Leaders

Millennials Aren’t Getting Jobs, But Unqualified, American Leaders Are

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

It’s no secret that millennials are looking for jobs, and attempting to forge stable careers, in a difficult market. Just look at the numbers.

As of March 2016, a Generation Opportunity report states that 12.8% of millennials ages 18-29 were unemployed. A May 2017 report from CNBC discusses how millennials are stereotyped as “job-hoppers,” but the reasons are not what they appear on the outside. Almost 90% of millennials indicated that they would stay in a job for more than ten years if promised salary increases, as well as “upward career mobility.” But, seeing as 36% left a job they liked to move on to a company where a better opportunity was offered, it can be deduced that collectively, we millennials aren’t getting those increases and mobility that we desire, and deserve.

While millennials continue to struggle in the job market, America has been watching as both elected and appointed leaders, with little to know experience in their respective fields, are essentially taking jobs that they are not qualified for.

 

Donald Trump 
Ah, the seemingly obvious example. Trump may have talked about hypothetically running for office back in 1987, but he didn’t actively start campaigning, and putting his metaphorical ducks in a row until 2015. In other words, he talked about being President, just as children do when they’re young, but did not prepare himself for the job through acquiring the correct education and training. His lack of foreign policy experience, as well as political experience as a whole, made him a completely unqualified and unfit candidate — not to mention the Twitter rants that took away (and continue to take away) from his legitimacy as a role model for the American people. This tweet kind of sums it up:

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Steve Bannon 
While Bannon isn’t part of the “White House Gang” anymore, his appointment as Trump’s Chief Strategist caused many to scratch their heads. He possesses a great deal of political knowledge, but his political resume (you know, where you actually list jobs showing that you have worked in the political sphere) left little to be desired. Prior to Trump’s election, Bannon worked as his campaign manager. After Election Day, his new title was that of Senior Counselor. While Bannon admirably served our country as a naval officer, his true forte came when he “found success in entertainment finance.” What’s Bannon up to now? He’s back at his old gig as CEO of white supremacist news outlet Breitbart. The questions to be raised here? Why any President would appoint a known white supremacist supporter to any position, and why someone who made his success creating political documentaries would be offered the job of Chief Strategist.

Jim Bridenstine 
Trump’s pick for the head of NASA has a bit of political experience. He has served as a Republican congressman representing his home state of Oklahoma since 2012, and also held the job of Executive Director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium. He has also served our country as a Navy combat pilot, and currently continues his service as a member of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. Not a bad resume, right? But… one would think that the potential head of NASA would have some experience with, well, space. And Bridenstine doesn’t have that. Being a “big fan of the moon” does not a head of NASA make, and neither does reluctance to “study the climate.”

Sam Clovis
Just a tip: the possible Chief Scientist of the United States Department of Agriculture should actually be… a scientist. And Clovis isn’t one. Sure, his credentials are impressive, as credentials generally go — “he holds a doctorate, but it’s in public administration, and not a scientific discipline.” What else is on Clovis’ resume? Creation of a blog that published posts indicating that homosexuality is a choice, and known opposition to farmers, a population that largely relies on the USDA. So, some very bad publicity, as well as a known grudge against what would be a key part of his constituency in this job.

 

The takeaways? We millennials should all become President because we once mentioned, possibly as children, that we’d like to be President one day. We should put together poorly produced documentaries about our non-inclusive political beliefs, and then, we’d be appointed to a very important office within the Cabinet. We should make it known how much we love something and then should be asked to be the head of a department. And, we should look to be appointed to positions that are very different than our respective backgrounds.

Instead, we are networking through any means necessary, tirelessly revising our resumes, and hoping that one unusual experience will be the thing that will land us the jobs we truly deserve.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog. 

9/11

Growing Up in a Post-9/11 World

Author: Elizabeth Zarb, Current Events/Politics

I have lived in New York my entire life. But, I do not remember the Twin Towers.

