Clap back from a ‘lazy’, ‘entitled’ Millenial.

I’ve heard it all about generation ‘Y’. We’re lazy, entitled, narcissistic and selfish. Our older employers and employees seem to find some sort of self gratification in expressing their negative thoughts on the terrible, sometimes terrifying ‘state’ of Millennials. It’s laughable to me.

I remember watching the now infamous Simon Sinek interview earlier this year. I watched in amazement as he broke down why he more or less feels Millennials are doomed. It was like a presidential campaign interview where the candidate was against 27 year old Snap Chat founder and college dropout, Evan Spiegal.

One thing Simon mentioned that stood out for me was that he believed ‘a whole generation [are] going through life not finding joy’, and he blamed this on Millennials inability to have patience. I wonder where Evan would be if he just patiently completed his degree? Hmmm?

Well to put quite simple, in this day and age as a Millennial, what exactly do you gain from patience in your career? I can only talk from a London perspective – NOTHING.

Millennials, can not afford (and I mean this in the literal and figurative sense) to be patient when it comes to their careers. It’s a classic case of the privileged being blind to the limitations of those outside their group.

For a start, we apologise that we were not fortunate enough to attend university at a time when education was an entitlement rather than a privilege.

We apologise that after spending a fortune in further education we expect some sort of return in investment.

We apologise that after racking up 10s of 1000s in debt, we simply expect that within a few years we’d have an annual income that was maybe more than our student loan.

We apologise that whilst you Gen X and Baby Boomers were comfortably purchasing homes at the age of 21, we entitled Millennials were and are barely think of purchasing a new mattress to live comfortably in our shared rented apartment of 5 at 29.

We apologise that whilst in your twenties you were happily thinking about settling down; possibly marriage and a family simply because life offered you that option, we selfish Millennials can’t even settle ourselves let alone consider the option of familyhood – so why not self indulge huh?

We apologise that due to this increase in living costs, we are simply desperate to move up the ladder so we can make enough money to even consider climbing the property ladder. It’s not about patience Simon, it’s about desperation.

We apologise that whilst you grew up in the age of major corporations running the show, we Millennials have been shown more ways to become a millionaire, billionaire or straight up ‘in-the-aire’ with our innovative enterprises  and contributions to society. Yes, our role models are the start up kings and Queens, as opposed to the CEO’s and MD’s who push out pay checks, without paying a check-in visit once in a while.

We apologise that the bubble has POPPED! And suddenly, with the information age, we Millennials have discovered our worth, we are flooded with insights into our spirituality and wellbeing, we are motivated, we are encouraged, we are AWAKE!

Politicians will continue to increase tuition fees. Cost of living will continue to rise at record speed. No the dodgy banks will not be penalised and the Elite will continue to be handed the silver-spoon. So why would we wait our turn, why would we slow our roll, why would we not ask for a raise, why would we sit patiently whilst the entitled decide our destiny? No – Millennials continue move, continue to run and most importantly, don’t slow down.

On your marks, get set, GO! – The Millennials are on a race to the top!

 

 

 

Being ‘Black’ is an Occupation

Black OccupationOne day I woke up and a thought came to my head – am I obsessed with race. It seemed that since entering the real world, as in; real work, real bills, real problems, conversations of race seemed to be at the tip of my tongue. I couldn’t and still can’t seem to escape this topic -or correction – this topic can’t seem to escape me.

I remember being in primary junior school and always thinking of myself as someone who doesn’t see colour. I’d say to myself, the reason I only have black friends is more cultural than to do with race (I’m talking like year 6, 11 years old…yes I was critically thinking from early). The idea of covert racism was so far detached from my conscience. It was great! Just the thought is making me smile…

Then I was excepted into a Catholic convent school, and I believe this is where my mind began its slow transition. From finding out that Afro-puffs where forbidden to receiving harsher punishments than our white counterparts, I began to see the true structure of the world; and at the same time, I began to rebel. I would make indirect suggestions that teachers were racist, that our head teacher was racist, the schools system was racist, some of our classmates were racist….I was growing in anger  against what I saw as blatant covert racist culture.

Then I had my first major lesson on micro aggression. Oh the beautiful art of micro aggression. The phenomena that allows individuals to get away with their ignorance. I began 6th form at my school (I couldn’t be arsed to start another college and learn the system again). These were the  Years of Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). For the benefit of the generation below me, this is where the government would pay around £30 a week to individuals as they believed students from ‘low income families’ were not continuing further education due to the financial burden of it.  I had a lovely teacher (no sarcasm, she was great) who made the assumption that I must be receiving EMA. She actually said ‘ you must be qualified, it’s only your mum!’ Let me translate ‘ of course you need help from the government, your mum’s single and black so can’t possibly be earning over x amount to pass the threshold’. Now I was desperate to earn my way through education with EMA (that’s 120 a month mate!), but I couldn’t help but feel a sting of annoyance, just a sting as that’s what micro aggression does to you, it stings.

Eventually, I would make the exciting step of applying for university and writing my personal statement. Here I learnt the joys of feeding into the saviour complex. Here I learnt one of the best ways to work your way up in the system as an African Caribbean, (other than working five times as hard – I just couldn’t, I just haven’t got the mental capacity to work that hard) was to subtly beg for a chance. Beg for a chance to be saved from the harsh realities of being Black. Humph. I learnt this when my form teacher read my personal statement and felt that I had not emphasised my single parent household. My not knowing my dad as he passed away when I was a baby, my being raised in Tottenham where unemployment and higher education was x amount (I actually included those stats) and of course she couldn’t forget my race – I included that my mum immigrated from Nigeria which of course gives the implication that I am brown skinned. I remember not understanding at the time why all this information was important. I mean, I was my form rep, captain of the basketball team and a good academic. I wondered if my white counterparts had this ‘sob story’.

By the time I was 18, I thought I’d experienced what covert racism was all about, and I was already drained. But then I entered the big bad real world. Not only covert racism, but psychologically brain f*%#ing racism.

And this is were I started to review my outlook on race and life itself.

I became fascinated with the psychology of racism and classism, as I believe both a intertwined. And whilst exploring this new interest, I found that most of my African Caribbean counter-parts where experiencing the same revelations!

This led to me creating this blog. As it isn’t just a race for black millennials, our race plays a significant part in us fulfilling our destiny. It is often a higher hurdle for us to jump, but at times, it also can be the barrier that allows us to discover and create new routes, new doors and extraordinary mindsets.

I will explore micro aggression in my next post, but for now, what has been your worst experience of micro aggression so far?