Give Young America A Chance

It’s probably the case that every generation is branded at some point as being apathetic or detached. But this may have more to do with the entrenched powers in place at any given moment, and the ways in which older generations seem to forget their own trajectory from being politically marginalized to taking the reins of government.

Once there, it becomes convenient to cast young people as being either disaffected or, if they show signs of mobilizing, as ungrateful or immature. In the 1960s, for example, Ronald Reagan essentially launched his political career by openly scorning student activists at Berkeley.

Is it possible that the Parkland High School students are stepping up to the plate in the same way Berkeley college students did in the sixties?

But that was then, and this is now. Today, following the Parkland shooting, young people are meeting the elected elite on an equal footing in the realms of new media. The President himself set a precedent for expanding policymaking and governance directly into the Twittersphere, and many of the survivors from Parkland have been eloquently taking the conversation right to the halls of power via that space.

In a Twitter war between Trump and these Parkland students I'll bet on the students and give any takers good odds.

Their words are pointed and poignant, filled with outrage over adult inaction while conveying a sense of hope for the future by their very presence. Find them online and engage with their voices directly—they don’t need anyone speaking for them, and frankly, in a contest between this generation and the one mostly holding high office right now, I have no doubt which side will show its aptitude with social media.

It gets even better. The political activism of the post Millennial generation is global:

Movement activities around the world and across the US in recent years have indicated an emerging pattern of youth activism online, in the streets, and in the councils of governance. As Gandhi said, people “should be free to give the fullest expression” to their disaffection—and likewise to their hopes and aspirations for making a better world.

This article references both Ghandi and MLK and is worth a read. In closing:

The seniors have had their time—let’s give Young America a chance.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/02/19/young-america

Next a closer look at these emerging young heroes:

Meet the new leaders of the gun control movement

In the days that followed, the students have only grown louder. A group of five students appeared on several national news programs together on Sunday. One published an op-ed on CNN’s website. And on Sunday, the five student leaders announced they would be organizing a national March for Our Lives on March 24.

The blowback from this mass shooting is showing signs that it might have legs:

Conversation in America typically moves on from a mass shooting within a few weeks after there are no policy changes to prevent another gun violence incident. Meet the students making sure the murder of their classmates does not follow history:

Jaclyn Corin

On Meet the Press, Corin said that before last week, she never imagined she would become a political activist.

Emma Gonzalez

On Saturday, Gonzalez spoke passionately at a rally outside a federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.

David Hogg

Hogg ended the segment by telling Trump that “blood is on your hands.”

Cameron Kasky

Kasky targeted politicians taking money from the NRA on Fox News.

“At this point, you’re either with us or against us,” he said.

Alex Wind

Wind, a 17-year-old junior, has vowed not to return to class until gun laws change.

It’s not just schools — it’s movie theaters, it’s concerts, it’s nightclubs,” he said. “This kind of stuff can’t just happen. We are marching for our lives, We are marching for the 17 lives we lost, and we’re marching for our children’s lives and our children’s children and their children, and we’re marching for everybody’s lives.”

These are very small snippets about each activist. Much more depth here:

https://thinkprogress.org/new-leaders-gun-control-movement-95d5173ccba7/

Finally, a very brief look at a gun control solution article that I had to add:

Two Simple Laws Could Solve America's Epidemic of Violence:
Let's regulate gun ownership the same way we regulate car ownership.

This is a very well developed and irrefutable article by Thom Hartman that I highly recommend. This little gem was a real revelation:

(The NRA didn’t become a lobbying and promotional front group for the weapons industry until the 1970s when the Supreme Court’s Buckley v. Valeo decision ruled that the #MorbidlyRich and wealthy gun-manufacturing corporations could legally buy and own their very own politicians. For nearly a century prior to that, the NRA supported rational gun control.)

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/two-simple-laws-could-solve-a...

