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Webs Dumbest Dares / Republican Hara-Kiri

05.27.2016

COLOR BIND
TEENS AND RACE
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05.27.2016

VOL.166

NO.20

+
TEENAGE WASTELAND:

A 17-year-old wears
a Donald Trump
themed shirt at a
campaign rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Some GOP politicians
are still wondering
what Trump actually
stands for.
20 Iran

The Great
Nuclear Deal
Meltdown
23 Pests

Father
Knows Pest
FEATURES

32

DEPARTMENTS

B I G S H OTS

The Teenagers

Ask a bedraggled parent What do teens think?


and you just might get, They think? But what they
know and feel and do is vitally important. After all,
they are the future. Just maybe not yours.

4 Maaret al-Numan,

Syria
Incoming!
6 Tokyo
Sorry Display
8 Baghdad
Triple Slaughter
10 Fort McMurray,
Alberta
Burned Out

DA M O N W I N T E R / T H E N EW YO R K T I M ES/ R E DUX

34 Color Bind
44 Then & Now

What do teens want? Less racism.


They were the faces of a generation...
and are again, as they look back 50 years later.

T E E N S TO DAY
54 Diversity

Color Coded
56 Online

#NoDareTooStupid
60 Education

Harvard
Can Wait
62 Books

Peggy Sue
Got Sexted
64 Advice

PAG E O N E
COVER CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPH BY GANDEE VASAN/GETTY

We Were
Teens Once

12 Politics

Trumping the Shark

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16 Brazil

The Decline
and Fall of Dilma

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PARS International (212) 221-9595 x210 Newsweek@parsintl.com

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FOR MORE HEADLINES,


GO TO NEWSWEEK.COM

BIG
SHOTS

SYRIA

Incoming!

KHAL IL ASHAW I/ REUTERS

Maaret al-Numan,
SyriaChildren
duck under desks
during a war safety
awareness class
conducted by civil
defense members
in a rebel-held
area on May 14. In
addition to attacks
by the Islamic State
militant group (ISIS)
and air bombings
by President Bashar
al-Assads regime and
Russia, Syrians may
soon have to contend
with Al-Qaeda,
according to U.S. and
European intelligence
and counterterrorism
officials quoted by
The New York Times. It
reported that a dozen
of Al-Qaedas most
seasoned fighters
have been dispatched
to Syria in an effort
to challenge ISIS
for dominance in
the region.

KHALIL ASHAWI

BIG
SHOTS

JAPAN

Sorry
Display

EUGENE HOSHIKO

EUGE NE HOSHIKO/AP

TokyoMitsubishi
Motors Chairman
and CEO Osamu
Masuko, center, and
company President
Tetsuro Aikawa, left,
bow during a press
conference on May 11
while apologizing for
falsifying emissions
data and announcing
that the problem
involved more cars
than previously
announced. Mitsubishis stock price
has plunged and its
reputation has taken a
hit since it confessed
in April to altering the
fuel efficiency data
of over 600,000 of
its Japanese vehicles.
In a potential lifeline
to Mitsubishi, Nissan
agreed to buy a 34
percent stake in its
rival for $2.2 billion.

BIG
SHOTS

IRAQ

Triple
Slaughter

WISSM AL-OKILI

WISSM AL-OKILI/ REU TE RS

BaghdadPeople
gather at the scene of
a car bomb attack in
Sadr City, a mainly
Shiite district, on
May 11. Three car
bombings claimed
by the Islamic State
group (ISIS) killed at
least 93 people in the
deadliest single day
of attacks on Iraqs
capital this year.
There is a security
vacuum in Iraq as the
government appears
to be unravelingthe
countrys parliament
has been unable to
hold meetings, and
Prime Minister Haider
al-Abadi is struggling
to uproot extremists
as well as to address
economic and political problems left over
from years of war.

JASON FRANSON/REUTERS

BIG
SHOTS

CANADA

Burned
Out
Fort McMurray,
AlbertaPrime Minister Justin Trudeau
looks into a burned
car while visiting
neighborhoods devastated by more than
a week of wildfires,
on May 13. The visit
was Trudeaus first to
Fort McMurray since
88,000 people were
forced to evacuate on
May 4, when the blaze
swept into the city,
the hub of Canadas
oil sands industry.
Low humidity,
unseasonably warm
weather and high
winds caused by El
Nio put the region
at a high fire risk and
raised concerns about
climate change. The
blaze destroyed 2,400
buildings, but officials
said nearly 90 percent
of the city is intact.

JASON FRANSON

P
BRAZIL

POLITICS

E
IRAN

O
HEALTH

N
MILITARY

E
PESTS

TRUMPING THE SHARK

The GOP can survive this hostile takeover,


but its going to take a major reboot
MIKE TELLS DON his house is on fire. He adds
that he will extinguish the blaze if Don pays him.
Don forks over the money, but Mike does nothing. There are two possible explanations for this
shocking betrayal: Mike was lying about the fire
or he never planned to help Don.
In that story, Mike is the Republican Party,
and Don represents all the members of the Tea
Party and their conservative think-alikes. And
in this analogy lies the explanation for both the
rise of Donald Trump and why the GOP elite is
condemning him viciously.
For years, Republican leaders have engaged
in what might be called boogeyman politics.
No claim was too crazy to justify their storyline
that the Constitution had been set ablaze by
Democrats: Barack Obama isnt a real American, so hes not legally the president; Obama
committed crimes that demanded impeachment; Obama has secret plans to take away
Americans guns; Obama wanted to murder
the elderly and disabled through Obamacare;
Obama maintained concentration camps operated by the Federal Emergency Management

NEWSWEEK

Agency. Texas Senator Ted Cruz even played


footsy with the theory that Obama wanted to
declare martial law in Texas and was planning
to turn over vast swaths of American territory
to the United Nations, which would then outlaw
paved roads, grazing pastures and golf courses.
In other words, Republicans have been telling
Tea Partyers that the American house is on fire
and that the GOP could douse the flames only
if they send more conservatives to Washington.
The tactic worked, bringing out the Tea Party and
other conservative voters in 2010 and 2014, and
Republicans won big gains in Congress. But then,
where were the impeachment hearings? Why is
Obamacare still a thing? Why arent Democrats
being arrested for treason? Tea Party members
still believe the lies they have been told about
conspiracies and high crimes, and they have been
seething that their representatives were doing
nothing about the horrors they had promised to
end. So these voters reached the conclusion that
the Republicans had sold them out. The grousing
conservative electorate was primed to revolt.
A prominent GOP political consultant saw this

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BY
KURT EICHENWALD
@kurteichenwald

+
THE PARTYS OVER:

MARK PE TERSON/RE DUX

GOP leaders fear


that a Trump presidential campaign
will take many
other candidates
down with it.

NEWSWEEK

13

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+
BROCK THE VOTE:

NEWSWEEK

(R-Ariz.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ben Sasse


(R-Neb.). Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has
been among the most vocal critics. Lucifer is
the only person Trump could beat in a general
election, he said on Face the Nation. I believe
Donald Trumps foreign policy, his isolationism, will lead to another 9/11.
And then there is the most vexing question for
Republican politicians: What does Trump, their
presumptive nominee for president, stand for?
Plenty of GOP members of Congress say they
have never spoken to the man, and if they know
him at all, its as the host of his reality-TV show
The Apprentice or as a businessman who has worn
a path from his penthouse to bankruptcy court.
Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) told reporters
the one thing he wanted to hear from Trump was
his policy positions. Asked which ones in particular, Lankford replied, Everything.
Then there are the old reliable wedge issues:
abortion, homosexuality, school prayer and the
rest of the arrows in the Republicans culture
quiver. Cruz, the conspicuously pious candidate
in the presidential primaries who portrayed himself as a steadfast soldier in the culture war, lost
much of the Bible Belt to a man with multiple
divorces who backs Planned Parenthood and has
spent endless hours with shock jock Howard Stern

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Reagan pulled
the GOP out of an
abyss in 1980 by
presenting new
ideas and a new
identity for the
party pushed by its
chair, Bill Brock.

CHARLES TASNAD I/AP

conflagration coming back in 2012. The partys


politicians have to end their addiction to the
crack cocaine of the Tea Party vote, he told me
then. Fueling the Tea Partyers suspicions and
anger with conspiracy theories and terrifying
falsehoods might drive them to the voting booth
in droves, this consultant told me, but eventually they would turn on the party elite. After all,
despite all the fearmongering, little changed
after the elections. Fantasies cant be fixed.
Like any addict, the Republicans remained in
denial about how bad things were getting with
their Tea Party base. And now GOP politicians
have hit bottom, waking up in the gutter to find
that their partys standard-bearer is a coarse,
divisive businessman with no political experience
who is celebrated by Tea Partyers. Meanwhile,
Republican leaders are convinced he will create
a tidal wave of losses for the GOP in November.
The coolness toand outright rejection
ofTrump is widespread within the party.
Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House, has not
endorsed him. Representatives Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) and Ann Wagner (R-Mo.), both
facing re-election, have said Trump has to
earn their vote. Then there are those who have
said they will not endorse Trump under any
circumstances, including Senators Jeff Flake

bragging about his sexual escapades with models.


Its hard to feel much sympathy for the Republican elite now aligned with a man they despise,
given that they created the monster. You reap
what you sow; you made your bed, now lie in it; you
pays your money and you takes your chancesour
language is loaded with the clichs that point to
why this should be a moment of schadenfreude
rather than one of pity.
There is a path to recovery for the Republicans.
One of the greatest members of the GOP, the
person who saved the party when it last lost its
way, is a man whose name probably few Republicans will recognize: Bill Brock. A former senator
from Tennessee, Brock was a darling of the conservative movement during his single term, from
1971 to 1977. After that, he took the reins of the
Republican National Committee while the GOP
was still reeling from the Watergate scandals.
The party had just lost the White House; Democrats had control of the House of Representatives and had won a supermajority in the Senate,
meaning no Republican filibuster could succeed.
Faced with these dismal facts, Brock set about
rebuilding the party. The Republicans had
become bereft of an identity; voters had little concept of what the GOP brought to the table. Brock
decided the party had to become one of ideas,
not just an intransigent body that stood for little
more than saying no. He heard that two members
of Congress, Representative Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.)
and Senator William Roth (R-Del.), were kicking around a plan for huge tax cuts, which they
argued would spur massive economic growth
that would boost revenue and avoid deficits.
This idea, the foundation of supply-side economics, was embraced by Brock and became the
subject of research reports and talking points sent
to conservatives in Congress and statehouses.
Eventually, it was adopted by Ronald Reagan
as the centerpiece of his presidential campaign
and then his administration, and it is often cited
by Republicans as the greatest accomplishment
of his presidency. Now, 36 years later, it remains
the mantra of Republicans, even though the idea
that tax cuts pay for themselves has been roundly
debunked and is the biggest factor in Americas
massive deficits and debt. Unfortunately, while
most economists understand that sometimes
interest rates need to be high and other times
low, Republicans still seem to believe that tax
rates should only go down.
So what does the Republican Party stand for
today? No is still the answer. Whatever the
Democrats propose, the Republicans oppose
anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage and often
anti-science. (Climate change denial is a meme
NEWSWEEK

PAGE ONE /POLI T I C S

for Republicans, and increasing numbers of


party members reject evolution.) Polls, such as
one conducted recently by the Pew Research
Center, show that younger voters, even Republicans, disagree with this agenda. Only 38 percent support smaller government with fewer
services, according to another Pew poll.
Now that theyve been slapped upside the
head by Trump, Republicans need another Bill
Brock. They need to focus on new ideas, on what
they have to offer to the next generation of voters. They need to stand for something other than
culture wars, tax cuts and Were not Hillary!
Its possible to broaden the Republican base by
finding new conservative ideas that appeal to
more than just the Tea Partyers, the angry and
Bible Belt Christians.
On the other hand, if they dont think they
need a Brock, perhaps they need a Tuchman. In
her spectacular 1984 book, The March of Folly,
historian Barbara Tuchman examines four times

DONALD TRUMPS
FOREIGN POLICY, HIS
ISOLATIONISM, WILL
LEAD TO ANOTHER 9/11.
governments pursued policies against their
own interests and set loose the yowling furies
of chaos. By appealing to their bases basest
instincts, the Republicans have done just that,
and the evidence is one orange-haired, bombastic man who seems to be on cable news 24/7.
Republicans need to self-assess and recognize that they created Trumpism by refusing
to compromise and govern, by engaging in historic obstruction (such as the current blockade
on hearings for Obamas Supreme Court nominee) and, in every way, by continuing to act like
petulant teenagers. They have indulged their
own march of folly for eight years; the cliff they
are heading toward is not far away.

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THE DECLINE AND FALL OF DILMA

BACK IN MARCH 2014, when the scandal over


Brazils state-run oil company Petrobras that
would eventually topple the government was just
getting started, some of President Dilma Rousseff s top aides saw a golden opportunity to kill
the investigationor at least badly wound it.
Mrcio Anselmo, the Federal Police deputy in
charge of the probe, had given an interview to
Jornal Nacional, Brazils most-watched news program. On-camera, Anselmo and others laid out
the main points of the case, which would soon
become notorious: a former Petrobras board
member who had accepted a Land Rover as a
bribe, the money launderer whose plea-bargain
testimony would prove key and the bribes paid

NEWSWEEK

by some of the countrys biggest construction


companies for lucrative Petrobras contracts.
For Rousseff, the stakes were huge: The presidential election was just six months away, and
she was facing a tight race. But some ministers
were convinced the TV interview was a blessing
in disguise. They believed Anselmo had broken
a dictatorship-era statute that, they argued, prohibited Federal Police officials from discussing
cases in progress with the media. Fire him, they
urged Rousseff. Fire him now and attack the
investigators for using the media to selectively
leak information damaging to the government.
To their astonishment, Rousseff refused. Ill
never do that, she replied dismissively, accord-

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BY
BRIAN WINTER
@BrazilBrian

ADRIANO MACHADO/REUTERS

Brazils ousted president deserves some


credit for backing corruption probes
even when they threatened her

+
UNDER SIEGE:

Rousseff and her


chief of staff,
Jaques Wagner,
peer from the
window of the
presidential palace
the day before the
Senate voted to
suspend her.

ing to someone who was in the room at the time.


