“Kill Your Parents” was a rallying cry of 1960’s America. We were embroiled in an unpopular war in Vietnam, the world was fighting to change with hope-through-force, and the liberal campus of Columbia University in the City of New York was embroiled in one of it’s worse moments in its history during the Spring of 1968.
On April 23, several hundred students gathered at the sundial on the Columbia campus to protest the war and the gym led by the Student Afro-American Society (SAS) and Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Some went to Morningside Park, where they tore down a fence around the gymnasium construction site and battled with police. Then they and other protesters marched into Hamilton Hall, Columbia’s main undergraduate classroom building, occupied its lobby, and prevented the dean of the college from leaving his office. By morning, African American students continued to occupy Hamilton, while other Columbia and Barnard students, mostly white, took over President Grayson Kirk’s office in Low Library. Soon student protesters took over three other buildings—Fayerweather, Mathematics, and Avery.
For six days, while demonstrations for and against the occupation roiled the campus, faculty members attempted to mediate. But to no avail. The stumbling block: a demand for amnesty for the protesters that the administration was unwilling to accept. In the early morning hours of April 30, Kirk summoned the New York City police, who entered the occupied buildings, beat many of the demonstrators, as well as bystanders and faculty members, and arrested more than 700. The building occupation was over, but the outrage was just starting to build. Thousands of students and faculty, many radicalized by the police action, went on strike, effectively shutting down the university for the rest of the semester.
The “Kill Your Parents” movement was not limited to just the Columbia University campus. That yelled oath to action was intended for one, lesser, unproven, generation to go to war against a sage and war-wizened, other.
One generation was sending the other into the fields of a deadly, unwinnable, war — and those elders were conflating the American World War II win against the hoped-against ineptitude of trying to save face in the Southeast Asian corridor.
Today, you may be taken aback by a shared, shouted, order to — “Kill Your Parents!” — but that ideology and activism was necessary, strong, and hardy in 1968 — that want to kill those ahead of you is what makes today’s Millennials so incredibly fascinating, because that death conflation against those who bore you has been reinflated and contaminated by reverse osmosis of expectation with the Millennials.
The “Kill Your Parents” generation were born in protest and unearthed in defeat. They weren’t the generation that saved the world. They were the generation who lost Vietnam — by utter and absolute choice! They found pride in the anti-American Way, and they did not need a white picket fence and home ownership to define their vision of the American Dream.
Those 1960’s protesters eventually won their wont and ended the war in Vietnam, and they settled down a bit and begrudgingly started families.
The “Kill Your Parents” generation became parents and vowed to play a hands-off role in raising their children, and to make them tough and independent and to make sure they were out of the house, socially radicalized, and self-assured, and on their own in the world, at the earliest possible age: 18 was the age of majority in many States and one could sign a legally binding contract for an apartment.
Those children who were kicked out of their parent’s homes in the 80’s by their “Kill Your Parents” parents, of course, turned against their 60’s parents and their upbringing — harboring resentment for a cold-shoulder parenting style intended to build character while crushing self-esteem — and those children of Kill Your Parents turned 180 degrees away from their lives and instead became pseudo-militarized as Militia Mommies and Helicopter Parents! The new war became one against THEIR parents as they brought up their children with overprotective love, overindulgent gifting and co-childhood/co-parenting behavior that created total over-involvement with their pre-weening kids: The Millennials!
Here’s the USA generational chain breakdown over the last century:
Saved the World -> Kill Your Parents -> Kicked Out of the House/New Militia -> Millennials
These New Rude Millennials are now over-saturating our everyday lives and workforce with careless indiscretion, self-indecision and too much self-esteem with too little work, and have become the stunning punctuation point against the Kill Your Parents generation — the grandparents of the Millennials — and this new Millennial generation never leaves the house, and their parents are their best friends, and they don’t want to kill anybody, they just want to text to their friends and post visual evidence of the indiscretions of their lives on Instagram.
They have no job, no money, no future, but they owe a boatload of money to the government for their student loans. The New Millennials are the new indentured slaves, beholden not to their parents or friends or eventual children — but to the very Federalized military industrial complex that their grandparents fought so hard against to defeat on university campuses across the nation.