Your Views: Protests are a millennial moment

Your Views: Protests are a millennial moment
(Photo/Cody Mello-Klein)

To the editor:

Protests across the United States should be seen as more than just demonstrations against overly aggressive policing, but also of millennial push-back against one of the baby boomers’ singular achievements – the drastic crime reduction of the past two decades pursuant to implementation of the “Broken Windows Theory” whose originators and supporters are primarily baby boomers.

The places which have taken past protests to heart and changed to less assertive methods of policing, such as Baltimore, have seen homicides rise.

Unlike in past incidents of overly aggressive policing where the subject died, Minneapolis’ mayor immediately fired four police officers – no dithering waiting for investigation results or disciplinary hearings – and prosecutors brought homicide charges against the officer who suffocated the subject.

There is no compelling justification for the protesting and rioting we are seeing, unless there were some ulterior agenda such as millennials trying to overthrow baby boomer dominance of the levers of civic power. That long-standing artworks have been vandalized, fear of which led to the Appomattox Statue having to be removed to protect it, clearly suggests these millennial protestors are targeting society’s foundations.

City hall’s comments on the statue’s removal are appalling non sequiturs: “We still have a lot of work to do to ensure all of Alexandria’s history is told,” Mayor Justin Wilson opined. “Why aren’t we telling the real truth about the history of Alexandria?” Councilor John Chapman asked.

The answer is that, while spending a quarter of a billion dollars for a new Metro station that developers want, city council has not appropriated funds to tell our history during all the time these two have served on it: City hall waited until Gov. Ralph Northam (D-VA) gave it a grant to reimburse the cost of buying the Freedom House from the Urban League; the Freedmen and Contrabands Cemetery was paid for by impact funds from the Woodrow Wilson Bridge construction.

Does city hall think that it is meaningfully supporting these examples of “ensur(ing) all of Alexandria’s history is told” because it mows the cemetery’s lawn?

How does removing a statue, noted for its artistic excellence, portraying an event in our history and commemorating those who died during their service, not tell our history? How is it not “the real truth” as if the names inscribed into the pedestal were not real persons? How does telling less of our history by removing a statue move us toward assuring all of Alexandria’s history is told?

We should worry where this all will lead.

-Dino Drudi, Alexandria