Im not afraid of this investigation. It has nothing to do with me!
I covered Rousseff closely for five years as a
reporter, and if theres a more Dilma anecdote
out there, I dont know it. This one has it all: her
blustery arrogance, her refusal to listen to even her
closest aides and her apparent inability to understand just how much trouble she was in, right to
the very end. But it also reveals a side to Rousseff
that should improve her standing in the annals of
Brazilian history: her refusal, for the most part, to
stand in the way of corruption investigations at
Petrobras and elsewhere, even when it became
clear they would contribute to her demise.
Brazils Congress has now voted to remove
Rousseff from office, almost certainly for good,
so she can stand trial for breaking budget laws in
a way that masked Brazils economic woes. She
departs with a near-single-digit approval rating,
primary responsibility for Brazils worst recession in at least 80 years and very few friends at
home or abroad. And yet, Rousseff also deserves
some credit for the main achievement of this
otherwise horrid decade in Brazil: the consolidation of rule of law under its young democracy, as
well as the notion that the corrupt will be investigated, convicted and jailed, no matter how powerful they may be.
Acknowledging Rousseff s role in this achievement is controversial, in part because her behavior was also not impeccable here. Indeed, she
may soon face charges for obstruction
of justice for appointing her mentor
and predecessor, Luiz Incio Lula da
Silva, as a minister in her final days
in government at a time when prosecutors were seeking his arrest on
corruption charges. Rousseff s move
was widely seen as designed to make
Lula less susceptible to imprisonment, since ministers enjoy special
legal protections. But it may have been less an
attempt to hinder the investigation itself and
more an act of personal loyalty and realpolitik,
based on the belief that only Lula had the negotiating prowess to save her government.
Starting in early 2014, Rousseff had numerous opportunities to hinder, or at least delay, the
investigation of Petrobras and other high-profile
corruption cases targeting powerful people. The
argument against Anselmo, the Federal Police
deputy, seems in retrospect to be flimsybut in
any case Rousseff let the opportunity pass. She
could have declined in 2015 to reappoint the
attorney general, Rodrigo Janot, who had already
shown he would go along with the so-called Lava

PAGE ONE /BRA Z I L

Jato (Operation Car Wash) probe. She not only


retained Janot but also publicly reaffirmed his
autonomya mandate he would soon seize upon
by requesting charges against Lula and an investigation of Rousseff. Rousseff also could have put
someone less apt to cooperate with prosecutors
in charge of the Federal Police or actively pressed
her allies on the Supreme Court to remove the
Petrobras case from Judge Srgio Moro, who is
based in the city of Curitiba, on the argument
that judges in Rio de Janeiro, where the company
is based, were better-suited to handle it. Finally,
she could have started attacking Moro as biased
much earlier and more aggressively than she
ultimately did.
All along, Rousseff had senior figures within
the Workers Party urging her to do all of these
things. But instead, as recently as January of this
year, she was publicly celebrating Lava Jato as a
necessary purge of practices that had existed in
Brazil for decades. I have to emphasize the fact
that Brazil needs this investigation, she told the
newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, limiting her criti-

IM NOT AFRAID OF THIS


INVESTIGATION. IT HAS
NOTHING TO DO WITH ME!

NEWSWEEK

cism to procedural issues. Rousseff didnt begin


to vilify the investigation in earnest until a few
weeks ago, when Moro released wiretapped conversations between her and Lula. And there
Well, lets say she may have had a point.
There are those who will never give Rousseff
any credit for letting Brazils judiciary do its job.
What choice did she have? they ask. OK. But
ask yourself the following: Would leaders elsewhere in Latin America have done the same?
What about recent governments in Argentina?
Or Mexico? Not to mention China or Russia.
For that matter, what can we expect from the
incoming Michel Temer government in Brazil?
Temer, who was Rousseff s vice president, is a

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during her first year in office. This was a radical


departure from the Lula years, and it contributed to a new culture that ultimately resulted in
Lava Jato.
Of course, there are other, much less flattering explanations. Its clear that Rousseff, isolated and politically tone-deaf, failed until it was
too late to fully grasp the threat to her survival.
The Rousseff-as-earnest-technocrat theory also
has a major hole in it: If she was so focused on
numbers, how did she miss the sheer scale of
the robbery at Petrobras, especially during the
years she was energy minister and the chair of
the companys board?
The answer probably lies in the simplest,
most damning criticism of Rousseff: She just
wasnt that good. Mediocre to the end and overwhelmed by a position she was never qualified
to hold, she consistently failed to ask the right
questions of her aides or her party. She also
harbored antiquated economic philosophies,
believed she could dictate the day-to-day business of the country (including parts of the private sector) by personal fiat and alienated most
people she worked with. Her presidency will go
down as a case study in why leadership matters

PAGE ONE /BRAZIL

75-year-old constitutional lawyer who will try to


lead Brazil in a more business-friendly direction.
But he comes from a different political party,
several of whose leaders are also implicated
in the Lava Jato probe. One irony of Rousseff s
impeachment is that it may lead to more political interference in the Petrobras investigation.
Temer has said theres nothing to fear, but prosecutors in Curitiba and Braslia privately say they
are preparing for setbacks. They may end up
missing Rousseff most of all.
So the final question: Why did she do it? Why
did Rousseff stand by as her government fell
apart?
Some of the explanation probably lies in her
origin story. Not the one weve all heard about
the Dilma Rousseff of her early 20s, the guerrilla
who endured jail and torture. No,
Im talking about Dilma Rousseff the adult, after her release
from prison in 1973, the one who
undertook a much less glamorous
life as an economist and public
servant. This is the bespectacled
energy policy wonk who just 20
years ago was editing an obscure
magazine called Economic Indicators and never showed any
interest in politics or higher office.
This Rousseff s only passion was
for numbersperformance targets, spreadsheets,
the arcane day-to-day business of government.
Even after Lula plucked her from nowhere to
be his chief of staff and ultimately his successor,
even after the plastic surgery and makeover that
preceded Rousseff s run for president, she still
had no time for anything but numbers. Unfortunately for Rousseff, this precluded her from
making any friends, in Congress or elsewhere,
who might have protected her toward the end.
But it also made her intolerant of corruption
not for moral reasons, perhaps, but because it
might keep the numbers in the G column on
Excel from lining up correctly. From the very
beginning of Rousseff s government, when a
minister or other aide was accused of fraud, she
made it clear that person was expected to resign.
Six ministers left under such circumstances

ONE IRONY OF ROUSSEFFS


IMPEACHMENT IS THAT IT
MAY LEAD TO MORE POLITICAL
INTERFERENCE IN THE
PETROBRAS INVESTIGATION.

NEWSWEEK

why a democracy as big and complex as Brazils


cannot simply be handed over to anyone and put
on automatic pilot.
But Rousseff had virtues too. Even her enemies concede she was honest and stole nothing for herself. In a region where many leaders
spend their waking hours scheming about how to
make themselves or their friends richer or exact
revenge on their enemies, Rousseff seemed genuinely focused on tackling Brazils still-legendary
poverty and inequality. And in the end, any desire
she had to stay in office or protect her party seems
to have been outweighed by a long-term concern
for Brazil and the need to build functioning institutions. That should count for something.
This article was first published by Americas Quarterly,
where BRIAN WINTER is the editor-in-chief.

18

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Light. Powerful.
Brilliant. Beautiful.
Work. Play.

Unparalleled.

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PA G E O N E/ I R A N

THE GREAT NUCLEAR


DEAL MELTDOWN

Why the Iranian accord


could be unraveling
USED CLOTHING, toiletries and gifts worth
no more than $100for a decade, these were
among the few Iranian products allowed into
the U.S., thanks to crippling international sanctions. But when the Iran nuclear deal went into
effect in January, Iran was suddenly allowed to
resume exports of its famous Persian carpets
and pistachios. Iranians also looked forward to
reviving the countrys oil industry and gaining
access to tens of billions of dollars in previously
frozen petroleum revenues, which would provide a much-needed boost to the economy. Perhaps most important, American officials assured
Tehran that foreign investment would return to
the country, finally ending Irans pariah status.
As soon as we suspend our major sanctions,
Wendy Sherman, the lead U.S. negotiator, had
said in 2014, the world will flood into Iran.
Today, nearly six months after the deal was
implemented, Iran is still waiting for those benefits. The country cant get access to most of the
estimated $100 billion it holds in foreign banks.
The reason: U.S. laws, which werent included in
the nuclear deal, are still highly restrictive. The
foreign business hasnt materialized because
big European and Asian commercial banks are
afraid they might inadvertently violate those
non-nuclear U.S. sanctions and end up facing
hefty penalties. Tehran is angry and says Washington is preventing the country from rejoining
the world economy.

NEWSWEEK

Iran wants the U.S. to relax these sanctions,


but that would require Congress to act, something unlikely to happen in an election year,
especially since even some Democrats are in no
mood to revisit a deal many considered flawed. If
anything, lawmakers are pushing for more sanctions, this time as punishment for Irans ballistic
missile program. In Tehran, hard-liners, who
never liked the nuclear deal, are urging moderate President Hassan Rouhani to scrap it. The
political space is closing, says Tyler Cullis, a
legal expert on the Iran nuclear deal and U.S.
sanctions at the National Iranian American
Council, a group that advocates for closer relations between the two countries. The danger
now is that [President Barack] Obama is going to
leave office in six months with his signature foreign policy achievement on very shaky ground.
Both Tehran and Washington insist theyre
committed to the accord. But Irans concerns
and the prospect of the deal collapsing were evident in April, when Valiollah Seif, Irans central
bank governor, made a rare visit to Washington,
ostensibly to attend the spring meetings of the
World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
At a sit-down with Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew,
Seif demanded more sanction relief. They need
to do whatever is needed to honor their commitments, the Iranian banker told an audience at the
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a
Washington-based think tank. Otherwise, the

20

0 5 / 2 7/ 2 0 1 6

BY
JONATHAN BRODER
@BroderJonathan

+
STILL WAITING:

EB RAHIM NOROOZ I/AP

Iranians were
hoping for an
economic boost,
but so far foreign
companies have
been slow to
commit, fearful of
violating U.S. laws
that restrict Iran
from using the U.S.
banking system.

[nuclear deal] breaks up under its own terms.


Probably the biggest source of friction is
a U.S. law that bars Iran from using the U.S.
financial system and the American dollar, even
indirectly. The law, enacted in 2012, was aimed
at punishing Iran for a variety of alleged sins:
the countrys ballistic missile program, human
rights abuses and state-sponsored terrorism.
Because these issues havent been resolved,
there is virtually no chance Congress would
repeal the law in the foreseeable future, experts
say. As long as that statute remains in place, foreign banks holding Irans funds in dollars will
be wary of doing business with the country.
In April, Secretary of State John Kerry met
with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad
Javad Zarif, in New York to try to resolve some
of these issues. They reportedly agreed on an

NEWSWEEK

AS SOON AS WE
SUSPEND OUR
MAJOR SANCTIONS,
THE WORLD WILL
FLOOD INTO IRAN.
arrangement under which several European
banks will process the transfer of roughly $6.4
billion worth of Indian oil payments to Tehran.
According to Cullis, the Iran sanctions expert,
the deal also will cover the transfer of Irans oil
revenues locked up in Asian banks. Its not clear,
however, whether Iran will receive the money in

21

0 5 / 2 7/ 2 0 1 6

end up violating the remaining sanctions. On


Capitol Hill, in addition to the push for further
measuresa move experts say could torpedo the
accordsome lawmakers are pressuring Boeing to pull out of a reported deal to provide Iran
with passenger jets and other services. We urge
you not to be complicit in the likely conversion
of Boeing aircraft to IRGC warplanes, the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Boeing CEO Dennis
Muilenburg in May. And in one more blow to
Iran, American pistachio growers convinced the
administration to slap a 200 percent tariff on
Iranian pistachios, effectively eliminating them
from the U.S. market.
Earlier this month, as controversy surrounding the nuclear deal continued to swirl, Kerry
rejected any suggestion that the next president

PAGE ONE /IRAN

dollars or some other currency.


The Obama administration insists U.S. law
isnt standing in the way of foreign banks doing
business with Iran in other currenciesprovided
they arent dealing with sanctioned Iranian
groups, such as companies linked to the Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Over the
past few weeks, Kerry and other U.S. officials
have spread out across the globe to help foreign
bankers understand the maze of Iran sanctions
and clarify potential penalties. Its just not as
complicated as some people make it, Kerry told
reporters in London on May 10.
But so far, major European and Asian banks
havent been mollified. Many have asked for
clear guidelines from Washington so they dont
find themselves facing penalties like the nearly
$9 billion fine that the French bank BNP Paribas
paid in 2014 for violating U.S. sanctions against
Iran, Sudan and Cuba. U.S. officials wont provide specific guidelines, saying instead that if
banks have a question, they should direct it to the
U.S. Treasurys Office of Foreign Assets Control,
the federal agency that oversees sanctions.
Experts say foreign banks are reluctant to
engage with Iran for other reasons too. They cite
Tehrans outdated laws governing money laundering, as well as its lack of prohibitions against
terrorist financing and corruption. Because of
a lack of transparency, it would be hard to have
certainty that youre not dealing with someone
subject to sanctions or engaged in illicit activity,
says Katherine Bauer, a former Iran specialist at
the Treasury Department.
As Tehran waits to see if the administration
can ease the banks concerns, opponents of the
nuclear deal have been as voluble as ever. Donald
Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential
nominee, calls the agreement disgusting and
the negotiators who crafted it incompetent.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner,
has put more emphasis on the tough measures
shed take to counter Irans anti-U.S. policies
rather than expressing support for the deal.
Meanwhile, an influential lobby, United
Against Nuclear Iran, is leading a major campaign to discourage European companies from
doing business with Tehran, warning they could
NEWSWEEK

IRAN HAS STILL BEEN


UNABLE TO ACCESS MOST
OF THE ESTIMATED
$100 BILLION IT HOLDS
IN FOREIGN BANKS.

