[COVID-19\America’s Generational Divide]
Kary Love: “It is reported the kids are calling COVID-19 “Boomer Remover”…I think the real reason many kids are manifesting a disregard for the lives of others, is simple: that is what we old folks have educated them to believe is right.”
Is America’s generational divide callously causing young people to see COVID-19 as the “boomer remover?”
Yes, some kids, believing they are immune to COVID-19, actually appear to be celebrating the spread among the “Boomers” who will die at higher rates, out of the possible 2.2 million US deaths that could result given the botched US response. It is reported the kids are calling COVID-19 “Boomer Remover.” Now some people seem shocked by this. Me, not so much.
Before I tell you all why, let me salute the pre-med student Jayde Powell who has come up with the idea of “Shopping Angels” to help the locked-in old folks get groceries.
Not all the kids are infected with “affluenza.” I want my tax dollars to go to Ms. Powell, extinguish any student debt she has and pay for the rest of her medical education. Sure, she may go to work for “Big Pharma” after graduation, but I doubt it. She seems to have something inherent, is it okay for me to call it “values” (not politically correct these days, apologies), that guide her judgment. I will follow her career and hope to get the chance to vote for her one day as she takes her values into office seeking to do good, save lives and I expect, oppose war.
This Boomer also attends lectures weekly at a local college in physics, biology and chemistry—where every week the senior scientist from a leading university around the world, upon finishing their talk on the latest research they are doing, put up a photo of their “team” of supporting researchers—the people they say do the real work. I swear it looks like a bunch of 14-year-old kids to me! Black, white, brown, yellow, all races and creeds shown in those photos and working together to save and improve lives. And these kids are on teams that may win the Nobel Prize for contributing to saving lives! I sure would like them to get some of my tax dollars, too, but not even Boomers get to have input on that. Not too many Boomers in the audience, except a few professors and me, but a lot of student kids who are also pursuing science education attend. Too, bad, cause the lectures are free and open to the public. When we exit at 5 pm, you do see many folks scurrying to the Friday night football game, however. Gotta get a good seat!
On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal notes that a “generational war” is erupting in America pitting the survival of the old against selfish, thoughtless, dangerous behavior of many of the young.
Sure, being an old guy, it is tempting for me to blame this on the kids. But is that fair? After all, it is the old who send the kids off to wars based on lies. Wars that have no objective except to act, as Gen. Smedley Butler found after his long Marine Corps career, as “a bagman for Wall Street.” You can read Gen. Butler’s book, War Is A Racket for free online—just Google it.
Or, as an old guy, who is accused of contributing to Climate Change which many of the kids think deprives them of a future. Some kids appear to think, you old folks polluted the world and leave us one with no way out. What goes around comes around?
Or, as an old guy you didn’t do enough to help us kids get an education without being burdened by outrageous debt; or support a system that enabled us to have affordable health care, or kept locking us up for trying to have a good time and getting a good buzz on.
Maybe the kids are not as stupid as old guys think? Maybe they actually want to live, to have a future, to live as they wish so long as they don’t hurt anyone else? Maybe they are right?
I think an argument can be made for most of the above positions. But I think the real reason many kids are manifesting a disregard for the lives of others, is simple: that is what we old folks have educated them to believe is right.
Even before 9-11 the old lady, Madeleine Albright, representing the “good” President Bill Clinton as his Secretary of State, said killing 500,000 kids in Iraq using sanctions “was worth the price.”
Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it? “
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”
60 Minutes (5/12/96) “None of the old folks in America seemed to care.“
Lesson taught the kids of America: “its ok to kill kids, kids,” just like when I was a kid and I was taught by the old folks of my day when they wanted me to go kill in Vietnam: “We had to destroy the town in order to save it.” How did that ever make sense?
Since 9-11 the old folks have taught the kids: “it is ok to invade other countries, sure we will kill a lot of folks, but it is worth the price.” For 20 years we old folks have immersed our kids in the idea the highest form of public service is going around the world killing people who did nothing to America. We old folks have shown the kids by example: see someone in camouflage fatigues? Stand and applaud their “service.” We old folks teach the kids, send in your taxes without which the wars can’t be fought, and be a good American! Don’t question why America, since 9-11-2001, has spent about $120 billion on biological weapons, according to expert Francis A. Boyle (in an email to me), but did not have the money for a COVID-19 vaccine. Pay for the bombs, pay for the wars! Forget about funding education, or health care! Come on kids! Get on board!
Well, old folks, “Mission Accomplished!” Maybe now we old folks, because COVID-19 is teaching us the error of our ways, seek desperately to return to the ancient wisdom, like “honor your father and mother.” Maybe. Maybe we should have been training the kids in the ancient wisdom like, “don’t kill,” or “love your enemy.” But, what do I know? I am just a stupid Boomer.
Maybe we should ask the kids, who taught you to be so callous about the lives of your fellow human beings? Maybe they will just tell us to look in the mirror. At least in this time of pandemic we are talking about compassion, something we routinely ignore otherwise. Some say it will blossom more under this duress. I want to believe.
Kary Love, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is a Michigan attorney who has defended nuclear resisters, including some desperado nuns, in court for decades and will on occasion use blunt force satire or actual legal arguments to make a point.