It’s eight pm, and the frustrated conversations in the kitchen between my boyfriend, my old roommate and me fill the room with tangible conviction.
We’re angry millennials, and we’re not happy with the harsh reality of our future, one shaped by a lack of wealth and an abundance of debt. We’re tired, and the majority of our generation has yet to recover fully from the last Great Recession; what is our generation to do when the next, imminent recession hits? We are likely the first generation in modern economic history to be worse off than our parents, with smaller savings accounts, lower wages, and little to no investments, while living in the wealthiest country in the world. Something is very, very wrong.
As a member of this much maligned Millennial generation, I can say that we’re barely surviving. This is the reality of living with an inherited economy structured to produce uncertainty for the young and the poor and the marginalized, while perpetuating wealth for the old and rich and the white. This I find particularly ironic because our generation has been forced to keep transferring our wealth to the older generation, the same one that loves to call us entitled and lazy. I reflect on this as I sit at my kitchen table, fervently discussing with some of my closest ones, the future of our country, the fact that it lies in the hands of a few old white men, and what it entails for our fed up generation.
Here’s the thing; I have always believed in hard work, and I know this value isn’t lost on my generation or the one right behind ours.
The power of youth has become palpable all over the world through the young Millennials and Gen Zers who have come together, rallying to the streets to protest in spite of a global pandemic. It takes hard work to effect real change, and we are indignant at the injustices of our world today. I am comforted by this thought as I hear my boyfriend and friend talk passionately about how our generation has to work together to dismantle these systems of oppression. They’re right. We do, and it’s up to us and the power of youth. Maybe complacency and jadedness come with age, but right now, young Millennials and Gen Zers are anything but complacent. Just look through your social media accounts or at any of the BLM protests.
The last thing I want to leave you with is a moving statement made by Nupol Kiazolu, president of BLM Greater New York, during a protest in Times Square.
“...This is not a moment, it’s a movement. Young people have been carrying every single movement we’ve seen across the world, so it’s time for adults to step aside and uplift us. We are not just the future. We are the present.”