Today’s Youth Movement

I just read an article online, and I had to respond. Another author feels compelled to admonish young people for not “rebelling” against the war and current administration. This isn’t the first time someone has done this, and not the first time Freechild has responded. But I had to say something, so I wrote the author an email. Following is the text from that – I thought you’d appreciate it.

…Yes, Doug, there is a youth “rebellion” underway in the US.

In reality, the current youth movement has been underway for far longer than the current war, and extends in many directions beyond the current war – however, even with the war dead in focus, its absolutely there. Unfortunately, the mainstream media is quick to neither recriminate or admonish this movement, as they did in the 1960s and 1970s. Instead, they simply do not acknowledge it.

Worse still, there is an ongoing campaign against young people in general via the mass media. For more than 15 years youth of all ages and colors and regions have been systematically portrayed as alternately ignorant and overinformed, slothish and hyperdriven. Worse still is the reality that young brown, black, and poor youth are routinely demonized and alienated, made out to be hypercriminals and superpredators before they are even 18 years old – or simply because they’re not yet 18.

Perhaps still more disturbing is the reality that young people are being provoked as never before to “rebel,” as you’ve put it. The cross-cultural abandonment of public schools, the defunding of health care for children and youth, and the crass commercialization of every young person’s evirons indicates that there are a lot of reasons behind these agendas, not the least of which being racism and economic gain.

This shows me that the US is quickly becoming more of a hot-bed for reactionary organizing, particularly for young people. Witness the recent immigration reform protests, many of which were led by youth – another fact not mentioned in mainstream media.

In these times it is vital for adults who regard themselves as progressive and liberal to go beyond the anti-youth agenda in the media, and to learn more about the youth movement. We’ve got to. Young people need the direct support of adults who are experienced and abled in order to “get the movement moving.” I’m sure you are such a person.

My organization offers a program called The Freechild Project. On our website you can learn more about said efforts – http://freechild.org

Thanks again for your article – I hope to see more in the near future.

Let me know what you think – was I “fair and balanced” enough? I think we should start a “media watch” for anti-youth media… that would be tight. Ah, all the big ideas.

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