Dear Millenials

Ken AshfordGeneration GapLeave a Comment

Hi.  Welcome to the world you live in.

I get it.  I really do.  You’ve arrived into adulthood and you’re like, “What?!? The planet is getting warmer and warmer and may die?”

Or “What?!? Gay people can’t get married?  What the fuck?!?”

Or “What?!? Cops are killing black people and this is actually a thing?!?”

And then you look at me and my generation, as the former custodian of the planet on which you now live, with contempt.  As if we’re handing you a giant dog turd.

Look, just because you were born within the past 25 years doesn’t make you smarter.  Or superior.  Maybe you need to a crack open a book, or view a documentary or something.  Because if you thought outside of your own generation, you would discover one thing…


That’s right.  When I was born, many black people couldn’t vote in this country.  And I’m not talking about some subtle voter ID thing that has the effect of discriminating against some social segments yada yada yada.  I’m talking about… in some parts of this country, if you were a black person who tried to register to vote, the registrar would look at your skin color and say “no”.  And then maybe a cross would burn on your lawn that night.  Serious stuff.

You see, you live in a world where you have “safe zones” to protect you from “microaggressions”. . . like university professors making you read a book that causes you to challenge your beliefs.  I grew up in a world where college students were shot and killed by soldiers because they disagreed with a war.

And gay marriage?  Are you kidding me?  Just coming out as gay was a BIG DEAL.  Forget about being accepted in broader society.  Forget about marriage.  Even gay people weren’t thinking that far ahead.

My point is that you are standing on the shoulders of progressives who faced bigger obstacles than you can possibly imagine.  We won wars — not the army-invading-another-country kind, but the social kind.  Let me give you an example.

It’s been about 30 years since scientists discovered the massive hole above Antarctica – a hole that was created by releasing chlorofluorocarbons into the air, National Geographic reported.

It was a hole in the Ozone layer, and like global warming now, there were forces that denied it was even happening.  If the hole continued to grow (i.e., the ozone layer in the earth depleted), then we all die from skin cancer or starvation as the ultraviolet light coming from the sun seeped through and killed plants and animals.

But we fought, and eventually, there has been an international movement to reduce the size of that hole, including a ban on CFCs.  And now the hole is closing and should be gone by 2040.

Bottom line:  You don’t hear about “ozone depletion” much anymore.  Cuz we fixed it.

You’re welcome.

So… we did a lot to get this place as nice as we could for you.  Some of us have scars, including both Democratic presidential candidates. Some of us don’t, including all the Republican presidential candidates.

Now, take that for what you will.  It’s your world now.  We’re burnt out.  We know there is more things to fix.  Have at it.  But for God sakes, don’t look down your noses as you stand on the shoulders of those who came before you.  And stop complaining.

That’s all.

For now.

P.S. Get off my lawn.