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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)
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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • 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.

    • Aly

      You’re doing better than me. There’s only three of us in the office today.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        Your boy may fade to black during lunch and work from home the rest of the day.

        • Aly

          I fully expect someone to dip out by lunchtime.

          • Val

            Someone = Aly

            • Aly

              I wish :)

      • PrettyGeekz


        • Aly

          It’s so quiet! Not that I’m complaining.

          • PrettyGeekz

            Me either. I fully expect to get some work done…but, eh, that probably won’t happen.

      • Val

        Nice avi, Aly. :-)

        • Aly

          Thanks Val!

      • YeaSoh

        yes, Al. Very cute for the New Year!

        • Aly

          Thanks boo!

    • nillalatte

      LOL… the results were instant. And, I’m off the entire week! I hate going to work the week between Christmas and New Year’s just for the reason you posted. B.o.r.i.n.g. On the home front, lots of projects to keep me busy for a month or two, so not so boring.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        There’s one system that I can’t access remotely so I’m in the office. If I didn’t need to update this system by year’s end, I’d be working from home in my shorts.

        • nillalatte

          Oh, that just sux. I feel it. I get irritated working from home sometimes because the systems I work on become so sluggish. Not only that, we have new Surface Pro’s. They’re great, until you need to act like a real computer professional and use function keys. :

    • PhlyyPhree

      I came in today and saw tumbleweeds and heard echoes.
      I also saw the negative amount of fucks I gave about the work I should be doing this week. It will probably all get done Thursday because who gon check me boo?

      No one. Because there’s no one here but me.

      • porqpai

        This has been me for the last three weeks

    • nillalatte

      I see what you meant now. :( We want the ‘final’ results. My bad.

      Edit: resetting IP addy and changing PC’s. :P Yes, we can ‘work around’ these issues. lol

    • Kat

      So few people in my office, I took the dog in. She was bored and ret to go after one hour.

    • Lucky you. I’m working this 9 to 5, and I swear I’m about to get my boss’ last name after today because of how busy I was. *smh*

  • Siante

    “Being petty” & “lightskint black men” are tied. I can’t decide :/

  • Danni

    I chose “White Tears” BECAUSE I was being “Petty”, so I’m not sure that I chose correctly. Hummmm

  • Lightskint black men for the win surely. I’m stuck on them like I haven’t been in years, since prom literally. A friend and I just had the most hilarious conversation regarding their soar in popularity again LOL!!!! And I can’t take my eyes off lightskint men these days LOL!!!!

    • fxd8424

      Again, you say? When were they ever dethroned?

      • Sigma_Since 93

        During the Wesley Snipes / Jodeci years. Basically the New Jack Swing era.

        • fxd8424

          I know the chocolate brothers were hot, but still never got the impression they weren’t still in vogue.

          • QuirlyGirly

            Oh the chocolate will rise again–just not in 2015

          • Sigma_Since 93

            For a minute, Chocolate brothas were winning like Berry Gordy churning out Mowtown hits:


            Big Daddy Kane
            Morris Chestnut
            Taye Digs

            Lance Gross
            Serge Ibaka

            Then Drake, Steph, Jessee, and the rest of the light skin klan kicked the door in.

            • QuirlyGirly

              Do you think there was a defining moment when we knew the light skint took over? Was it that L Meek Mill took from Drake? Was is Steph Curry killing it with his jumpers of the dribble? Was it Jesse kicking knowledge to all about the plight of black people?

              • Sigma_Since 93

                It was a slow grass roots effort sorta like Republicans redistricting districts at the local levels. You wake up one day and the best NBA player is light skinned, Drake and J Cole killing it in the rap game, Michael Ely and Jessee on the media side, Russ Wilson in the NFL.

                I know the dark skinned convention looked like the Republicans after the second loss to Obama and pledged to do some soul searching.

                • QuirlyGirly

                  The dark skinned convention chose “Where Did We Go Wrong?” by LTD as the theme of their convention. LOL

              • Londa

                You had me at Jesse.

                • QuirlyGirly

                  Hmm Jesse– I do enjoy eye candy.

