Each generation is marked by some momentous, and significant piece of history, usually an event that happened during their college years. There is something about being in school during a time that turns our world on its head. The baby boomer generation owns the Vietnam War, generation X is marked by 9/11, and my generation will forever be answering for the Trump presidency.
While the majority of my generation works toward educating itself on diversity and moving toward a more progressive and accepting future, we were thrown into being inaccurately represented by a leader who believes in the exact opposite. While the current administration (and President) have done everything they can to put a wall between us and to step back historically, our generation also has the power to stop the backwards motion and propel the country forward.
We cannot afford to sit back while our country is high jacked, causing the rest of the world to be perplexed by our actions. Dreamers cannot afford to live in fear of deportation. The LGBTQ community cannot afford to wait for the homophobic “right” to accept them without vilifying their character. Our planet cannot afford to go past the point of no return; our elected representatives cannot be paid off by fossil fuel companies who are subtly destroying the environment.
Our words are essential to fight for a healthy future. Our words will make us be heard and partner us in world-changing decisions. I do not avoid political conversation in fear of making others uncomfortable. Ignorance may be bliss, but that bliss, that avoidance of the conversation at the dinner table for fear of upsetting grandpa, brought us to the present moment.
Journalism allows me to challenge the status quo and bring humanity together on important issues. While life is complicated and grey areas exist, Trump’s rhetoric leads many people to think one way. Actual life stories and feet on the ground reporting on those affected can bring understanding of the true situation. Stories about refugees striving to make change in their community, local DACA students affected by policy change, and women fighting for workplace equality are inspiring stories I was lucky enough to cover. I learned more by hearing these life stories from primary sources than I ever have from listening to Trump.
Although my generation will forever be marked in textbooks by the dust cloud that is the Trump presidency, the chapter is still to be written. Our words, our drive to fight the status quo, and our ability to hear the voices that are so often lost in the crowd, will give us the opportunity to become a generation of merit.
Brooke A. Grasso, editor in chief