Millennial Bullsh*t: For the Adults Who’ve Stopped Caring

We don’t need grievances and condolences, we need action.


Millennial Bullsh*t is an op-ed column by Angelica Cruz based on her “Millennial News” series. This column will break apart the news and act as a resource to drive the movement for change for the younger generation, because honestly we’re tired of all the bullshit.

CORRECTION: Propublica released a statement correcting an article they wrote about Trump CIA Director Nominee Gina Haspel. It wrote that Haspel was involved in the torture of Abu Zubaydahn, who was tortured by being waterboarded 83 times. However, Haspel became chief of base after Zubaydahn’s torture took place. She was chief when the torture of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri occured.

Last semester, I started a column that went through a variety of names before settling with “Guide to Millennial News.” The reason why I started writing it was my frustration toward other millennial and Gen Z students, who couldn’t be bothered to be invested in what was going on in the world. But also, my frustration toward the older generation that probably agreed with the first statement and assumed this gave them a right to complain about our “lazy, entitled attitudes.”

I looked to myself to see what the biggest issue was and it was simply I never had an idea what was going on in the news. My news app blasted notifications on my phone screen and I maybe read about two of them on a good day. Inspired by Bustle’s “Bustle Huddle” I thought the best way to get people to read the news is to write a condensed yet informative version of it, once that would not only inform people but inform them how to take action.

However once the semester ended, so did the series. Anyone who’s covered the news knows it’s a tiring job. To sum things up, it can feel like this:

So I took a break, and during that news detox I stopped caring. The notifications piled and the more I avoided it, the more overwhelmed I got to return to it. I’d started getting into writing features stories, which while also hard to write at times, weren’t as bad as forcing myself to shift through what was going on in the world.

But then on Feb. 14, seventeen students were killed in Parkland Florida. A19-year-old student brought an AR-15 to campus, pulled the fire alarm to release his classmates out of their classrooms, and shot at them. Many of the victims were teenagers, some even as young as fourteen.

This was one of eight school shootings that happened this year and it was only February. Even worse, I couldn’t remember anything about the other seven.

It dawned on me that I’d grown complacent. When a student was wounded because of a shooting in Texas I remember swiping the notification away. When five people were injured in a Los Angeles middle school I did not flinch. I, like many others around my age, grew numb to this because violent threats and shootings became interwoven into our society.

And that is not okay. Like the many grieving students in Florida, like the passionate activists of the #metoo movement, like the outspoken journalists who are not afraid in spite of the Cheeto-in-Chief vilifying the media, it’s time to be angry. It’s time to hold people accountable.

In a speech given by Parkland survivor Emma Gonzalez to lawmakers during a rally, she said:

“The people in the government who were voted into power are lying to us. And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and our parents to call BS.Companies trying to make caricatures of the teenagers these days, saying that all we are self-involved and trend-obsessed and they hush us into submission when our message doesn’t reach the ears of the nation, we are prepared to call BS…

That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.”

Here is “Millennial Bullsh*t.”

Those Meddling (But Genius) Kids

As said above, on Feb. 14, 17 people in Florida died as a result of an active shooter. While lawmakers gave out their grievances and condolences, the students of Stoneman High School decided that wasn’t enough. They wanted action, and they were going to fight for it. These young students have become icons and activists. Supported by an article in BuzzFeed News titled, “The Pro-Trump Media Has Met Its Match In The Parkland Student,” they are the David to Donald Trump and the NRA’s Goliath.

While it’s very visible the amount of work these students have put forward to urge lawmakers to create more regulations for gun control, some of the things they’ve set up that you can be a part of are the National School Walkout and the March For Our Lives rally. The National Student Walkout will take place on March 14 at 10 a.m. local time and students will walk out and stay out for 17 minutes, one for each student who was murdered in Parkland. Then on March 24, people are encouraged to walk the streets (in designated areas) and participate in March For Our Lives rallies across the country.

To-do for the week: By the time you read this, the walk-out has probably already happened. However, you have more than enough time to plan to participate to the March For Our Lives event. If you can make it, try to find a location near to you, there are about 10 near Walnut. And because going to a rally can be intimidating, here are tips and advice if you plan to go out and march.

If you can’t make it, sign the petition. Call your representatives. Find ways to support movement. Using your voice in any way is better than not using it at all.

You’re Fired! (But Also You Resigned, Left, Etc.)

So far in his term, Trump administration has lost numerous staff members including the short-lived Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci and the resigned Sean Spicer.

However his week there were five huge departures including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, Personal Aide John McEntree, and White House Communications Aide Josh Raffel.

To-do for the week: Be sure to keep track of the people Trump is putting in positions of power. These people are in charge of making some of the biggest decisions for America and if we do not know their policies and their intentions, then it’s easier for them to misuse their power.

Speaking of people in positions of power…

You’re Hired! (Not Just Yet)

With Rex Tillerson no longer acting as secretary of state, CIA Director Mike Pompeo will be taking the role (not much of an improvement). With that in mind, Trump announced his nominee to replace Pompeo’s position as CIA Director, Gina Haspel. While Haspel would be the first woman to lead the CIA and has spent more than 30 years in the organization, she’s received controversy for being a part of a CIA program that involved torturing terrorism suspects with cruel methods. In fact, Haspel has a long history with torture including running a CIA detention site in Thailand and overseeing the brutal interrogation of two terrorism suspects.

To-do for the week: First off, why does this matter? For one, Trump has shown he is in favor for the return of torture in order to interrogate potential terrorism suspects. And torture and abusive interrogation tactics, according to the Human Rights Campaign, are illegal.

While many officials are in support of this decision, again many are skeptical of due to her past involvement in torture based programs. Even Republican Senator John McCain, known for having had been tortured while as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War, said: “Ms. Haspel needs to explain the nature and extent of her involvement in the CIA’s interrogation program during the confirmation process. I know the Senate will do its job in examining Ms. Haspel’s record as well as her beliefs about torture and her approach to current law.”

To repeat, it’s keeping people in power in check before they have the opportunity to abuse their power.

The Calm Before the Stormy

Prior to the beginning of last year’s election, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid Stormy Daniels, a porn star, a large sum of hush money for her to sign a nondisclosure agreement and deny she had an affair with the president in 2006. However, Daniels has come forward to speak out out about the encounter.

To-do for the week: Read two Vox articles, one summarizing the thing better than I ever could and another on the importance of it.

While it’s easy to play off news as entertainment (especially when we have a President who’s a former reality star) he is still always our president. As entertaining as all this gossip may be, we can’t just let stuff like this slide. In the words of journalist Lauren Duca, we can love to read about Ariana Grande’s thigh high boots but also should be looking at the flaws and corruption going on with those in positions of power.