IN THE MARKET:

Iran has complained that Washington is preventing the country


from rejoining the
world economy.
+

VAHID SAL EMI/AP

might scrap it. Perhaps. But on this issue, Iran


gets a vote too. And if the promises of the accord
remain unfulfilled, its not clear how long that
countrys embattled moderates can keep the
dealand Obamas legacyalive.
California pistachios, anyone?

22

0 5 / 2 7/ 2 0 1 6

TWO

NEW
INVASIVE
PESTS

introduced
to the U.S.
every decade

NUMBERS

ANNUAL
COST

to taxpayers
for damage
caused by these
organisms

Father Knows Pest

ILLUSTRATION BY JOHN S. DYKES

INVASIVE ORGANISMS ARE EATING U.S. TREES LIKE THEYRE POTATO CHIPS
In the 20th century,
chestnut blight and Dutch
elm disease decimated
billions of U.S. trees. The
tree diseases, caused by
invasive pestsa fungus
spore from Japan and a
beetle from the Netherlandschanged the face
of one U.S. city landscape
after another and cost
local governments and
homeowners a fortune.
Today, 63 percent of
U.S. forestland is at risk of
increased damage from
established pests like the
emerald ash borer, hemlock wooly adelgid and
others, according to the
U.S. Forest Service. Urban
and suburban trees are
the costliest casualties.

Removal and replanting


are expensive, and loss of
trees from streets, yards
and parks hurts property
values and robs communities of the benefits, such
as improved air quality.
Those costs are not
evenly distributed:
Homeowners who have
to remove dead trees
from their properties are
stuck with $1 billion of
the costs compared with
the federal governments
$216 million and the
timber industrys $150
million burdens. In total,
established tree pests are
costing Americans over
$2 billion a year, according to a paper published
May 10 in the journal

Ecological Applications.
The problem is
growing; the study
calculates that 25 new
pests enter the country
every decade. The trend
is due to escalating trade
and increased reliance
on shipping containers.
Almost all wood-boring
insects that have recently
invaded the U.S. entered
on wood packaging materials within these containers. While the federal
government requires that
wood packaging material
be treated to prevent
pest importation, there
are too many shipments
coming in each day to
inspect everything.
The solution is to

SOURCE: ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS

NEWSWEEK

%&

05/27/2016

phase out natural wood


packing materials, says
forest ecologist and study
lead author Gary Lovett,
and use alternatives like
paper-based products.
The stakes are already
higher than most realize.
Forest pests are the only
threat that can decimate
an entire tree species
in decades. Weve been
lucky, Lovett says, not to
have yet encountered an
imported pest threat to
the Southeasts loblolly
pine or the Northwests
Douglas fir, two of the
countrys most commercially important trees.
BY
CHRISTINA
PROCOPIOU
@chrisprocopiou

K U WA I T

One of the worlds highest


per-capita donors for humanitarian aid
Ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Kuwaitis break all records as humanitarian donors

HH the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al


Sabah, with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon
Kuwaitis are well-known for supporting people all over the world
who are suffering from humanitarian disaster. In fact it was in
1953 that the Kuwaiti tradition
of generosity was transferred to
government policy and elevated
to cabinet level. This was the year
that The Public Authority for
the South and Gulf was established. This government entity,
far ahead of its time worked on
South-South cooperation specimcally needed to mitigate the humanitarian disasters and connict
that sprung up during this period
of decolonization.
The establishment of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic
Development (KFAED) soon followed as a mechanism to disperse grants to people in need all
over the Middle East. This man-

date since expanded to cover the


world, aimed primarily at construction, health and education.
Today, the amount of money dispersed by Kuwait specimcally for humanitarian aid
is staggering.
We have contributed over
$4.1 billion to humanitarian efforts recently and it has been
acknowledged by Ban Ki Moon
and John Kerry, that per capita,
Kuwait is by far the most generous contributor in the world,
explains Dr. Sheikh Mohammad
Al-Salem Al-Sabah, Kuwaits former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Most recently, this aid was
largely focused on alleviating the
suffering of the Syrian people,
whose civil war shows no sign
of abating. Within living memory
Kuwaitis suffered full-scale war

when Saddam Husseins army occupied their country in 1990. It is


perhaps the memory of this tragic
incident, and seeing similar images in a neighboring country, that
on top of a tradition of kindness
has led the government of Kuwait
to provide billions needed to feed,
clothe, shelter and support the
endless stream of refugees that
have ned the battlemelds of Syria.
Even the Kuwait Red Crescent
Society (KRCS), which celebrated
its 50th anniversary earlier this
year, marked the event by launching a donation appeal to provide
aid to the besieged Syrian town of
Madaya. Approximately 42,000
people are suffering there, cut off
from even basic food supplies.
Renecting on the willingness
of Kuwaitis to help strangers,
Dr. Hilal Al-Sayer, Chairman of
the KRCS remarked, Giving and
generosity are in our genes. From
New Orleans to Syria, we are
committed to being there and
helping in times of need. We understand how fortunate we are.
In fact United Nations (UN)
Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon
ofmcially acknowledged the generosity of the Kuwaiti spirit. In
September of 2014 he convened
a special ceremony of the UN
headquarters in New York to
recognize the role of Kuwaits
head of state, HH the Amir as a
humanitarian leader. During this
ceremony he stated, It gives me
great pleasure and honor to be
here today to recognize the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah,
Amir of Kuwait We are sitting
together with a great humanitarian leader of our world

Proudly Sponsored By:

HH the Amir has also worked


to encourage other donor nations to provide more support
during this time of humanitarian
crisis. As recently as February
he co-hosted a donor conference
in London aimed at increasing
global contributions to supporting the victims of humanitarian
disasters.
Leading by example is clearly
an effective tactic, as UN Resident Coordinator in Kuwait, Zineb
Touimi-Benjelloun, notes, Kuwait
is an example of a humanitarian
leader that we hope will inspire
other countries to contribute so
generously. This commitment
to the UN agenda is far beyond
expectations and recommendations and we are thankful for
their ongoing commitment and
participation at the mrst World
Humanitarian Summit.
Given the decline in oil price
and diminishing state budgets for
oil exporting economies such as
Kuwaits, some experts have predicted that contributions will be
curtailed. To this, Sheikh Salman
Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homoud Al
Sabah, Kuwaits Minister of Information and Minister of State for
Youth Affairs begs to differ, Of
course with low oil prices we are
contemplating our future, but on
humanitarian matters Kuwait will
not hesitate to support any needs
from the international community, especially in the humanitarian
efforts of the UN.

PRODUCED BY
GLOBUS VISION
Geoffrey Flugge, Aylin Parla,
Fatima Ruiz-Moreno and
Marko Rankovic

Development Fund expands support to 105th country


At the heart of its humanitarian and development program, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development
(KFAED) has shared the nations wealth for over 54 years with a focus on South-South cooperation. The Fund has
pioneered development projects across the world, from constructing infrastructure, to health and education, and
continues to expand its support network to help people in need

I am sure that we
will continue our
good work and
participate fully and
actively at the World
Humanitarian Summit
Abdulwahab A. Al-Bader,
Director General, KFAED
The Kuwait Fund has supported the mnancing of more than 900 projects in 105 countries
Although Kuwait had been providing development assistance
prior to declaring independence
in 1961, it was in that year that
The Kuwait Fund was formally
established. The country itself
had just entered the oil era and
was slowly improving its own
dire economic situation at the
time. Despite this, it immediately began to devote vast sums of
money to assisting neighboring countries in the region.
As Robert McNamara, former US Secretary of Defense
and President of the World
Bank recalled, When first established in 1961, the Kuwait
Fund was without precedent.
Here was Kuwait, a tiny country, until recently among the
poorest places on earth, establishing a development fund in
the year of its political independence. While welcoming
its new-found prosperity it
was declaring a willingness to
share its future wealth with its
Arab neighbors.
KFAEDs original mandate
was to assist the transition of

post-colonial countries in the


Middle East by constructing
vital infrastructure, providing
health services and improving access to, and the quality
of education. This approach
rapidly expanded beyond the
Arab World during more than
half a century of operations.
Today, the fund has supported
the financing of more than
900 projects in 105 developing countries, providing about
$19 billion for their implementation across the Middle
East, Africa, Asia, Europe and
Latin America, as the countrys appetite to help people in
need grew with its economy.
We are blessed here in Kuwait, we found a place where
we were good traders and
very open minded. We created a very close community
and I believe that is how it
started, we were helping each
other, sharing our wealth,
says Abdulwahab A. Al-Bader,
Director General of KFAED.
Throughout its history, the
Kuwait Fund has been held up

as a premier example of SouthSouth cooperation that is,


collaboration directly between
developing countries.
Unlike most assistance of
this kind, the issuing of grants
are not contingent on religion,
ethnicity or political belief,
but instead is based strictly
on the depth of need. The
list of recipients continues to
grow with the rise and fall of
economies and the emergence
of new nations.
According to Mr. Al-Bader,
We signed an agreement with
our 105th country last year with South Sudan. Sometimes

We signed an agreement with our 105th


country last year... I
think that helping others
and giving is something
that has become a part
of us, of our DNA
Abdulwahab A. Al-Bader,
Director General, KFAED

things grow on you. I think


that helping others and giving
is something that has become
a part of us, of our DNA. If we
went without it, it would be like
we were missing something.
The historical generosity of
The Kuwait Fund was instrumental in turning worldwide
opinion in favor of Kuwait
when it was occupied by Iraq
in 1990. Amazingly KFAED
continued to operate even during this period, and its activities were expanded following
the US-led liberation in 1991
and ramped up significantly
over the last 25 years.
Global recognition for Kuwaits role in humanitarian aid
and development is a point of
pride for the nation and personally for Mr. Al-Bader, who
points out that, The world
has recognized the efforts of
H.H. the Amir and indeed the
whole country, and I am sure
that we will continue our good
work and participate fully and
actively at the World Humanitarian Summit.

Private sector and institutions


engage community, pioneer development
Across the country the private sector, together with academic and research institutions, is working to support
community development and promote prosperity
Although the telecommunications sector is best known for
innovation and technology, Kuwaits major players are heavily involved in supporting the
community in terms of events
and initiatives. This extends to
the youth demographic now at
the heart of national economic
development policy.
Ooredoo Kuwait, the countrys premier mobile operator
is no exception. As its General
Manager and Chief Executive
Ofmcer (CEO), Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Thani
explains, We have been very
actively focusing on the youth
here, as 41% of the population is
under 25. They are very outspoken, motivated, and entrepreneurial, they want to try and do
things, so we have been engaging with them to support them.
Ooredoo also sponsors and
supports the countrys major

(The youth) are very


outspoken, motivated,
and entrepreneurial,
they want to try
and do things, so we
have been engaging
with them to
support them
Sheikh Mohammed bin
Abdullah Al Thani, General
Manager and CEO, Ooredoo

national celebrations. Hala


Febrayer, as it is known in Kuwait, is a month-long festival
revolving around Liberation
Day. The festival extends far
beyond marking the date that
the US-led military coalition
freed Kuwait from Iraqi occupation in 1991. Today it is
a celebration of Kuwaiti culture, with concerts and events
involving tens of thousands
of participants.
We have sought and will
continue to seek taking a key
role in Kuwaits national celebrations. As partners, it was
our pleasure to see people of
Kuwait actively participating
in this years Hala Febrayer
carnival, says Sheikh Al Thani.
Considering that Ooredoo
Kuwait is a part of one of the
worlds largest mobile operators, their high-profile community involvement serves as
a reminder of ease of doing
business in Kuwait. The country has increasingly improved
its ratings in this area according to monitoring indexes.
Like Ooredoo, the Kuwait
Telecommunications Company,
better known as VIVA, has also
become heavily involved in supporting Kuwaits development.
The principal focus of
VIVAs CSR (corporate social
responsibility) strategy has
always been based around
education and development,

caring for the environment, investing in healthcare, encouraging entrepreneurial thinking


and strengthening our bond
with society. The progress
achieved by VIVA in keeping
to these aims has resulted in
it being seen as more than just
a telecom leader, says VIVAs
CEO, Salman Bin Abdulaziz
Al-Badran.
VIVAs contribution to
healthcare, including supporting blood banks, and youth
sport initiatives, touches on
one of the core lifestyle issues afflicting the Arabian
Gulf: diabetes. The prevalence
of this disease across the Gulf
has led Kuwait to focus its efforts on developing both medical and lifestyle solutions. This
includes the establishment of
world-class research institutions, including Kuwaits Dasman Diabetes Institute.
New Director General of the
Institute, Dr. 2ais S. Al Duwairi, says community engagement is a key factor in prevention and treatment.
We encourage communitybased research in order to actively involve the community
and directly benefit the people
enrolled in the study. Seminars
are steered to continuously
keep the public up-to-date with
the latest discoveries of the
management and treatment of
diabetes. Furthermore, we of-

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah


Al Thani, General Manager and
CEO, Ooredoo

Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Badran,


CEO, VIVA

Dr. 2ais S. Al Duwairi, Director General, Dasman Diabetes Institute

fer complimentary healthcare


and medical services to the
public, including the distribution of medicine and insulin
pumps to those in need. I believe this is all reflective on the
Kuwaiti culture entirely, as the
country may be small in size,
but its contributions are ones
that potentially save lives.
Promoting gender equality
Cooperation across the region
in education is also having a
transformational effect on
lifestyle and culture, which is
perhaps best exemplified by
the work of Kuwaits Arab
Open University. Increasingly
the university is working to
change perception of gender
stereotypes and increase the
presence of women in leadership roles in the Arab world.
Describing the situation,
Professor Moudi Al-Humoud,
Rector of The Arab Open
University (herself a former
minister) is outspoken on the
topic. As she told our correspondents, The question of
womens empowerment is top
on our agenda. In Kuwait, and
in the Arab region in general,
women have great potential to
help in the growth and development of their societies. But,
in general, governments are
not taking womens empowerment seriously. Females form
the majority of the student
population in universities: such
resources need to be utilized
more effectively.
Therefore, there is no excuse, and the empowerment of
women is irreversible. Empowering here means that women
have to be more involved in
the decision-making process
at the government ministerial
level, the undersecretary level,
and consultation bodies in the
country We are trying to provide a role model; that is, Arab

