Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Post-Historical Potential

Saaret E. Yoseph, "Gen-Y and the Colorblind Lie":

Note: Knowing every line of a Lil' Wayne song does not mean you know the black experience. The black experience cannot be defined one-dimensionally, especially not in the lyrics of a single track. Neither can the Latino experience, or the Asian experience or the white experience. Yet, somehow my peers and I feel more comfortable skimming the surface rather than sitting down for an honest discussion about race.

Our predecessors are no less at fault for the confusion. Depicting Gen-Y as colorblind is essentially placing all the proverbial eggs in our basket. Not fair and definitely not plausible. Our youthful perspective may be wide-eyed and techno-colored, but it has also been affected by the perspectives of past generations.

Considering all that you went through, how can you expect so much from Gen-Y? You ask us to look beyond skin while demanding, again and again, that we check boxes to define our identity. You emphasize diversity and allow our classrooms to be monochromatic. You've told us to hold hands and love each others' differences, but we grew up watching you draw lines and hold-up picket signs (think O.J Simpson, Rodney King, The Bell Curve controversy, etc.). Understandably, our wires have gotten crossed.

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