In response to the Monday letter to the editor from O.T. Neal which lambasted millennials as an enemy of the United States:
The author castigated millennials for forsaking capitalism, living by social media and generally being ignorant and arrogant. He also made the strange claim that “I don’t know what they really want.”
As one of those vile, shiftless millennials, perhaps I might offer some light on the matter: What we want is to stop being insulted.
Isn’t it strange that we subversive, un-American millennials make up more than 50 percent of this country’s armed forces, fighting and dying in wars even though many of us are too young to remember when these conflicts started?
Many of us have friends who have made the ultimate sacrifice, only to have their memories spat on by people who paint all millennials as somehow lazy and self-centered.
Yes, millennials are taking a serious look at alternatives to capitalism, but why shouldn’t we? All our lives we were fed the idea that we would be rewarded for our efforts. We worked hard to earn good grades, get into good schools — and what did we get? Anchored in debt in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression — a crisis which we had no hand in creating.
I can’t count the number of my peers working multiple jobs for menial pay, barely making enough to scrape by. Why should we care for an economy that doesn’t reward honest work?
Was it millennials who ravaged the environment? Was it millennials who sold our right to privacy for a false-sense of security? Certainly our media is flooded with mindless garbage, but when was the last time you saw a millennial TV executive?
Our parents were supposed to create a better world for their children — what we got instead was Mad Max. But I could bear that, I really could. Life’s not fair and nobody’s learned that better than my generation. But what I cannot stand is to have to deal with all this and be declared an enemy — an enemy! — by the very people whose mess we have to clean up.
Of course this generation has its faults, but maybe people who live in foreclosed glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Is that really too much to ask?
In response to your recent wire service story on Kenya burning ivory tusks to discourage poaching:
In 1969, I began hunting in Kenya and continued to hunt there again in 1970, 1974 and 1977. Upon arrival at home after the last trip, a telegram awaited me stating that all hunting had ceased in Kenya.
In 1970, a front-page story appeared in the Nairobi paper about a poaching ring discovered after a truck had been confiscated with more than 200 ivory tusks. There were no prosecutions because the wife of then-President Jomo Kenyatta was allegedly at the helm of the poaching operation.
When I arrived at the hunting area ranger station, there were 12 rangers present. I asked why they weren’t out on patrol. They had only one bicycle and it had a flat tire. The weapons rack had an adequate supply of guns but no ammunition.
Instead of burning the ivory, it makes more sense to sell it in a legal, controlled government-supervised sale and dedicate the proceeds to purchasing helicopters, drones and vehicles along with trained divisions of guards to protect the elephants. The money would do infinitely more to save elephants than an ash heap.
The burning of the ivory is nothing more than a “feel-good” operation by anti-hunting groups and corrupt politicians whose pockets are lined by naïve Americans who fund most of these operations.
Sport hunting has never caused the demise of any game bird or animal. Whether it be Kenya or the United States, the problem is corrupt people in high positions who are not prosecuted for their illegal activities.