| 03.18.2018

A critique of pure irrationality – Politico article accuses Millennials without analyzing the roots of the issue


At this point, the general population has become desensitized to articles with titles proclaiming sensational statements such as, “Millenials Are More Racist Than They Think: Just look at the numbers.”

Sean Mcelwee recently made this popular sensationalism in Politco Magazine. Mcelwee argues that, although certain data has found Millennials to be “post-racial,” he believes there to be a flaw. Mcelwee generalizes that “My own analysis of the most recent data reveals “¦ gaps between young whites and old whites on support for programs that aim to further racial equality are very small compared to the gaps between young whites and young blacks.”

For some reason, Mcelwee decides to use this as the basis for attacking Millennial racism. Mcelwee may simply have forgotten his socioeconomic terms, using the very specific term “racist,” to describe a broad demographic.

The programs that Mcelwee addresses as aiming to “further racial equality,” are programs that concentrate on race-specific students. He does not bother to look at the satisfaction of Millennials who participate in programs that have to do with general economic equality, because the abundance of these programs would derail his article.

The author himself is in fact the one stuck on the race issue. Unfortunately, programs that are favored in the 21st century are generally moving away from a race-focused mindset to programs that allow all disadvantaged students to apply.

Just as many people do not seek extensive evidence for their dissent, but there is also a lack of inquiry in the realm of general acceptance. In the process of consenting or dissenting with every opinion, a crevice has collapsed before humanity”s eyes – one that cannot be crossed without some sort of analysis.

Will Meyer

Mcelwee”s opinion is a prime example of this gap. Though he attempts to show why youth are indeed more prejudiced, he does not explain why. He does not ask the question in order to discover its cause.

Many like Mcelwee seek to find problems, point them out and move on. There is no analysis, no stasis in his writing – it”s simply one ostensible problem after the next. By writing about these problems, the author seems to accidentally separate himself from the society he addresses.

Mcelwee also manages to avoid clashing his newfound evidence with the studies of Pew Research he cites. He does not recognize that both of the sources are expressive of reality, but instead denies one half and exaggerates the other.

This type of reasoning is adopted by many like Mcelwee, who see a problem but inadvertently choose to limit their knowledge of it. He presents a problem, argues and embattles himself for said cause, without knowledge of its roots. If logic were used, some solution or cause would be discovered.

It seems that instead of discussing the base of social problems, many are instead infatuated with finding a scapegoat – in this case, it is youth.

Mcelwee talks of many pieces of the U.S. government that are segregated, such as housing and employment opportunities. The question remains – why are these systems the way they are? Did Millennials have anything to do with the induction of these structures? What age group protests for civil justice and equality most frequently?

These questions are virtually ignored by Mcelwee, though they are ironically the most provoking queries in hopes of finding a solution. Problems are never solved by choosing to blame someone as the first step. When a group of young people are asked whether they believe there is a racial problem, why don”t we choose to analyze why they answered the way they did?

There are some people that show this analysis such as Pew Research.   But it is much easier to complain that Millennials answered in such-and-such a way than to find the root of an issue.

Problems make life more melodramatic, as seen in the reality TV series” that Gen-Xers, Baby Boomers and Millennials alike are absorbed in. Isn”t the purpose of finding these problems to progress toward a solution?

In my experience, many young people are obsessed with egalitarianism, more than any other generation alive. Does our generation have the ability to fight against laws successfully? Has the government really taken into consideration the opinions and views of the young? If not, how can we actually be considered more racist?

The problem of Millennial racism may indeed be a prominent issue. The world needs people to bring such issues to the eyes of society. But ultimately, without some sort of a well-reasoned attack and solution to the problem, these issues will remain in the back seat until someone is actually ready for change.

Will Meyer can be reached at arg-opinion@uidaho.edu

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