Even after a grueling election in 2012, there has been no return to calm in 2013. From the bombing in Boston to the fight for equal rights to the ever-increasing income inequality and need for quality health care, the news has not slowed down.
Raw Story’s readers have made this our biggest year yet, and this is a list of the stories you’ve clicked, tapped, shared, liked and tweeted the most.
Houston Police took a 13-year-old white girl from her two black guardians and placed her in the custody of Child Protective Services for 11 hours without an explanation.
“The officer asked me ‘who’s the girl?’ and I said ‘she’s my student,’” dance instructor Emmanuel Hurd explained in December. “I told him I had a notarized letter from her parents stating that we have full guardianship over her while we’re here.”
The girl was eventually released back into the custody of her guardians.
Hosts of the Atheist Experience cable access show in Austin hung up on a Christian caller in January after he suggested that God might not stop the rape of a little girl because the victim was also “evil.”
“Goodbye, you piece of shit!” host Matt Dillahunty exclaimed. “You know what? I was a better Christian than you when I was a Christian, and I still am.”
Charles Ramsey became an instant Internet sensation in May when he helped free Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus and Michele Knight — who had been held hostage for more than a decade — in the house right next to his.
“Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms,” Ramsey told a local news station following the rescue. “Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.”
But while he had been dealing with financial trouble, Ramsey said that he wasn’t interested in any reward money.
“I tell you what you do, give it to them,” he said. “Because if folks been following this case since last night, you been following me since last night, you know I got a job anyway.”
When CNN broke the news in March that there had been a guilty verdict in a rape case in Steubenville, Ohio, the network seemed to be more concerned about the criminals than the victims.
CNN reporter Poppy Harlow, who was in the courtroom, said that that she “cannot imagine” how emotional the sentencing must have been for the rapists.
Harlow explained that it had been “incredibly difficult” to watch “as these two young men — who had such promising futures, star football players, very good students — literally watched as they believed their life fell apart.”
In October, McDonald’s worker Nancy Salgado was arrested at a company meeting for confronting the corporation’s president to tell him she couldn’t afford shoes or food for her children.
“It’s really hard for me to feed my two kids and struggle day to day,” she shouted at McDonald’s USA President Jeff Stratton was speaking. “Do you think this is fair, that I have to be making $8.25 when I’ve worked for McDonald’s for ten years?”
Salgado said that McDonald’s later cut her hours in retaliation.
Lawyers for a Florida man cited President George W. Bush’s pre-emptive war in Iraq and the former president’s infamous “Bush Doctrine” as a defense after their client killed two neighbors and attempted to kill a third on Labor Day.
In their motion, attorneys for William T. Woodward attorneys claimed that the victims had called him names and threatened to “get him.”
“I think legally that term has sort of been evolving especially given changes of our government’s definition of ‘imminent,’” attorney Robert Berry explained at the time. “It’s become more expansive than someone putting a gun right to your head. It’s things that could become, you know, an immediate threat.”
A gay man was arrested at a hospital in Missouri in April when he refused to leave the bedside of his partner, and now a restraining order is preventing him from any type of visitation.
Even though Roger Gorley had power of attorney to handle his partner’s affairs, Research Medical Center in Kansas City had him put in handcuffs and escorted from the building.
“I was not recognized as being the husband, I wasn’t recognized as being the partner,” Gorley said.
An Applebee’s waitress said that she was fired from her job in January because she posted a note from a pastor who refused to tip, writing that “I give God 10% Why do you get 18.”
“I thought the note was insulting, but it was also comical,” the woman named Chelsea explained. “I posted it to Reddit because I thought other users would find it entertaining.”
“But because this person got embarrassed that their selfishness was made public, Applebee’s has made it clear that they would rather lose a dedicated employee than lose an angry customer. That’s a policy I can’t understand.”
Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s Christmas spirit catapulted her nearly to the top of Raw Story’s Top Ten list.
On Wednesday night in mid-December, Kelly decided to insist to all of the children watching her show that both Santa Claus and Jesus Christ were white men.
“For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white,” she said. “But this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is.”
“Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change, you know?” Kelly added. “I mean, Jesus was a white man too. He was a historical figure, that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa — I just want the kids watching to know that.”
Coming in at number one in what may be the most horrific story on our Top Ten list, Missouri mother was Jessica Lynn charged with child abuse and murder after police said she let her boyfriend rape her 4-month-old infant, resulting in the child’s death.
In text message obtained by St. Charles County prosecutors, Lynn told her her boyfriend, Jordan Lafayette Prince, that she was willing to let him have sex with her daughter — even though she knew he had been previously convicted of sexual abuse of a minor.
“Ashlynn was sexually assaulted causing multiple tears to her anus, a massive laceration to her rectum with massive hematoma in the area of the pelvis,” a probable cause document stated. “The injuries to her anus and rectum of Ashlynn were sufficient to eventually cause her death even without the strangulation.”