            • fxd8424

              And who could forget Tyson Beckford with his fine azz self.

            • wanderlust

              Don’t forget Tyrese and the Coca Cola Commercial… Looking like a chocolate milk dud…Just scrumptious

              • fxd8424


      • Val

        They went out in the 90s. Christopher Williams was the last beneficiary of light-skint popularity until their recent surge.

        • Sigma_Since 93

          ‘I neva liked you anyway. Pretty mother succa.’ Was the nail in the coffin for light skin brothas back then.

          • fxd8424

            I loved that line. LOL

            • Sigma_Since 93

              Spoken by the same dark skinned man that told us to “Always bet on black” lol!

        • Exactly! They were out of sight out of mind for years until recently LOL!!!

        • In the words of Kanye West, I’ma get on this TV mama! Mama, I’ma shut it down! I’ma make sure these light skinned ninjas never ever ever go back in style!

      • Wesley shooed out the light skint brothas like you would shoo out the last person at the party who didn’t get the hint.

      • LOL!!!!

    • PrettyGeekz

      Eh. I’ll take a lovely cocoa brownskint man for $200, Alex.

    • <<<<Approves this message.

    • kid video

      Hi Erin…I’m Kid, but I don’t play.

  • Sigma_Since 93

    White Tears for the win…….everything above creates White Tears.

    Light Skin folks winning = black folks winning = white folks losing = white tears
    Bad-Ass, Kick-Ass Black Female Lawyers => kicking the white establishment = white tears
    Being Petty towards white folk = white tears

    It’s a no brainer! lol

    • I wish I could change my vote, thats some irrefutable logic

    • PhlyyPhree

      I LITERALLY was thinking the same thing.
      Glad you typed that for me.

    • Glad I read this before my vote. White tears for the win. Petty as a close second.

    • uNk

      dam I voted wrong lol

    • John Henry

      DAMN! That logic is irrefutable!

  • Val

    White tears = Donald Trump’s popularity. So my vote is for White tears and I’m going off the ballot and voting for Donald Trump too.

    • miss t-lee

      I still think The Splash Brothers sounds like a really bad pron title.

    • The world needs more creepy Steph Curry memes too.

    • IsitFridayyet?

      I’m just happy that my team was responsible for ending their winning streak.

      • Val

        They got what they needed from the winning streak, which was confidence. They will probably lose 9 more before the season ends. The Dubs are well on their way to winning another championship. Who will stop them? No one.


      • Val

        Why? Lol Dub fan?

  • I refuse to let team lightskin or White tears get to me. Therefore, I’m going to be petty and vote for being petty.

  • I voted for Light Skint black men and I instantly regretted it but I cant check my phone without seeing a reference to the domination of Team Light Skin in some form. Plus, Its a lot of cats out here trying to be “Chef curry wit da pot, boy”.

    White Tears is a very close second. White Tears is also inspiring the “alt. right” movement – a consequence of the Trump uprising, so yeah.

    Finally, I really wanted to select Bad-Ass, Kick-Ass Black Female Lawyers solely for that Lawyer avengers line. That needs to be a thing.

  • I voted for being petty. Being an out and out #Asshole has been on the rise on the interwebs for YEARS, but this year it just exploded and dominated…and was widely embraced by people of all walks of life. I think being petty won 2015.

    • QuirlyGirly

      I could not agree more. There is no one thing that was so widely embraced as pettiness. Black,white, asian, hispanic, european, man, women, child – even the babies are petty.

    • Kat

      Truth. I had a petty day where I posted nothing but petty stats on FB. It was vanglorious..lol

  • PhlyyPhree

    While everything on the list makes me happy, White Tears give me the most joy.
    I didn’t ask for anything for Christmas this year. Just took a nice soak in the White Tears I’ve collected in 2015. My skin is as supple as a unicorn baby and Nia Long right now. That’s is how enriched my life is by White Tears.

    • QuirlyGirly

      I picked petty but White Tears was a close second. So many unapologetically black people bathed in those tears allowing their skin to glow and glisten. It really is a thing of beauty

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Your entire existence is to piss out White Tears and resell it to the market is some $30 bottle of water.

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