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kottke.org posts about activism

F*** hipsters

posted by Chrysanthe Tenentes   Mar 06, 2018


My former colleagues Andrew Romano and Garance Franke-Ruta took a look at recent protests led by Defend Boyle Heights and the larger radical anti-gentrification movement they’ve inspired. Coffee shops are being targeted and galleries shutting down from harassment on the east side of Los Angeles.

Gentrification isn’t new, nor is anti-gentrification activism. So why are these groups taking to the street now?

Millennials are, simply put, “facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression,” as HuffPost’s Michael Hobbes recently put it. They’ve taken on at least 300 percent more student debt than their parents did. They’re about half as likely to own a home as young adults were in 1975. One in five is living in poverty. Based on current trends, many of them won’t be able to retire until they’re 75. Jobs have become gigs; college is exorbitant, starting salaries are paltry the social safety net is shredded.

And all of these trends are especially acute among the poorer, nonwhite millennials who tend to live in major cities. Between 1979 and 2014, for instance, the poverty rate among young high school-only graduates more than tripled, to 22 percent, and roughly 70 percent of black families and 71 percent of Latino families don’t have enough money saved to cover three months of living expenses.

I believe the children are our future

posted by Chrysanthe Tenentes   Mar 06, 2018

Watching the teenagers from Parkland, Florida instigate change and challenge leadership has been inspiring, to say the least. If anything, it’s a reminder that while it’s probably too late for our generation to make any real change, the kids these days are on it.

Tim Kreider’s op-ed Go Ahead, Millennials, Destroy Us encourages this new crop of activists. (thx Jessa)

My message, as an aging Gen X-er to millennials and those coming after them, is: Go get us. Take us down — all those cringing provincials who still think climate change is a hoax, that being transgender is a fad or that “socialism” means purges and re-education camps. Rid the world of all our outmoded opinions, vestigial prejudices and rotten institutions. Gender roles as disfiguring as foot-binding, the moribund and vampiric two-party system, the savage theology of capitalism — rip it all to the ground. I for one can’t wait till we’re gone. I just wish I could live to see the world without us.

Emma Gray’s timely book The Girl’s Guide to the Resistance: A Feminist Handbook on Fighting for Good is relevant for kids of all genders who want to get involved (though soon enough, they’ll be writing the books explaining change to us).

In this week’s series from The Cut, How To Raise a Boy Michael Kimmel says that instead of shaming bad behavior, we should focus on positive growth.

Fathers: If you want a story to tell your sons, tell that story, the time you did the wrong thing because you were scared. That’s the story we grown men must tell our sons. We must tell them for their sake, because it can help them acknowledge the ways that they, too, may feel pulled between their own values and those of others. But we must also tell them for our own sake, so that we can finally acknowledge the damage done to us, done to our hearts, our souls, by the demands of trying to deny our humanity and be real men.