Earlier this evening I was browsing through my Facebook and I came across this post a former schoolmate made which I must say… surprised me. The post which said:
“You have no room to judge what is prejudice and what is not”
That line is the line that raises the most cause for concern. The line disregards the current socioeconomic and educational climate in the US and across the globe. It disregards the struggles of the past and the struggles of the current in an attempt to undermine the notion that today people do not find themselves being denied access to what they are guaranteed access to. That line there attempts suggest that today, young Black, Mexican, Hispanic, Russian, South Asian teenagers and teenagers of many other nationalities and races do not have the rights they are supposed to have access to denied or stripped away simply because the way the look.
However, the line that goes on to say “ You didn’t live back then” goes further to continue to not only undermine issues of racial impropriety but also goes to undermine instances of sexist, transphobic and homophobic impropriety. It suggests that, because we as teenagers today did not live when instances of social unjustness had reached their peak that we have no right to continue to fight to keep the progress that was made. It suggests that problems are only supposed to be fought once and then whatever subsequent regression occurs just occurs.
The problem with those notions though, is that they suggest that we as youth today cannot continue to fight the underlying root causes in the social injustices that exist within our society and within our academic system. Those notions suggest that we as youth today have no right to fight the school to prison pipeline, pregnancy push out and slut shaming, or segregation in schools. Those suggestions however are damming and possibly disastrous because if we as youth today do not combat the inhibitions that exist now we will never be able to fight them without full discretion and we will never be able to prepare the children of tomorrow to fight them.