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Five opinions that moved us in 2020

From the COVID-19 pandemic to civil rights and addressing homophobia, here are five APR opinion pieces that moved us in 2020.


Christmas is complete. The New Year is on the way, and here are five opinions from the Alabama Political Reporter that moved us in the year that was 2020.

Joey Kennedy: Opinion | Conversations with my brain

Joey often puts in me in a stringent state of mind, causing me to question myself and how I think. This causes that. He writes what he knows and what he feels, and this time he was saluting Gov. Ivey and her slow reopening of the state months ago, which I firmly believe contributed to the saving of lives and hospitalizations. Many may be unhappy with her, and for good reason, but it’s undeniable that she took action when the pandemic came to be. Joey also addresses Trump asking if bleach was the answer and stimulus checks. What a fun year. Another encapsulating piece by Joey.

Bill Britt: Opinion | The empty chair

This was only published a few days ago, but to me, it’s one of the best pieces my boss has written for the holidays. “Over 300,000 individuals in our nation will be absent when their families gather for Christmas and other year-end holiday celebrations. Here in Alabama, nearly 5,000 mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and grandparents will be missing forever.” Think of that. I couldn’t imagine the holidays, let alone any day, without my parents, siblings, loved ones. So many have lost theirs this year because of COVID-19. Our own Eddie Burkhalter just celebrated his father, Emory Gerald Burkhalter’s, 76th birthday without him. A beautiful wreath graced his headstone. COVID prematurely stole a family member. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and love your family (from a distance for the moment, please).

Josh Moon: Opinion | We should hold the appropriate people responsible for bullying

Josh addresses home-grown Huntsville homophobia and bullying to a strong degree. A city I thought to be more progressive and accepting, much like Birmingham or Mobile. My heart broke for Nigel Shelby, an openly gay 15 year-old who committed suicide after increased bullying from his peers. A gay couple also endured slurs from a local baseball team. Josh says, “Yes, school officials have a responsibility to monitor and react whenever bullying is spotted or reported. But it is not the responsibility of the school systems to teach kids decency, respect and morals.” It’s the parents’. Teach your children inclusivity. It may save a life.

Josh Moon: Opinion | Alvin Holmes pulled no punches

“A tireless advocate for the Black community and the most purposefully underestimated man in the history of Alabama politics.” It’s hard to follow that line. I certainly couldn’t end this year without honoring the great Alvin Holmes. I personally did not have the opportunity to meet him, but his reputation certainly made its way around, and I learned every thing I needed to know, and that is that he was passionate, driven and hard-headed to boot. “Holmes underplayed his intelligence better than anyone I’ve ever known, baiting his foes and luring them into the trap over and over again. To watch him work his marks on the House floor was like watching Greg Maddux pitch.” His brilliance was resounding, and it will be hard to find another Holmes for the Alabama House floor.

Joey Kennedy: Opinion | Facing each day, finding hope

Joey is so good here trying to explain to our readers how credibility among stories and authors work. “But if we have a person in authority telling us something credible, whether it be about the COVID-19 pandemic or a completely unrelated issue, on-the-record or off, we’re careless if we don’t start looking into it. Often, these embryonic stories go nowhere. Sometimes, they give birth to real news.”

Our writers know real news, and I am so proud to be working with them. Eddie knows prisons and COVID numbers and Josh knows state government and education. We do our best every day to keep you informed and will continue to do so.

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Happy New Year, and may 2021 be a much better year for us all.

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