With a new year comes new trouble, new hope

Kaley Paterson (Voices/mug)

Kaley Patterson
A&E Editor
@KaleyKayPatt

The firecrackers of New Year’s Eve sounded with a loud bang round the world. People could experience the lights, laughter and liquor in every time zone beginning 2015 with an endless Snapchat story viewed through squinted, drunken eyes.

The New Year started off with a celebration – kissing, embracing, dancing and drinking sparkling champagne. Everyone expressed cheer during the funeral of a year filled with the memories of their mistakes, let downs, mid-life crises, breakups and every heart-crushing event Nicholas Sparks could possibly write about. After the glimmering lights display and belting of “Auld Lang Syne,” everyone looked toward the silver lining of the future in hopes of brighter decisions, starry-eyed romances and glistening new beginnings.

But 2015 started out bleak. Oklahoma experienced day’s worth of fog and mist with no sunlight to break through the clouds. Christmas decorations in every home, town and city were dismantled and packed into storage hidden from sunlight for another 365 days. Students dreaded to tell their beloved Netflix goodbye and sorrowfully muttered, “Until the end of the semester, my one true loyal friend.”

Above these petty first world problems, worse events took place across the ocean and in our backyards.

A week after the sun dawned on the New Year, two Islamic gunmen cut 2015 short for 12 people when the gunmen opened fire at the office of the weekly French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo – increasing the embodied fear of terrorists within the French borders, Europe and the United States. Similar to the effects of 9/11, the French became more xenophobic. France has yet to pass a law similar to the USA Patriot Act, but 2015 is just beginning.

In America, the Oscar-intended film “Selma” opened in theatres, and thanks to the Academy, it showed white primacy still holds the upper hand – not just in the creative arts but also in the nation. Even after Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and many other heroes who fought for the rights of African Americans, the battle against racism and oppression wages on. The wounds of the past year’s events in Ferguson still sting and have yet to be mended.

The US Supreme Court announced that 2015 is the year they will decide on the tussle with marriage rights of LGBT Community – a trail long anticipated.

Although American women are far from the suffrage of the 1900s, they’re still experiencing harsh criticism toward feminism. Their wages are still lower compared to their male counterparts. Their body images are still over sexualized, and Emma Watson is trying as hard as she can to conjure up a spell to make females equal.

Ridicule against beliefs, race, sexual-orientation and gender are wars we’re trying to find a means to the end for, but will the dismantling of each ever come? The New Year enflames hope within the hearts of the people, but the beginning of this year has already brought each dispute closer to the fire – not to be eradicated, but pulled out of the darkness. 2015 and many New Years after will not be able to promise the end of oppression – what everyone wishes and prays for.

This is not to say all is lost. This does not mean soldiers are fighting in vain. Those whose rights are infringed upon are not protesting to a brick wall. Everyone is listening – neighbors, friends, enemies, governors, senators, representatives, President Obama and the world. All around the globe, every tongue speaks about his or her oppression, prosecution and punishments. Those who are fighting are not alone. No one is winning, and no one is losing.

The New Year does bring hope, and it’s right to do so. But we can’t believe it will bring an end to our fights; it will take many more years to accomplish these resolutions. Let’s cherish the hope of the New Year and proceed – c’est la vie.

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