The banking
and private sectors
in Kuwait are highly
involved in making
their operating communities better
Eduardo Eguren,
CEO, Burgan Bank

The principal focus


of VIVAs CSR
strategy has always
been based around
education and
development, caring
for the environment,
investing in healthcare
and encouraging
entrepreneurial
thinking
Salman Bin Abdulaziz
Al-Badran, CEO, VIVA
women can be as efficient as
men. In this context, what
matters is the individual persons qualifications rather than
their gender.
Sustainable
development
through diversification
Underpinning the involvement
of Kuwaits private sector
and civil society is of course,
its economic prosperity. The
discovery and development of
hydrocarbons since the 1960s
was instrumental in catalyzing
national development. However the decline in oil prices has
necessitated a vast reorientation of the economy, whereby
wise investment of natural resource income into other sectors, both domestic and international, is the only means of
providing long-term, sustainable dividends.
One example of this is Burgan Bank, a subsidiary of the
countrys private-sector flagship the Kuwait Projects Company (KIPCO). Established
almost 40 years ago, Burgan
Bank has grown from a small
local bank to a young financial
leader, becoming one of the
countrys major players. Currently it is ranked third largest
in Kuwait by assets. In recent
years it has actively expanded
across the Middle East, North
Africa and Turkey (MENAT)
region by acquiring new business in these countries. These
regional interlinkages allow
the bank to effectively manage
domestic and international operations out of Kuwait.
Burgan Bank Group focuses highly on intergroup
synergies providing direct ac-

In Kuwait, and in
the Arab region in
general, women have
great potential to
help in the growth
and development of
their societies
Prof. Moudi Al-Humoud,
Rector, Arab Open University
cess for our clients to regional
and international markets. The
banks majority-owned subsidiaries operate directly in five
countries with arms extending
far beyond. Such a network enables the Group to provide sophisticated financial solutions
for both individual and corporate clients, says Eduardo
Eguren, CEO of Burgan Bank.
Like so many other businesses, Burgans chief executive sees a strong role for the
private sector in supporting
Kuwaiti society. This extends
far beyond dollars and dinars,
in terms of employment and
financial returns, but touches
on the responsibility local businesses feel towards supporting
the community.
As Mr. Eguren explains,
The banking and private
sectors in Kuwait are highly
involved in making their operating communities better. For
Burgan Bank, we have long
been known to play a vital
part in enhancing education
and knowledge, empowering
youth, talents, and persons of
special needs, and in philanthropic initiatives.
Another institution that
has been committed to taking
advantage of strong opportunities in Kuwait and abroad
is Gatehouse Financial Group.
The Group is the Jersey-based
parent company of Gatehouse
Bank, an investment bank
based in the City of London,
and Gatehouse Capital, an investment advisory firm based
in Kuwait City. The Group is
best known as a pioneer in real
estate investment and finance,
which it has taken as far afield
as the United Kingdom and
South East Asia.
Gatehouse
Financial
Group has a strategy of creating bespoke investments and

advisory solutions for clients


to enter highly developed and
sophisticated markets, in particular the U.K. and U.S. This
is in line with our efforts to
form a bridge between the
vast capital available in the
GCC and South East Asia, and
western international markets, says Fahed Boodai, the
Groups Chairman.
To ensure a sustainable
future for Kuwait in the face
of low oil prices, the nations
banking and finance sector will
have to launch new products
and services to new markets
to maintain strong balance
sheets. Mr. Boodai is confident
this can be done, stating that,
I believe that there are many
places for further innovation
and creating new markets and
the Gulf has really been a pioneer in much of this.

Prof. Moudi Al-Humoud,


Rector, Arab Open University

Eduardo Eguren,
CEO, Burgan Bank

Fahed Boodai, Chairman,


Gatehouse Financial Group

HH the Amir of Kuwait catalyzes


countrys approach to youth empowerment
In 2012, HH the Amir, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, created the Ministry of State for Youth Affairs,
which is charged with designing and implementing youth-oriented strategies to empower the majority stakeholders in
Kuwaits future. This approach has catalyzed action across sectors, including all stakeholders from the public and private
sector to prioritize youth on every level
Despite its ancient and rich history,
Kuwait is in fact a young country.
According to a recent census approximately 74% of its citizens
are under the age of 34, and this
statistic has not escaped the attention of decision-makers. As a
result, over the last mve years, the
pressing need to provide a sustainable future for this growing youth
demographic has increasingly been
raised in national dialogues and

Youth empowerment
is a long-term solution
to some of the most
important global issues
Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem
Al-Homoud Al Sabah, Minister
of Information and Minister of
State for Youth Affairs

consequently incorporated into Kuwaits development strategy.


Perhaps most signimcantly, concrete wide-ranging policy measures
aimed at supporting the majority under-30 cohort began with the commencement of the National Youth
Project (NYP) in 2012. The NYP
was initiated by no less a mgure than
Kuwaits head of state, His Highness,
Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al
Jaber Al Sabah, who directed the
government to undertake a number
of country-wide measures to ensure
that the state implemented a wellorganized, far-sighted strategy for
its youth majority.
This initiative began by calling
stakeholders to action from across
the country. The National Youth
Convention, known as Kuwait
Listens, was implemented, which
in effect became a national town
hall to gauge youth sentiment on
themes ranging across the socioeconomic sphere.
What has really made us unique,
effective and successful in our youth
empowerment initiatives is that it is
a completely unimed whole of country approach. Everyone has been involved; government, private sector,
NGOs, individuals, universities and
anyone else you might think of, ex-

A female student addresses well-wishers during a graduation ceremony


plains Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homoud Al Sabah, Minister
of Information and Minister of State
for Youth Affairs.
This outreach was followed by
a public forum, the Youth Council
of 2012, which was followed by
the establishment of The Ministry
of State for Youth Affairs. Raising
the youth issue to cabinet level
demonstrated to citizens that Kuwaits top political leadership had
prioritized the matter.
The NYP, Youth Council, creation of a youth-focused ministry

and a detailed National Youth Survey have all been steps in the creation of a specialized National Youth
Policy, which Minister Al-Sabah
notes, will be enforceable and
people will be held accountable if
they fail to carry out these policies.
The importance of the youth to
the countrys future is well-understood by its leadership for very good
reason. As The Ministry of State
for Youth Affairs Undersecretary,
Sheikha Al-Zain Al-Sabah points
out, They are not just the new generation; they are the new Kuwait.

Kuwaitis embrace the digital future


through stronger social media engagement
Kuwait is steadily making
the switch from analog to
digital governance, keeping
pace with social media
usage a far stronger
model for direct feedback
that is much needed for
better engagement of youth
The Ministry of State for Youth Affairs, created in 2012, is charged
with designing and implementing
youth-oriented strategies to empower young people - the majority
stakeholders of the nations future.
This approach has catalyzed ac-

tion across sectors, and includes


stakeholders from the government, private sector, as well as
civic society, with a focus on prioritizing youth on every level.
Within the framework of this
mandate, Kuwait is steadily making the switch from analog to digital governance. The government is
determined to keep pace with social media usage as a far stronger
means for direct feedback and
youth engagement.
At the core of this approach is
the Hashtag Kuwait Conference
(#Kuwait), a country-wide information and dialogue initiative designed to reach out to the nations

youth. So far, it has been heavily


subscribed to and expanded to the
most popularly used social media
sites and apps in the country.
We are looking toward a bigger
role for youth, especially those who
are active on the social media sites,
to immunize their peers and to partake in state building. The Hashtag
Kuwait Conference is a clear message and demonstration that we
are heightening our engagement
across digital and social media
platforms. We recognize that this is
how the youth really communicate
and it is our job to facilitate that
and ensure that we can also operate and offer services across those

platforms, says Sheikh Salman


Sabah Al-Salem Al-Homoud Al
Sabah, Minister of Information and
Minister of State for Youth Affairs.

We are looking toward


a bigger role for youth,
especially those who
are active on the social
media sites, to immunize
their peers and to partake in state building
Sheikh Salman Sabah Al-Salem
Al-Homoud Al Sabah, Minister
of Information and Minister of
State for Youth Affairs

THE

TEEN

ASK A BEDRAGGLED PARENT WHAT DO TEENS THINK?


AND YOU MIGHT GET, THEY THINK? SURE, THEIR BRAINS ARE STILL
DEVELOPING, AND THEIR THUMBS MAY BE STIFF FROM TEXTING,
BUT WHAT THEY KNOW AND FEEL AND DO IS VITALLY IMPORTANT.

IN 1966, Newsweek published


a landmark cover story, The
Teen-Agers: A Newsweek Survey of What Theyre Really
Like. The 18-page article
examined the teen world
in fine detail: their heroes,

politics, sexual proclivities


and shopping habits, as well
as what they thought about

N
N EE W
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K

education, the world and


their future. The article was
based on an extensive survey
of nearly 800 girls and boys
across the country, conducted
by famous pollster Louis

32
32

0055//227/
7/22001166

Harris and Associates, and


it also profiled six teens in
depth, including a black teen
growing up in Chicago, a

ILLUSTRATION BY SACHIN TENG

AFTER ALL, THEY ARE THE FUTURE. JUST MAYBE NOT YOURS

AGERS
California girl and an Iowa
farm boy.
Fifty years later, Newsweek

set out to discover whats


changed for American teenagers and whats stayed the
same. For a generation thats
growing up online, coming of
age with the first black U.S.

N
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WE
EE
EK
K

president and witnessing the


rise of Donald Trumps divisive politics, the teenagers of
today are optimistic about yet

33

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7/ 220
0 1166

wary of their futures. Newsweek


also tracked down all six teens
profiled in 1966 to find out
how their lives have unfolded
over the past 50 years. This
is the story of teens and race
in America today.

T
E
E
N
A
G

TH

COLOR
BIND
WHAT DO
TEENS WANT?
LESS RACISM

BY ABIGAIL JONES

GROWING UP IN THE
PROJECTS OF CHICAGOS
SOUTH SIDE IN THE 1960S,
TOMMY BREWER USED
TO WATCH ABCS THE FBI
ON SUNDAY NIGHTS
WITH HIS FATHER.
I said one day, out of excitement, I wanna be an FBI
agent! recalls Brewer. And my father said, Youre not
allowed in the FBI. They dont allow blacks to be FBI
agents. Brewers father was a steelworker with a sixthgrade education, and his mother didnt make it past the
fifth grade. But Brewer, surrounded by gang violence,
was convinced an education would get him wherever he
wanted to go. So each morning, he took two buses and an
L train to Lindblom Technical High School, where he got
As (and one B) and took honors courses. He dreamed of
going to college and studying architectural engineering.
If teenagers have the right education, they wont
have any problems, he told Newsweek in 1966, when he
was 15. The gang members were taught this, but it just
didnt sink in. When they get to be 18 and its time to
get a job, then they find out that they need a good high
school education to land one. So crime is the easiest way
out. Theres no pressure like there is in school.
Brewers story was part of a landmark 1966 cover story,
The Teen-Agers: A Newsweek Survey of What Theyre
Really Like, that investigated the teen world in fine detail:
their heroes, politics, spending habits and sexual proclivities, as well as what they thought about the world, their
parents and their future. The article was old-school journalism at its best: Correspondents in Newsweek bureaus
fanned out across the country, interviewing hundreds
of teens as well as parents, psychologists, principals and
other experts, while pollster Louis Harris and Associates
conducted an extensive survey of 775 teens. Newsweek
also profiled six teens in depth: a farm boy from Iowa, a
California girl, a Manhattan prepster, a free spirit from
Berkeley, a middle-school girl in Houston and Brewer.
This past fall, in anticipation of the 50th anniversary
of The Teen-Agers, Newsweek enlisted Harris Poll to
conduct an online survey replicating key questions in the
original work and to expand on it. We asked 2,057 teens,
ages 13 to 17, from diverse backgrounds and geographic
areas, about everything from politics and education to
parents, sex, mental health and pop culture. The result,
The State of the American Teenager, offers fascinating
and sometimes disturbing insights into a generation of
teens who are plugged in, politically aware and optimistic
about their futures yet anxious about their country.
Two-thirds of teens (68 percent), for example, believe
the United States is on the wrong track, and 59 percent
think pop culture keeps the country from talking about
the news that really matters. Faith in God or some other
divine being dropped from 96 percent in 1966 to 83 perNEWSWEEK

cent. Twice as many teens today feel their parents have


tried to run their lives too much (24 percent, up from 12
percent in 1966). Fifty years ago, the five most admired
famous people were John F. Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Lyndon B. Johnson and Helen
Keller, in that order. Today, pop culture rules, as President
Barack Obama, Taylor Swift and Beyonc top the list, with
Selena Gomez tying Lincoln for fourth place.
More than half support gun control (55 percent), the
death penalty (52 percent), abortion rights (50 percent)
and gay marriage (62 percent). (On gay marriage, Allison
Moseley, 16, of Cudahy, Wisconsin, says, Love is love.)
The most compelling findings show that race is the crucial issue for teens today. In 1966, 44 percent of American
teens thought racial discrimination would be a problem
for their generation. Now nearly twice as many82 percentfeel the same way. The outlook is more alarming
among black teens: Ninety-one percent think discrimination is here to stay, up from 33 percent in 1966.
Recent headlinespolice-involved shootings of
unarmed black men, the Black Lives Matter movement,
Donald Trumps xenophobic politicsreveal a country
deeply divided on race, with seemingly little hope for
reconciliation. For many black Americans, the entire
casino is stacked against them: Theyre disproportionately affected by unemployment, poverty and a lack of
educational opportunities. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and while blacks and Latinos
make up 30 percent of the population, they account for 58
percent of the prison population. In 2013, the wealth gap

36

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TEENS ON RACIAL
DISCRIMINATION
1966

2015

33

91

In 1966, 33% of black


teens thought racial
discrimination would
be a problem for
their generation.

As of 2015, 91% of
black teens think racial
discrimination will be
a problem for their
generation.

