The Kids Aren’t Alright

Michael Barera, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Someday, all of the Boomers will be gone. And Gen X will soon follow. Being a Gen Xer myself, I’m not particularly looking forward to that day, but as Jim Morrison once said, “No one here gets out alive.” When I Iook at the generations coming up behind mine, I tend to shake my head. But I also try to remind myself that the Boomers looked at us and shook their heads as well.

Boomers are the butt of a multitude of jokes by Millennials and Gen Z. And once they pass, I’m sure that Gen X will become the new target. But one could argue that, despite the collective flaws that have been assigned to us, we still got things done, and in large part understood that life is unfair. That’s not true across the board, of course. The whiners, complainers, and the entitled have always been with us. But there have never been this many before.

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt recently did an interview with the Wall Street Journal. In 2018 Haidt co-authored a book called The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure with Greg Lukianoff. He currently has two more books in progress, Kids in Space: Why Teen Mental Health Is Collapsing and Life After Babel: Adapting to a World We Can No Longer Share. Haidt maintains that between social media and the other prevailing norms, we have created generations of people who, are destined to struggle with a variety of problems and lower chances of success. We also have a society that “valorizes victimhood.” Of college, Haidt notes:

Here they are in the safest, most welcoming, most inclusive, most antiracist places on the planet, but many of them were acting like they were entering some sort of dystopian, threatening, immoral world. Once they enter the workplace, they’re less innovative, less inclined to take risks, and that may “undermine American capitalism…”

The College Fix has the report of an incident from back in October of last year. The Young Americans for Freedom chapter at the University of Wisconsin-Madison hosted the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh for a discussion on transgenderism. The group called the event “What is a Woman?” after Walsh’s movie of the same name. Of course, posters announcing the event were torn down and bias complaints were filed. You know the drill. One student said he felt “physically sick” while researching the film. His bias report read in part:

I feel [the movie] is better described as a hate crime against women, especially transgender women in a video form. I believe by allowing YAF to host this event they are not only spreading hatred across campus, I think they are also in violation of a few RSO policies and will create a potentially unsafe environment, similar to similar events hosted at other universities.

Upon researching this ‘documentary’ I found a wealth of evidence that this has clear themes of transphobia, misogyny, racism, ableism, and ageism,” the student wrote. “It has created a great upset within lgbtq spaces on campus, many of us feel unsafe and frustrated that campus is allowing a RSO to put on this event.

Another complaint read:

Allowing for such a transphobic speaker to be present on campus with such a large platform shows queer, trans, and non-binary students, staff, and faculty that their experiences are not valid and their persons are not safe. I am angry and hurt that the community I love, which has a home here on the [the women and gender studies department floor], was so blatantly attacked.

Gender studies professor Finn Enke griped:

The speaker is known not only to target gender and sexual minorities as well as women; the YAF is known to intentionally inflame and draw a response from marginalized and feminist communities. Trans* and nonbinary and queer people, trans* children.

Jesikah Leeper, a teaching assistant and law student, made a point of letting everyone know that she had been involved in tearing down the posters. Walsh mentioned her by name since she had already bragged about being the culprit. That did not stop a graduate student from complaining.

“Matt Walsh called a teaching assistant out by name in front of the crowd, causing harm to that student,” the complaint stated. “They are being targeted by YAF and are now a subject in a national article that mentions their name and includes an image of them.”

Imagine being so insulated, coddled, and selfish as to be unable to cope with the ideas that differ from your own or being aghast that someone took note of your boasting and that it might reflect poorly on you. Well, you don’t have to imagine it. Identical or similar mindsets probably prevail at a college near you.

You might think that the inability to cope with reality or navigate one’s way through life’s situations that one does not find appealing or even offensive would come back to haunt these people once they enter the real world. But corporate America, along with every other entity, is more than willing to comply with the current trend of turning the nation into a massive daycare center.

Just before the start of the new year, the New York Post came across a LinkedIn post by HR&A Advisors, a TriBeCa-based real estate consultancy. The company was asking that applicants for an open position remove the name of the college they attended and just list the degree they earned. It is part of the company’s “ongoing work to build a hiring system that is free from bias and based on candidate merit and performance.”

The author, David Christopher Kaufman, notes that historically high-end name-brand schools have been inaccessible to minorities and people in lower income brackets. But he also states that the HR&A policy creates a slew of new problems. He notes that while an applicant has to leave the name of their alma mater off their resume, the company still wants to know if the applicant earned a degree. So the company still wants someone with a diploma.

He also comments that the school of choice matters to the applicant, who may have worked very hard to be admitted to and graduate from a prestigious college or university. He also states that for, people who attend historically black colleges and universities, their choice of school is integral to their identities. By having applicants remove college names, HR&A has violated a primary clause in the wokeness doctrine. Finally, the policy sends the message that achievement does not matter.

And then there is the potential for fraud. Granted, for jobs that require a license, it is easy enough to check with the state licensing board to verify someone’s status. And in positions in which a degree of technical expertise is required, someone lying on their resume will be unmasked fairly quickly, often during the interview process. It’s hard to fake proficiency in HTML or Python. But in other cases, how easily could such a policy be exploited? One could add a line on their resume that they have an MBA and “fake it until they make it.”

By setting the bar as low as possible so that an applicant will not “feel” inferior and a company can “feel” like an ally, everyone in the process suffers. But we will have a nation of people with their self-esteem intact. We won’t have an economy, we will be weaker, and we probably won’t have a country if this goes on long enough. We will just have a collection of incredibly dysfunctional people waiting for someone to come along and cut the crusts off of the PB&Js. But the kids will feel alright, even if they aren’t.



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