Letters to the Editor, Mar. 7

How do you judge a generation?

Re: “Book by resident defends his ‘millennial’ generation,” T&V, Feb. 28

Firstly, I commend Mr. David Burstein for his interesting and insightful newly published book, Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World. In it he defends the age group he is part of from the many critical comments which have been offered about his 20-something crowd.

Let me add that as an attendee of NYU’s Gallatin School – I have met and heard quite positive comments from many of my students at Baruch College/CUNY that I recommended them to attend this division of NYU.

No individual can represent a group. Past is prologue – so we must know history. Knowledge is power and well-intentioned plans often have unintended negative consequences.

I can compare today’s young people with my peers when I attended Queens College during the 1960s and due to my 30 or so years teaching at Baruch (both CUNY colleges).

During my attending Queens: the fight for black civil rights – especially voting rights was in full gear; in fact a classmate of mine, Andrew Goodwin was killed in Mississippi by the KKK.

Then there was the present incarnation of the feminist movement.

In my days the double standard viv-a-vis sexual behavior was prevalent. Males would obtain prestige the more women they “had” – but, when it came to marriage they wanted a virgin. A conundrum for young women.

Then, the anti-Vietnam War movement, which Nixon cynically manipulated by ending the draft and going to our present volunteer military.

All CUNY senior colleges demanded 90+ HS GPA or superior SAT scores. CUNY was considered as the Harvard for the proletariat. The students were well prepared and interested. Then in the 1970s under political pressure “open-enrollment” was begun and CUNY senior colleges have downgraded their standards ever since.

Then the New York City public school worked (with mostly inferior teachers).

The unintended consequences:

You are far from a representative sample of your age group. You think with consideration… And not only talk the talk… You obviously walk the walk…

From my experience at Baruch, grade inflation is rampant; so is the lack of intellectual curiosity – most attend because it is simply the next step and they want to get the sheepskin (now made of paper) and to please their parents and make (they think) more money. Materialism reigns now more than ever.

The civil rights movement is being replaced by a class paradigm problem and rightly so. And the 1954 Supreme Court desegregation decision has been replaced by pockets of female dominated dysfunctional families imbedded in dysfunctional communities, which no longer work. (It’s not the teachers.)

The sexual revolution has hurt women in many ways: many guys think that “if milk is free, why buy the cow?” Marriage among both genders (if at all) occurs at about five years later than before.

And, celebrities have replaced religious leaders as models for single parenthood. Many women cannot find acceptable males who are willing to make a commitment.

Nixon’s volunteer military takes the poor, minorities and patriotic and aggressive as the rest of the country is told to go shop.

Education on all levels has deteriorated from K through graduate school.

I said that knowledge is power, how important history is and alluded to intellectual curiosity…

It is the fault of the previous generations who have not given (most) “millennials” the tools, which are necessary to build a better and stronger nation. One more comment (and, I don’t mean to be patronizing): – the only constant in life is change.

David Chowes, PCV

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