PERCENT

PERCENT

+
BLINDED: Rahman, left, says a friend assumed her

44 82

S H A M I N D E R DUL A I FO R N EWSW E E K ( 2 ) ; P R EV I OUS S P R E A D : R I C KY CA R I OT I / T H E WAS H I N GTO N P OST/G E T T Y

family was in ISIS because they are from Bangladesh;


Eboigbe has been mocked for her hair and her accent.

PERCENT

between whites and blacks reached its highest point since


1989, according to the Pew Research Center: The wealth
of white households was 13 times that of black households, and 10 times that of Hispanic households.
Newsweek found that black teens today are more likely
than white or Hispanic teens to be aware of gun violence
and of police accused of killing innocent people. Theyre
also more likely to worry that theyll be the victims of
shootingsat school, by police or in places of worship.
And many teens, regardless of race or ethnicity, perceive
that black Americans are discriminated against, including the way theyre treated by police (62 percent) and
their ability to access decent jobs (39 percent).
And whats happened to Brewers seemingly indomitable optimism over the past 50 years, his unwavering faith
in education? I wouldnt want to be growin up now, he
says. It was simpler back then. The choices you had were
limited, but they were good and positive. You had to work
for what you wanted, and if you were black, you had to
work doubly hard. To wake up every day knowing for
the rest of your life youre gonna be broke, whats a person to do? Youre not vested in America. We were vested.
The supportive environment Brewer came of age in
was marked by family, community and the belief that
hard work would pay off. For many today, those pillars
have been toppled. Back in the 60s, we had black poverty, but we also had black jobs, says Kirkland Vaughans,

NEWSWEEK

In 1966, 44% of
teens thought racial
discrimination would
be a problem for their
generation.

PERCENT

As of 2015, 82% of
teens think racial
discrimination will
be a problem for
their generation.

TEENS PERSPECTIVES
ON SEX IN 2015

20

86

20% of teens ages


16-17 say theyve
had sex.

86% of teens
think teen girls are
judged worse for
having sex than
teen guys.

PERCENT

37

0 5 / 2 7/ 2 0 1 6

PERCENT

TEENS PERSPECTIVES ON
MARRIAGE IN 2015

a psychologist who teaches at Adelphi University and


co-authored The Psychology of Black Boys and Adolescents
with Warren Spielberg. You can be poor, but as long as
you have someplace to go, you have hope. Joblessness has
grown, and the criminal-industrial complex has grown.
At the same time, the U.S. population is on track to be
a minority majority by 2060: Minorities will make up 56
percent of the country, and in just four years, more than
half of all children in the U.S. will be part of a minority
group. What does the future look like for a country thats
still wracked by racism, where four of five teens believe
discrimination will be a fixture in their lives?

57

47

About three in
five teens (57%)
agree that
people should be
married before
having sex.

A little less than


half of teens (47%)
agree that the term
marriage should
apply only when its
between a man
and a woman.

PERCENT

1966: THE ILLUSION OF CAREFREE


NEWSWEEKS The Teen-Agers issue in 1966 hit news-

stands with a young blonde on its covera California


girl in white Wranglers and a yellow sweater, sitting on
the back of a motorcycle, clutching a guy and flashing
a spectacular smile. The scene encapsulated the stereotypical 1960s teenage experience: fast-paced, forward-thinking, titillating, seemingly carefree.
That original survey found teens were generally happy,
liked school and felt extraordinary pressure to attend
college. They owned records, transistor radios and encyclopedias (today, smartphones, laptops and tablets dominate). It isnt until the articles fifth pageafter sections
labeled Theyre Spoiled, The Place of Sex and Freedom on Wheelsthat it admits, There are also the
Negroes, before delving into a section called Hopeful
Outsiders. We learned about the aspirations of black
teens: Forty-one percent were certain theyd go to college; their mood: 22 percent said they were less happy than
at 8 or 9, compared with 8 percent of the survey sample;
their family dynamics: 38 percent said parents exerted a
lot of pressure on them, compared with 18 percent of the
entire group. And we heard about their fears: 31 percent
thought life would be worse when they reached 21, compared with 25 percent of all teens.
We also met a 16-year-old black teen from Los Angeless Watts (Yeah, I was in [the riot]. I didnt do none of
the burnin, but I was lootin.) who attended an almost
entirely black high school, wasnt sure he could get into
college and felt scared of the future. Yet his optimism
prevailed: He still believes white employers will treat
him fairly if he is qualified. He is not bitter. Im not
gonna drop out. If I cant get into college, Ill probably go
out and get a job.
One of the most positive notes on race came from
Brewer, who even had some sly thoughts on desegregation. Most of the reason for prejudice is because we
know very little about each other, he told Newsweek in
1966. Our neighborhoods are different, and so we have
little contact. Every time some of us move into an area,
they move out. Eventually we have to communicate
because they are running out of places to move to.
The Teen-Agers presented a generation optimistic about the future (even as its members sometimes

TEENS AND GOD


1966

2015

96

83

Believe in God

Believe in God or
other divine being

PERCENT

PERCENT

MY SPIRITUAL BELIEFS ARE A POSITIVE


GUIDING FORCE TO ME *( EQUALS 100%)

12%
17%
38%
33%
Strongly Disagree

Somewhat Agree

Somewhat Disagree

Strongly Agree

NEWSWEEK

38

0 5 / 2 7/ 2 0 1 6

AP

PERCENT

+
SIGN OF THE TIMES: In the midst of the civil rights move-

ment and school desegregation, most teens in the 60s


were optimistic about their future, and race relations.

feared it). And thats not so surprising, since the civil


rights movement was celebrating some major triumphs
then. Segregation in public schools had been declared
unconstitutional in 1954 with the Supreme Courts decision in Brown v. Board of Education. By the early 1960s,
black Americans were staging sit-ins and freedom rides
in the South, challenging whites-only lunch counters and
segregated transportation. In 1963, more than 200,000
Americans attended the March on Washington, which
concluded with the Reverend Martin Luther Kings transcendent I Have a Dream speech. (He did not, however, make the list of 13 famous people teens admired
most in 66.) The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into
law by President Johnson, banning discrimination based
on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
School integration lurched forward, yet segregation
persisted. In 1965, Alabama state troopers and local police
assaulted civil rights demonstrators as they marched from
Selma to Montgomery. Officers charged into the crowd,
some on horseback, wielding nightsticks and firing tear
gas, leaving more than 50 people injured on what became
known as Bloody Sunday. Soon after, Johnson signed the
Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited discriminatory voting laws. There was a sense of hopefulnessnot
just with African-Americans but with all peoplethat the
country was generally on the right track, says Arun Venugopal, host of Micropolis, WNYCs semi-regular show on
race and identity. Economically, the country was doing
really well. A lot of jobs were being created. If you were
NEWSWEEK

young, there was a sense that you had a good chance of


being gainfully employed. Minimum wage took you a lot
further then than it does today.
As a teen, Brewer had a clear vision of his future: a
career, not just a job; a family, but not until he could support one. He earned a scholarship to Williams College,
got his law degree at Northwestern and, a couple of years
later, joined the FBI. At the time, there were 118 black
agents out of almost 9,000. Me and another guy were
one of the few from the North, both from public housing,
and that was unheard of in the bureau, he says. He got
married at 30 (then married two more times; he has two
daughters, 32 and 26, and a 3-year-old son). Hes a judge
of the Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, where he
estimates that of the 480 people he has sentenced, only
5 percent graduated from high school, and 99 percent of
the men were unemployed or underemployed.
Brewer credits his success to his parents, his community and something impossible to replicate: the 60s.
There was a big buzz about the possibilities for blacks at
the time. We knew changes were coming: Opportunities
that werent available before would be. The FBI would be
available. We didnt know how or when, but it was like, Be
prepared! Education was a key, he says. It was almost
like a big candy factory was gonna open up for us. Today,
the factory is open, but theres not much candy.

39

0 5 / 2 7/ 2 0 1 6

NEWSWEEK

SHOW OF HANDS: The flurry of police shootings involv-

ing unarmed black men has spurred teens to be more


engaged in racial issues and join groups like Black
Lives Matter and the NAACP.
+

40

0 5 / 2 7/ 2 0 1 6

B RA N D E N E AST WO O D/ R E DUX

countrys first black president is finishing his second


term, Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee in
the upcoming presidential election, energizing a base
The Atlantic describes as middle-aged white men without college degrees who dont think they have a voice and
fear outsiders. In September, Governor Paul R. LePage
(R-Maine) blamed local drug use on guys with the name
D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty who bring heroin to Maine
and impregnate a young white girl before they leave.
Discrimination has roiled pop culture too. When not a
single person of color was nominated for best actor, best
actress, best supporting actor or best supporting actress
at the 2016 Academy Awards, prominent black celebrities boycotted the show, and host Chris Rock said in his
opening, Youre damn right Hollywoods racist. At this
years Super Bowl halftime show, Beyonc turned her
performance of a new song into a political statement on
police brutality and racism. Conservatives were outraged:
She and her backup dancers were dressed like the Black
Panthers! Youre talking to middle America when you
have the Super Bowl, former New York City Mayor Rudy
Giuliani said. Lets have, you know, decent, wholesome
entertainment and not use it as a platform to attack the
people who, you know, put their lives at risk to save us.
Teenagers are growing up under this black president,

2016: CIVIL RIGHTS AND WRONGS


growing up in America have access
to life-changing opportunitieslike earning a college
scholarship or watching a brother marry his boyfriend
and minor privileges, like Googling the answer to any
question in recorded human history on a smartphone
and streaming Game of Thrones during a math quiz.
They can also watch video of 12-year-old Tamir Rice
playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center
then getting shot dead a moment later by a police officer. They can hear Eric Garner gasp I cant breathe as
hes placed in an apparent chokehold during an arrest,
and they know that hell be dead in less than an hour.
And they can witness massive protests erupt in Ferguson, Missouri, after the death of 18-year-old Michael
Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot at least six
times, including twice in the head, by former police officer Darren Wilson, whos white.
A Guardian study found that, last year, young black
men were nine times more likely than other Americans
to be killed by police. The Washington Post reported that
unarmed black men were seven times more likely than
whites to die from police shootings last year. According
to a ProPublica analysis, between 2010 and 2012, black
teens were 21 times more likely to be shot dead than
white teens.
Racism has long been an American battleground, but
it is seeping into everyday life in new ways. While the
MOST CHILDREN

TEEN GADGET OWNERSHIP,


1966 VS. 2015

yet at the end of his presidency we are seeing a constant


stream of police killings, says Nikole Hannah-Jones, who
covers civil rights and racial injustice for The New York
Times. I dont know our kids are getting the tools to deal
with that. Research shows millennials are no better at
race than our generation because these kids still are not
being educated together. Even when they are in the same
school buildings they are not educated together. White
and Asian kids are tracked into higher-level classes, and
black and Latino kids are tracked lower. Someone has
to give up something so someone else can get equality.
But thats not happening. A black male with a college degree looking for a job will not do as well as a
white male with a high school diploma looking for a
job, says Vaughans. A black male without a criminal
record will not do as well as a white male with a criminal record if they get to an interview. If you are a black
male with a name like Jujuan, or if you are a black male
and went to Howard, hang it up.
Brewers success was exceptionala product of his
staunch optimism and determination but also his community. Despite the tangle of violence and adversity in public
housing in the 1960s, there were mothers and fathers
whole families, he says. He grew up eating dinner every
night with his parents and five siblings. No TV. No fast
food. Just home-cooked meals, family and conversation.
I didnt know anyone who was chronically unemployed.
And most fathers, if the son became 17 or 18, they could
take them to their job and put em on. Youre hired. They
raised families on the money they made. But all those
jobs changed, he adds. Now you have families disintegrated. We all looked at public housing as being upwardbound, not as a decline. Its a different world today.
Osariemen, 15, from Brooklyn, New York: The most
challenging thing in my life is hearing bigots in my
school voice their opinion like no one will be offended,
like they shouldnt be held accountable....
Andrew, 17, from Ridgewood, New Jersey: Blacks and
whites are too confrontational about everything. I regard
myself as being liberal and progressive, but theres no
need for confrontation. Black people now, so many of
them, theyve got this idea that everybody is attacking
them. Weve gotta love each other. Its not them against
us. Its all us. Black Lives Matter. Well, all lives matter.
Jorge, 13, from Las Vegas: Race is a problem in my
life. In my school, I hear a lot of racist words. The black
teenagers say the N-word. They call Mexicans and
Asians in a negative way. It feels bad.
Shylee, 16, Tampa, Florida: Black people try to separate
themselves. They even have their own TV network. If
youre trying to all be equal, why are you separating yourself from everyone? Im not racist. I think theres definitely
bad white people who dont like black people, but theres
also bad black people who dont like white people.
Sophie, 16, Greensboro, North Carolina: My dad makes
an extraordinary amount of money, and we live in a very
nice part of town. I try to think about my privilege as
NEWSWEEK

Boys

1966

Girls
75%

Records

90%
75%
72%

Transistor
Radio
50%

Record
Player

64%
60%

Encyclopedia
Car
Weights
Guitar
Motorbike
Perfume
Patterned
Stockings
Hair Dryer
High Boots

