A few years ago while flipping TV channels I came across a rap song, “Youth of a Nation” by a group called P.O.D. It really grabbed me, mostly because of its guitar work, a stern, steely echo. I was intrigued by its refrain: “We are we are, the youth of a nation”.
At the time, I didn’t seek out the song. Busy with other online things, I guess. But it crossed my memory again yesterday and I looked it up on YouTube.
Wow. This time I listened to all the lyrics. This time it was quite an emotional experience, as I listened to vignettes of urban tragedy. The lead verse assumes the character of a young man killed in a drive-by. “Instead of taking the test, I took two in the chest.”
Later lyrics described the plight of a young girl who made wrong choices about men, and a sky kid who commits suicide.
So many wasted young lives, in our gun-worshipping nation. So many children told they are no good unless they emulate promiscuity. So many youth who won’t find the good jobs their forebears had.
My childhood was no bed of roses, but I never had to worry about classmates with guns, or drug dealers in elementary schools.
Today the pundits are talking of the government shutdown. When will we talk about a joy shutdown of an entire generation?