A Sit down with Jewell Jones
Putting the Young into Politics
The most recent election has exposed the generational gap between the older generation and the millennials especially within the African American community when it comes to politics. We just does not have any motivation to find out what’s going on unless we find out through snapchat or instagram. This generation, myself included, does not fully understand politics, and find it boring. Especially African American, which is perhaps because they feel that there would not be a change if they were involved anyway. I recently got a chance to chat with Jewell Jones to get his take on this matter.
Jewell Jones, 22 years of age making him the youngest state representative in history for Michigan, says that he grew up with parents that kept him involved. He says that “after being in the city council in 2015, several of [his] peers thought it was a good idea for him to run for State Representative;” he saw there was a spot open and he went for it. With Jewell Jones being so young as well as African American, his winning highlighted the adverse side of our generation and the black community.
I asked Mr. Jones, “Why do you like politics?” He says, “politics is much like real estate, there are a lot of moving pieces. It’s about how creative can you be.” He also states that since there is not many young people involved, there is a lot of power that can come from being young and wanting to be involved in politics, since we would represent the "minority."
Although I do agree with Mr. Jones when he says that we need more young people to invest their time with politics, I would argue that the millennials should, because we do not have a voice as of now. It honestly seems like we are nonchalant and we take everything as a joke, which is why our elders do not want to listen to us. They believe that since that we are younger, that we are not as wise as they are which is not true. We need to take a stand and show our elders that we care what happens when they are gone and show them that we know what we are doing.
So how can you get involved with politic? Jewell mentions that we do need more of our youth to start involving themselves in politics. Here's the time to be creative. First, start by looking up some issues that you believe we need to fix. This can be problems with the school to prison pipeline, how water is filtered, or even the going head-on against the injustice African Americans face daily just by being black. After you have identified a problem, make sure you make a plan and gather people that would also like to make a change to that same problem. Go to a school board meetings or different panels to speck up about these issues. Politics isn't just making laws, it’s about identify a problem than coming up with a solution. Remember, “If you don’t vote, you don’t count.” Meaning, if you don’t speak up, you voice won’t be heard.