Who Won 2015?


2015 is almost over, which means its time to make forced assessments and half-assed evaluations of the past year. Because no year is complete without an arbitrarily crafted review of it. We will all die today if I don't write up a summary of 2015 and if you don't read that summary. Seriously. We will all be dead. So read or die.

Anyway, since these year-end listicles are a matter of life and death, I've decided to make it a bit interactive to wring a bit of fun out of this tired and thirsty tradition.

Over the past several months, I've kinda, sorta, declared four separate "winners" of 2015.


1. Lightskint Black Men

2. Bad-Ass, Kick-Ass Black Female Lawyers

3. Being Petty

4. White Tears

Each with a unique and legitimate claim to the 2015 throne. So unique and legitimate that I can't decide who the true winner is, so I've decided to leave that up to you. Today, we will vote to see who the true king is. There will be no Stannis Baratheons here.

And, to assist you with your selections, below you'll find a brief case for each choice.

Lightskint Black Men

(From "The Lightskinned Revolution Is Here, And It Has Been Televised. It's Called “Empire”)

That it would have its season two premiere fall on the same week Drake dropped an aggressively “eh” mixtape that will somehow find a way to be culturally irreplaceable and double platinum seems more predestined than coincidental. Because 2015 is the year of the lightskint. We do not need any more evidence to prove this truth. No more Splash Brothers terrorizing the NBA with perfect jumpshots and imperfect shape-ups. No more people named “Zach Lavine” winning NBA dunk contests. No more President Obama acting all bad-ass like he’s playing spades and the other team bid “six” but only has “four” and there’s only two books left and he has both jokers. No more John Legend. We get it. The revolution isn’t happening. The revolution has happened, and Wet Wipes Howard and his Terryism are leading the way.


Bad-Ass, Kick-Ass Black Female Lawyers

(From "It's Confirmed: Bad-Ass, Kick-Ass Black Female Lawyers Won 2015")

Along with Lynch, you have Marilyn Mosby, the State’s Attorney for Baltimore; a woman who currently has the highest approval rating in the Black community since 2014 Lupita Nyong’o and 1819 Denmark Vecsy. And National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts, who has established that she is not fucking around with your bitch ass. Even the single most compelling character on television today — Viola Davis’s “Annalise Keating” — is a lawyer. A murderer and possible sociopath too, but a bad-ass, kick-ass lawyer nonetheless. And the woman who might actually be the most famous Black woman in the world right now is also a lawyer. Of course, she’s spending more time these days taking mean mug selfies with her husband than practicing law, but I’m sure if the Lawyer Avengers were ever to converge, she’d have no problem finding her cape and mask too.


Being Petty

(From "How Being Petty Won 2015")

Of course, being petty—defined in this context as “unduly concerned with trivial matters, especially in a small-minded or spiteful way”—did not originate in 2015. Examples of petty are found everywhere, from Shakespeare’s Othello to the Old Testament. (Yes, God is the alpha and the omega and the originator of petty. How else can you describe someone who gets mad at a few families and says, “Man, forget y’all. I’m just gonna flood the entire planet!”)

But 2015 is the year when it took over. When it colored most of our digital interactions and fully permeated our cultural zeitgeist. When the embrace of being petty became so ubiquitous and so commonplace that the amount of petty a person possessed became a source of pride. A personal attribute to brag about. A year when two of the most respected, accomplished and popular black academics ever engaged in a surprisingly petty public beef about … well, we still don’t know exactly what they were beefing about.


White Tears

(From "How 2015 Was Drenched In White Tears")

Abigail Fisher is the average-est white woman in the history of average white women. Her averageness is so average, it’s aggressive. Enthusiastic. Transformative. It boldly goes where no average has gone before. She’s unambiguously average. Obnoxiously average. Disruptively average.

If she were a character in Star Wars, her name would be Darth Average. She’s to “average white woman” what “Chipotle burritos” are to “diarrhea.” She is the human personification of Rite Aid-brand shampoo. Or, perhaps, a boiled and condiment-less hot dog sitting in a room-temperature bun. On a paper plate. If you looked up “average-ass white woman” in the dictionary, there’d be a picture of Abigail Fisher, buying milk or raking leaves or doing some other average-ass s—t. She’s a human 2003 Ford Escort.

Thing is, there’s nothing inherently wrong with being average. By definition, most people are average. Average people make the world go ’round. And, if born into the right family, average people can even be president!

The problem with Abigail Fisher, however, is that despite her relentless averageness, she believes that she’s entitled to treatment far surpassing her relentless averageness. This entitlement led her to believe that the only reason her average ass didn’t get into the University of Texas was that she was being discriminated against.

This, in a nutshell, is the perfect example of what people are referring to when they refer to “white tears.” And it’s only fitting that Fisher’s case would be heard by the Supreme Court in 2015. Because 2015, from beginning to end, has been drenched in bitter and salty white tears.


So, once and for all, vote to see who truly won 2015.

Who won 2015?

  • White Tears (42%, 801 Votes)
  • Bad-Ass, Kick-Ass Black Female Lawyers (21%, 409 Votes)
  • Being Petty (20%, 380 Votes)
  • Lightskint Black Men (17%, 324 Votes)

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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Sigma_Since 93

When will the results be posted??? I need something to look at other than the four people in the office the rest of the week.