Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/10/15

Have the Challenges that Confront a Generation Created More Violent Young Adults?

By       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   2 comments

The "If it bleeds, it leads" reporting ethos by local media, coupled with the accelerator of 24-hour news coverage, amplifies in the minds of many that violence appears to be the everyday norm. Exposure to notions of violence on young minds, without the vantage point of life experience, often leaves young people unable to put the news into historical context. At some level, this imbalance can skew a young person's limited view of the world. A young person today can grow up thinking that violence is the norm. In reality, this is the exception for most, rather than the rule.

More far-reaching is the tough economic conditions that have been particularly destructive for young adults. Millions have lost homes, jobs (i.e., housing bubble), retirement savings, and in some cases: hope. Young high school and colleges graduates are finding limited opportunities in the job market. From 2003 to 2013, the unemployment rates for 16 to 24 year olds remained twice the national average that has skyrocketed from 5% to over 9%. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics). And for those young workers that land a job, they see and feel the buying power of their wages continue to slide. College and high school graduates' wages are abysmally lower than in 2000. "The real (inflation-adjusted) wages of young high school graduates are 5.5 percent lower today than in 2000, and the wages of young college graduates are 2.5 percent lower." (Source: "The Class of 2015: Despite an Improving Economy, Young Grads Still Face an Uphill Climb" by Alyssa Davis, Will Kimball, and Elise Gould. May 27, 2015.) All the while, looming over the economic horizon, is the slow and steady rise of robots and artificial intelligence (AI). It is an open secret these technologies are eating up entry-level jobs once filled by young workers vying to break into the labor market. All of these challenges equate to a generation losing hope of gaining the wherewithal to buy a home, to get married and start a family.

Dylann Roof and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have grown up in a nation that has ceaselessly been at war, nurtured a culture of violence and provided bleak jobs prospects for young adults. There is a case to be made insofar as these broader influences played a part that led these two young men to turn violently angry. Certainly, Mr. Roof and Mr. Tsarnaev were taught that killing is wrong but, more often than not, youth are more influenced by the conditions they know and live, as opposed to abiding by mere platitudes.

The twenties is an age for redeemability for most. Child and adolescent transgressions inform the growth of a responsible adult. But this is not the case for everyone. Mr. Tsarnaev will meet his death for crimes committed in his not-so-distant youth. The accused Mr. Roof's immediate future will likely include lifelong incarceration if not, state-sanctioned death.

The accused, Dylann Roof and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, took innocent lives and they should be held accountable by the justice system. But I will argue they did not choose to grow up in a tumultuous moment in our history. A moment, at least for Dylann Roof and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and many in their generation, where the youthful hope for a more peaceful society is thin. Their generation holds on to a hope that would bear more opportunities than their parent's generation. Lamentably, for many in this generation, that hope, for much of their lives, has wandered out of reach.

--

(Article changed on July 10, 2015 at 12:49)

(Article changed on July 10, 2015 at 15:28)

(Article changed on July 10, 2015 at 21:58)

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Ali Hangan Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Ali Hangan is high school teacher in Pomona, California.

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

10 Things I Teach My Children About Surviving the Student Loan Crisis

What Should My Child Learn While Growing Up in A World of Disruptive Technology?

Can California high schools ride the wave of online education?

The Doctrine of Common Core: Raising public education standards do little in our modern economy

Should We Get Rid Of Ineffective Teachers Or An Ineffective System?

Thinking About Amazon: How do I have a conversation with my students about jobs?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: