Normally, I’m impressed with how smart young people are in comparison to the opinions most older people have about them. I spend a good amount of time talking about the greatness that this I-GENERATION promises for the future, even given how much their predecessors have screwed it up! Sometimes however, I feel like I’ve been blindsided by the colossally stupid antics of a few individuals, and I can’t help but feel sorry for you. My generation has JEFF SPICOLI, which is bad, but you guys– you guys have some real winners.
Let’s start with ANDREW MEYER. This guy is typical of somebody who might have had a good thought, and might have even been able to make a good point, but sacrificed all of that for his 15 MINUTES. I don’t want to belabor the point too much, but this is a very important topic for youth today. Were the University of Florida campus police wrong? Only by degree. I tend to hold people in positions of authority to a higher standard than I hold everybody else to. I’m surprised to see six cops who can’t handle one (rather scrawny) 21 year old without resorting to the taser. I think they were a little pissed off that what should have been an easy gig for them turned out to be possibly the last day of their careers. I think having a high profile speaker like John Kerry put them a little on edge, and they way over-reacted. For this, I think that they should all lose their jobs, and a public apology to the school, Accent, and Senator Kerry should quickly follow. That being said, was Meyer right? Meyer clearly proved the worst stereotypes that older adults believe of you. As I said earlier, he might have had a valid point, and he might have even had interesting questions. In my opinion, Meyer has his head in a dark and smelly place and is doing a lot of damage to youth as a whole.
It is also important to talk about the aftermath here, because there is enough spin from everybody and the reality of the situation has been lost in the shuffle. Meyer’s story is not that of the First Amendment, which is very clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Notice that nowhere does it say that people can say anything they want. All this Amendment says is that Congress (the entire Federal Government, actually) cannot pass laws that limit your ability to express yourself. This doesn’t apply here. This was an event at a school, sponsored by a private group (Accent Speakers Bureau). This is a story about a kid who thinks more of himself than his “cause”.
Also in the aftermath, is the story of J. DAVID McSWANE and the Colorado State University’s Newspaper, Rocky Mountain Collegian. Aside from the taser reference, these stories share a lot. Essentially, these stories both point out the worst in young people, and with the worst motivation. Both McSwane and Meyer are only interested in themselves, and they try to veil that selfishness in “political discourse” or “Free Speech”. At the end of the day these two selfish brats are saying “F-You” to their own generation.
So, in the context of F4Y, why is this even a blip on our radar? I want you to be successful. I understand that you will be running this world soon enough, and I sincerely hope that you will do a better job at it than those that came before you. Part of that is the building of a reputation that is befitting you. Meyer and McSwane might get some publicity for their actions, and they may even get some money. But the rest of you need to ask yourselves whether that is enough, or would you rather be known for making a meaningful impact on your inheritance?
Part of what we do here is to give you the tools to make that meaningful impact, and there are plenty of people who are taking advantage of everything F4Y has to offer. That’s great! I know that these two idiots don’t represent the vast majority of you, and as you continually prove yourselves to be self-sufficient and worthy contributors to society, more and more people will also come to understand that, despite the claims of those in the past, YOUR generation has the ability to truly be the greatest generation.