Sunday, September 19, 2021

Today’s Young Civil Rights Protesters/Activists Closed to Input from Older Generation

protesters in atlanta
Today’s protesters/activists are not relating to the messages and tactics of their predecessors

*When it comes to civil rights and standing up to police abuse, young and (literally) old protesters are NOT on the same page. That was never clearer than in a report from

the Los Angeles Times about the subject.

The Times’ story started by noting that as waves of protesters recently gathered in Atlanta night after night to condemn the fatal police shootings of African American men, civil rights veteran Andrew Young stepped in to provide some encouragement – not to activists, but to police officers.

“Those are some unlovable little brats out there,” the 84-year-old former Atlanta mayor and U.S. ambassador said of protesters at a recent pep talk at a police precinct. “They’re showing off. And not even with a clear message.”

The Times’ story continued …

Though he later apologized, Young’s remarks underscored the widening generational divide in the social justice fight.

Here, in the hometown of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a younger corps of activists is running up against stalwarts of the civil rights era. Elders have chided millennials for their attitudes, tactics and lack of concrete demands.

andrew young - mlk and others
Andrew Young, left, arms crossed, with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other 1960s civil rights activists in Selma, Ala. Young would go on to be mayor of Atlanta and a U.S. ambassador. (AP photo)

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who was beaten by Alabama state troopers on the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, drew heat when he tweeted: “I was beaten bloody by police officers. But I never hated them. I said, ‘Thank you for your service.’”

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed also lectured protesters, invoking King as he urged the activists not to block the highway. “Dr. King would never take a freeway,” Reed told reporters.

Younger activists have reacted with defiance, saying they no longer look to the old guard for leadership or inspiration.

Get the rest of this article at LA Times.

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