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Baby Boomers Don’t Care About Woke Politics Like Millennials and Gen Zers

An image of a group of older people gathered together for an event
Source: Wikimedia

The term “woke” is often associated with the younger generations, who are actively engaged in addressing modern socio-political issues such as social justice, income inequality, racial discrimination, and the empowerment of marginalized groups in America. However, a stark contrast emerges when we compare the prevalence of woke adherents in younger generation groups, like Millennials or Gen Z, with that of the Baby Boomers. Exploring the latter generation’s unique attitude can shed light on why they are less inclined to embrace the social causes of today.

“Boomer” is a shortening of the term “Baby Boomer,” which refers to a generational group born between 1946 and 1964. The name derives from the surge in population growth that occurred in the United States following the end of World War II. During that period, the US experienced immense economic growth that allowed the soldiers of the nations who had recently returned from war to settle down and raise families. Unlike the previous generation, the Silent Generation, Boomers grew up in a more prosperous time filled with technological innovation and significant societal changes. As the Boomers grew up in an era of prosperity, they became accustomed to societal problems simply working themselves out in time. This contributes to the boomer attitude that if someone has a problem, then they just haven’t tried hard enough to solve it. This Boomer ethos conflicts with the modern woke attitude, which seeks to hold structures in society, not the individual, accountable for societal problems.

Younger generations are growing up in a vastly different world than the one that Boomers enjoyed. A study performed by The Economic Policy Institute, which analyzed wages from 1979 to 2013, found that the bottom 90% of wage groups only increased their wages by 15% during that period. In comparison, the top 1% of earners experienced a staggering 138% increase in their annual pay. This difference in pay highlights a growing disparity between the rich and poor in the US that Boomers didn’t personally experience in their younger years. This may be one reason Boomers are so resistant to woke critiques of the system: It worked for them in the past. Another difference between today’s younger generations and the Boomers is that the latter grew up without social media, which has made Millenials and Gen Zers privy to what’s happening around the world in real time. People are often deemed woke because they push for societal change at a younger age. Even though Boomers do have social media now, many still rely on traditional forms of media.

The bottom line is that even in the past decade, the meaning of Woke, which was once used to define those who are aware of social injustices, has now almost completely lost its meaning. Many older generations use the phrase quite often. However, they typically use it when looking to degrade something the younger generations are doing. Younger people, meanwhile, don’t even use the word “woke” at all now. Some people suggest Boomers try their best to steer clear of woke politics due to a fear or concern about change. If the society in which they prospered changes, the stability they have in their lives could falter. Baby Boomers are in a different place in their lives compared to typical proponents of woke politics.


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