Truth Hurts

Perhaps I should feel complimented that Annie Kayner thinks I’m decades younger in her “OK Millennials” reply (EW 6/24) to my “Boomers Sold Out” letter (6/17). But, in fact, I’m a Baby Boomer. I’m not reinventing history. I was there, and I stand by my observations.

Kayner totally missed my point by pivoting to statistics of soldiers killed in Vietnam. I was talking about white Boomers who prospered economically in the years following that war — many who never even saw Day 1 in boot camp.

I witnessed masses of white Boomers thrive in the post-war economy, while my Black friends and buddies-of-color continued to struggle. Racial inequality permeated our culture and could’ve been addressed by those white up-and-coming, high-spirited, politically-aware individuals. I didn’t say that ALL white Boomers stopped pushing. But for the most part, that generation settled comfortably into their whiteness, while ignoring homegrown American Apartheid. 

My Black friends were not surprised when that hate-spewing abomination was elected president in 2016. Why? Because they experience racist systems every day. But freaked out white Boomers were mystified as to “How could this happen!!!???” I sat in gatherings with white Boomers who figured something should be done. To a person, every one of them waxed poetic about their last activism involvement — 50 years prior, protesting the Vietnam War. 

That’s how 2016 happened! You went to sleep! Fifty years and two generations squandered. That’s what I meant when I said, “We could’ve had a better country.”

Alex Li