Our Generation Our Choice: The Latest Student Movement Perfectly Exemplifies Millennial Entitlement

Yesterday evening, I walked into my school president’s office with just under two dozen other students to hear his take on the Universities Divestment standing.

I also figured out why the millennials get such a bad rep with their “entitlements”…

our generation our choice

Gotcha, clickbait sucker. While you’re here though, I think we should talk a little bit about entitlement.  I still think the title rings true, just not in the way you might think.

I hear it all the time. It’s unrealistic, unfathomable even, to think about ridding students of their debt or providing free health care. Now these little brats think we should take our money out of fossil fuel investments too?! Regardless, the people want it. The tens of thousands that marched across the US and the world are pretty indicative of this. They all make sense morally so economics should not and cannot get in the way. We will constantly be reminded that this type of thinking is entitlement.

Entitled. Selfish. Impulsive. They are trying desperately to label a group that hates labels. Whether its judgmental, overt domination or subliminal, institutional racism, it doesn’t matter. Either way we’ve seen through it, and we already know the last lines of ideological defense. Think of the absurdity of people being offended by the perceived offended-ness to offending statements. This in the same country that has Fracking, Fracking bans, and bans on those Fracking bans. What the hell are we even talking about anymore? Social justice warriors might be a bit abrasive, but their actions don’t nullify a movement to build equality.

Like it or not, we do have the choice.

Yeah, we’re entitled. So fucking what. We’re also the only species that has to pay money to live and eat on this planet. How backwards! Contrary to popular belief, we have every right to feel entitled. We are entitled to clean water. We are entitled to clean air. We are entitled to a hospitable world and healthy communities. How greedy and selfish!!

The thing they don’t get is that for as much as we feel entitled, we’re also willing to share it (most of us at least. Looking at you, Ronald Reagan wannabes). The harshest critique of a typical millennial is actually their greatest strength, “they act like such kindergarteners”.

You just can’t beat this generation. We’re thorny, intuitive, efficient, and carefree at the same damn time. We’ll stomp like hell and throw a tantrum if you try to build a mine in our town. Sometimes we go with our gut instead of our heads, though we’re usually right. We don’t want to work long hours, so we just got better at working in doses. We are great at not giving a shit. It’s the most resilient little batch of humans ever concocted, so we finally have something thank the baby boomers for after all.

“If you Goddamn hippies have it your way, the whole world is gonna be covered in people who love each other unconditionally. The food will be healthy and organic and the transportation will be fossil free. We’ll spend our days with friends doing what we love instead of working towards retirement like a real person. Gah. Even the thought makes me sick”

Boy, what a train wreck that would be. They say we’re the brainwashed generation, but I don’t know who got it into people’s heads that they can’t change their mind. It’s scary really. People get more offended over a Starbucks cup, as it might be infringing on Christian rights in a “war on Christmas” than they do poverty, injustice, or homelessness.

I saw a statistic the other day; if one family in every one other church adopted a child from foster care, there would be no more orphans. But instead we’ll complain about the logo on our horribly-toxic, disposable packaging of our $4 cup of coffee (which mind you is over twice the amount of what hundreds of millions live off of per day). Need I continue?

Pssh. Typical pretentious millennial, babbling abstractions and poking at the fundamentalism. This one’s been sipping the Kool-Aid, a little too much CNN and reggae music. Such an arrogant generation, narcissistic even.

But since when did self-love become synonymous with conceit? If we loved ourselves, would we really continue to let out water, our air, our families, be poisoned? I’m not convinced. Maybe these cynical armchair psychiatrists need a little dose of love themselves. Tomorrow can be national hug a millennial day. Then we’ll get back to protesting.

Sometimes you just gotta take care of número uno. While I’ll be the first to admit there are clear cases where we’ve toed this line of selfishness, to generalize is yet another failed attempt at labeling that misses the mark.

So it is our choice, but it’s everybody else’s choice too. Divestment, Freedom from excessive debts, access to quality Health Care, they all need to happen. The sooner folks get that into their heads, the sooner they can have their say in what it might look like.

We’re perfectly content co-creating, re-creating, and envisioning the better life on this planet with anyone who will contribute. But if you find yourself trying to propagate an oppressive, racist, and ultimately irresponsible and dangerous way of life, our choice is all that matters.

-Harley Fredriksen


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