Who are we? Who were we and what have we become? In less than 150 years, we as a society and nation have accomplished so much.
We are part of a country that created the world’s first all electronic computer, referred to as the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC in 1946. The ENIAC weighed a total of 30 tons and occupied a 50-foot-long basement. The computer was developed in secret as a World War II military project to calculate trajectories for firing tables. At its best, that was all the ENIAC could accomplish- -mathematical computations at exceptional speeds. Granted, that says a lot during a world war. Looking back at it today, though, it doesn’t at all compare to Apple’s latest MacBook Air- -a laptop available in 11-inch and 13-inch screens with fifth-generation intel core processors. Back then, several engineers and computer scientists had to run back and forth along the ENIAC using punch cards and flipping switches whereas the modern day struggle is getting up at your local Starbucks to find an outlet or perhaps your pinky doesn’t reach the P key on your keyboard.
We are part of a country that legalized slavery and didn’t actually consider all men equal until the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868. Now, more than 140 years later, America’s first African- American President, Barack Obama, is nearing the end of his second term after being inaugurated in 2009.
We are part of a country where the American Psychiatric Association considered homosexuality to be a mental disorder in the late 1960s. The act itself could result in a small fine, 20 years in prison or a life sentence. In 1969, the New York City police raided Stonewall Inn, a popular Greenwich Village gay bar. After more than 50 years of discrimination, damnation and riots, the Supreme Court finally ruled 5-4 in favor of gay marriage on June 26, 2015.
We are part of a country that has undergone and will continue to undergo drastic changes. However, remnants of traditional mentalities such as homophobia and racism are still scattered throughout the Land of the Free. While this may remain true for some time, we are Millennials–a generation born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. Our generation will live to see the demographic shift in America from predominantly white to a minority- majority country. We will reap the benefits of the freedom we currently have and face the challenges to fight for more.We are living through a transition. We are the transition.