Nothing quite heats up the gray hackles so much as the whinnying of elders who shout “Pull Up Your Pants!” at young protesters – or at young people in general. This command is all too often followed by, “Get A Job!” Excuse me, old timer, but was it all that long ago that the insults hurled were, “Get A Haircut?” “How’d you get into those pants?” And, then necessarily — “Get A Job!”
How engaging to hear individuals who may have worn their obligatory T-shirt under a school jacket, above the tight “dungarees,” topped off with a duck-tail hair cut, address the saggy pants kids with derision! Ladies, remember those four inch hems on the skirts? The “circle skirt?” Or, worse still the infamous Poodle Skirt? Remember the man’s dress shirt worn with tight fitting capri pants or pedal pushers? The young ladies’ attire may include a short skirt now – but note please, she can actually get her body into a school desk without cramming two (or more?) layers of stiff petticoats into the school furniture and avoid looking like an unmade four poster bed beneath a canopy of pin-curls.
Oh, yeah… then there’s the music. Remember when:
“Rock and roll sent shockwaves across America. A generation of young teenagers collectively rebelled against the music their parents loved. In general, the older generation loathed rock and roll. Appalled by the new styles of dance the movement evoked, churches proclaimed it Satan’s music.
Because rock and roll originated among the lower classes and a segregated ethnic group, many middle-class whites thought it was tasteless. Rock and roll records were banned from many radio stations and hundreds of schools.” [USH]
Spare me. If the righteous elderly find the modern lyrics incomprehensible then perhaps we might dwell for a moment on that wonderful bit of lyricism from a bygone era: “Boop boop dittum dattum wattum, choo
Boop boop dittum dattum wattum, choo
Boop boop dittum dattum wattum, choo
And they swam and they swam all over the dam…”
Again, spare me, before I launch into “Mairzy Doats and dozy doats and liddle lamzy divey, a kiddley divey too, wouldn’t you?” [ILP]
Now that we’ve had our trip down Memory Lane, what’s wrong with young people taking an interest in the major issues of our day? The kids DO care about their peers – and the way their peers of color are treated by local police departments. Witness the Die-Ins all across the country [HuffPo] including the University of Nevada at Reno. And, they are right to do so.
The statistics on the excessive use of force should be alarming for everyone:
“Of the 6,613 law enforcement officers involved in reported allegations of misconduct that met NPMSRP criteria for tracking purposes, 1,575 were involved in excessive force reports, which were the most prominent type of report at 23.8% of all reports. This was followed by sexual misconduct complaints at 9.3% of officers reported then theft/fraud/robbery allegations involving 7.2% of all officers reported.” [Cato] (emphasis added)
And who was on the blunt end of the use of force?
“A widely publicized report in October 2014 by ProPublica, a leading investigative and data journalism outlet, concluded that young black males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than their white counterparts: “The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.” [JR org]
So, go ahead kids… have your say, and don’t let the Duck Tail Hair Cut, Poodle Skirt Crowd get you down.