We ride for the South. Don't you?

Evil is as evil does, and Scalawag's 2021 Sick & Shut In List is a run down of some true heathens y'all. Let us pray that these no-goods change their ways in 2022 and put an end to the havoc they're wreaking on our people and across our beloved South. 

As you sow, so you reap, so we're not just calling out these good for nothings, we're passing around the collection plate for groups that are counteracting their harm. Let's be the change we want to see; uncrumple those virtual dollar bills and get in on this offering for a better South.

Know someone else who else should be on this list? Nominate your additions here or hit us with a reply on Twitter or Instagram to help us round out our list.


1. Trash ass Texas politicians

Beto McConoheyeyey? Whatever their names are, all these white men talkin' 'bout running for president of Texas need prayer.

Guess they didn't preach this over in the lone star state, but standin' on tables, droppin' f-bombs and smokin' hella joints doesn't make you any less oppressive than Texas' devil on wheels himself.

The people of Texas have been through enough, so let us pray for government officials who might do something about the power grid instead of attacking reproductive rights, banning mask mandates and harming trans kids.

We bow our heads and send our tithes to on-the-ground organizations counteracting this harm like TENT, Buckle Bunnies, and Frontera Fund. In the name of Southern liberation, we pray and support the good work of journalism that won't kowtow to power. Amen. 🙏🏿

2. The police state that stole Christmas

Shame on North Carolina prisons and TextBehind for robbing incarcerated folks of connection.

All mail going to N.C. prisons must now be sent to TextBehind's Maryland address and digitized. Families, of course, are the ones who pay the cost of that digitization. 

Why the change? Prison leaders claim it will reduce the amount of drugs in prison, but as reporting all across the South has shown, reducing mail and visits doesn't stop drugs from getting inside.

The hellfire is waiting for those who kick folks while they're down, and that's exactly what North Carolina prisons did earlier this year. 

Let us pray for those who have not yet seen the abundance in abolition. May we move toward liberation and away from sinful plans born of false promise. Only we can set us free. Send donations to Prison Books Collective, and support our nonprofit newsroom as we help media support—and pay!— incarcerated writers. 🙏🏿

3. The Mecca's moldy mess

Gaslighting students and then claiming Black liberation in the same breath? We hate to see it.

Howard University—from which former Atlanta Mayor Kasim (G)reed graduated—has had administrators antagonizing student protestors for months for daring to believe that they deserve clean and safe housing. Kasim's name is relevant here because, as a Howard alumnus, he spent much of his tenure as mayor taking away housing from Black Atlanta residents through the revitalization of predominantly and historically Black neighborhoods.

It would seem that the HU (administrative) commitment is harming the very people who give the institution (or in Kasim's case, its city) the credibility it wields to harm their constituents. Let us send prayers to the ancestors that they guide the students and residents to safe housing and away from leadership that desires to keep them bound. Support continuing coverage of student protests by donating to The Hilltop, Howard University's student newspaper and the nation's oldest Black collegiate newspaper. 🙏🏿

4. Ly(i)nn(g) Fitch

Mississippi's Attorney General wants women to "have it all"—except bodily autonomy.

Lynn Fitch spent this year preparing to take Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban before the Supreme Court. The state's top cop—and first lady cop (go girl bosses!)—explicitly asked the justices to topple Roe v. Wade. In a statement, Fitch reflected on how far we've come in the 50 years since Roe: Women work in offices, and gig economies not just kitchens; and science has advanced. No such progress is evident in Fitch's binaried language, emphasizing abortion as strictly a women's issue. 

Perhaps most illustrative of the kind of deep revival Fitch needs is the slut-shaming slogan she's echoed from every conservative corner of Facebook in her latest video appeal: "Empower Women, Promote Life." In the #sad anti-abortion campaign that appears to be sponsored by Dress Barn, Fitch parades a Black mother and her child as she claims Roe "hindered" healthy dialogue about "how we as a society care for the dignity of women and children." 

Mississippi has the highest infant mortality rate in the U.S., paired with the highest poverty rate, including children in poverty, and the highest preterm birth rate in the nation. 

Y'all better pray that our Girl-Boss-in-Chief learns to read data in 2022. Until then, we'll be supporting the good work of the Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund. 🙏🏿

5. Boosie Homophobicazz Badazz

The Internet Bible says no digital weapon formed against Gen Z shall prosper. The patron saint of this scripture is Lil Nas X, whose lead up to his latest album featured him in a prosthetic belly, pregnant with his latest project, Montero. 

