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.