On September 11th, 2001, I sat in my family room watching Blue’s Clues. I was only two years old. I didn’t see the look of terror on my mom’s face, as she couldn’t get ahold of my dad. I didn’t see the news reports, showing the plane hitting the South Tower.

The youngest millennials, such as those born in 1999, do not remember 9/11. We have absolutely no recollection of life or travel before those awful attacks. We grew up strictly in a post-9/11 society, and it’s something that hasn’t really touched on. 

I had only flown one time before September 11th, and quite obviously I don’t remember it. What’s familiar to me at airports is TSA at every single area, high tech scanners, taking shoes off before allowed through security, random selection, no water bottles allowed, and an all-around uneasy feeling.

Of course, I’ve heard stories about flying before 9/11. And even after hearing them, I can’t fathom not having to take out every single liquid item in my bag, or being allowed through a security checkpoint with my sweater still on. 

Life before 9/11 seems like a foreign concept. For my entire memory, the Empire State Building was the tallest building in New York (now replaced by One World Trade), not the Twin Towers. At the time, I didn’t know about the Pentagon being hit, or that the brave people of Flight 93 were able to prevent another attack by crashing into Shanksville, Pennsylvania. I didn’t know anyone who worked in the World Trade Center, and I thought the “We Will Never Forget” decals on my car windows were just pretty decorations. I was respectful during our moments of silence in school, but I didn’t think much of it.

Despite living through it, September 11th, 2001 feels like another date in my history textbook.

As I grew up, I wanted to learn more about September 11th. I read everything I could get my hands on about that day. I asked my mom questions about where she was, what it was like, and her reaction to the horrific attacks. She told me about how after 9/11, New Yorkers rallied together, and helped each other out whenever needed. And that this tragedy brought the country together, at least for a while. She was always patient with me, with her only request being that I don’t ask my dad about the day. At the time, I didn’t understand why.

But, when I was in eighth grade, I was assigned a scrapbook project about September 11th. For the first time, I was encouraged to ask my dad about what happened. It was then that 9/11 stopped being just another date.

I found out that my dad lost three friends in the attacks. He had been on the phone with one of them right before they died. He had to walk across the 59th Street Bridge in order to get home. My father very rarely shows emotion, and seeing that pain is what made September 11th finally feel real to me. I cannot thank him enough for sharing that with me. 

9/11 has since become something that I couldn’t remember, but still mourned. I still cry every year, even now. It’s a strange sort of sad, where I don’t quite know what I’m missing, but I can still feel its absence. By learning about my family’s connection to the day, I am able to understand it more than I was before. I encourage you to ask your family about their connections to that day, where they were, and how it impacted them, especially if you’re one of the younger millennials like I am.  

Some people my age have begun to forget about 9/11. My high school even stopped calling for moments of silence at the exact times that the towers were hit. My friends go about their day without another thought. I began to get agitated that the day wasn’t being remembered, because it shouldn’t be like that.

I will forever be grateful for my junior year history teacher, who was the person first in a while to force us to come to grips with the reality that is 9/11. “As long as people keep sharing their family’s stories, people will keep talking about it,” he said to me, and that’s a powerful statement I’ve never forgotten and continue to act towards. I urge all of you as well to follow this advice.

I have lived in New York my entire life. I do not remember the Twin Towers. But I remember the aftermath of September 11th, 2001, because I lived through it. It’s the only world I’ve known. I lived through a radically changed nation, I lived through people mourning, and I now know that it’s possible to never forget something you can’t even remember.

Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos and Title IX: There’s No Room for “Review”

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

So, millennials, what do we know about Betsy DeVos, so far?

We remember she was branded unqualified by many when she was first appointed Education Secretary at the beginning of Trump’s term as President. We remember the uproar that then occurred. We remember her calling for more school choice at the beginning of 2017.

And, we will also remember DeVos as the Education Secretary who decided that policies originally put in place to help prevent sexual assault on college campuses needed “reviewing.”

