Every Generation

Every Body Loves The Sunshine

“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”

George Orwell

Steven Colbert called it truthiness: “the tendency to accept propositions that one wishes to be true as true, ignoring the usual verification standards for facts.”

The “Truthiness” of millennials, a generation, age 18 to 34; are seen as a group that has crossed the racial divide and live in a post racial colorblind world. This meme is a perceived reality for the generation that elected the first African-American President.

However, in the same way that Barack Obama’s presidency proved to be insufficient to the task of ending the divide, the millennials are also insufficiently equipped to bridge this divide by them selves. Some have said that millennials do not have a grasp of the institutional dynamics of racial prejudice, bias and privilege etc.

Before we write them off as just another “truthiness”, we must show empathy for where they are. They are by no means monolithic in their thinking. For instance, in many of the recent organized protest of  Law and Justice institutions under siege, albeit Police brutality or charging or lack there of according to racial identity etc.

From Ferguson to New York, Baltimore and beyond, millennials in search of their own defining movement have fueled these protest. The headlining violence in some of these protest have served as an opaque unfortunately casting a shadow over a very real national dilemma.

Ferguson was mostly an African-American millennial movement. Whereas, December 2014 in New York; the picture was of one that was multiethnic, diverse, peaceful yet powerful. It has been said by some that non participants of Ferguson are misguided products of the pseudo colorblind world they grew up in.

In an article entitled “Millennials are fluent in colorblindness and diversity, while remaining illiterate in the language of anti-racism.” By Mychal Denzel Smith March 26, 2015 . sites very good statistical data for his reasoning.  

In his article he articulates a very solid critique of the reality beyond the truthiness that many assert to millennials

The reason racism is still around is because it’s been passed down from generation to generation, and history repeats itself,” White said. “As far as combating it … it’s trying to change the ideas that others have, changing perceptions that others have.” -Taylor Swaak CNN

Or as Ronnie Laws says it “Every generation of life, Reflects a movie scene often more than twice”

To look at differing views on issues such as affirmative action vs the realities of reverse discrimination etc, with a 20th century worldview is to dismiss diversity of ideas. However, as many as 30% plus still hold to the beliefs that African Americans are lazy and do not achieve because they do not work hard. Nearly 10% of these Anglo millennials believe that African Americans are less intelligent.

True is the Quote  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana

wpid-wp-1401838691768.jpegTo say racism does not exist among millennials is “truthiness”. At the same time; to refer to the scene in New York in December 2014 as mere optics would be a mistake.

The greatest measure of the millennial potential to Building the Bridge Together over the ethnic cultural divide exist in their diversity.  They are the most ethnically diverse generation America has ever seenThis reality compels them to see the world differently.

Every Generation needs to accept responsibility for succumbing to the wicket status quo of division and begin to enter into honest conversations of reconciliation.

There are those whom scripture speaks of as repairers of the breach, restorers of paths to dwell in, raising up the foundation of many generations. Isaiah 58:12 (KJV) Is that us?

Kevin Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

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