Let them Rage: The Weaponizing of our Youth

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There is a time to grieve and mourn, as well as a time to be angry. There is no clear boundary for this time, as people are different, and some are more deeply affected by painful and impactful experiences in this life than others. So, I’ve waited to post these videos and this statement because I wanted to give space for my brothers and sisters in Christ, my friends, and to myself to mourn the horridly unjust killings of Goerge Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. A time of protest was needed and morally just.

In what I’m about to talk about, I have no desire to draw attention away from the necessity for law enforcement reform and the continued existence of racism in our nation. The truth of these realities is clear enough as we watch videos and sit in barber shops. These issues need to continue to be actively addressed. However, there is a sickness in our nation that effects all of our children, black and white, Hispanic and Asian. If we, justice and grace loving people, do not address this pandemic, our nation will only continue to become more duplicitous, violent, arrogant, and more blind to the humanity that resides in our neighbors.

It’s time for me to actively speak out against, and mourn, another development in our nation. It is a phenomenon that appears to be systemic and increasingly invasive in our nation’s institutions. It does not discriminate concerning the color of those that it affects, as it can be found in every major ethnic demographic in our nation. It does, however, feed more aggressively on the young. It is a philosophy that targets younger generations who have been nurtured in narcissism. It is the strategic weaponization of our young people for a socio-political war that is reaching a boiling-point. In military strategy they call it a ‘human wave attack,’ or in less noble terms, a ‘meat-grinder.’ When this strategy is used, human lives are spent by military leaders in order to overwhelm their enemies. This is what we are viewing in relation to our younger generations. We are also seeing a ‘scorched-earth’ strategy, where an army destroys everything they come across in order to deny their enemy anything to use after the battle is over. These are brutal strategies, but in order to accomplish them you need trained and willing soldiers.

I want to first list for you the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder as listed on the Mayo Clinic’s website. I also want you to read what 2 Timothy 3:1-7 says about “the last days.” Here are the symptoms listed for ‘NPD’:

“Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder can:

  • Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Exaggerate achievements and talents
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
  • Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people
  • Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior
  • Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations
  • Take advantage of others to get what they want
  • Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
  • Be envious of others and believe others envy them
  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

At the same time, people with narcissistic personality disorder have trouble handling anything they perceive as criticism, and they can:

  • Become impatient or angry when they don’t receive special treatment
  • Have significant interpersonal problems and easily feel slighted
  • React with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
  • Have difficulty regulating emotions and behavior
  • Experience major problems dealing with stress and adapting to change
  • Feel depressed and moody because they fall short of perfection
  • Have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation”

(https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcissistic-personality-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20366662)

2 Timothy 3:1-6 (NASB)

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.”

Hopefully you can see the connections. These are characteristics of individuals that have lost any legitimate moral grounding and are instead simply attempting to build a morality around the worship of self. The thing about worshiping the self is that it sees all struggles, individual persons, collective causes, relational drama, and social concerns as a tool to draw attention to themselves, so that they might be affirmed in believing the world revolves around them. Many of us have recognized it for years now, and it has become so engrained in our social construct that we have jokes and memes about it, but we haven’t really addressed it as a culture. We’ve actually continued to feed it, or at best ignore it. I had a friend of mine, an elementary school teacher, who was lamenting to me recently about what is standard policy in her elementary school these days. She sent me video after video to show me it’s not just her school. She said:

Kindergarteners are screaming the F-bomb up and down our hallways. Kids are throwing desks. Kids are escaping rooms. I had a boy slam my door so hard he shattered the glass in my window. Another kid that same year threw a brick through a glass door. We have mandates, in  place now, for all kids escaping a classroom to allow the violent student to flip desks and destroy.

Does this sound familiar? The administrative policies in our schools that my friend is talking about are not new. We’ve been allowing this sort of activity in many of our schools for years now. It can get old hearing people reference common generalizations, but (as many of our oppressed black brothers and sisters tragically know too well) there is a reason that generalizations exist. W. Keith Campbell and Jean M. Twenge wrote a book in 2010 called The Narcissism Epidemic. In it they describe a poll taken of college students in 2009 concerning their own peers:

In a June 2009 national poll of more than 1,000 college students, 2 out of 3 agreed with the statement “My generation of young people is more self-promoting, narcissistic, overconfident, and attention-seeking than previous generations.” A majority (57%) also said that one of the main reasons for their generation’s self-centeredness was social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. (pg. 34)

As a parent and educator, I’ve had the opportunity to travel this nation and world to speak to other parents and educators about “the problem” with our children. I’ve had mothers approach me crying after a seminar on the subject, crying because they didn’t know how it got so bad “so quick.” There’s no doubt that the causes are numerous. The usual suspects are certainly there; political correctness, social media addiction, video game and Netflix addictions, and participation trophies. The reality is that our world is distracting us further and further away from healthy habits of living. If this were not enough, there are those that desire to capitalize on the demons we struggle with, to weaponize them against perceived enemies. These political agendas care very little about the actual lives of the young people they are using to achieve their end goal of political and social dominance. As a current example, we are watching as the city of Seattle allows “autonomous zones” to develop, because they are afraid to intervene.

I’d like you to take the time to watch these three videos, in order. They’re about 20 minutes each. Don’t worry, after you watch the first one you’ll want to watch the next two. They are disturbing. They include actual footage from the events and commentary from those involved. It’s a prime example of what happens when socio-political organizations weaponize your children to use them as cannon fodder. There are a lot of F-bombs in these videos. They are disturbing glimpses into a college campus that has been handed over to narcissism. The irony is that it is one of the most politically liberal campuses in the nation, and the professors being interviewed are mostly, if not all, card-carrying Democrats. Please take the time to watch…even if just the first video.

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