Millennials should take a stand for equality

Gen Y, take a stand for equality


Photo by Roxanne Ready

Elizabeth Spearman (left) and Sarah Noble say events in Charlottesville prove Millennials must not ignore racism.

Sarah Noble and Elizabeth Spearman

At 20 years old, James Alex Fields allegedly injured 19 people and killed one with his car earlier this month in Charlottesville, Virginia.

He’s about the same age as we are. And we’ve seen endless photos of other men our age doing the Nazi salute. We’ve heard many of them pledge their allegiance to racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism.

The fact that they are involved in those things is disturbing by itself.

But the fact that they are part of our generation makes us sick.

As a generation, we can no longer ignore this. We can no longer look the other way when people our age act out in violence because of their bigotry; spread hate speech about people just because of their skin color or ethnicity; or even buy into these outdated political ideologies.

Let’s take a stand. Ours is that we should not let this stand.

People who are part of Gen Y and proclaiming themselves as neo-Nazis are taking a step in the wrong direction. We as a progressive generation should step away from this kind of thinking.

On campus and in Anne Arundel County, we do not see the same level of hate that other cities in America do. As we write this—one of us Jewish and the other black—we have encountered very few verbal assaults because of our religion or race.

Still, we are concerned with the ongoing racial tension in our country.

We are afraid that what happened in Charlottesville can easily happen in our back yard.

Our generation must speak out. We should have peaceful protests and make our voices heard.

And we should stop blaming all white people for the violence of a few.

We noticed that some social media users responded to the events in Charlottesville by saying that all whites are to blame.

We don’t agree.

It is not the fault of all white people that some from their race have these extremist views. Saying that is no better than blaming all Muslims for ISIS or blaming all Hispanic people for drug trafficking.

It is now our responsibility as Millennials to take action by calling out acts of violence. As a generation, we should not define others solely by their skin color, but by their own personal choices.

Racism is here, it is now and it should not stand.