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Amanda Matthews's picture

ridiculous gun laws. They’re calling for a ban on automatic weapons and they’re energized enoigh to fight to get what they (we) want. Maybe they can push Trump in that direction. He’s already called for a ban on bump stocks. It’s not that big a stretch to calling for a ban on actual auto and semi-automatic weapons,

Everyone needs to get behind these kids. Support them when criticized. Defend them when they’re being denigrated. Let them know millions are standing with them.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Meteor Man's picture

@Amanda Matthews
Or something:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_Z

Whatever you wanna call them they have my admiration and respect. I read an article a while back that this generation grew up in the shadow of 9/11, endless wars, mass shootings and economic stagnation/inequality. They are fed up and not buying the bullshit.

With a little luck they will also kickstart the millennials and get the damned revolution ignited.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Daenerys's picture

@Amanda Matthews

And who can blame them? Lawmakers keep showing them that guns have more rights than living, breathing children. They aren't having any more of this shit. I'm right there with them. March 24th is the March For Our Lives.

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This shit is bananas.

earthling1's picture

these congresscritters and the wealthy they are through pleading with them.
They will instead bide their time until they can take office and rule the government after the current leaders are dead.
And then, target their children and grandchildren for retribution. Strip them of their illgotten wealth. Run them out of the country. Force them to hide or flee.
"Do we have your attention now, assholes"?

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Meteor Man's picture

@earthling1
They are organizing and it looks like they are digging in for the long haul. Looking forward to seeing how their Marches and Walkouts turn out.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Eagles92's picture

@Meteor Man And they're onto something:

“It’s not just schools — it’s movie theaters, it’s concerts, it’s nightclubs,” he said. “This kind of stuff can’t just happen. We are marching for our lives, We are marching for the 17 lives we lost, and we’re marching for our children’s lives and our children’s children and their children, and we’re marching for everybody’s lives.”

The politicians have demonstrated time and again that they're completely uninterested in addressing the gun issue through actual legislation (although I do sense there's change in the air; see my next comment, which I'll post once I complete this one). But if these kids can orchestrate widespread walkouts and boycotts of theaters, clubs, sporting venues -- well, I'm guessing business owners will quickly warm to their side. Imagine the pressure that kind of solidarity might exert.

I have so much hope in this movement, for the first time ever.

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QMS's picture

@Eagles92 the shit politicians true colors at a young age. It may be a long drawn-out process, but the prevailing attitudes will overwhelm the bought-out pols. Better sooner than until the revolution.

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Listen to your higher mind.

The Aspie Corner's picture

@earthling1 He should have executed the porkies who tried to have him assassinated. Not only that, but he should have done the same to those who were bankrolling the Nazis before and during World War 2. Hell, the Koch criminal outfit owes its wealth to Joseph Stalin of all people.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Eagles92's picture

Warning Shot: Near-Tragedy a Wake-Up Call for Vermont Politicos

This may be a small step, but it's a good sign.

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Eagles92's picture

American Teens Have Had it with this Authoritarian Crap.

(From Kottke.org)

Edit to add: This was linked on the March for our Lives Montpelier event page.

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Meteor Man's picture

@Eagles92
Rebellion is part of their consciousness. It's who they are.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Eagles92's picture

BlackRock puts gunmakers on notice after Florida school shooting (Reuters)

While the article reports that BlackRock (the largest shareholder in both Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands) stops short of divestment, it also says this:

Underlining how the Valentine’s Day massacre at the Florida high school has rattled the finance industry’s relationship with gunmakers, First National Bank of Omaha said separately on Thursday it would not renew a contract with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to issue a NRA-branded Visa card.

I'll take it.

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Meteor Man's picture

@Eagles92
The article I saw was only about the First National angle here:

https://thinkprogress.org/first-national-bank-ends-nra-visa-card-5809195...

Which includes an embedded link of 22 companies that gave discounts to NRA members and this description of the "official credit card of the NRA:

First National Bank of Omaha
The Nebraska-based bank issues the “official credit card of the NRA.” One version of the Visa card offers five percent back on gas and sporting goods store purchases, while another offers a low intro APR. Both cards offer a $40 bonus, “enough to reimburse your one-year NRA membership!” The site also boasts that the card ensures “legislative action in support of your Second Amendment Rights,” “public education and awareness about the facts of gun ownership,” and “training and safety programs for individuals, families, and the military.”

https://thinkprogress.org/corporations-nra-f0d8074f2ca7/

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn