Written by: Andrew Nelson, AAE of Valley Cafe
Vanity Fair recently ran an article that acts as pretty bad PR for Millennails. The article is James Wolcott’s Do Millennials Really Deserve Their Bratty Reputation? in which Wolcott goes into detail about how unreliable this upcoming generation can be. Among the examples Wolcott uses are the fact that Millennials are the most unpatriotic generation yet, are the most clueless when it comes to news, are “just as racists as older coots,” and are uneasy about free speech and expression.
When it comes to this, I think the older generation is partly justified because Millennials aren’t doing themselves any favors. Wolcott cites a survey conducted by Duke University and CFO magazine which indicated that corporate executives “are making no effort to attract workers under age 35.” This is because Millennials have “developed a reputation as workplace divas” who will leave as soon as the job gets slightly difficult or uncomfortable.
This stems from partly from a problematic reputation Millennials have developed for themselves; that of their subscription to victimhood culture and sensitivity to micro-aggressions, as articulated by Bret Easton Ellis. The article is cited by Wolcott and is an excellent insight into understanding how weak a backbone Millennials have grown.
Aside from this, there are some points that Walcott misses. Central Washington University Public Relations Major Joey Castonguay brings up an excellent point that about why Millennials don’t seem to care for America too much.
When Wolcott blames Millennials for being unpatriotic, Joey writes, “Unpatriotic. I can agree with that. But tell me, how proud can you really be of a country that exploits foreign countries for their resources? Executes drone strikes killing hundreds of innocent people? How about all those recordings of police brutality?”
This captures a sentiment shared by almost all of the Millennials I’ve talked to about this. I myself couldn’t agree more. It has led to us feeling completely disenfranchised because we see horrible things happening in the world that are condoned by the American political machine.
But I also feel there’s a way out. It’s the exact notion that Wolcott ends his article with.
When it comes to change, Wolcott writes, “Everyone talks about seizing the day, but when someone actually goes out and does it, the unaccustomed world reels back and says, Wow.” … “We may need Millennials to remind us what we should have remembered from the 60s, that social change comes only once you stop playing charades.”
Joey is correct in stating that it’s impossible to be proud of a country that carries out violence and injustice. But we as a generation can change that by changing the amount of power given to those in charge.
It is clear that Millennials don’t like the direction this country is going or how they are viewed by older generations. The question is, will they use their rights as Americans and rise up to change the current power structure? Being a patriot is not about being proud of what America is, it’s about being proud of what America was meant to be. And America meant for all generations to be able to use their voice and political action.