51 news events that made 2016 a dumpster fire 

(Plus five things that give us hope for 2017)

click to enlarge dumpster-fire-large.jpg

Dumpster fire.

Train wreck.

Garbage pile.

Toilet bowl.

There is no question that 2016 was a very difficult year for a lot of people. Want proof why 2016 was certainly not "the best of times?" We'll give you 51 reasons why — one for every week of the NUVO year (because we take one week off to recoup from the madness).

January

1. Singer-songwriter/actor David Bowie died. RIP, Ziggy Stardust.

2. Transgender people fell under attack through the discussion of "bathroom bills."

3. Actor Alan Rickman died. From Hans Gruber in Die Hard to Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films, Rickman was one of the most talented British actors to come from across the pond.  

February

4. The Indiana General Assembly failed to revise the state's civil rights laws to include the LGBT community.

5. Sue Ellspermann resigned as Lt. Gov. with the full support of Mike Pence. The female voice of reason so desperately needed in the Pence administration was lost.

6. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died while on a hunting trip in Texas.

7. Carrier announced layoffs due to a shift in production to Mexico. The Facebook video of the announcement went viral, fueling the national political campaign.

March

8. HEA 1337, the state's archaic and invasive answer to stopping abortion, was introduced, passed and signed. (Read all about it here and get mad all over again.)

9. Terrorist attacks wracked Brussels.

10. More Hepatitis C outbreaks were reported throughout the state, along with high rates of HIV.

11. Republican Senate leaders decided not to confirm any person nominated by President Obama to replace Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court, making the judicial branch a hot campaign topic in the run for the presidency.

12. Peyton Manning retired from professional football.

13. Brock Turner's "conviction" without jail time for the rape of a woman at Stanford continued campus rape culture.

April

14. Singer-songwriter Prince — another icon that crossed boundaries and put sex appeal in another dimension — died.

15. A Muslim IUPUI student was harassed and called a terrorist on campus and the campus was slow to respond, enraging her friends, teachers and colleagues.

May

16. Donald Trump became the presumed Republican nominee for president in Indiana.

June

17. Muhammad Ali died. He was, is and will always be the World's Greatest.

18. ... Plus the deaths of Glenn Frey, Nancy Reagan, Harper Lee, Gene Wilder, Florence Henderson, John Glenn. The list goes on.

19. Donald Trump selected Indiana governor Mike Pence to be his running mate. (When Hoosiers said, "Pence Must Go," the rest of that sentence was not "to Washington D.C. and become vice-president of the United States.")

20. The Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando was a tragedy for all of the lives lost and a heartbreak for LGBT people around the country that suddenly felt (even more) unsafe.

21. The U.S. Supreme Court came back with a "gridlock" decision (4-4) on Pres. Obama's executive orders, leaving the futures of undocumented immigrants in limbo.

22. Brexit proved a precursor to the election of Donald Trump as we saw nationalism on the rise across the world.  

July

23. Baron Hill dropped out of the U.S. Senate race, adding one of many shakeups on the ballot just a few months before Election Day.

24. Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old Black man, was shot multiple times at close range by two white Baton Rouge police officers.

25. Philando Castile, another man of color, was shot by police in Minnesota.

26. Five Dallas, Texas police officers were killed and nine others were injured while protecting a march against police brutality.

27. These three shootings all happened within three consecutive days of each other.

28. A week later, three police officers were killed and three others injured in a shoot-out in Baton Rouge.

August

29. Record hot temperatures for Planet Earth — in June, July and August. Enough said.

30. Zika — the mosquito-spread disease — caused panic and caution at the Summer Olympic Games due to the threat of birth defects and other medical issues.

31. Sexual harassment in the workplace was brought to light courtesy of Fox News.

32. The price of the Epi-pen was raised 600 percent by its manufacturer Mylan, with many poised to lose health insurance in 2017.

September

33. Incidents of aggression against Black people, Muslims, Hispanics and other minority groups increased with the rise of white nationalist rhetoric associated with Trump.

October

34. A video of President-elect Donald Trump casually discussing the sexual assault of women hit the airwaves. 17 women came out publicly accusing Trump of sexual assault, which he categorically denied. (... And he was still elected.)

35. The pending destruction of the Crown Hill Woods caused tense meetings between the federal government and environmental activists.

36. Gov. Pence wouldn't consider a pardon for Keith Cooper. Although Cooper is no longer incarcerated for a crime he didn't commit, the felony conviction remains on his record, making it difficult for him to get a good paying job and qualify for other assistance for his family.

37. Oregon makeshift militia members were acquitted, while conservative lawmakers dreamed up harsher punishments for peaceful protestors.

38. During congressional testimony, the president and CEO of Wells Fargo bank blamed employees for creating fraudulent credit card accounts, despite proof from employees showing management made them do it.

November

39. The presidential race results were a slap in the face to those who fight against racism, sexism, xenophobia, classism, discrimination, bigotry, hatred, intolerance and inequality.

40. The Indiana general election means Pence did go, but the balance of power stayed heavily Republican.

41. Trump built his Cabinet of Deplorables — the people being placed as department heads are some of the very people who have publicly opposed the very agencies they are being asked to lead.

42. Native Americans and allies from around the country gathered in North Dakota to protest the planned route for the Dakota Access Pipeline. Protesters were attacked by dogs, sprayed with water hoses and arrested in this battle between Indigenous peoples and the government.

43. The rise of fake news (or at least the recognition of it) and how it impacts our democratic process reverberated through the online sphere.

44. This was the deadliest year on record for murders of trans individuals (26 were reported in the first 11 months of 2016) and trans people of color continue to experience violence at an overwhelmingly high rate compared to other demographics.

December

45. The 2016 ISTEP test performance scores resulted in a drop in letter grades for several schools.

46. Russia, with direct guidance from Putin, hacked the election, according to the CIA.

47. ... And nobody cared that Russia hacked the election, especially not those crying foul about Clinton's email server just weeks before.

48. Syria and all of the atrocities occurring there were shared online via social media.

49. The death of former Indianapolis mayor Bill Hudnut.

50. The water crisis in Flint, Michigan continues. Water in Flint is still not safe to drink, and House Republicans closed the investigation in December without resolution.

51. The fact that we even have to make this list tells us this has been a bad year, readers. A bad year.

... And five Good things

1. The first US Olympian to compete in a hijab in the Olympics, Ibtihaj Muhammad, won bronze in fencing.

2. Success at Standing Rock means the DAPL is paused, for now.

3. The federal court ruled HEA 1337 and Pence's ban on Syrian refugees as unconstitutional.

4. The rise of Pantsuit Nation on Facebook and other grassroots activist groups showed the resistance lives.

5. The elections of Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada), Tammy Duckworth (Illinois) and Kamala Harris (California) put three women of color in the Senate


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Amber Stearns

Amber Stearns

Bio:
Amber Stearns was born, raised, and educated right here in Indianapolis. She holds a B.S. in Communications from the University of Indianapolis (1995). Following a 20-year career in radio news in Indiana, Amber joined NUVO as News Editor in 2014.

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