Among the annual rituals here at The Facts is the annual Year in Review, which we published Sunday. We spend a good number of hours scouring stories from the previous 12 months to highlight the biggest headlines from Brazoria County, and it usually consumes more than 5,000 words by the time we have put it all together.

By the time we hit midyear, there usually is a theme that emerges, some pattern of stories or monumental events we know define the year we are about to finish. Often, those stories also set the stage for the year that will come.

Without question, state Rep. Dennis Bonnen’s rise and fall defined Brazoria County for 2019. For the extremists, it was a classic story of a couple of unsavory political characters doing battle; whether the “good guy” won depends on whose unsavoriness the person supports more. But it’s hard to say Texas is better off for having watched Bonnen’s fall.

Leafing through the bulk of the more than 4,000 pages The Facts printed last year brought forth another disturbing series of events that, as they were spread across 365 days, might not resonate the same way.

Brazoria County has seen a disturbing number of high-profile homicide and sexually based cases.

That might just be a consequence of growth. A population increase will mix in more unpleasant types among the masses, even if the ratio of them remains the same. But entering my 18th year here, it’s safe to say it seems violent deaths are increasing.

It would be a mistake to blame the influx of new residents, though. Most of the cases involved our native sons and daughters with no other consistent characteristics. The violence crosses races, ethnicities, geography and ages. The manners of death include shootings, stabbings, shaking and strangulation.

Even the motivations have varied. Domestic violence is responsible in some cases; others are drug-related — either because of use or their commerce. Some just speak of the evil that dwells in some men’s souls.

It should be noted some of the killings that shocked and saddened people happened in previous years and just made it to trial in the year that just ended. The slow-moving wheels of justice enhance the perception that Brazoria County is experiencing more fatal violent crimes, but perception just might be reality.

SORRY TO HEAR

One of the moments that has stuck with me from recent weeks happened in a rather innocuous way.

Walking through the buffet dining area to get a beverage, I passed a table where three generations of family members were sitting. The grandmother had just put two dollar bills down for the tip, and her grandson of maybe 8 or 9 asked why she had chosen that amount.

“Because that’s a lot of money to those people,” the grandmother replied.

That set off the grandson on a series of statements based on the “those people” part of his grandmother’s statement, about how $2 isn’t very much money really, but they probably will feel rich getting that amount.

Of course, most of the workers on cruise ships are from other countries. On this particular ship, Malaysia and the Philippines seemed to be the most common nations of origin, and having talked with some of them on that cruise and others, most of them signed up for a far-from-glamorous life at sea to raise their families out of poverty.

A young woman working as a waitress on a previous cruise we took told us how she sent most of her wages home to her family in Manila. Not only was it their main source of income, but it was allowing her younger brothers to further their educations. Her sacrifices would lift her family out of poverty.

The grandmother did her grandson a disservice by portraying “those people” as lesser than he because they come from poverty. No person should be considered less human or worthy because of coming from lesser means. We’re all God’s children.

Michael Morris is managing editor of The Facts. Contact him at 979-237-0144 or michael.morris@thefacts.com, or follow him on Twitter @factsmichael1.

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(7) entries

Bulldog

You wrote "It would be a mistake to blame the influx of new residents, though. Most of the cases involved our native sons and daughters with no other consistent characteristics." Do you have proof this is correct, or did you pull that out of your A Happy New Year.

Father of Six

Mr. Morris, the offended one. That's the story of the year. Everyone is offended by something. The grandmother did not do her grandson a disservice by referring to a waiter as "those people". You offended me by telling the story and making yourself out as social justice hero. The grandmother was being polite and spending time with her grandchild. I wish you and all "those like you" would get over yourselves.

PJBM626

Morris isn’t a social activist hero or warrior

He turns his back as other liberal journalist on dems actions regarding open borders: women trafficking, Drug influx for our youth, crime and violence!! Attacks against women against women. Biden, Clinton, Virginia LT Governor , Dem Asst Chairman, Sheila Jackson Lee The facts just wont give space on these stories. They did do two articles on Virginia LT Governor but that was it. Morris covered Christi bridge gate more than this

Police Killings: more in 2019 than ever before , Morris will always mention police shootings but very little attention to Police killings by the war declared by dems, left starred by Obama

Father of Six

He showed us. Printed another story about how the Senate should remove President Trump. Thanks for that Mr. Morris. I was shocked to read the El Paso papers editorial board is in favor of impeachment. Ha! Echo chamber much?

natives5

Ummm, so when are you going to get over yourself as you claim you were offended by Mr. Morris' opinion? I would have checked Grandma on her comment, in a respectful way of course as she is an elder and matriarch of the family, because she was wrong in her statement. She was making an assumption based on a stereotype. I hope someone explained that to the young boy. Grandma could have said she was leaving a $2 tip because she felt the waitress did a good job and that is all she could afford to leave. Teaching moment for Grandma because old dogs can learn new tricks.

Father of Six

Ha, ha! Tongue and cheek. Get over yourself Natives5. I really don't get offended..I'm from the sticks and stones generation.

natives5

What does that have to do with getting over myself? Makes no sense but neither do you on most days. And I beg to differ because you always cry and moan about The Facts, the Democrats, etc. so yes you do get offended.

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