This morning I heard older media pundits compare this time of social injustice to the political shift after Dr. King’s assassination in 1968, which led to the election of “law and order” candidate Richard Nixon. To be clear, a 20-year-old voter in 1968 is 72 years old today.
As a 45-year-old white woman, let me share with you who my generation is and how we have evolved since your mindset of 1968.
My generation is not blind.
My generation was registering to vote in 1991 when Rodney King was nearly beaten to death by six LAPD officers on film. We have WATCHED for twenty years of police murder and brutality against unarmed black Americans while hundreds of wealthy, privilege white Americans escape prosecution.
My generation has watched the manipulation of technology and social media bait Americans against one another. We see the generational disconnect of baby boomers and millennials. We can discern the un-evolved ignorance of traditionalists and the anger of millennials because their future is bleak, and their planet is dying.
My generation is not ignorant.
My generation knows the federal government failed my hometown of New Orleans in August of 2005. The poor black community had no means of evacuating and were abandoned during Hurricane Katrina.
My generation knows the heart of racism is fear. We can recite the lyrics of every Tupac Shakur song. We know Tupac was an educated and brilliant poet. His work described the plight of a black man labeled a “thug.” His ownership and ability to translate to white suburban and rural kids was not merely entertainment, it was a lens to life outside of their fishbowl. My generation does not call black men, “thugs.” We were not afraid of Tupac and we are not afraid of black men.
If older media pundits think my generation will repeat the willful blindness and ignorance of the voters of 1968….
Then you are the blind and the ignorant.