This election season has raised the energy of many people. Among them is a vital surge in youth activism. From all different walks of life, young people are getting involved. This happens in every cycle. The fervor of the debates and domino elections monopolizing air time on every form of media. Thus it becomes the topic around the dinner table and in the streets.
The great thing about these cycles is that it produces long term activists and without them, we wouldn’t progress. The energy young activists bring to the table is much needed as we older activists get tired and worn down, even lose our way and stop seeing the bigger picture. Their thumb is on the pulse of now, which isn’t a bad thing. Calling them naive is shortsighted, if not bitter. Yes, I do mean bitter.
If anything has been learned this election cycle, it is that many people are tired, sick and tired, and they’re getting explosive. They’re not throwing chairs. But they are lying and slandering and picking fights they ultimately cannot win with such extreme emotion from a place where they have stopped listening. Young activists should be heard. Fuck the wisdom of experience. All too often it clouds our path to the goal. Why not listen? What they have to say likely has some insight.
I enjoy working with young people. Not only are they fun, but their vibrancy reminds me of that which I am fighting for. They always surprise me with how resilient they are. So while they are full of energy and ideas, we should be encouraging them. After all, the last thing we need is to be discouraged in our activism from within movements. Far too many people are lining up to do that on the outside.
The reason that this is essential to Native Activism is that these activists are fighting against the heaviest of odds. From the despair of reservations being kept behind, to the stagnation of jobs, the economy and health care–these kids face every obstacle growing up. Yet, here they are throwing their hopeful hats into the ring to fight for what they deserve and what they believe in. They are the light of their tribes and they are determined to pull them up from where the government and the culture of hate has pushed them.
Why would you wisdom them into silence? Simply having years of experience doesn’t mean that your ideas are always better. That fresh take is necessary. Business thrives on it and so too does activism.
Thank you for considering the younger generation in light of their strengths and not dismissing them. While you’re here, take a look at this great cause brought to us by 30-13 Year olds.
A group of Native American teenagers in North Dakota are campaigning to stop a large oil company from building a pipeline through their land.