Are these students courageous torchbearers of the Civil Rights legacy or are they pampered, petulant and privileged youth simply screaming to the world “notice me?” In their Freedom Budget, they invoke the work of MLK, hinting that they are finishing a symphony left uncompleted at his untimely, tragic death. Really?
King, seeking only to have persons judged on the content of their character; not the color of their skin, addressed issues of manifest discrimination that prevented an entire race of people from enjoying freedoms promised by our Constitution. These students at Dartmouth seem to be protesting that they are victims of living in an imperfect world!
At universities today, too many students are preoccupied with finding a perch from which they can call themselves afflicted with the malevolent intent of phantom “oppressors.” They seek to gin up conflict and create a permanent state of unrest by reminding themselves and the student body that all is not perfect in their life and that imperfection is the direct result of deliberate actions of others. They are selling.
King didn’t have to sell. Racism in 1960 America was real and the consequences dire for those who suffered under it. These students are not suffering. They want to feign suffering for attention and whatever spoils they might acquire from their collective whine.
As a card-carrying member of the millennial generation, I, myself, am most certainly a victim. I am a victim of a barren job market, an expensive and constraining healthcare law, a national debt that imperils my future, and a politically correct culture which censors and makes exercising free speech akin to navigating mine fields. Now having established my victimization bona fides, let me suggest to my college peers that they stop seeking redress for grievances and start looking for ways to use their own personal skills to better their own world. They just might discover that they will lift the boat of others in the process.
Today’s Ivy leaguers might be well advised to actually study the days of MLK when the nation was teeming with true victims. Perspective and humility may follow.