Can it possibly be that Millennials are just as tone deaf to racism as their parents? Just like their moms and dads they like to think they are “woke.” They pay attention to the horrific stories of Black men and women being killed by cops for no reason. They express outrage when those cops get off. But do they really get the daily difference in their lives versus the lives of their friends who are people of color? No. Not according to a GenForward poll.
According to The Washington Post,
The poll found that young people are divided along racial and ethnic lines in their concerns about racism and police brutality. When asked to list the top issues facing the country today, white and Asian American millennials were far less likely than their African American and Latino peers to list racism or police brutality as one of their top three. The poll offered respondents 22 issues to select from; health care ranked highly for all groups, and immigration was the top issue for Latinos.
People in the United States of America are being killed without cause, without reason, purely because of the color of their skin. Yet white Millennials didn’t list racism as one of their top concerns, Black and Latinos did.
If one is “woke” you understand how white privilege impacts the daily lives of people of color. You get that they are living in harm’s way. You understand that everything from education, to employment, to access to healthcare is infested with institutionalized racism. You know that if you are white your are privileged and you work to bring change. It is important and on the top of your list because you care about living in a just society, one where everyone deserves the right to live a full and joyous life free from worries concerning the very people who are charged with keeping you safe.
Health care, climate change, education are all important— but you have to be alive to enjoy them. White privilege is the most pressing issue of our time. It impacts health care, the climate, education, reproductive rights and myriad other issues. To ignore privilege means that you are not awake and are no different than the generations before you. – Jan Harrison