Greta Thunberg's Speech Has Shown The Continued Normalization of Hateful Rhetoric Towards Teens
Updated: Sep 27, 2019
It is a sad day when ignorant adults attack well-educated teens who are only trying to inform and help the societies around them.
I wrote an article in August of 2019 titled, "The Trump Era Has Turned A Lot of Evangelicals Into Fighters", and although this post is not exactly about evangelicals, the notion still stands.
People are growing more aggressive, more angry, and more spiteful towards the world around them.
Greta Thunberg, a teenage environmental activist from Sweden, has been in the headlines recently for her impassioned speech at the recent UN Climate Action Summit that inspired millions and has really placed a spotlight on the need to better care for our planet.
However, she is being railed by certain groups in ugly ways. These same groups not only allow for such vitriolic and verbally abusive behavior, they actually encourage it.
Although Greta Thunberg has been open and honest about her mental illness, Asperger's Syndrome, that has not blocked these same groups from using that against her, claiming she is not fit to lead, speak, or inspire. They strangely believe that her mental illness is clouding her judgment, and that other groups are manipulating her and controlling her like a puppet.
At 16-years-old, Greta faces a wave of hardship from an unfortunately normalized political climate that accepts it as okay to verbally abuse a teenager. A mentally ill teenager.
This is not the first time that these groups have attacked teenagers, though.
David Hogg, an American gun control activist and survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February 2018, has been similarly ridiculed, insulted, and verbally abused. Although David is incredibly well-spoken, attackers claimed he was also a puppet, he did not know what he was talking about, and he was "a special kind of stupid", according to Republican activist, Virginia Thomas.
David has no blaring attributes to easily poke fun at, so the simple and nasty rhetoric is to go after his intelligence. From 18-years-old, he has faced endless backlash and a mountain of hateful diatribes, and it does not seem to be slowing down.
Another survivor from the Parkland shooting, Emma González, has also become a strong advocate for better gun control alongside classmate and friend, David Hogg.
Emma has faced all kinds of horrific verbal attacks, especially after she proclaimed "We call B.S." on politicians who are heavily supported by the NRA not taking action on the issue at hand.
During the initial period of protests, Emma shaved her head. This had nothing to do with any protests, as it was simply a personal choice and a means of combating the unbearably humid weather and heat in Florida. That did not stop certain groups from making fun of her image and stating all kinds of false claims, like it was done in protest or for women's rights.
Even her sexuality has been used against her. Instead of this being a private matter, these same groups used her bisexuality as fuel for their hate speech. Leslie Gibson, a Maine House of Representatives candidate, openly said on Twitter, "There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you're frothing at the mouth moonbat," referring to Emma.
Like David Hogg, Emma has been facing such nastiness from 18-years-old. This is the new norm, where certain adults find it perfectly fine to ridicule and verbally attack teenagers for taking a stand and aspiring for a brighter future.
These groups need to realize that kids and teenagers are not slowing down any time soon. Quite the contrary, the movement is getting stronger and stronger every day, and new events, protests, and rallies are happening all over the world led by a new generation of leaders dreaming for a better place to live.
There is a lot to be learned from such an ambitious generation. When I was a teenager, I did not care in the slightest what was happening around me. I did not care about the environment, I did not care about politics, and I did not care about making my stamp on the world.
This was a major problem with previous generations, and it is precisely why we are where we are currently. This new generation sees the potential for something great, and they are eagerly fighting to do something about it.
But the difference is that these teens are fighting for something. These other groups? They are fighting against someone. Even if that someone is not even young enough to vote.
We should not and can not stand for such bullying against this next generation. These teenagers are doing more for our country now than most of the adults of the previous generations, and that sort of behavior should be commended, not condemned.
Maybe it is high time we listen to these wonderful kids, because I am truly inspired by them, and I am excited that my children have the chance to look up to visionaries and activists who are taking a stand at such a young age.
It is time to quit the vitriol and honor a group of youth that are making a difference. When it is all said and done, what side of history would you like to be standing on?