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.
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:
On Meet the Press, Corin said that before last week, she never imagined she would become a political activist.
On Saturday, Gonzalez spoke passionately at a rally outside a federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale.
Hogg ended the segment by telling Trump that “blood is on your hands.”
Kasky targeted politicians taking money from the NRA on Fox News.
“At this point, you’re either with us or against us,” he said.
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:
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.)