Generation Z is angry.
That’s a universal truth, I think. Many of us grew up in the fallout from Bush era politics-- wars we didn’t want, the shadow of 9/11 constantly hung over our heads. We were raised on a steady diet of revolutionary YA novels and the knowledge that nothing was sacred, nothing was true-- the internet was lying to us, the television was lying to us, our parents were lying to us.
New England kids especially, I believe, grew up with this knowledge. I’m a product of white suburbia, highly privileged in terms of class and race, but even I grew up knowing one simple truth-- the government was not going to protect me forever.
When the 2016 election finished up, I was twelve. I’d recently realized I was queer. I was very, very scared-- and then, as the years went by, I got very, very angry. As I’ve stated, I was protected from most of the horrors of the world when I was young. But police brutality, the Parkland shooting, the Pulse shooting, the constant murder of Black transgender women, the school-to-prison pipeline, the blatant bigotry displayed among my peers, the--
Well, the everything. It got to the point where we, the children, the innocents, could not avoid what was happening anymore. We had to fight back ourselves.
The youth have to run this movement. No one else has protected us. We must protect each other.
By Abbey, Age 16, Gen Z: WWTL Technical Specialist