A letter to my boys

Terri E. Givens - terrigivens.com
2 min readJul 26, 2020

Dear Andrew and Brandon,

Your generation is living through one of the greatest upheavals our country has faced since the early 1900s. Apparently we haven’t learned the lessons of global war, racism and pandemic. We have spent a lot of our time on vacations learning about history in Europe and here in the U.S. I hope that the education we have given you will help you find a path through these difficult times.

I cried in 2016 when Trump was elected. I happened to be in South Africa on election day, so I called and all I could think to do was apologize for what my generation was doing to yours. It is now our job to help you create a new normal. We don’t know how long it will take until we can be in crowds again, hug, kiss our friends and family, but we cannot deny that many of the changes will be with us for the foreseeable future.

This was not the future I had dreamed of for you, but I do have hope. I believe that your generation will be able to move past the hate and fear that have driven the structural racism that has divided this country since its founding. I see the love and care you have for others, and your openness to new people and experiences. It will serve you well as you navigate the uncertainties in school and beyond.

Yours is the digital generation — you have grown up connecting with your friends via the internet. Although I fret about your time online, I also know that it has been an important form of connection and will be a way to maintain bonds as you move on to college and beyond.

I pray that this country finds some wisdom and makes the right choice in November. I have no doubt that the majority of the country wants to do the right thing, but there are nefarious forces that will do their best to suppress and subvert the vote. Regardless of the outcome, I will be there to support you and we will find ways to help our community work through it.

I wish I could offer more — I wish I could say that everything will be OK. It won’t, but we will all do our best. I love you more than you’ll ever know and I am very proud of the young men you have become.



Terri E. Givens - terrigivens.com

Professor of Political Science, McGill University. Higher Ed Leadership, Immigration & European politics. Author of Radical Empathy & The Roots of Racism