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Are Millennials Starting to View America Differently?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GSU chapter.

Throughout the years, America has been challenging what we are suppose to believe in. We were taught that the United States of America is the land of the free and every person in the U.S is treated with equality. But do Americans still think the same way?


We’ve seen controversy protests with Black Lives Matter and the Take A Knee protest challenge the beliefs of America and the American government.


The millennial generation especially challenges the beliefs we were taught. I have witnessed students my age resist the many ideas that we’ve grown to learn either in school, from our families or simply the community around us.


Recently, many people celebrated Indigenous People Day, which is a day that challenges the traditional beliefs of America’s founding. By purpose this day is celebrated on Oct. 9, which is also the same day as Columbus Day.


Indigenous People’s Day was celebrated by many people through parades and highly trafficked social media posts. This day is reserved to celebrate the native people that were here in the United States prior to Columbus’ abrupt arrival. Many people believe that indigenous people deserve the credit for being in America first because Christopher Columbus did not discover the United States. According to a History.com article, “Though he [Columbus] did not “discover the New World – millions of people were already living there- his journeys marked the beginning of centuries of transatlantic conquest and colonization.”


Cities such as Austin, Texas and Los Angeles abolished Columbus Day and replaced the second Monday of October as Indigenous People’s Day.


The initiative to change Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day within the entire United States has opened a wide range of debate for many Americans, but it also shows that America’s beliefs are changing as years go by.


The reason why many Americans celebrated Columbus Day for the past years was because that is what we were taught in school. We were taught “in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” and that phrase stuck with us for a long time. As technology and more information became available, many people started to challenge this belief that we’ve become so acquainted with.


Questioning the belief of Columbus Day is not the only belief that many people have thought to challenge. The upcoming generations are starting to challenge the common beliefs of religion, sexuality, and equality. It is ever present that younger Americans do not want to live with the same beliefs that they grew up learning because most of the information we know is misinformed and learned behavior. The change from Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day is just the beginning of what younger generations want to change about America. As more research becomes available, generations are going to question the idea of what we are taught for sure.

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Courtney Jackson is a student at Georgia State University, where she is studying journalism with a concentration in public relations and a minor in Spanish. Jackson is currently a staff reporter for HerCampus online magazine, and she was formerly a staff reporter for Georgia State’s newspaper, The Signal. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. Her goal is to find an internship that will allow her to utilize skills that she will need in her print journalism career. When she isn’t busy studying or writing stories, she loves to go to fashion events and watch Scandal.
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