A Snowflake’s Lament

Has every generation that preceded mine felt as attacked and betrayed by their government as I’m feeling now? I’m sure in many ways they have…when they were forced to go to war. When their country told them to kill innocent people. When their banks didn’t give them their hard earned money back. When their country did not have enough jobs.  When their leaders were exposed as corrupt people.  When unfair laws were passed and used to oppress its people. Or when it took so long for good laws to be voiced and proposed—to be written—to be voted on—to be signed—to be respected—to be practiced. But these injustices were not overcome by brave people to make room for more injustices!

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To no one’s surprise, Donald Trump recently signed a tax bill created to primarily benefit the wealthy.

Here is a brief summary of the injustices hidden in this tax bill that we will be fighting against in the years to come:

“The bill is expected to add around $1 trillion to the national debt over the next decade, which Republicans plan to address by formally destroying the social safety net via “welfare reform” and a crackdown on what they like to call “health care entitlements.” The tax bill also opens the Arctic Wildlife Refuge up to oil and gas drilling and repeals Obamacare’s individual mandate, which means that a decade from now, 13 million fewer people will have health insurance. “[Jezebel]

Clearly, the consensus (at least from reputable news sources) is that this tax bill doesn’t look good for the majority of us. 

Our healthcare is being stolen. Our planet is being destroyed by corporations. The middle class needs to worry now more than ever.  

Greed is winning. And as long as greed prevails, innocent people are going to continue to die. Our planet is going to suffer.

This is not OUR American dream. We do not work every day to be treated like this.

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When I’m not worrying about how to persevere as a woman in this country, I’m stressed about how to survive as a lower-middle-class citizen who has lived in and out of poverty their whole life.

I worry every day about the future. Will my generation be able to age comfortably in this country? Will we have breathable air? Drinkable water? Will we survive? Will our children survive? These are real concerns for millennials and the generations that are to follow us.

This is why Bernie Sanders’s campaign spoke to me as someone who has worked so hard for what seems like so little. The majority of my life has consisted of trying to tread above water financially. Being that I’m close to 30 years old, I should be able to buy a home and start a family, but that is not the reality for many millennials. And it is not my reality.

America’s working class is suffering. My generation is working harder for less.

According to the Pew Research Center:

“Millennials are the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations (Gen Xers and Boomers) had at the same stage of their life cycles.”

Despite being called snowflakes, statistics show that my generation has every right to be angry with the current economic state of our country. It’s hurting us and holding us back. People like Trump do not care about my generation or the future of our country. We are angry. We are complaining. We want better lives for ourselves. We work for better lives. 

Honestly, the millennial snowflake insult baffles me every day. I’m not sure if it’s “a right of passage,” but the insults about my generation being weak and lazy gets old… 

I’m also annoyed by Tomi  Lahren’s self-millennial hate rhetoric and how she made an entire career insulting her own generation. In fact, she has encouraged many millennials to hate and disassociate from their own generation. But no matter how hard you try, you can’t dissociate from the year you were born!

We need to move away from this rhetoric and unite as a generation against those who want to divide us. Don’t join in and self deprecate! Stand up for yourself and the things you work for and value. 

I have hope for my generation. I have hope in the people who love and encourage me. Unlike many generations that have preceded us, we are ready to welcome Generation Z into our world. We are ready to work with older and future generations to make a better country.

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What I believe is going to be very important moving forward from this tax bill, is to continue to watch out for each other. We can do this by helping each other through the hardships to come. By being supportive and loving.

Let’s continue raising money for our friends, family, and acquaintances when they can’t afford their medical bills. When they no longer have a home. When they can’t buy groceries or pay their heating bills. When they are suffering.

Also don’t be afraid to ask for help from your community when you find yourself in these situations. We need to communicate and remain united against these injustices. 

Let’s volunteer and donate money when we can to the organizations that Trump’s administration is looking to disempower with this tax bill.

We need to keep communicating, organizing, and supporting one another. We must continue to protest and demonstrate. Continue to be present. And most importantly, we cannot become jaded by the years to come.

We deserve better than this!

We must not normalize Trump’s antics or his attacks on the rights we value. The rights so many people have fought and died for…We cannot continue to let him and others like him fool us that there is a divide between the working people.

Let’s keep thinking and creating solutions. Keep writing and reporting. We have to show up and vote.  And as I repeated throughout my previous article, we must work every day to be better versions of ourselves. It’s up to us to stop this mess. 

I truly believe in my generation, like the many generations before us, to be strong and push for the change that will encourage an American society that works for everyone—not just the wealthy elite.

***

And if people want to call me a snowflake, then I’m proud to be a snowflake. I’m proud to be strong, educated, and empathetic. I’m proud of myself for being able to express my emotions in a healthy way. I’m proud that I work hard—and because I work hard, I know I want better for myself and my people. If being a snowflake means I’m someone who cares about my country’s tired, sick, and poor, then call me a snowflake! But I remember a time when the people who valued similar things were called patriots.

Catch me at the Women’s March on Philadelphia, January 20th, 2018! I’ll be there demonstrating with my people.

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About Sharayah Bower 12 Articles
Sharayah Bower is a Kutztown University alumni with a Master's degree in English. She has focused closely on African American and Indigenous feminine texts and plans to pursue a PhD program where she can further her studying, knowledge, and awareness about these cultures and their contemporary issues (especially those regarding gender and rape culture). In the near future, she intends to teach English and Composition by focusing closely on narrative writing as an attempt to more effectively educate others about--and counter--rape culture. She also enjoys tutoring others with their writing because it has only helped to improve her own.