I like the reporting around this time of year because the presses seem more sensitive to acknowledging Heroes. Heroic Acts can be great or small but in my book any positive deed is a great Heroic Act. Personally, it makes my day when someone does something good or stands up for themselves in the face of adversity. It gives me hope and fills me with pride and I smile and grin and let others know. Just like now when I print a partial list of the Heroes listed in the Guardian.
Donald Trump’s presidency was a week old. Hillary Clinton was in the woods (literally). Women marched on Washington. Then Trump dropped a bombshell executive order immediately banning entry to America from seven majority-Muslim countries, and blocking refugees. Airports erupted in chaos and loved ones were torn apart, before judges intervened. Sally Yates, acting attorney general, instructed justice department lawyers not to defend the order, doubting it was legal or matched her “obligation to seek justice and stand for what’s right”. Trump fired her. It later emerged she had warned the White House about national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was soon fired for lying about contacts with the then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.”
The actress was the first publicly to name movie mogul Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator, after years of his alleged crimes being obscured. Others then accused him of sexual harassment, misconduct and rape, professional sabotage and intimidation. His downfall, police investigations and lawsuits followed. He apologized, vaguely, but denies non-consensual sex. The floodgates opened as female and male victims accused men across high-profile industries of entrenched power abuse. Heads rolled and the spotlight is back on other famous accused – including Donald Trump. The #metoo rallying cry went global and “silence breakers” collectively were named Time’s person of the year.”
The NFL football star began kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem before games in 2016, in protest at racial injustice, especially police brutality and killings involving young black men. But the effects peaked again in 2017 when Donald Trump chose to stoke the row, rather than address underlying issues. The protests continued to spread, bringing things to a new head. Kaepernick, a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, found himself in the sports wilderness after leaving the San Francisco 49-ers, despite his talent. He was named GQ magazine’s citizen of the year.”
Running a marathon is tough. Running one at 70 is tougher. But toughest? A woman barging into a race that’s only open to men and successfully preventing an official from manhandling her off the road. All those achievements belong to the same person. Kathy Switzer ran the Boston marathon in 2017, 50 years after she became the first woman to run the race, after registering only her initials then sneaking into the field. She became a hero of the women’s rights movement. “I knew if I dropped out no one would believe women could run distances,” she said.”
Who? The mayor of Pittsburgh. These words may ring a bell: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.” That was Donald Trump taking the US out of the Paris accord to combat climate change. The Pennsylvania city is, indeed, best known as an industrial powerhouse (“hell with the lid off” was a 19th-century nickname). But Peduto hit back. “We will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future,” he tweeted.
Interactions that American Urban Radio Networks and CNN journalist April Ryan had with Trump and his first press secretary, Sean Spicer, are epic, she as gracious and wry as they were boorish and dishonorable. Trump responded to Ryan asking if he had consulted the Congressional Black Caucus about inner cities by telling her to arrange a meeting. “Are they friends of yours?” he asked her, a rare African American in the White House press corps, moments after declaring himself the “least racist person in the room”. (The CBC had already written to Trump and been ignored.) She pushes back fearlessly and incisively. “Please stop shaking your head,” Spicer demanded during one of his notorious briefings.” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/30/us-heroes-2017-people-who-inspired-us