In 2011, the Obama Administration, as reported by former Vice President Joe Biden during a speech at the University of New Hampshire, revamped the rules that were originally in place as a part of Title IX.

“We are the first administration to make it clear that sexual assault is not just a crime, it can be a violation of a woman’s civil rights,” Biden noted in his speech.

On April 4, 2011 — the same day as Biden’s speech at UNH — the Obama Administration released a statement outlining its new Title IX guidelines.

“If a school knows or reasonably should know about student-on-student harassment that creates a hostile environment, Title IX requires the school to take immediate action to eliminate the harassment, prevent its recurrence, and address its effects,” the statement read.

Sounds more than reasonable, right? Fighting to protect potential victims of sexual assault (on college campuses, but in the hopes that these 2011 measures could be a catalyst for other settings) was, and is, beyond common sense. No student of any gender should have to live in fear. No person should have to even comprehend preparedness for this grotesque violation of human rights.

But, DeVos took matters into her own hands. Initially, her speech, given at the George Mason University campus in Arlington, Virginia, sounded as though it was in line with the original, common sense mission of the Title IX guidelines that were in place already.

“One rape is one too many, one assault is one too many, one aggressive act of harassment is one too many, one person denied due process is one too many,” DeVos said in her September 7, 2017 speech.

Wait… one person denied due process? Is she referring to possible perpetrators of sexual assault being denied due process? It turns out that she is. And, later in that same speech, she indicated that “if everything is harassment, then nothing is.”

Yes, potential suspects have been wrongfully accused in sexual assault cases. It’s happened, and it’s happened too many times. And, by legal definition, harassment is “the act of systematic and/or continued unwanted and annoying actions of one party or a group, including threats and demands. The purposes may vary, including racial prejudice, personal malice, an attempt to force someone to quit a job or grant sexual favors, apply illegal pressure to collect a bill, or merely gain sadistic pleasure from making someone fearful or anxious.” Just by virtue of its definition, not “everything is harassment.” 

All of that said, the message that is sent from DeVos’ “review” of Title IX guidelines is that female students’ voices will no longer be heard in the event of a sexual assault. According to a 2015 report from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, more than 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses did not report the incident upon its occurrence. And that was in 2015, when the Title IX guidelines were very much in place. As a result of this message, that rate could potentially increase.

Our leaders should be encouraging students to report incidents, rather than keep them to themselves, wondering if they’ll be believed. The fact that false reporting occurs frequently should not be a basis in which reporting is discouraged altogether. We must continue to keep the very unfortunate reality that sexual assault occurs on college campuses, and in many other places, in the conversation. And we can’t rest until there is no longer a reason to fear.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Betsy DeVos) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

DACA

It’s Not Their Fault: What the End of DACA Truly Means, and What We Can Do to Speak Up

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

September 5, 2017: After weeks and months of hearing about the possibility, AG Jeff Sessions announced the official end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. New applications end immediately, and those already protected by DACA will lose any related benefits within six months.

What does DACA allow for?
According to the Department of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DACA was first established as an option on June 15, 2012. “The Secretary of Homeland Security announced that certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several guidelines may request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal,” the department’s website states. “They are also eligible for work authorization. Deferred action is a use of prosecutorial discretion to defer removal action against an individual for a certain period of time. Deferred action does not provide lawful status.” In other words, immigrants who came to the United States as children, with their families, without any knowledge that they were not coming to the country legally, could request time to make their citizenship legal before facing deportation. They could work in the United States without fear, while working toward to get their affairs in order.

Why the apparent need to end DACA?
“Many members of President Trump’s inner circle believe that DACA is unconstitutional,” ThinkProgress states. In his announcement, Sessions indicated that DACA violates immigration laws, that “failure to enforce the laws in the past has put our nation at risk of crime, violence, and even terrorism.”

