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We, Us, Together

Jayden D'Onofrio - Teen Aspect - June 26th, 2022
Protest in NYC against the recent Supreme Court ruling, Jamie Kelter Davis for The New York Times

I am a male. I am an American. I am also an appalled citizen that believes it is fundamentally antithetical to the supposed basis of American freedoms that six judges, five of whom are males, can decide to strip away sacred rights to 168 million women across the nation.

Such abhorrent decisions are the very fabric that is necessary to set a country into complete and utter chaos. This is a decision that has been rooted into decades of sexism and racism.

It proposes a direct and irresponsible step towards an attempted eradication of American rights, specifically those that have been so heavily fought for in the centuries following the beginning of the great American democratic experiment in 1787, the date of the founding of the Constitution.

As of June 24th, 2022, the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has collectively garnered America to take one large step forward towards the path of widespread infighting on the basis of rights for the LGBT+ community, citizens involved in interracial marriages, and the most basic fundamental American’s right to privacy.

This system that has been employed in the United States for centuries has not failed.

It cannot fail.

It is impossible for the system to fail itself if it was never meant to represent the citizens anyways.

It took 133 years since the establishment of the constitution for women to be granted voting rights.

76 years for slavery to be abolished.

178 years for Black Americans to procure their full rights. Or just 57 years ago from today’s time, an age that represents close to many of our readers’ parents.

Even for decades after the establishment of the Constitution, Whites discriminated amongst themselves, illustrated by the fact that only White male property owners were legally allowed to vote for their governmental representation, a decision that left the vast majority of White Americans in the dust.

For a nation that is supposed to represent equality, America has consistently showcased itself as one of history’s greatest contradictions. The latest ruling by the Supreme Court once more upholds such a statement, much to the disapproval of some of our nation’s greatest overseas allies.

Our nation requires an urgent revitalization of youth progressivism. For all too long, we as Americans have been represented by our society’s oldest and most conservative citizens. The results of such representation have exemplified itself constantly throughout American history. Even in just my short life there have been experiences that have shaped my upbringing and made me realize the importance of youth voices.

Much like the rest of my gen. Z peers, I have experienced a 2008 financial crisis, a crisis that was so devastating and striking that it nearly propelled the beginning of my life into a status of outright homelessness.

I have experienced a pandemic that killed over half a million of my fellow citizens, all while being ignored by our nation’s eldest leaders.

I have experienced our nation during some of the heaviest societal turmoil it has seen since the 1960’s, thanks to the rampant racism that debuted once more in the supposed ‘equal’ United States.

I have experienced the President of the United States try to overthrow a democratically chosen President-elect, an event that has failed to occur in the entirety of the country’s 235-year lifespan.

This has all occurred in my short 17-year life, similar to the rest of my peers in gen. Z. Each generation has their moment that they will always be remembered by, for Millennials it was 9/11. For my generation, the overturning of Roe v. Wade is just the latest addition to the mounting historic, yet tragic events we could be represented by.

June 24th, 2022, has marked one of the few times in American history that the Supreme Court stripped away a constitutional right from its citizens. Put simply, it was a devastating day for Americans everywhere as it sets a precedent that any right is available to be rolled back. Fantastically rare in American history, the relinquishment of American women’s rights to reproductive choices ushers in the reality that our system is founded off the very basis of oppressing citizens who do not represent a white male life.

As we debate, protest, and propel youthful representation into statuses of power to create the vital changes this country’s survival is so reliant on, I wish to leave you with this quote from Thomas Paine, an American founding father and progressive patriot:

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace”

We will adapt, we will overcome, and we will win. Not just for ourselves, but for our future children, grandchildren, and fellow patriots that deserve the best of humanity. If we fail, we will witness the ashes of a shattered nation fall to our feet. It all starts with you. Will you be the change?

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