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Most Controversial Moments of 2017

As the year comes to an end, I'll be reflecting on some of the biggest controversies of 2017.

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Most Controversial Moments of 2017

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2017 has no doubt been a year of headlines and wild revelations. Here, I’ll be ranking the five most controversial and downright outrageous moments of the year.

Five. NFL Players Kneeling for the National Anthem.

Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem during a game in 2016. Photo from thenation.com

Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the national anthem last year because he didn’t want to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” His action spread like wildfire among other players in the NFL and eventually the NBA too. Every week, more and more players kneel to show their support for people of color in America. While everyone has the right to protest as they wish, I find their actions completely offensive. By kneeling to support a cause, they are inadvertently disrespecting the military in the process. The national anthem wasn’t regularly played at sporting events until after soldiers returned from World War II. This song became a way to honor the men and women that served in a time of such patriotism and pride for the military. So, while the football players that kneel now may not be intending to offend the military, they still are. These men are lucky that they can play football and make millions every single year because without the protection from the military, that would not be possible. Grace Wyckoff, a sophomore, perfectly summed it up when she said, “While I understand what the kneelers are protesting, I think they also should be respectful to our country. It isn’t perfect, but it provides us with many freedoms that we should be grateful for.”

Four. Revelations of Sexual Assault in Hollywood.

Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual assault by a huge number of women. Photo from the New York Times.

In early October, a small number of women came forward to say that multimillionaire film producer, Harvey Weinstein, had sexually assaulted them. By the end of the month, that number grew to 83 women. These allegations range from forceful advances to rape. After the accusations against Weinstein, a firestorm was sparked in Hollywood and around the country. #MeToo, a movement that was recently named Time’s Person of the Year, was created on social media, allowing women to share their experiences with sexual assault and receive closure. Soon, accusations were coming out about other men in Hollywood and Washington, including Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Louis CK, Al Franken, and Roy Moore among many others. This is sure to leave a mark on Hollywood’s already damaged reputation.

Three. Hillary Clinton and the DNC.

Donna Brazile (left) revealed the DNC’s involvement in Hillary Clinton’s (right) presidential campaign.

Back in November, former DNC interim chairwoman, Donna Brazile, revealed secret deals between Hillary Clinton and the DNC in a tell-all memoir. According to Brazile, Hillary for America made a deal with the debt-riddled Democratic National Committee long before she was nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate. In this arrangement, Clinton’s campaign agreed to donate money to the DNC in exchange for “joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research (NBC).” Even though this deal was to come into play during the general election, it still no doubt gave Clinton an advantage over other candidates in the primaries, specifically Senator Bernie Sanders. To simply put it, this deal showcases the toxic corruption of the Democratic Party. It shows that the primaries were basically a joke, as party officials knew Hillary would be their nominee long before she was voted for it. Brazile’s bombshell allegations further emphasize the malfeasance and deceit taking place within America’s political parties.

Two. “Fake News” and the Dishonest Media.

In an age of “fake news,” people have increasingly begun to distrust the media. Photo from Outside the Beltway.

I watch the news a lot. I like knowing what’s going on in the world around me. However, I often feel like the news I’m watching isn’t reliable, so the information I’m getting isn’t necessarily correct. And I’m not alone. People all around the country feel this way. According to a April 2017 survey by Gallup News, 62% of Americans believed that the media favored a certain political party. The media has become so polarized to fit a certain agenda that the news we’re receiving is no longer entirely accurate. If you turn on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow will be lecturing you on how horrible Donald Trump and the GOP are. Then if you switch the channel to FOX News, Sean Hannity will be defending the President as an honorable and misunderstood person, who is being attacked by the left wing media.  Either way, whether you support the left or the right, there is no denying that mainstream American news isn’t accurate. It makes it hard to trust the media and entirely believe that what’s being put on tv or in the newspaper is correct.

One. Donald Trump’s Russian Investigation.

(from top left to bottom right) Paul Manafort, Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and Michael Flynn, all believed to be involved in Russian collusion. Photo from CNN.

Where do I even begin with this one? I’ll start from earlier this year, even though the story goes back much further. In late March 2017, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that he was investigating possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. A little over a month later, Trump announced that he was firing Comey, most likely believing that his firing would end the Russian investigation and put Trump in the clear. However, he was very wrong. Robert Mueller, FBI Director before Comey, was hired as Special Counsel to investigate Russian collusion even closer to the core. Flash forward to present day, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and George Papadopoulos have been indicted on lying to the FBI about connections to Russia. Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner have been testifying on Capitol Hill about their private meetings with Russians and WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. It’s a long and complicated series of events with a lot more dirt to be uncovered. I wholeheartedly believe that the President is being completely dishonest. He certainly has ties to the Russians, and isn’t telling his whole story. As Americans, we deserve the truth from our President. If Mueller and the FBI discover concrete evidence that he is lying, then I think there has to be a fair punishment. Being the president doesn’t put you above the law. If Bill Clinton can get impeached for lying about an affair, then Donald Trump can get impeached for allowing Russians to meddle with the election, a crime I consider far more serious.

So there you have it; my top five most controversial moments of the year. Trust me when I say that this was a very hard thing to do, given the fact that 2017 was basically a reality tv show. Let’s just hope that 2018 will be a step-up from this disaster of a year!

1 Comment

One Response to “Most Controversial Moments of 2017”

  1. adviser on December 11th, 2017 2:56 pm

    Great writing Grace. Although we differ on some of your opinions, your cases are stated with eloquence conviction and consideration of other points of view.

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Most Controversial Moments of 2017