Below is a video of students from Santa Monica College being pepper sprayed due to their protests about the school raising the cost of classes. The students chanted “Let us in, let us in” and “No cuts, no fees, education should be free.” How can this be the land of freedom of speech when it seems like when our children lift their voices in protest they are met with violent opposition?

Trustee David Finkel called on campus officials to look into Tuesday evening’s events. “I think it gave the college a black eye which I know it didn’t deserve and certainly didn’t need,” he told the Associated press.

This is the second time a pepper spaying incident at a college caught national attention. The first time was at UC Davis in November, in which an officer doused a row of student protesters with pepper spray as they sat passively, drew worldwide attention. In another incident of protest earlier this week, students from a Detroit high school were suspended for demanding a better education. Our children are trying to stand up for what they believe in, in a positive way instead of resorting to violence. That is what they have been taught, but when they do they are punished. Then we wonder why they decide to lash out in violence in order to get their points across.

As a nation it is beyond contradictory to empower our young people to use their voices and then attempt to silence them by any means necessary. It is an atrocity and only disheartens our children into believing that they can make a change and speak up for what they believe in.

They should be applauding for standing for something instead of falling for anything.

  • Tonton Michel

    This was not a peaceful protest and their freedom of speech was not being taken away. They were forcefully trying to gain entry to what obviously was a restricted area pushing against police. They had it easy with the pepper spray. They must not have any classes on the Civil Rights Movement in that college or they would have known how to do it the right way.

  • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com Perverted Alchemist

    The older generation has always seen the young generation as people who are seen and not heard. That’s how it’s always been in America- surely people know this by now. This is hardly a new concept.

    • Bee

      Exactly right! The older generation rarely ever has much respect for the younger generation and the new set of problems facing that younger generation. I can’t tell you how sick I am of hearing the Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers call us (Millenials or Generation Y’ers I believe we are – I’m 27 yrs old) how lazy and entitled we are just because we’ve watched them slave at a job forever and yet hardly earn two pennies to rub together and happen to want something better for ourselves, just because we happen to want something resembling peace and happiness. It’s called learning from mistakes and learning vicariously – that’s what many of us have done as we’ve watched the older generations. We respect their hustle, their grind, their words of advice. But we have no desire to repeat the mistakes of our parents and older generations. We respect their wisdom, but we also see their mistakes. Yes, some of my generation are entitled little a-holes, but mostly we are staring at the set of lies that the older generations fed us and wondering what to do next and wondering how they can have the audacity to look down upon us for wanting an American Dream for ourselves.

    • http://pervertedalchemist.blogspot.com/ Perverted Alchemist

      “Exactly right! The older generation rarely ever has much respect for the younger generation and the new set of problems facing that younger generation.”

      Once again, this has been going on since the beginning of time.

      “I can’t tell you how sick I am of hearing the Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers call us (Millenials or Generation Y’ers I believe we are – I’m 27 yrs old) how lazy and entitled we are just because we’ve watched them slave at a job forever and yet hardly earn two pennies to rub together and happen to want something better for ourselves, just because we happen to want something resembling peace and happiness.”

      Even if they did have a well paying job, their outlook would be the same. The prior generation’s lack of respect has little to do with money and more to do with the younger generation having delusions of grandeur as well as a false sense of entitlement (Don’t shoot the messenger- it’s their words, not mine…).

      “It’s called learning from mistakes and learning vicariously – that’s what many of us have done as we’ve watched the older generations. We respect their hustle, their grind, their words of advice. But we have no desire to repeat the mistakes of our parents and older generations. We respect their wisdom, but we also see their mistakes.”

      …But considering the continued mishaps and mistakes that this generation continues to make, it doesn’t seem as if they are learning anything.

      “Yes, some of my generation are entitled little a-holes, but mostly we are staring at the set of lies that the older generations fed us and wondering what to do next and wondering how they can have the audacity to look down upon us for wanting an American Dream for ourselves.”

      There’s a world of difference between wanting the American Dream and thinking one deserves to have the American Dream. In my experiences with living around and working with a lot of people from this generation, I would say their mindset is less of the former and more of the latter.

  • http://www.olskoolblackflix.com/ Sindy

    I’m a student there and though I don’t agree with violence, I do agree that $46/unit is outrageous for a junior college. Thank goodness I only have a couple of classes left before I transfer.

  • Shirl

    To Bee: As one of the Almost Baby Boomers (I’m 46) I gotta say Kudos to you. Very Well Said!!! I’m proud of you as I’m sure your parents must be. Know that all of us don’t look down on you.

    • Bee

      Thank you! As I told my mom, “It’s not entitlement. I just think I ought to be able to afford to take care of you when you need me to do years from now.” I, we, have so much respect for folks like you Shirl. Ya’ll got that hustle game on lock. :) Much love. Have a wonderful day!

  • gmarie

    I’m sorry but were we viewing the same video? Those protesters were unruly and physically AGRESSIVE. The young woman who was initially sprayed literally ran AT the police officer, in that tight space- arms flailing. no sympathy from me for the treatment they received.

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