Millennial Ascendancy

Millennial Ascendancy

The Responsibility Millennials Have As They Ascend In Power Towards Liberating Themselves And All Other Generations.
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Over the years, a perception of millennials has attempted to portray them as lazy, whinny, self centered, and other arbitrarily blamed qualities. Simple investigation as to the roots of this stigma is a psychological reaction generated by past generations to scapegoat responsibility and accountability. All generations appear to have done similar scapegoating in the past. However, given the intense situation perpetuated by the climate crisis and the increasingly antithetical aspects of the economy, which dictates the pursuit of profit over human well-being. It is arguable that the arbitrary demonization of millennials is being used as an attempt to create a persona of inferiority.

Persona of inferiority is the psychological manifestation that results as repercussions from the psychological stress associated with being inflicted upon by deliberately directed personas of superiority. Personas of superiority are ones who believe in some form of elitism, whether it is based on age, gender, class, race, ethnicity, etc. They have been used throughout the history of society and civilization to retain authoritarian regimes and societies. The root of the psychological facilitation of the racial system of superiority is an expression of this persona of supremacy. What one must realize is that this was built generation by generation, with errors and mistakes amplifying into the conglomeration of the American institutionalized form of slavery, one of the most brutal and dehumanized forms in all of history. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on the centennial anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation on what he called the proclamation of inferiority in which the emancipation abolished:

"How has our social health been injured by this condition? The legacy of the impairment of the lives of nearly 20 million of our citizens. Based solely on their color, they have been condemned to a sub existence, never sharing in the fruits of progress equally. The average income of [black people] is approximately $3300 per family annually against $5800 for white citizens. This differential tells only part of the story however. The more terrible aspect is found in the inner structure and quality of the [black] community. It is a community artificially but effectively separated from the dominant culture of our society. It has a pathetically small, grotesquely distorted, middle class. There are virtually no [black] bankers, no industrialists and view enterprises worthy of the name of businesses. The overwhelming majority of [black people] are domestics, laborers, and always the largest segment of the unemployed. If employment in tales heavy work, if the wages are miserable, if the filth is revolting, the job belongs to the [black person].

Every [black person] knows these trues and their personality is corroded by a sense of inferiority, generated by this degraded status. [Black people], North and south, still live in segregation, housed in slums, Eaton segregation, pray in segregation and die in segregation. The life experience of a [black person] in integration remains an exception even in the north. The imposition of inferiority externally and internally are the slave chains of today. What the emancipation prescribed in a legal and formal sense has never been eliminated in human terms. By burning in the consciousness of white Americans a convention that black people are by nature sub normal, much of the myth was absorbed by [black people themselves], stultifying [their] energy, [their] ambition and [their] self-respect. The proclamation of inferiority has contended with the proclamation of emancipation, negating it's liberating force. Inferiority has justified the lower living standards of [black people], sanctioned [their] separation from the majority culture, and enslave [them] physically and psychologically. Inferiority as a fetter is more subtle and sophisticated than iron chains; it is invisible and its victim helps to fashion their own bonds."

Millennials are the largest generation in history ranging roughly 80-100 million people born 1984-2001, with the highest point equaling about 15-20 million being born 1992-1994. The responsibility to organize this many individuals is a task that many have undertaken. Millennials all around the nation, and around the world, are connecting and organizing to solve the problems created by past generations. The unfortunate nature of inheriting the greatest challenges ever faced by humanity in all of history does not seem to be deterring the millennial population. They are rising up to the challenges as each day passes and demonstrating the imperative need for millennials to assume legitimate decision making roles within our society and civilization.

As millennials, we must recognize that our generation has a responsibility to not just liberate ourselves from the economic and environmental hardships being inflicted upon us; but also liberate the previous ones, especially our parents generation. They may be the ones statistically screwing things up most overall, but they have also been abused by society for the original exploitative issues we are dealing with. So it would be rather hypocritical to blame them for the woes of millennials if we as millennials have no intention of trying to help them help themselves. Every past generation has looked out only for themselves, though some had greater foresight and hindsight; but we have to break that repeated behavioral error. And once we abolish the arbitrary divisions of generations, it could provide avenues for abolishing other concepts like racial and class divisions. We must abolish our own forms of personas of inferiority; but we must have the integrity and virtue to refrain from creating our own personas of supremacy.

