All prejudice is ridiculous in its nature, and generational resentment is one of the worst.
Most forms of prejudice can be traced to an “accident of birth” in sex, ethnic background or even disability. Relative age is one of these “accidents.”
Millennials are becoming far more diverse than any previous generation and that means we know people who were hurt by the post-election results.
It’s one thing to say there’s variety in a generation, but it’s another to want to change the fate of these groups for the better. I think that’s what many protesters realized when they took to the streets these last few weeks.
I’m all for free speech. It’s one of the privileges I hold dear as a journalist and want to preserve for others, but I also believe in what I call the should-you-say-it and should-you-say-it-like-that clauses. The peaceful protests and the quieter safety-pin are effective ways to show solidarity to marginalized groups, but the angry rioting only displays total anarchy and lessens the democratic power of the other groups.
Schools nationwide are introducing therapy treatments for students who are grieving, again because millennials are multi-ethnic and worry about their friends’, as well as their own, futures. Some of those measures include postponing tests, bringing in therapy dogs, serving hot chocolate, to name a few.
Then came major networks with their condescending tones and more coverage on the pervasive narcissism and entitlement of the youth.
Despising the younger generation is nothing new. The Silent Generation thought less of baby boomers for their obsession with rock ‘n’ roll, and boomers looked down on Generation X for watching color television. Comedian Adam Conover, while speaking at a marketing conference, quoted ancient Greek economist Hesiod when he said that in his youth, he learned “to be discreet and respectful of elders,” but the children of his day were less so.
It’s something that’s perpetuated every time a government official calls the next generation “a bunch of spoiled crybabies” (looking at you, Rudy Giuliani).
But a few things are certain: Donald Trump will be president, and not enough millennials went to vote. An electoral map from SurveyMonkey showed that Hillary Clinton would’ve won with the millennial vote, but because enough of us didn’t practice our civic duty, we instead blamed the boomers, who voted Trump, for messing up our world yet again.
To clarify, I’m not pro-millennial, except for the fact I believe we can change our course for better or worse. I’m anti-generational, in that I don’t think any time was or is the greatest era. Yes, there are obvious economic and social ties to our country’s history, but that doesn’t mean that’s the way the world has always been.
My only hope is the millennial generation will allow the next generation to flourish and use their gifts. Even if we don’t erase prejudice or change the system in our time, I believe we can encourage them