Meanwhile, Boosie spent the better part of this calendar year circling Old Town Road, launching homophobic epithets at the young rapper. Lately, he's been coasting in reverse, backtracking his violence, claiming Lil Nas X had "caught him at the wrong time." But as Lil Nas X said, he's bored with this, and so are we. Instead of giving Boosie anymore air time, let us donate to some of the groups on Montero's baby registry instead. 🙏🏿

6. Thief Daddy Spears

End conservatorship abuse, period.

Britney Spears' ain't shit daddy can't eat off her talent anymore now that her 13-year conservatorship is over. He made a bajillion dollars when his only talent was giving us a Louisiana Queen. 🙏🏿

7. The Omarion variant

Omarion? Omegatron? O Macron? This new variant got an ice box where our heart used to be.

The latest mutation in the COVID-19 virus (not the French President) is spreading faster than holiday cheer, and states all over the country are seeing an uptick in hospitalizations.

Just as B2K was about to turn up for the Millenium Tour, BAM! Omicron canceled all our shit.

Scientists called this summer's plague Delta—A lie! since nobody was taking no flights nowhere. But the name of the latest culprit is giving Transformers' ancestral homeland meets delectable baked good.  

Whatever flavor of the week it is, Omicron or Delta, the years drag on and COVID keeps dragging us. Guess we're spending yet another winter shut in, whether we're sick or not.

Seriously, though. Prayers for all those who have lost family or who are battling the virus right now. And if you need help talking with family about the benefits of the vaccine check out our Breaking Through COVID-19 series. 🙏🏿

8. The most evil Florida Man

Ron DeSantis: Just because your state is home to Mar-a-Lago doesn't mean you're the second coming of Trump.

In what can only be described as an unhinged plan for a 2024 presidential bid, Florida Governor Ronald Dion DeSantis has done everything in his power this year to ride identity politics to the grave.

His latest string of stunts can be traced back to the day Trump was declared a winner in Florida's 2020 general election, after which DeSantis praised the process (or lack thereof) that he subjected voters with to get to there—making vote-by-mail near-impossible and literally prohibiting people from handing out water to voters. Democracy!

Fast forward to this year, and he's outdone even himself: In April, he signed the now-infamous "anti-riot" bill into law, a move that democratic senators called "the death of the First Amendment." One part of the measure grants civil legal immunity to people who literally drive through protesters blocking roads. The anti-Black protest bill also increased penalties for damage to property during any gathering deemed as a riot—especially when it comes to Confederate statues. Beyond citing how Florida held elections during the Civil War as a justification for holding primaries during the height of the pandemic, he's really just screaming the quiet part out loud at this point.

Naturally, now that elections have passed, the chicanery has continued to other arenas: In November, he called a special session to consider his "Keep Florida Free" legislative agenda to reject federally-imposed vaccine and mask mandates state-wide. You know, 'cuz freedom. He's currently focused on laying the groundwork to kick immigrant kids out of Florida shelters and into military bases—a move that even Republicans have deemed unsafe. Let us pray his foolishness comes to an end—he's done enough damage already. 🙏🏿

9. Jeff Bozos' Clown Cult

Unsatisfied with simply killing the economy, environment, and labor movement, Amazon's bloodlust has moved on to… human life.

When the National Labor Relations Board announced the outcome of the vote for Amazon's first viable union back in April, the results were no shock given the company's blatant (and illegal) interference in organizing efforts. If we on the outside felt inundated with the company's fake Twitter propaganda, imagine how the workers felt in the direct line of fire of the company's threatening emails, assertive disinformation in the workplace, and one-on-one intimidation.

After six workers were killed by tornadoes this month at an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, the cognitive dissonance reached unparalleled heights. It takes a special brand of shit-eating to release a "we're deeply saddened by the news" public statement while at the same time telling employees that the company had "no record" of tornadoes that would physically prevent workers from coming in for their shifts in Kentucky.

Jeff Bezos thanked Amazon employees—and customers—for paying his way to space this summer. If that's not dystopian, we don't know what is. Down here on earth, there is no reason for one of the most profitable companies in the world to resort to Triangle Shirtwaist Factory levels of disregard for human life. Thoughts and prayers won't solve this one, but maybe a visitation from three Christmas ghosts would help? 🙏🏿


Who should round out the 10th spot on our list? Nominate your additions here or hit us with a reply on Twitter or Instagram to help us round out our list. Ready to help us continue to move the South towards liberation in the year ahead? Become a Scalawag member by midnight on December 31, and your donation will go twice as far thanks to NewsMatch. Give as you're able, and we'll be sure to do the same. This work will take all of us.

See y'all in 2022!