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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My First Political Debate Experience Only Revealed The Messed-Up Reality Of American Partisan Pandering

More sinister than fake news, more timeless than Trump and Kavanaugh, the deceit and radicalization of modern politics is poisoning America.

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Given my age (almost 16 and a half!) and my nonpartisan perspective on most issues, it's rare that I attend any politically motivated function (much less in person). Unfortunately, my first taste of official political discourse only encapsulated everything I dislike about American politics.

Upon learning that my high school was hosting a debate between two candidates for the district's representative position, I was immediately intrigued. Admittedly, I had my expectations set high. I had jotted down "House Rep. Debate" on my calendar a week in advance and marked off the days the event neared. I would finally get to learn firsthand about the issues affecting my community and about the people with plans to fix them.

To a certain extent I got what I had hoped for, but certainly not in the environment I had anticipated.

When the student moderators introduced the candidates, Democrat Angelika Kausche and Republican Kelly Stewart, to the stage, it was already abundantly clear how ideologically distinct the two opponents would be.

The first question, which asked each candidate to describe how their views aligned with their party's platform, revealed just how cut-and-dry the candidates were at representing their respective factions. On the left, an unwavering conservative with a keen avoidance of overspending and socialist policies. On the right, an equally grounded liberal with a passion for tackling humanitarian injustices and enforcing moral correctness.

This circumstance certainly isn't unprecedented, but the rest of the night only proved how their narrow-minded partisan loyalty served as barriers to productive discourse.

Right off the bat, Kausche avoided the clearly stated question by taking the time to thank the John's Creek Community Association for hosting the event.

Stewart, however, dove right into her response, which turned out to be a fine-tuned diatribe about Georgia's budgetary deficit and Kausche's supposed lack of budgetary experience and the budgetary concerns and the budget. Finally, Stewart concluded that perhaps the most important thing to consider is, you guessed it, the budget. She even printed out budget sheets for attendees, which I found extraordinarily useful as a handy notepad.

My head perked up when I heard a question regarding Georgia's healthcare policies. Admittedly, I know less than I should about the subject and was curious to know what each candidate thought.

Shockingly, Republican Kelly Stewart opposed the expansion of Medicaid while Democrat Angelika Kausche vehemently supported it. I start to wonder what the point of having candidates' names on the ballot is when their political stances just as much could be conveyed with the letters "D" and "R" to the tee.

Neither candidate veered from their party platform for the rest of the night, with only a few moments of forced agreement (always around the fact that an issue exists, never about how to solve it). On a few occasions, a candidate would utter an especially radical idea (i.e. Obamacare is at blame for the opioid crisis. Medicaid should be for all people. Teachers should be armed.) and was almost always met with either overwhelming applause or a sea of groans.

The room's reaction was so powerful in either candidate's favor that I was genuinely confused who was the more favored of the two.

To be abundantly clear, I wholeheartedly support voter efficacy and staying informed, and I understand that debates inform voters of their representative's ideals. I also don't mean to criticize Kausche or Stewart or even the policies they endorse. I only question the point of debate when it's anchored in stiff, unrelenting party platforms. This is symptomatic of the larger trend at work in American politics: the exploitation of party differences by politicians to entice a demographic of their constituents.

If you're wondering what that means or demand evidence, just take President Trump. Back in 2016, his presidential campaign threatened to run as independent when he felt he wasn't getting enough support from the GOP. Now, he champions radicalized views of the right and has emboldened members of the far-right (along with alt-right neo-Nazis and racists) with his entirely anti-PC attitude.

Similarly, it's rare to find a democratic politician that deviates from the extensive list of liberal ideas that are expected of them. Consider Trump's opponent Hilary Clinton, who originally made it clear in 2014 that she was against nationwide legalization of same-sex marriage. Isn't it suspicious that in 2015, without explaining why her stance changed, her presidential campaign later advocated for this right, thus garnering support from the LGBT community?

There's so much more wrong with the state of American politics than your opposed party controlling political office.

The effect of the American people allowing this pandering and doublespeak is political inaction among policymakers, who can preach a set of ideals independent of their actual intentions.

The other result is voter apathy among constituents, who therefore feel their vote holds little weight.

With such deceitful rhetorical tactics dominating the political sphere, it's easy to believe that we've all been given a voice. But when that voice only ever tells us what we want to hear, it's important that we stop to question whether we're really being heard.

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