Millennials and Gen Z Are Political
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Politics

My Generation is Not Politically Apathetic; We've Defined Ourselves By Our Activism

A speech I shared the summer our generation was shaped.

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Two boys embodying the future of America

I'd say that my generation was born at an awkward time. On September 11, 2001 the eldest of us were toddlers and the youngest weren't even born. My history teacher recently complained about how he couldn't ask my age group: "Where were you on 9/11?"

And in history classes all over America, my generation grew up listening to how every generation before us was defined by a theme: WWII in the 40s, Civil Rights in the 60s. All of these events woke the youth up politically, and I think it's safe to say that Parkland lit the fuse to the powder keg that defines my generation.

We never wish for tragedy to happen, and I would've been perfectly content to be defined as the Tech-Gen. However, with the freedoms America gives to its citizens, tragedies like Sandy Hook and Parkland were always possibilities.

It takes the right climate, too. You have to ask yourself: why weren't there widespread protests and town halls being held after Sandy Hook? It wasn't that high schoolers being killed mattered more than elementary school kids. It was the political climate that had drastically changed.

With Trump's election, the political climate made was necessary for my generation to become involved. With every outrage from Charlottesville to the travel ban to net neutrality's repeal, we were violently jerked into the political world. And while this new era of tragedies has torn apart communities in places like Parkland and sanctuary cities, it has brought together communities all over America.

In my own school I've seen classmates get together to pen letters to our state representatives, asking them to do their jobs. Countless group chats have been made, with students delegating campaign volunteers and sharing ways to contact our local government. In Trump's America, my generation defines itself as a generation of political activeness.

Last year in my AP Government class, we learned that the older generations are more likely to go out and vote. My generation was cast aside and thought of as politically irresponsible, an age group ignorant to politics. However, change is coming. We've found our voice and we've defined our generation. We've taken issues such as gun violence and xenophobia, and we're heading to the polls within these coming years.

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