I’m still trying to process what happened in Charlottesville, the president’s response, and how these events will impact our youngest generations. As an African-American baby boomer, with parents and grandparents who were active in the civil rights movement and who experienced the impact of racism for much of their lives, I know they expected their struggle to result in a more tolerant and inclusive country for my generation and those coming after me. My generation, along with generation X, is not naive to the fact that overt and covert forms of racism are still alive and well, although we benefited greatly from the movements championed by those who came before us. As I watched the tragic events in Charlottesville, I was unfortunately not shocked to see white nationalist groups spewing hateful rhetoric, but I was outraged by the violence that ended in the tragic death of a hope filled millennial fighting injustice in 2017. I applaud Heather Heyer’s grieving mother for urging mourners to channel their anger not into violence but into “righteous action”. I am particularly concerned about the effect this public display of racial intolerance and the subsequent lack of denouncement by our president, will have on our optimistic millennials and generation Z ( this impressionable group ranges in age from 7 to 21). The majority of millennials grew up celebrating diversity, and embracing equality. I pray this horrific event will not leave young people discouraged about inclusiveness or thinking the racial injustices older generations fought so hard to change actually did not push the ball forward as far as they have been told. I hope social justice minded millennials will turn these tragic events into an opportunity to take decisive action, no matter how large or small, to act against racial injustice, and ensure this country continues to be the inclusive place they were raised to believe it to be. This is not the time to sit on the sidelines, whether you are a millennial, or a member of any other generation. We have an opportunity to create change. Whether it’s organizing or joining a peaceful rally, smiling at a stranger on the street, or visiting the new National Museum of African American History & Culture (which is awesome by the way) to learn more about our history, we can be the change.
I came across a motivating opinion column, 9 Actions For Millennials To Take After Charlottesville written by a millennial, Kate Hayes at Forbes.com. She writes:
As millennials, we have not only an opportunity, but a responsibility to turn our hopelessness into action, our outrage into courage, and our fear into love. While it is each person’s responsibility to decide how they want to show up in the world day after day, I have outlined 9 action items that millennials should consider taking after Charlottesville.
The full article can be found at the link below:
What are you going to do to help move the country forward, and promote unity? Share your thoughts.