72%

18%
8%
34%
0%
27%
0%
20%
0%
0%
96%
0%
67%
0%
65%
0%
56%

2015
73%
78%

Smartphone
Laptop
Computer

55%
62%

Bike

61%
49%

Tablet

48%
51%
34%

Journal or
Notebook

41

0 5 / 2 7/ 2 0 1 6

58%

Musical
Instruments

29%
36%

Desktop
Computer

35%
29%

Car

11%
12%

Non-Smartphone

12%
10%

Motorcycle

2%
1%

None of
These

2%
2%

more diverse environment. I thought people wouldnt


judge me based on how I looked. But people made fun of
my hair and accent. If people are constantly throwing racist comments at you, especially at a young age, theres no
way to stand tall and be proud of who you are.
Rahman nods. During the Paris attack, a friend
said, Can you tell your family not to kill my family?
She looks up with big, quizzical eyes. Why would you
just assume my family is a part of ISIS?
I was always hoping that once I got to college it would
stop, and Id find people like me. But now Im transitioning into a world that might be the same, says Eboigbe,
whos going to Brown this fall. To see racism happening
on college campuses, people being victimized, its scary.
Its a grim outlook: Nearly twice as many teensand
nearly three times as many black teensthink racial discrimination is here to stay, compared with 50 years ago.
The internet has given them a front-row seat to some of
the most important civil rights moments of their young
lives. Theyve witnessed injustice (Ferguson), outright
racism against their president (61 percent of Trump supporters dont believe Obama was born in the U.S.) and too
little change coming too late (the Oscars). Young people
who otherwise couldnt participate in robust conversations like this all of a sudden now can participate as fully
as anyone else, says DeRay Mckesson, the Black Lives
Matter activist running for mayor of Baltimore. That is a
powerful thing. We cant fix what we dont address.
Racism may not look as it did 50 years agoIts not
formally entrenched, Venugopal saysbut its endemic,
and changing one persons mind is difficult enough, much
less overhauling society. Hannah-Jones lets out a long
sigh when asked what advice shed give teens. Oh man!
Thats hard. Be better than your parents. Every generation, we think that as the old generation dies out, things

much as I can, because I know a lot of people dont have


the race and class privilege that I do. Its definitely not
something I deserve or another person doesnt deserve.
Rissa, 16, Indianapolis: Everybody has to realize that
skin color is nothing more than someone having more pigment than someone else. Until people realize that, well
still have those people who are extremely racist. Were
programmed to find flaws in others and extort them.
THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION
racism is the issue of their generation,
and many are working hard to understand it, confront
it, change it. For some, this is a quiet, personal battle.
One time, I was sitting in my room wearing a T-shirt,
and my grandma came in and she thought the reason
my skin is the way it is is because I dont take enough
showers. Or Im dirty. She thought if I cleanse myself
harder, Ill have lighter skin, says Leuna Rahman, 17,
of Queens, New York, who identifies as South Asian
(her parents are from Bangladesh). Thats not how
it is. I was born this way. But I dont let it get to me,
because I learned to love myself.
Shes sitting in the basement of a brick church that
moonlights as the headquarters for South Asian Youth
Action, a youth organization for 2,000 elementary, middle and high school students in New York City, focusing
on academics, college prep and leadership skills.
I did not want to be black, says her friend, Loretta
Eboigbe, 18. Theres this notion that if youre light-skin,
its the right skin, or youre prettier. At one point I went
to the bathroom and tried to get rid of my skin color
because I wanted to be white. I was around 7 or 8. I took
a sponge and tried to scrub off my skin.
Eboigbe was born in Italy and moved to the U.S. in 2008
because her parents, both Nigerian, wanted to live in a
TEENS KNOW

TEENS PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR PARENTS


RUNNING THEIR LIFE
1966

2%

86%

12%

2016

16%

Not Sure

60%

Havent Run Life Too Much/No

Have Run Life Too Much/Yes

24%

A N D R EW BURTO N /G E T T Y

RISE UP: Social media and the internet have given todays youth a front-row seat to the current civil rights
battles and put them on the front lines.

Teens today admire Selena Gomez, but they idolize


Beyonc, in part because she injected police brutality and
civil rights into one of the largest, most American cultural
events of the year. NAACP President Cornell Williams
Brooks points out that in the past two years weve all witnessed more racial conflict and challenges than weve
seen in nearly a generation, and he has had 28 percent
more young people join the NAACP online. At a moment
of conflict, crisis and challenge, rather than sliding into
a civic and depressive funk, what do teens do? They join
organizations. They do something about it, he says.
Asked about the acute awareness teens today have
about racism, Brewer sees cause for hope. Race
was and always will be a constant black teens have to
address, and to overcome that, you need to be equipped.
The primary thing you need is education. Weve got a
black president now. Back then, we didnt have black
mayors! But we had hope and belief, and we knew that
all we needed was opportunity. Now you have more
opportunity, but the preparation for it is gone. Its hard
to confront racism if you dont have education. Theres
so much freedom today. What do you do with it?
President Obama, who knows something about rising above racism and raising teenagers, said in his commencement address at Howard University earlier this
month, If you had to choose a time to be, in the words of
Lorraine Hansberry, young, gifted and black, in America, you would choose right now.

will be better. But the new generation becomes the old


generation, so if teens really want to see a day where there
is real equality, theyre gonna have to do a lot better job
than weve done, our parents have done and our grandparents did. Its not inevitable but pretty damn close to
inevitable that this generation will repeat our mistakes.
But whats the point of being a teenager if you cant
make mistakes, and you cant change?
Moseley, the 16-year-old from Wisconsin, is candid
about her transformation on racism. You have to be in a
certain environment to change and learn that things are
wrong. She says a popular blogging platform changed
her. I was very racist and discriminatory, and after
I went on Tumblr, I saw how people were struggling
and how the things I was doing were wrong. Before, I
wouldnt want to be around anyone of color. Id be like,
Oh my gosh, theyre gonna mug me. Now Im just like,
Hes a person. Ive learned that you cannot judge a person. You cannot stereotype. Its incredibly wrong to do.
In 1966, the 15-year-old Tommy Brewer wasnt particularly concerned with racism. Most young people
dont feel racial prejudice, he told Newsweek then. We
dont see the importance of civil rights yet. We believe
in what Martin Luther King does, but we dont idolize
him the way we do a baseball player.

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S
R
E

TH

THEN& NOW
T

THEY WERE THE FACES AND VOICES OF A GENERATION...AND ARE AGAIN, AS THEY LOOK
BACK 50 YEARS LATER AT THEIR LIVES, THEIR TRIUMPHS AND THEIR FEARS.

JAN
SMITHERS

She attended Taft High School, and


one day a guy she knew asked her to
go surfing with him. I thought, No, I
couldnt! I cant play hooky! But he
talked her into it. The beach was empty,
and Smithers remembers sitting on the
sand watching him surf, wondering
what her mother would say when she got
home. Suddenly, she spotted two men
dressed in black walking toward her.
They looked like little pencils walking
down the beach. One had long hair and
cameras around his neck. They walked
right up to me and said, Were doing an
article on teens across the country, and
were looking for a girl from California.
Were wondering if youd be interested in
doing the article.
Smithers said yes. After the article came out, her
mother took her to meet agents in Hollywood. I
remember driving in the car with her. My mom was
looking for a real person to represent me. Smithers
did commercials while finishing her last two years
of high school.
She was accepted to Chouinard Art Institute, now
the California Institute of the Arts, but quit after a
couple of years to pursue acting full time. It paid off.
In her early 20s, she landed a role in the 1974 film
Where the Lilies Bloom, about a family of children living in the Appalachian Mountains. Four years later,
she got her big break on the Friday night sitcom
WKRP in Cincinnati. She calls her success destiny
but also sees it as dumb luck: Honest to God, I dont
know how it happened!
Smithers met her former husband, Brolin, on the
set of Hotel, an 80s prime-time drama from Aaron
Spelling. I had been in WKRP, a situation comedy,
which is a fast-paced dialogue between people,

IT TOOK THE ASSISTANCE of half a dozen


people and months of dead ends to
track down Jan Smithers, by far the most
famous of the six teenagers Newsweek
profiled in 1966. After appearing on the
cover of Newsweeks teen issueblond,
sun-kissed, seated on a motorcycle
and flashing a killer smileSmithers
received calls from many, many Hollywood agents hoping to represent her.
Today, shes most known for playing
Bailey Quarters on WKRP in Cincinnati,
which aired from 1978 to 1982. She was also married
to actor James Brolin for nine years.
Today, however, she lives in Southern California
and avoids the spotlight. (Her most recent IMDb
entry, for Mr. Nice Guy, is from 1987.) People dont
even know Im an actor! If I ever let them know,
theyre so surprised, she says. Im very private
about my personal life. Asked if her life unfolded
how she imagined it would, she bursts out laughing. No! Because of Newsweek magazine, I didnt
have a chance to imagine how it would come out!
Before Newsweek came into her life, Smithers was
just a 16-year-old Valley girl. She grew up in a modest middle-class family in Los Angeles. Her father
was a lawyer, her mother a homemaker, and she had
three sisters, though the eldest died in a car accident
at 21. Smithers was shy, liked art and was lukewarm
on school. Sometimes, when Im sitting in my
room, I just feel like screaming and pounding my
pillow, she told Newsweek. Im so confused about
this whole world and everything thats happening.
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+
LEADING LADY:

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: JULIAN WASSER FOR NEWSWEEK;


SONY PICTURES TELEVISION/SHOUT! FACTORY; ELISSA SYLVIA MIRZAEI FOR NEWSWEEK

Her picture on the


cover of Newsweek
led to a storybook success, but
Smithers says she
only found true
happiness after
giving her life to
her child, her causes and her swami.

Smithers says. When I did Hotel, we were about to


do our scene, and James asked me if I was scared. I
was sure of my lines, and I said no, I wasnt. I realized that he might be scared! And I realized he was
a very sincere person. I dont know if he remembers
that or not, but our relationship developed on sincerity.
They married in 1986 and have one
daughter, Molly, whos 28. When Smithers first learned she was pregnant, she
planned to take six months off before
returning to work. I loved having a
career, but when I met Molly, I just
looked at her and told her, You need
me. And she looked at me so innocently.
I thought, I have to stay! She changed my
life. I really longed to be her mom.

NEWSWEEK

After nine years of marriage, Smithers and Brolin


divorced. It was goodreally goodbut somehow, somewhere, we started to wander, she says.
He traveled a lot for work. We grew apart. He was
gone months at a time. Smithers also yearned for a
life outside Hollywood. I had Molly and
wanted to be in the country and get away
from that world. I just wanted a different
life, and we ended up getting divorced.
When Molly reached high school,
Smithers traveled to India with a charitable group. She was astonished at
the hardships she witnessed there and
moved by the people she met. For the
first time, it dawned on her: I could
make a difference. She spent the next
16 years going to India. I learned to

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meditate there, and I changed a great deal. I got out


of myself.
These days, Smitherss life largely revolves
around meditation, healing, spirituality and the
environment. She talks about yoga guru Swami
Muktananda, Indian spiritual guru Mata Amritanandamayi (known as Amma the Hugging Saint) and
Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva as if theyre

her family. And she believes that helping people


neighbors and enemiescan heal anyone and any
situation, from fights among friends to wars between
nations. As she puts it, The answer to peace in the
universe is love. Asked what advice shed give young

F ROM L EFT: C HARLIE WITTM AC K FOR NEWSWEEK; CHARLES HARBUTT FOR NEWSWEEK

THE GOOD EARTH: Nobody kept Curtis down on the


farm; he returned there happily after working in big
cities like Chicago and New York City.
+

NEWSWEEK

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people, she exclaims, Read Autobiography of a Yogi!


Get a hug from Amma! Make use of your time here!
In my life, I found these things because I looked for
them. Im always in a place to receive the next thing.
This is the real march, the quiet peoples change.
Over the years, Smithers has used her fame to support causes she cares about. I stood for no nukes. I
spoke for solar energy. I was invited to Washington
and spoke in a subcommittee. I did a terrible jobit
was way over my headbut I did it, she says. My
spiritual teachers always say, Stay out of politics. But
do you know what the byproduct of nuclear energy
is? she asks, then launches into a 10-minute spiel
on plutonium. I am so antinuclear energy.
Smithers is surprised to learn that 82 percent of
teens today believe racial discrimination will be a
problem for their generation. People are people;
were all the same, she says. The key to solving
discrimination and violence, she thinks, is peace
in your inner world. Theres such a commotion
about the world, but we can find peace at any given
moment. Conflicts are not etched in stone. Yet she
worries about how the economy will affect young
people. If this whole generation cant buy a home
because they have to pay off their college education, what have we done?
Recently, I called Smithers to ask her a few
follow-up questions. We spoke for nearly an hour,
and later that day, she called back and
left a message. I just thought of that
whole conversation we had about discrimination, she says with her soft
voice on the recording. I dont really
know the answer, but God does. You
could write that down.

12 rabbits, eight cats and one dog. After school, he


plowed, hauled hay, fed the animals and put them
to bed. His father was the plant process engineer for
Maytag, and his mother died of ovarian cancer when
Curtis was 10. My father was very important in my
life. He wanted me to be exposed to as many things
as possible, he says, speaking with a slight twang. I
had a sense of wanting to learn about things beyond
just the scope of being a farm boy.
Curtiss father had gone to Iowa State University, where he worked with professor John Vincent
Atanasoff and graduate student Clifford Berry, who
created the first electronic digital computer. He
was also involved in the Manhattan Project at Iowa
State, which developed and built the first atomic
bomb. He did a lot of things under the radar. It was
very fortunate for me to see that.
In 1966, Newsweek called Curtiss childhood the
vanishing rustic lifehunting, fishing, camping out
and raising his own livestock, and he
remembers his youth fondly, without
regrets. He was involved in the Newton
Rotary Club, played the trumpet in the
school orchestra, joined the debate team
and chorus, and became class president
his senior year. He met his wife, Beverly, in high school; she worked at the
local ice cream shop, the Kone Korner,
which Curtiss uncle owned. It will be
43 years this August, he says of their
marriage. That doesnt happen very
often, does it?
After high school, Curtis went to Iowa
State, where he studied animal science
and agriculture business. Hed wanted
to become a veterinarian, but he says
there were around 900 applicants the
year he applied to Iowa States College
of Veterinary Medicine, and only 89
were accepted. He was not one of them.
Instead, hes spent the past 42 years in the meatpacking industry, working for companies involved
in slaughter and production all the way to the manufacturing and sales of fresh and processed meats.
His wife and two sons followed Curtis in his many
jobs to 11 cities, from Chicago and Cincinnati to
Oklahoma City and New York. Im pleased with
where my career has gone. Its tied to an industry

BRUCE CURTIS
WITH PINK CHEEKS and a tired, distant
stare, 13-year-old Bruce Curtis stands
in front of the barn on his fathers 116acre farm, a green Army cap pulled
down to his brow. Its daybreak, and hes
bundled up in blue coveralls and a teal
sweatshirt, his hands covered by soiled
yellow working gloves. If youre looking at my picture in coveralls, youre
thinking, That kid was never in New York! Curtis,
now 63, says of the photo Newsweek published in
1966. But I used to live in Sparta, New Jersey, and
ride the train to Penn Station and work in 11 Penn
Plaza. Ive come a long way from small-town Iowa.
Curtis grew up in Newton, Iowa, population
15,381 (today, its 15,150). Every morning, he woke
at 6 oclock to feed his familys 30 cattle, 24 sheep,

