Luke’s Log- Shame on Stupid College Kids Making Millennials Look Bad
Two incidents this week by stupid and pernicious college kids- the racist chant by the SAE fraternity at the University of Oklahoma, and the banning of the American flag from the campus center at UC Irvine by UCI student government- attest to our deficiency in colorblind American nationalism, Teddy Roosevelt-style, in the present millennial generation.
Those racist jerks at the University of Oklahoma are stupid, ignorant, and uncaring. They live in another era in American race relations, and they are on the wrong side of history. This isn’t an issue of political correctness, which so many other racial issues inevitably devolve into. This is an issue of basic human respect, and by gleefully singing the worst slur in American history, this group of privileged white males has highlighted their own idiocy and hatefulness. They deserve all the shame they’re getting from the media; may anyone who would so objectify another group of human beings as SAE did tremble in their spot.
Those activist jerks at the University of California, Irvine, are stupid, ignorant, and have their priorities seriously misguided. They think of themselves as cosmopolitans and moderns; they are nothing other than decadent upper-class slugs. They don’t know what it means to be an American (or for those in that group who are not Americans, what it means to love your country) and their secular humanism is a poor replacement for the loving bonds of patriotism. Their hatred and intolerance for the American flag is a spite in the face to all who have lived, suffered, and died for it.
Both groups, consciously or unconsciously, practice hatred- the SAE frat boys, hatred of an entire race, the UCI student government, hatred of an entire nation. Both groups advocate divisiveness and terrible conceptions of identity- the SAE guys, a racial one, and the UCI guys, a postnational one. Neither attests to the fundamentally national identity views many Millennials now hold.
While the SAE guys’ hatred is more direct, more vile, and more dehumanizing than that of the UCI student government, the UCI student government’s hatred is ultimately the far more powerful one in our society today. And both are equally disgusting. And worse, neither accurately represents the views of our Millennial generation.
Millennials are the most racially tolerant American generation ever, regardless of what an ignorant Politico activist seems to think. Millennials are more dedicated to service and more proud of their country than most other recent generations, despite the popular prejudice against them by older generations. The overt racism of the SAE guys, and the Anti-Americanism of the UCI student government, are not at all indicative of what most of my diverse generation believes. Millennials, by and large, are racially and socially tolerant, well-educated, open-minded, patriotic, and committed to the American ideals of equality of opportunity, individualism, and entrepreneurial liberty. The revanchist racists on the right and the postmodern multiculturalists on the left couldn’t be further away from the dynamic centrist views of most of the Twittering majority of my peers.
It is time a new voice rises up to represent the true social and identity views of this rising generation. Indeed, there are still fractures and wounds and divisions which need healing- race remains a controversial issue, and class divides are now more pertinent than they have been since the late 19th Century. But the broader Millennial American identity remains strong, though its voice has not yet found itself.
But once it finds itself- and it is on its way, for the plurality of Millennials share a common media culture and common economic interests, and the entire generation has yet to reach political maturity- the Millennial voice will be a force to be reckoned with. It is imperative, however, that voices rise to represent the broad views of the majority of this generation. Until then, the outliers like the racists and the activists will continue to dominate the headlines. The politically moderate among us have a lot of work to do.
But first, we have to reject the extremists. They do not represent us at all.