Younger Generation to Define “American”

By Dom Apollon Sep 11, 2008

I haven’t bought a copy of TIME – the weekly news magazine of choice in my parents’ household throughout my 1980s’ upbringing – for probably fifteen years. The fury I felt at the revelation of their deliberate darkening of O.J. Simpson’s mugshot in the summer of ’94 – well before his trial even got started – has yet to subside in any significant fashion. Still, I don’t have any qualms passing along this great piece from Joe Klein that discusses the "mythic power" that the GOP’s "small-town America" message has for the millions of white Americans who are consciously or unconsciously nostalgic for a racially homogeneous past. Sarah Palin is just the latest iteration of that, he argues. Klein is also correct to point out the generational divide that exists in "a country that is struggling to be born – a multiracial country whose greatest cultural and economic strength is in its diversity." The question on my mind is: How soon and how hard will the younger, multiracial generations fight to redefine what it means to be an "average American"?