Boomers Sold Out

Multiple letters to EW lately support Matthew Johnson’s letter (Letters 5/27), explaining how the anti-war movement ended the Vietnam War. I agree. This topic generated letters because it struck a nerve with Baby Boomers. I’m going to strike that nerve again, but differently.

Boomers, what happened when the war ended? I’ll tell you. You got yours. You finished your college degrees, got good jobs and bought homes in segregated neighborhoods. You had kids who went to segregated schools. You recreated in segregated spaces. Oh, they weren’t overtly designated as segregated, but they were — due to racist laws, policies and covenants.

You put your kids through college. Many of you enjoy a comfortable retirement from those good jobs. Some of you landed so well that you’ve bought homes for your kids and grandkids, or at least gave them noteworthy house down payments.

Your activism did not enter your board rooms, involvement with your kids’ schools or neighborhood barbeques. You didn’t question why your community, occupation, or kid’s school were so white. True, some of you continued the fight. But generally speaking, white Baby Boomers sold out.

You could have made significant changes in the fabric of our society. You could have turned your energy to fighting racism and creating equitable housing and hiring practices. Instead, you settled into your whiteness. You had the numbers and the economic power, but your activism died on the vine. 

Pity. We could’ve had a better country. 

Alex Li