In 1945, the Axis Powers surrendered, and the Nazi party lost official political power in Germany. Yet, 72 years later, the Nazi banner was waved proudly by white supremacists marching through Charlottesville, Va. The riots that erupted between these white supremacists and counter-protesters would become yet another battle over which direction America will go in the next age. So what role will the up-and-coming generation play in determining our future?
My peers and I are growing up in a world where social media is a major factor when receiving news, so the instant updates on major scenarios mean that in the flurry of words, it is often hard to analyze one specific situation. Yet, if there was one part of Charlottesville that gained particular traction with my generation, it would be the fight between the white supremacists and the internet.
The social media platform Twitter became the battleground, as people with Twitter accounts analyzed the photos of supremacists in Charlottesville and exposed them online – causing others to harshly criticize these protesters directly. While some supported the accounts, claiming that if the protesters did not want their information shared, they should not have participated in the riots, others criticized how they made people vulnerable to attack simply for sharing their opinion.
However, what is so notable about these events is that they offered teenagers the ability to truly have a say in what was going on. Oftentimes, the viewpoints of youth are disregarded in favor of those of adults. Yet, when people of all ages are able to access Twitter, they can directly share their thoughts with all of those on the platform. This means that if you feel as if there is a reason to speak out, you have the means to do so.
Now, because of the endless possibilities of having the internet on our side, we have learned how to properly utilize this great tool. Although it is true we often use it for more frivolous forms of entertainment, the power of being connected to virtually the entire world cannot go unused. We have the ability to make a difference at our very fingertips, and if all of us are responsible, and do our best to cause the least harm, we can force the world to listen to what we have to say.
There is no longer an excuse to be silent.
Downers Grove resident Katherine Gross is a junior at Downers Grove North High School. She is passionate about journalism and hopes to go into political journalism in the future. In the meantime, she enjoys playing sports, spending time with her friends and family, and traveling.