncé’s Lemonade was really about Jay Z cheating—rappers were mostly on the losing side of the scorecard this year. Meek Mill publicly took an L from his girlfriend’s ex and then watched Drake disintegrate into a pile of supersensitivity after Rihanna curved the Lord of the Light-Skinned onstage at the Video Music Awards. The master of mumbling, Future, feuded with his ex Ciara, and then she released a video with Future’s son calling Ciara’s new beau “papa.” Tyga (who is reportedly a rapper, even though you can’t name any of his songs. Go ahead, I dare you) had at least two cars repossessed, one while he was car-shopping with girlfriend Kylie Jenner.
In a related story, this may have been the greatest statistical year of soul sucking for Kim Kardashian. The queen of the Kardashian succubi surpassed her sister Khloe—whose then-husband, Lamar Odom, slipped into a cocaine-and-Viagra-induced coma at a brothel in Vegas in 2015 (which still ranks No. 1 on the list of best ways to slip into a coma). In the past 12 months, Kim saw one former boyfriend (pro football player Reggie Bush) tear his knee up, her ex-husband (NBA player Kris Humphries) get waived by his team and current hubby Kanye West hospitalized for a psychological evaluation. The only ex who seemed to escape the Kardashian curse was Ray J.
Unless you count the extremely unfortunate, never-ending life sentence of having to live as Ray J.
The Golden State Warriors lost the NBA Finals in seven games after they were up 3 games to 1. Then the Cleveland Indians blew the same kind of lead to lose the World Series to the woeful Chicago Cubs. But perhaps the biggest blown lead of 2016 came from Hillary Clinton, who beat Bernie Sanders in the primaries, led every poll and had the prediction of every pundit, only to lose in the finals of the U.S. Presidential World Series to Donald Trump. The only thing more ridiculous is the fact that she leads the popular vote count by over 2 million but still won’t be president.
2016 was the year of white tears, and no group shed more of them this year than white women. In January we were flooded with lemonade-flavored tears when white women realized that Beyoncé’s latest hit album wasn’t for or about them. The revolt against the use of the term was spearheaded by the grand dragon of the anti-Becky movement, Iggy Azalea. Spongebob Squarebecky Lena Dunham also ate crow from black Twitter after she aired her outrage that Odell Beckham Jr. had the nerve to ignore her whiteness at the Met Gala.
It proved to be a banner year for exposing little white lies. The crown princess of ÜzBeckystan, Taylor Swift—heir to the good-hair throne—fell victim to Becky-on-Becky crime when Kim Kardashian brought receipts to expose Swift’s woe-is-me, white-girl victimization at the expense of Kanye West. It took the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to uncover a plot by Police Officer Sheryl Hall. Dubbed “Officer Becky,” Hall initially claimed that a black man had assaulted and shot her, only to later reveal that she’d made the whole thing up.
Even the highest court in the land got in on the action when the justices pulled the rug out from under Abigail Fisher, who sued the University of Texas, claiming that the school had rejected her because of affirmative action and given her spot to an undeserving minority. In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court issued an opinion that many legal experts explained with a two-word summary:
When Barack Obama became leader of the free world, many people thought that America had evolved beyond its racist past, but 2016 was the year the country’s mesmerizing facade of equality began crumbling. The “alt-right” (pronounced “wyt suh-prim-uh cyst”) reared its ugly head to elect a pumpkin-colored, prejudiced, p—sy-grabbing Twitter troll as president. Trump’s election was partly aided by an influx of laws aimed at keeping minorities from voting.
Every time a police officer died this year, Fox News, Rudy Giuliani and anyone on the right side of the political aisle found a way to blame it on Black Lives Matter, while “white lives” and “blue lives” tried to home in on the action. It apparently scared a contingent of celebrities so much, they started advocating the “All Lives Matter” position—even to the detriment of their careers. While Lil Wayne’s record sales may not reflect black America’s disgust with his sociopolitical musings, statistics show that Cam Newton was much more effective when he was a black quarterback.
As we move into 2017 as a country that wants to spend a billion dollars to build a wall to keep out Mexicans and internment camps for Muslims, we should remember that 2016 made unwitting celebrities of names like Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Keith Lamont Scott and Terence Crutcher. We shouldn’t forget that two juries failed to convict former Police Officer Michael Slager for murdering Walter Scott on camera. But we also shouldn’t worry about America.
I heard someone has a plan to make her great again.