Entitled Millennial

I am an entitled millennial libtard.

Some will say I am a delicate snowflake … or a delusional one, depending on who is doing the name-calling. This used to bother me. I used to argue that I was not a millennial, but rather a Gen Xer. And depending on who is defining the terms, I fall into either generation. After this election, I am embracing my millennial status fully and unabashedly.

We are not entitled, lazy brats. We aren’t asking for the world to be handed to us. We aren’t living in our parent’s basements – and those that are, aren’t there out of choice. We aren’t delicate little snowflakes asking to be coddled.

What are we? We are strong and we fight against injustice. We work hard. We are entrepreneurs. We are leaders. We are voters. We are contributing to society. We care – about America, each other, our families, our friends, our futures and our careers. And, like it or not, we are the future of America and we have some pretty big ideas. All we are asking for is the same respect you demand from us and an open table for discussion.

Why do they call us entitled? Is it because we demand to be heard? We demand equality for all? We demand social justice? We demand that our planet be taken care of?

Is it because they are scared that we are right and that the previous generations might just have screwed up so royally that our generation and the ones to follow will be cleaning up their mess for centuries?

Let me lay out just how “entitled” we are …

We don’t want free education. We know public education comes at a cost. We understand that making post-secondary education accessible for all isn’t free. What we don’t understand is how the greatest country in the world can place such a low value on education. How is it that in 2016 in America, college is a privilege? How is it right that college is nothing more than a pipe dream if you weren’t born into the right home, in the right part town and with the right skin color? You scream at us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, but what do those without bootstraps do? They fight cyclical poverty and oppression and are greeted with anger, hate and violence if and when they break free.

Healthcare is not a privilege. Period. End of story. The fact that we even argue about the cost to keep people – children, senior citizens, moms, dads, etc. – healthy is disgusting. No parent should ever have to worry about financial ruin if their child is sick. The arguments I hear against the ACA or even a single payer system are despicable. When you argue about the cost to tax payers or insurers to cover those with preexisting conditions or those high risk individuals, you are putting the value of a dollar over the value of a human life. That is entitlement. Desiring a good healthcare system that benefits all is not entitlement.

If my taxes are raised to cover the cost of these, then count me in. The few extra dollars I’ll pay each month far outweigh the consequences of not acting. I’ll gladly give up another 3-5% in taxes to ensure my son has a future in which all Americans, including him, are educated, healthy and equal.

Equal rights for every American is a fundamental right guaranteed by our Constitution. Our country was founded on the idea that all are created equal and should have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Again, demanding social equality and social justice isn’t being an entitled brat, it’s being a defender of the American Constitution and being a decent human being.

We also believe in science and we know that our dependence on fossil fuels is dangerous to our planet and our economy. The greed for oil has clouded our judgement on foreign affairs. Our greed for things like plastic, money, cars, etc. has started to destroy our planet. Science is not a fairy tale. It’s not a joke. It’s not a hoax. It is real and we are terrified for the future of our planet – it is the only one we call home and we are treating it like a toilet. Wanting a world to raise our families in isn’t being entitled, it’s being a good steward of the planet.

We believe in the First Amendment and our protests and marches aren’t just for show. We believe in the what we are fighting for – we aren’t whining or crying. We are fighting. You are intimidated because we aren’t just sitting back and taking it. Previous generations fought for and won social change, how are the protests of today any different? How is exercising the rights our Founding Fathers believed so strongly in being entitled?

You want to know what real entitlement is? It’s being born lucky and privileged and thinking that the world owes you something when you already have everything. Entitlement is dismissing those that are oppressed and ignored as being whiners. Entitlement is caring more about someone having more than you rather than worrying about someone that has less. Entitlement is putting the value of money above the value of your neighbor. Entitlement is having the privilege to ignore a problem because it doesn’t apply to you.

The next time you want to slap the label of entitlement on me or my generation, take a good, long hard look in the mirror.