Every time I turn around I see someone sharing or tweeting about how the current protests of a Donald Trump presidency are selfish. The latest trend is talking about how giving millennials a participation trophy would satisfy the protesters. Isn’t it funny how these self righteous assholes that are claiming this were the ones to come up with participation trophies in the first place? We weren’t all running around as 5 and 6 year olds demanding trophies, our parents and grandparents wanted us to have them. Take some responsibility.
These protests are not about us not getting our way. It isn’t us throwing tantrums and being babies, and if you honestly think that, then you’re experiencing tunnel vision. Open your eyes and take a good, hard look in the damn mirror. These protests are about many things, but since Baby Boomers are the ones who are calling out millennials the most, allow for me to call you out on your bullshit.
You have left us one hell of a mess to clean up, and then you turn around and elect a man who is going to make it even messier. Boomers should take responsibility for the economy and stop telling millennials and Gen Xers alike that we need to get our shit together and buy a house, pay for our own college, healthcare, and taxes. In comparison to today, the Boomers had a significant advantage because of affordable and easy access to education, then to be thrown into a thriving, open job market. Even without education, they could work and make a living wage with a basic high school diploma. A family could be middle class with just one worker per household. Jim Tankersley hit the nail on the head in this excerpt from his article:
My generation, Gen X, is in far worse financial shape than our parents were at the same age. Millennials are even worse off than we are. Soon after the Great Recession ended, the Pew Research Center reported that middle-class families were 5 percent less wealthy than their parents had been at their age, even though today’s families work a lot harder outside the home – the average family’s total working hours have risen by a quarter over the past 30 years -and even though they’re much likelier to include two wage-earners. The ensuing recovery has made things worse. Middle-class families owned fewer stocks, businesses and homes in 2013 than they did in 2010, according to calculations by New York University economist Edward Wolff.
I’m also really sick of this generation calling millennials and liberals “lazy” and “entitled”. Boomers want to retire and essentially having Gen Xers and millennials pay for it.
The Urban Institute has estimated that a typical couple retiring in 2011, at the leading edge of the boomer wave, will end up drawing about $200,000 more from Medicare and Social Security than they paid in taxes to support those programs.
As a result, Gen Xers, don’t plan on retiring in your 60’s, and millennials, plan to work until your dying day. Don’t get the wrong idea, I believe in Social Security and Medicare, but don’t be an asshole if you’re a boomer calling millennials entitled because that’s some of the most hypocritical shit you could say.
Another mess is this generation’s neglect of caring for our planet, but hey, they won’t be around for it to impact them, so fuck us, right? However, I’m diving way too deep into how Boomers are blatantly wrong on a lot of issues that they have stuck us with, that’s for another post. This is about our protests and those generations being petty with their “participation trophy” comments.
I’ll be the first to admit that I received participation trophies when I was young. I never received a participation trophy after elementary school. The first trophy I got was for tee ball, and I loved it. I went on to play softball for 15+ years, and earned every trophy, badge, and recognition from there on out. I didn’t receive that first trophy just for showing up, I received it as recognition that if I work hard for something and stick it out, there will eventually be a pay off. I received another participation trophy for basketball after the one for tee ball, and it didn’t mean nearly as much to me at that point, but the first one sticks with you. Then I went on to play both sports competitively, and that’s when you only get rewarded for winning. When I started to play competitively, I wouldn’t want a reward for losing, I would focus on becoming better.
Even though older generations created participation trophies, they use it as an insult to say that my generation is coddled. Kenneth Barish, a clinical associate professor of psychology at Weill Cornell Medical College says he sees no harm in adults encouraging participation with a trophy and that he’s found no evidence the practice leads to entitlement among kids.
Regardless of you views on participation trophies, the protests are not happening because millennials didn’t get their way. Joe Butler said in satire,
“It’s a foreign notion to them. Even in sports—win or lose, everyone won, and everyone got a trophy no matter what. This is the millennial way,” he said. “So I had the idea—hey, why not start handing out participation trophies to the protesters, and telling them ‘Hey, you know what? You may have lost the election, but look—everyone gets a trophy. Everyone’s a winner.’”
We aren’t protesting because we lost the damn election, Joe. We are protesting because of who is now president elect and the fear and hateful campaign that prevailed because of middle aged white people.
Oh, by the way, there were protests when Obama was elected, but that’s totally cool, right?
All the time I read and hear “I voted for Trump and I am in no way racist or sexist!” Well you are, at least a little bit.
Okay, so maybe you’re not, but being a bystander and not standing up to oppression is just as bad as being an oppressor yourself, and voting for the oppressor, take some responsibility for at least that ounce of hate in your heart. In a letter to Trump supporters, Amanda Deibert explains this perfectly:
I want to let you know that I have taken this in. I am perfectly clear that you did not set out to vote in some mean homophobic, racist way. However, I need to be clear about something else: Donald Trump spent his entire run campaigning on racist and homophobic platforms. Promising to appoint judges to dismantle my family. He chose a VP who is actively one of the most anti-LGBT politicians around: that is not hyperbole. He admitted to sexual assault casually. He called Mexicans rapists. He wants to register Muslims. He is endorsed by the KKK. These are not the reasons you voted for him, but these reasons did not stop you.
A man actively promised to dismantle and harm my family. To destabilize the security of my child. To harm relatives and friends and you still voted for him.
Amanda, and families and people like her are why we are protesting. We are protesting racism, misogyny, xenophobia, anti-homophobic rhetoric, Trump’s alt right staff, his plan to eliminate the EPA and put a detrimental impact on the only earth we will ever have, and above all else, we are protesting hate. To the people calling us “crybabies”, you are severely misguided. We will stand up for what is right, because it is our futures and our children’s future we are fighting for.
We will not stand for hate. We will not stand for fear. We will not stop.