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dont have that opportunity. Hes also worried about


drugs. When Curtis was in high school, he remembers some people drinking. Today is scarier. You
have scary things with meth and some of those things
that really are ruining a lot of families and wrecking a
lot of lives. Its a state problem. Were located along
Interstate 35 and 80, and that drug traffic moves up
[from the South], he says. Unfortunately, it is available. To be honest, Im not sure Id want to go through
[being a teen] again.

thats part of my background. Its a very demanding business environment, and Ive been successful from plant level to corporate to ownership of a
company, he says. Ive experienced downsizing a
couple times in that career, which gives you some
humility and also gives you some strength.
In 1998, Curtis moved back to Newton, rebuilt the
family farmhouse and now is a co-owner of Shelby
Foods, which turns meat products into the raw
materials for the meat, pet food and pharmaceutical
industries across the U.S. and the world.
In the 1960s, Newton was the manufacturing
muscle for Maytag. The companys headquarters,
located in the tiny rural town, helped it flourish and
employed thousands. All that changed in 2006,
when the Whirlpool Corp. bought Maytag. The company closed a year later, taking with it many of the
jobs that sustained the community.
Upper managementand the kinds of families
that came along with itdisappeared from Newton,
Curtis recalls. Its a little more diverse [now], he
says. Its a little more of a labor type of environment
here. The school is smaller by population, so that has
changed sports and academics. One positive addition has been the Des Moines
Area Community Colleges Newton campus. Its done a great job working with
the school system to get high school students some of their further college credits. That is something we didnt have years
ago, Curtis says.
Still, he worries about teenagers and
the world theyre inheriting. Im concerned about what college students will
have for jobs. Terrorism for me is for
sure a concern. We seem to have a world
thats intent on destroying itself, and for
me thats very unsettling, he says. Teenagers greatest challenges, he thinks, will
be self-confidence, employment and success. You need to make things happen,
he says. Its not a given that there will be
jobs for you. You have to go search it out.
Asked what advice hed give young
people today, he says, Thats a good question. Boy...
Then he goes silent. After a long pause, he says, I
was fortunate with the environment I grew up in and
the family background, and some teenagers probably
NEWSWEEK

CHRISTOPHER
REED
CHRISTOPHER REED was never one for labels. Ive
always disdained the word teenager, he told Newsweek in 1966, when he was 17. He believed the word
had hostile connotations, and he referred to
teens as they rather than we. People think anyone
whos a teenager is automatically a delinquent, he
said. I dont feel Im a member of the vast portion
of kids my age.
Growing up in a townhouse on the Upper East Side
of Manhattan, Reed was a model of good behavior
and an honors student at the elite Browning School
near Park Avenue (graduates include John D. Rockefeller, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., Jamie Dimon and
Howard Dean). He rarely smoked. He avoided bars.
He did his homework, practiced piano two hours a
day. In his free time, he played hockey
on the roof of his school and wandered
through museums and galleries, and
hoped for a girlfriend. His parents were
divorced; he had two younger brothers.
Every Saturday, he spent five hours at
a rundown community center on the
Lower East Side teaching children to
read. Even at that age, he was sophisticated enough to understand life beyond
his privileged bubble: Everyone is
always talking about the big problems
of todays teenagers. But do they really
have any? They have the same problems
as older peoplethe worlds problems.
After high school, Reed attended
Harvard. I went from one privileged
boys school in Manhattan to an elite
institution. I guess Ive been living it
down ever since, he says. When we
imagine the futures of dutiful, privileged youngsters like Reed, we often think: lawyer,
banker, hedge funder. But Reed wanted to make
the world a better place.
His professional life has revolved around local

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DEVIN YAL KIN FOR NEWSWE EK( 2)

farming, the environment, activism and education. Ive always


been open to the idea that the most
interesting changes happen on a
small scalegrassroots. Institutions can do something that isnt
top-down and that has real impact.
So its not a surprise that I would
have landed in a small community
that would easily be overlooked yet
has its own contribution to make to
changing the world.
Reed, 67, lives in Philmont, New
York, a village about two hours
north of New York City. His longtime partner is an herbalist who
founded High Falls Gardens, a small
farm turned nonprofit dedicated
to Chinese medicinal herbs. Reed
is a community and environmental activisthe spent a lot of time
protesting in Zuccotti Park during
Occupy Wall Street, and in the early
2000s he helped wage a winning
battle against a proposed cement
plant in Philmont. Recently, he
joined a local steering committee
tasked with figuring out how to use
the areas post-industrial infrastructure and history of water power to
enhance the community. Reed jokes
that he started working in the local
food world before it was fashionable and, for the last 15 years, hes
collaborated with small farms as a
consultant and educator. He also
worked as a woodworker and a contractor, and has taught piano for
over 40 years.
Because I rejected certain paths
of success, I sometimes wondered
if I was a failure, he says. Its
taken me a long time to know that
there was a positive. That the things
I chose to do did have meaning.
Reed looked up to his parents for
their social intelligence (his mother
was an artist, and his father worked
in insurance), and he admired
his uncle, Henry Hope Reed, an
esteemed historian and architecture critic, for his principles. He
said his elite education was worthless. Everything
he learned, he learned on his own, Reed says. He
had advice for me when I was a teenager that I still
remember: See things as they are. I think it takes
courage to do that. Maybe it doesnt take as much

+
OCCUPIED WALL STREET: A life of privilege growing

up in Manhattan didnt keep Reed from social activism, which included joining the protests against the
countrys financial powers in 2011.

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F RO M L E F T: E R I C K AY N E FO R N EWSW E E K ; S H E L H E RS H O R N FO R N EWSW E E K

courage if youre already under the


gun economically. Its easier to see
through the halo of illusions if you
are suffering from tap water thats
polluted or have no way of surviving
if you have a major illness because
its too expensive.
Reed doesnt have children, but
hes taught many young people
over the years, and their fearlessness is what impresses him most,
especially in the face of a future
marked by student debt, fewer
well-paying entry-level jobs, public
health crises and wealth inequality.
Asked what advice hed give teens
today, he says hed tell them that
even the ugly truth is an important thing to pursue. Behind the ugly
truth there are also beautiful truths
about the resilience of people.
When reminded of his early
aversion to the word teenager, he
bursts out laughing. I remember
saying that, and I remember the
flack I would get about that too.
Seeing people in aggregates and
typing them is a very bad idea, he
says. I instinctively bristle now
at these broad-stroke judgments,
whether at Muslims or another
embattled group. Theres something going on to render those
groups defenseless or vulnerable.
Then theyre condemned on top of
that. That seems grossly unfair.
Life over a half-century is
humbling. I hope that Im cultivating more ability to empathize
with different kinds of people. Im
still struggling to be more human.
Thats a lifelong challenge.

LAURA
JO DEGAN
(Formerly Davis)

I HAVE BEEN VERY NERVOUS about


this, Laura Jo Degan, 64, says at
the outset of our phone interview. I have to tell you
the truth: I wasnt sure what yall wanted. Im nothing. Im not. My life is pretty ho-hum.
Fifty years ago, when Degan (who at the time
went by her maiden name, Laura Jo Davis), spoke

NEWSWEEK

DEEP ROOTS: Behind the radiant smile Degan

flashed in the original teen issue were some


extraordinary tragedies in her young life, including
a deadly bombing in her elementary school.

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to Newsweek, she was a content 14-year-old. Growing up in Houston, she played volleyball, cheered,
water-skied and rode horses. Once a week, she volunteered as a candy striper at a local hospital. Degan
loved riding Honda motorbikes and worked hard in
school (she cried when she didnt get an A or a B).
Smoking, to her, was repulsive, politics uninteresting and the Bomb not worth worrying about: Its
a stupid thought. I guess I feel it will never happen to
me. She firmly believed her future would fall into
place. Her greatest concern in life? Boys.
Degans seemingly unshakeable optimismnot
to mention the cheerful photos Newsweek published
of her gleefully riding a Honda motorbike and smiling brightly in a close-upmasked the hardships
shed endured.
The year before Newsweeks cover story, Degans
father, a photographer for Shell Oil, died of a heart
attack on Mothers Day. There were real traumatic
thingsI guess you can tell from my voice, she says,
trembling. Financially, that put a big strain on the
family. Degan started working at a local florist, and
her mother got a job running an OB-GYN
medical center. Degans brother and sister were older, so it was just my mother
and I, really, for a long time at the house.
And there was the bombing.
On September 15, 1959, Paul Orgeron,
an ex-convict and tile-setter, walked
into Poe Elementary School with his
7-year-old son, Dusty, and a briefcase
jammed with dynamite. He wanted to
enroll Dusty, but the principal told him
they needed the boys address and birth
certificate. Orgeron vowed to return
with the paperwork the next day. But
instead of leaving, he took Dusty out
to the playground and started blathering about God and power in front of
about 50 students. Then he detonated
the bomb hidden in his briefcase. Body
parts flew everywhere. The blast killed
six people: Orgeron, Dusty, the janitor,
another teacher and two children. Seventeen more
students were injured, including two who lost a leg,
and the principal suffered a broken leg.
Degan was 8 years old, in her third-grade classroom when the bomb exploded. At first she thought
it was the Russians. Her teacher led everyone outside, but as an appointed school monitor, Degan had
to run into the bathrooms and the teachers lounge
and shout get out! While her classmates exited the
building with their teacher, who instructed them to
look away from the carnage, Degan left by herself.
I came out, and because I wasnt told not to look, I
looked, she says, sniffling. Everything was in black
and white, except for [the principals] dress. That
NEWSWEEK

color of her dress was just so embedded in my brain.


It was the most vivid purple.
Degan didnt talk about the bombing for many
years, and then it was only with her family and best
friend. I was shattered, she says. I couldnt sleep
without the light on or somebody in my room. For
a long time. We all got past it. They didnt send
counselors into the schools in those days. You just
sucked it up, and you went on to school.
When Degan graduated from high school, her
mother scraped up all the nickels and dollars we
could find and sent her on a trip to Europe. It was
the summer of 1969. That fall, Degan started her
freshman year at Louisiana State University. I was convinced I could do anything
with plantscure diseases and stuff like
that. I was going to be the mad scientist.
That all went down the tubes because
I realized you had to know a lot about
chemistry. She studied landscape architecture instead.
Sophomore year, she was thrown from
a horse and crushed her spine against a
telephone pole. She didnt think she
would ever walk again or finish college,
but she eventually did both, graduating
from LSU seven years after she started.
She was the first person in her family to
earn a degree.
Degan, who came from five generations of Texans, moved back to Houston
and worked as a landscape architect for
15 years. She and her husband married
in 1980, when she was 30, and they have
two children. She now works for his contracting
business, but over the past 20 years shes spent most
of her time taking care of three relatives with Alzheimers disease. When people ask me why I havent
been involved in my careerIm a caregiver.
Degans life has hardly been ho-hum, but when
she reflects back, her memories are tinged with a
wistful hint of regret. I guess Im where Im supposed to be. But with that in mind, I think I should
havehow can I say?I could have done more with
my life. I think you always feel [that way] when
youre reaching the end of life, she says. Im looking at retirement now, and thats pretty scary with
the economy. So I shoulda made a lot of money. That

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shake my head and stay awake, she said.


Her views on the world havent budged in the
past 50 years. Im as radical as Ive ever been, says
Richardson, 67, who now lives in San Leandro, California. I still think society is basically gonna collapse due to bad economics, because were spending
money constantly that we dont have. Like a pyramid
scheme. I think its going to be that and the environment thats gonna kill us, she says. [This country]
is run by the rich. If youre poor, you stay poor. Its
not a democracy. It never was.
When I ask Richardson what she did after high
school, she replies, I definitely took some time
off. I didnt start collegedrugs were rampant in
those days, and I certainly had mine. She drove
cross-country playing folk music and the blues
with someone she says is Woody Guthries nephew.
They landed gigs in clubsshe sang and played
guitarand after a few years she returned to California and enrolled at California State University,
San Bernardino. She couldnt afford to graduate, so
she dropped out after a couple of years. She spent
her 20s and 30s in a haze of music gigs, parties
and average jobs and has spent the past 10 years
working as a vehicle registration clerk. She met
her husband when she was 36, and they
have no children.
Richardsons father was a dentist,
her mother a housewife, but after her
parents divorced, her mother got a job
as a secretary. She eventually went
back to school and earned a degree in
anthropology. She didnt know it, but
she had a rare cancer of the small intestine, and just as she was going for her
first job, it killed her. I was 34. She was
54 when she died, Richardson says.
Her older brother died of heart disease
at 54. Theres nobody left. Im it. My
father lived until his 70s. His heart got
him too, but he got to do everything he
wanted to do.
Richardson talks with a hoarse, raspy
voice that sounds as if its about to give
out any moment. When she was 44, she
was diagnosed with throat cancer. She
beat it, and while she may not be able to
sing anymore, she still plays the guitar, keyboard, dulcimer and ukulele. Clearing her throat, she says that
she has regretseverybody doesbut she wouldnt
change a single opinion when it comes to her politics.
The gay marriage thing is great! Weve done
something right. I know marijuana will do some
very interesting and positive things; it isnt just
about getting high, she says. Yet she has harsh
words for Americas so-called election, its health
care system, overcrowded prisons and the legal sys-

shoulda been my goal, but I never had those goals.


I think my biggest goal was I wanted to be happy.
I saw people who did not have a lot of joy. So I just
want to be happy.
Teenagers all have these really bizarre expectations that theyre going to be Mark Zuckerberg,
she says. And then, dont even get me started
on Hollywood. I choose not to look at that sort
of thing. Im sorry. I want to live the life of Mrs.
Cleaver. Why cant it be like that?

