‘Twas the year before 2020 – In hindsight a decade ago

In this image released Tuesday Dec. 24, 2019, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II poses for a photo, while recording her annual Christmas Day message to the nation, at Windsor Castle, England.
Steve Parsons/pool via Associated Press

In an address to British subjects in Europe and those in Commonwealth countries, Queen Elizabeth II described 2019 as being “quite a bumpy” year.

The description by the 93-year-old monarch was made public on Christmas Day and probably best describe the travails related to her crown and country whose exit from the European Union looms with uncertainty and divided controversy.

“The path of course, is not always smooth and may at times this year have felt quite bumpy but small steps can make a world of difference,” the matriarch said.

Perhaps her definition might also apply to President Donald trump’s year-end, pre-holiday impeachment process.

However, for Ghanaians marking 400 years of African resilience since enslavement, displaced captured victims to North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, 2019 celebrated the Year of Return with descendants revisiting slave exit ports which were indelibly inscribed with a door of “No Return.”

Greeted by nationals, chiefs, tribesmen and the president of the West African country many – regardless of their nationality – on return were ceremonially granted citizenship.

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu can also rejoice his year-end landslide victory after enduring indictments for corruption.

Here, the year revealed more than a few Democrats desperate to deny Trump for a second bid to the White House.

An ambitiously, diverse, optimistic, stream of Democrats representing women, biracials, the LGBTQ community, Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, Jews and the usual majority Caucasian demographic debated six times to prove their mettle and ability to win the White House in 2020.

Although the field has narrowed to leave top contenders and those able to qualify despite the tough process the (Democratic National Committee (DNC) seem to constantly refine, still standing are: two billionaires from NYC, a former vice president who represented Delaware, a resilient woman from Massachusetts, another who is Samoan-American from Hawaii, a gay mayor from Indiana, a Socialist proponent from Vermont, a Black senator from New Jersey and a miner’s daughter from Minnesota.

In pop culture, Kanye West and his wife Kim made separate visits to the White House to talk with the commander-in-chief.

Their access proved an asset by using their clout as influencers on social media to become spokespersons for with none. As guests to the West Wing they successfully penetrated the bureaucracy to get the president’s attention.

Throughout the year, the rapper also expressed a new-found interest in missionary work. He took good news gospel message on tour with Sunday Services.

Along with a 200-member chorus he stopped in major US cities preaching his conversion and even travelled to Jamaica for a Caribbean evangelistic concert.

Just last week in this column this Insider lamented the anniversary passing of pop singer and former WHAM! founder George Michael who died three years ago on Christmas Day.

Acclaimed for recording many more hits than this column might accommodate, an ironic parallel struck the British family with the passing of George’s sister Melanie at age 55 on Christmas Day 2019.

No cause of death was attributed to her untimely demise.

Meow! Meow! Who said all cats have nine lives?

According to box-office records, “Cats” the film adaptation of the Broadway musical died a natural death last year. Despite anticipated pre-holiday predictions and the hype of featuring a plethora of stars including Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo, Judy Dench, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Idris Elba and others, the feline-friendly reprise quickly succumbed.

Bad hair, at least one revealing paw and negative reviews contributed to the tragedy.

Last year also signaled the last of the decade and will be recalled for the second election of President Barack Obama, the military capture and execution of Osama bin Laden, the reported orchestrator of the Sept. 11 tragedies.

The decade will also be remembered for the emergence of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter movements.

Same sex marriages were widely adapted to state constitutions and revision to marijuana laws enabled change in legislation in many regions. That a public apology with regret from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg admitted racist persecution and prosecution of minorities from his Stop and Frisk enactment launched his presidential campaign bid did not register well with Blacks in New York.

The decade will most definitely be defined by the home-going celebration for South African titan Nelson Mandela.

It was a warm Dec. 5, 2013 when one of the world’s greatest leaders quietly passed.

Here’s hoping for perfect vision next year and throughout the next decade.

See (sic) you then…

Catch You On The Inside!

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