Without DACA, what will happen?
Approximately 800,000 people are protected under DACA. About 300,000 of that 800,000 would lose their status, and right to work, by 2018. Some of those 800,000 will be separated from their families through no fault of their own. Many went to college, received their driver’s licenses, and were afforded opportunities “beyond low-wage jobs where no official paperwork is filled,” according to The Washington PostAs we are discussing 800,000 people, these examples only touch the surface.

Are there other solutions in the works?
House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement, in which he addressed the need for a “permanent legislative solution that includes ensuring that those who have done nothing wrong can still contribute as a valued part of this great country.” He indicates that DACA was never meant as a long-term solution to the problem of citizenship status for childhood arrivals.

Is it time to speak up?
While it’s great to hear about the hope of a long-term solution, the fact remains that there are still 800,000 people who arrived in the United States as children, without any knowledge of their citizenship status. Their situation is not, nor has it ever been, their collective fault. And as such, the need to speak up in their defense remains. There’s a reason why we have multiple branches of government, and that’s for the purposes of checks and balances. DACA, and the the establishment of a long-term solution, are not only in the hands of Trump and Sessions — they have to go though Congress. Congress has six months to, as they say, figure it out. And while new applications were stopped, there are still six months to call your Congressman. Tell your elected officials that 800,000 people deserve a chance — whether that chance comes in the form of DACA, or in the form of a new legislative solution.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

Photo courtesy of Joe Frazier (Latinx Rally – Defend DACA!) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

When Tragedy Unites Our Country: How Hurricane Harvey is Bringing Us Together

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Current Events/Politics

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard about Hurricane Harvey making its first landfall in Texas on August 25, 2017.

Weather experts knew it was coming. As with hurricanes and super storms we’ve seen in the past (Sandy, Andrew, and most notably, Katrina), no amount of preparation could have prepared residents, first responders, and area officials for what was to come. Harvey, unfortunately, was no different.

Harvey is being touted as the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history, estimating over $160 billion worth of damages to the Greater Houston area. Over 30 deaths related to Harvey were reported as of August 30, 2017. And many survivors have been displaced from their homes, and won’t have a home to return to, once allowed to return to their respective neighborhoods.

It’s a natural disaster. A tragedy — multiple tragedies, in fact. It’s one of those tragedies that cannot be controlled (which is part of why tragedies that can be controlled are as anger-invoking as they are). It allows us to think about our freedoms, and how lucky we truly are to have homes to go home to, when they can be so easily taken away from us.

And hopefully, we are smart enough to not react like this every time there’s a new report from Texas…

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Fortunately, Coulter’s tweet is one in a sea of more positive reactions, including this from Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

And, both celebrities, as well as Texas-based companies, are organizing donation relief efforts, as well as offering shelter.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

As further proof that Harvey is bringing people together rather than diving them, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has deployed aid to Texas, even after Texas did not provide the same aid to New York in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy. Cuomo’s decision shows that in the midst of tragedy, we need to come together — instead of repeating the actions of past tragedies. Rather, we need to set a new precedent.

We’re witnessing many more examples, showcasing the precedent of coming together. A group of police officers risked their lives to save a toddler from drowning in a flood. Volunteers — outside of law enforcement and EMS — took matters into their own hands by making rescue runs, saving people trapped in flooded houses. Neighbors helped each other out in further rescue efforts, by any means necessary — including monster trucks and canoes. News reporters are putting down their microphones, and assisting in rescue efforts.

In a time when our country has reached such a state of division and political unrest, it is unfortunate that it takes a tragedy to show what it takes to come together. However, the fact still remains that with the exception of a few outlying tweeters, we still know how to support each other in times of need. We still remember how, as a country, to recognize who needs help, and why it’s needed.

Millennials, be part of this coming together. We are the compassionate generation, the generation raising our voices, the generation that takes action. If you’re not sure how to help, NPR offers a great list of resources that can be found here.

Remember that even if Harvey’s affects aren’t being felt in your neighborhood, you can still make an impact. To be grateful for what you have. To still have faith in the United States of America and its people. And to witness people coming together.