This year there has been no shortage of big stories, controversies and entertainment and it would seem that Time’s board would have a tough task choosing its 2015 Person of the Year. There’s news makers like Pope Francis, Vladimir Putin and President Obama to name a few. There’s Lin Manuel Miranda, whose Hamilton on Broadway is basically what would happen if Alexander Hamilton re-wrote Biggie’s Ready to Die about his own life, but without Puff Daddy “uh-huh”-ing throughout. There’s Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, both of whom have shaken up their respective ends of the political world. But I think at this point the person of the year should be clear. 2015’s person of the year has been overdue for a few years, but now with the ascendancy of Donald Trump and the success of Jurassic World, this year’s person of the year must be:
the scared white person.
Exhibit A – Donald Trump
No one has given voice to the scared white person, and has allowed them to flex their collective muscle like Donald Trump. He became a front runner, with remarkable staying power considering his lack of substance and our collective ADD, on the strength of demonizing Mexican immigrants and touting his own vague prowess at everything. And his nearest challenger is from Dr. Ben Carson, a man who finally started to climb the polls by criticizing shooting victims and demonizing his brown people of choice, Muslims.
Exhibit B – Jurassic World
No movie hit bigger in 2015 than Jurassic World, which is now a top five grossing film of all time. I thought it was much more Jurassic Parks 2 & 3, than it was the excellent original, but pretty white people running from dinosaurs was enough to destroy even The Avengers (confident white people/superheroes not as popular this year).
Exhibit C – More Mass Shootings, Less Gun Control
Scared people (probably of all races, but come on…) had to deal with a few more mass shootings in 2015 and as usual found comfort in boosting gun sales to combat their fear of being victims… not of being shot (then gun control might be their preferred approach), but of having the scary black president taking unprecedented action and “Taykin’ they guns!!!!”
Exhibit D – Ashley Madison hack
Nothing sent shock waves throughout the white male community like the Ashley Madison hack. As we learned from the (edited) viral street harassment video, men of color don’t need a secretive website to holler at women.
Exhibit E – Benjamin Netanyahu
Exhibit F – Unreasonably nervous 911 callers continue to get black people shot
Watching the video today of the police officer brutally assaulting a misbehaving black girl in her classroom reminded me of something – many of the cases involving shot/murdered unarmed black people by law enforcement involve a call to police from a nervous (white) person. At least in the classroom case it was a nervous (but more likely annoyed) black person calling on the police (the teacher), but the result was the same: a black person violated at the hands of a police officer. But in so many of the cases in the last few years I always wonder “what scared white person reported this?” Because in all fairness to the cops, even the ones who have taken excessive action, I have to assume getting a call from 911 saying “there’s a (black) guy with a gun” will heighten the officer’s tension and preparation for danger, more than a call less soaked in fear (or, obviously, if a call never comes). But in reality the officer was just doing physically what one-half of Republican primary voters have been supporting from Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson verbally – the abuse of people of color. So for all these reasons, both serious and humorous, Time’s 2015 Person of the Year is the Scared White Person.