LAURA
RICHARDSON
(Formerly Hausman)

WHEN LAURA RICHARDSON moved from


Boston to Berkeley, California, halfway
through high school, she left behind her
old friends and didnt look back. They
were a bunch of perfect, first-class...
finks, she told Newsweek in 1966, when
she was 17. At Berkeley High School,
Richardsons new friends were into discussing five topics: Vietnam, the Bomb,
civil rights, marijuana and sex. I really
fit in here, she said.
Newsweeks original profile of Richardson (who went by Laura Hausman at
the time) showed her in a paisley kneelength skirt, an orange turtleneck and
black cardigan, strumming a guitar in
front of a peace sign with the words Peace
and Freedom written around it. She was
against the Bomb (Its so completely
stupid...to just be able to push a button
and destroy the world), against the Vietnam War
(My solution is simply to get out), for the legalization of marijuana (Its sort of like taking whiskey,
only it doesnt cause cirrhosis) and vociferously
for legalizing homosexuality.
In high school, Richardson volunteered at a program
for black children in San Franciscos Haight-Ashbury
neighborhood, participated in a women-for-peace
march and joined the high school arm of the Vietnam
Day Committee. School is just a place where I go to
NEWSWEEK

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FROM LE FT: EUGENE ANTHONY FOR NEWSWEEK; JEFF ENLOW FOR NEWSWEEK

+
FREE RADICAL: Richardson embraced the counter-

culture in the 60s (she even sang and toured with


a band) and says she hasnt softened her stance on
social issues over the past 50 years,

her regrets: Educate yourselves. Oh yes. In any


way possible.
The greatest challenge facing teenagers today,
she thinks, is the environment: Everything else is
kinda superfluous if you dont have a planet that can
be lived on. I dont think teenagers will have it as
good as we did. Its a pessimistic view, but, man,
have they got their work cut out for them. If I was
growing up today, Id be damn angry about it.

tem, which she says is run by very rich and usually


white guys. As for racism, I dont see a cure. I
think economic equality would make things a lot
better, but that isnt happening in this country.
Her one piece of advice for young people reflects

NEWSWEEK

53

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TEENS TODAY/ DIVERSITY

GOOD SCIENCE

COLOR CODED

Computer engineering is mostly


white and male. Changing that
means reaching teen black girls
a self-driving car, NyEla, 10,
says to a room of parents and girls ranging from
elementary to high school. It was pretty easy.
Just hours ago, NyEla had never programmed,
and now she is showing off her creation, a game
she created where a car, of its own accord, navigates a roughly rendered track. NyEla dove
into computer programming with the help of an
organization called Black Girls Code (BGC).
When Amber Morse, BGCs events coordinator,
shouts to the crowd, What do we do? the girls
shout back, We change the face of technology!
Black Americans make up just 7 percent of the
countrys technology engineers. Just 3 percent
are black women. These race and gender gaps
cant be explained by lack of access; the days
when you had to be wealthy to use a computer
as a kid have vanished. According to Barbara
Ericson, at Georgia Institute of Technology, the
biggest challenge now is getting early opportunities to take computer science classes. Of all those
who took the Advanced Placement test in computer science in 2015, 78 percent were male, and
only 4 percent were black. The students with
prior experience in those fields are the ones who
are going to succeed in college, Ericson says.
The mission of BGC, which started in 2011,
is to get girls tinkering with programming while
theyre young, making them feel like they can
compete in computer science classes in college
and beyond. Its a goal shared by BGCs Silicon

Valley sponsors such as Salesforce and Google,


which are struggling with diversity, and by similar nonprofits around the country, like Girls
Who Code and Level the Playing Field.
BGC introduces young women of color to computer programming by hosting weekend coding
sessions and pairing them with mentors. The
girls learn to code with Scratch, a computer language developed at MIT that lets users manipulate visual tools to create algorithms, the logic
systems behind programs. Its simple enough
that children can learn but powerful enough to
be used in introductory computer science classes
at some universities. The girls drag and drop colored puzzle pieces to create simple instructions
like if the ball hits a wall, stop.
Most of the BCG volunteers work in tech and
are acutely aware of the industrys massive diversity problem. Tech is mostly white and Asian,
says Robert Hui, a programmer with Netflix who
volunteered his day to teach the girls to code.
Thats been the demographic since college.
He says his intro-level undergraduate computer
science classes was about 25 percent female, but
that number dwindled as he moved into more
advanced classes. But Hui also thinks change
is coming. After one grueling day of working
through computer bugs, a girl ran up to one volunteer and said, Im going to work at Google when
I grow up and Im going to ride a bike at lunch,
proving shes already got the soul of a techie.

TODAY, I MADE

NEWSWEEK

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BY
GRANT BURNINGHAM
@granteb

T
E
TH
E

E
N

A
G
E
R
S
+
BETTER SCREEN
TIME: Almost all
B L AC K G I R LS CO D E

kids today have


computer access.
The key is getting
them to think
about what goes on
behind the screen.

NEWSWEEK

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#NODARETOOSTUPID

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN if you took a can of


aerosol hairspray or air freshener and sprayed it
directly at a cigarette lighters flame? Any rational
adult is likely to say, Nothing good. But if youre a
teen, you might think, Great snap!
Since mid-March, social media outlets have
been flooded with videos of young people creating

NEWSWEEK

blowtorch-size dragon-breath puffs of fire by putting flame into contact with flammable liquid
(usually while indoors). It began when one teen
Instagram user gave the stunt a try and tagged the
video post #FireSprayChallenge.
The online dare spread rapidly, and now there
are over 4,000 posts on Instagram with the

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BY
JESSICA FIRGER
@jessfirger

JIM YOU NG/ REUTERS

The teenage brain is primed to take


any social media challenge, no matter
how half-baked or dangerous

+
SELFIE-OBSESSED:

From posing in
dangerous places,
like this railing
over Lake Michigan, to setting
themselves on fire
and jumping into a
pool, teens are going to extremes for
internet adulation.

#FireSprayChallenge hashtag. The daring feat


is an offshoot of the #FireChallenge, another
popular and even more dangerous social media
craze that involves dousing oneself with a flammable liquid like rubbing alcohol, then lighting
your torso or limbs on fire before jumping into
a shower or pool. That challenge has resulted in
a seemingly endless stream of reports of teens
with third- or fourth-degree burns. Last year,
an 11-year-old boy in the U.K. underwent a skin
graft after the challenge went terribly wrong. A
15-year-old in Buffalo, New York, died from injuries he suffered after taking the dare. Fire safety
divisions in several states have issued emergency warnings about the challenge.
Other popular and life-threatening social
media challenges have prompted warnings from
public health officials. The #CinnamonChallenge, which involves swallowing a tablespoon of
the spice without any water, can lead to vomiting,
choking and a trip to the ER. That dare became
so popular that within the first three
months of 2012, poison centers
nationwide received 139 calls that
involved cinnamon overdoses. A
person who accepts the #EraserChallenge is required to take a pink
eraser and rub it on his or her arm
while saying a word for each letter of
the alphabet. By the end, some have
burns or deep cuts.
The list of the many and varied challenges teens take on from
social media reads like a disturbing report from a torture chamber: have a friend
douse you with boiling water, eat a Carolina
Reaper (the worlds hottest chili pepper), pour
a bottle of vodka into your open eye, chew and
swallow an entire cactus plant.
Attempting to grasp the motives behind the
reckless stupidity of teenagers has been a frustrating endeavor for parents since the beginning
of time, and many experts believe the internet
has made it even worse. In the good old days,
parents typically felt they could maintain control over their misbehaving teen simply by limiting the time spent with peers who were a bad
influence. But thanks to social media, persuasive people with dumb ideas are now omnipresent and a mere click, tap or swipe away. Add
in the appeal of 30 seconds of fame, and some
teens are willing to try just about anything. In
many cases, the more dangerous it is, the better.
Over the years, scientists have tried to better
understand the biology behind risk-taking behavior in teens by studying young animals. Early
experiments on rodents and nonhuman primates

TEENS TODAY/ONLINE

helped pinpoint critical neurochemical and cellular changes in the brain as it matures that may
promote novelty- and sensation-seeking behaviors. Then, in the 1980s, magnetic resonance
imaging became widely available. Because MRIs
are safe to use (they dont expose a person to radiation), researchers were able to use them to scan
the brains of healthy kids repeatedly, over a long
period of time. Though the resulting data didnt
confirm what parents often claimthat their teen
has half a brainit did show that critical neurological development does occur during teen years.

THE LIST OF THE MANY


CHALLENGES TEENS TAKE ON
FOR SOCIAL MEDIA READS
LIKE A DISTURBING REPORT
FROM A TORTURE CHAMBER.

NEWSWEEK

The brain is made up of two types of tissue:


gray matter and white matter. White matter is
composed mostly of nerve fibers responsible
for transmitting the electric signals that ensure
communication from one area of the brain to
another. Gray matter is made mostly of neuronal cell bodies and dendritesthe thread-like
segments of neurons that receive and send
signals from other neuronsand is involved in
thought processing and memory. By the age of
6, a persons brain is approximately 95 percent
of its eventual adult size, but brain scans have
indicated that in the following years, gray matter continues to grow in volume, with the most
growth occurring during early adolescence.
As gray matter grows, so do the number of
brain cells and connections between these cells,
which shoot like rapid fire. This constant firing
of synapsesthe electric impulses that jump
from neuron to neuronis critical to learning
and development. In the first few years of life,
the brain acquires an abundance of these connectionsmore than it needs. Then, through

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in order for the brain to commit something to


memory, dopamine must be present, which
essentially means it is needed for the brain to
TEENS TODAY/ONLINE
process important information such as dont light
yourself on fire or you might get burned.
Because its flooded with dopamine, the teen
brain is driven to seek out constant stimuli and
reward, says Laurence Steinberg, a professor of
psychology at Temple University. Things that
learning, it begins to eliminate the weaker con- feel good feel even better when youre a teenager, he says. So although a tablespoon of cinnanections, a process known as synaptic pruning.
mon in a teens esophagus might be a miserable
Puberty marks the start of specialization, says
experience, the page views, likes and favorites
Dr. Jay Giedd, chairman of child and adolescent
that trigger a rush of dopamine after the teen
psychiatry at the University of California, San
posts the video mean the person may not care
Diego. This is the point when the brain turns to
about the physical pain. This combination of
weeding out its weakest remaining connections.
an easily aroused reward center and still slow to
At the same time, good and useful connections
mature self-regulation system is what contributes
are strengthened. This process continues well
to a lot of this risky behavior, Steinberg says.
beyond the college years.
Worse, social media use peaks just when
Synaptic pruning is the reason young people
sensation-seeking behavior starts. According to
have a much easier time learning new things, such
as languages and driving. The problem, though, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry, over 60 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds
is that all of this is happening in the prefrontal
cortex, the part of the brain sometimes referred have at least one social media network profile.
to as the brains CEO because it is responsible for In 2015, the Pew Research Center found that 92
big decisions, impulse control and the
ability to reason (like a rational adult).
The part of the brain that wants to
think things through, think of the consequences and think long term is still
under construction well until their
20s, Giedd says.
The teen brain is compelled to seek
out new experiences that help the
brain learn, but teens dont yet have
the tools to make rational choices.
Thats why accidents, drug use, unprotected sex and other risky behaviors
percent of teens go online daily and that 24 perare much more common in young people, some
experts say. According to the National Institutes cent are on almost constantly. Teens reach
social maturity by age 14 to 16, which is acaof Health, accidental deaths increase dramatidemic-speak for this kid is on every single social
cally during early and late adolescence. Death
by injury occurs at rates six times higher among media networkincluding ones grown-ups
teens 15 to 19 when compared with those 10 to 14. probably dont even know about.
This greatly expands the opportunity for influMeanwhile, something else is also occurring
around this time that makes young people more enceSteinbergs research shows that when it
comes to sensation-seeking behavior, teens are
likely to get into trouble: puberty. As the body
equally swayed by unknown peers (such as Instagears up for the changes that come with sexual
gram influencers) and IRL friends. In one study,
maturity, it ramps up production of hormones
published in Developmental Science in 2014, Steinincluding dopamine, the feel good neurotransberg and a research team divided 64 teens into
mitter that increases when the brains reward
system is triggered. Whether the reward is food, two groups. The researchers asked all 64 the same
sex, money, drugs, retweets, followers or Insta- questions regarding money rewards, such as,
Would you rather have $500 today or $1,000 six
gram likes, dopamine functions pretty much the
same way. The biological need to feel good com- months from now?
pels a person to behave in a way that will provide
Half of the participants also were tricked into
stimulus and reward. Research has shown that
thinking a peer of the same gender and similar

THANKS TO SOCIAL MEDIA,


PERSUASIVE PEOPLE WITH
DUMB IDEAS ARE NOW
OMNIPRESENT AND A MERE
CLICK, TAP OR SWIPE AWAY.

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YOUTUBE TEENS

media that will get lots of likes and comments.


But Lenhart also argues that teenage bad behavior isnt unique to the digital age.
In my high school, one of the Spirit Week
challenges was called the Chubby Bunny challenge, where you were supposed to see how
many marshmallows you could stick in your
mouth, she says. Everyone did it, even though
it was clearly unwise. And I went to high school
before the internet, before social media was
widely available.

C LO C KW I S E F RO M TOP L E F T: L EV I J O H N SO N / YOU T U B E ; C E M E H KOCORO P O B/ YOU T U B E ;


T H E LOYAL DUTC H M A N / YOU T U B E ; AS H Y P I N E A P P L E Z / YOU T U B E ; M AT T 5 1 / YOU T U B E ; M U RA N AT U S ESAY/ YOU T U B E

The part of the


brain that wants
to think things
through, think of
the consequences
and think long
term is still under
construction well
until their 20s,
says Giedd.
+

background was watching them on a closed-circuit computer system. Steinbergs team found
that people in the fake peer-observed group were
consistently willing to accept 15 percent less
money than those who were alone. But we dont
see that pattern for adults, Steinberg says.
Amanda Lenhart, a 16-year veteran at Pew,
has found one-upmanship is a central part of
online behavior for teens. In a 2014 survey that
Lenhart helped run, 40 percent of teens said
they feel pressure to post content on social

NEWSWEEK

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TEENS TODAY/ EDUCATION

HARVARD CAN WAIT

Malia Obama is putting college on


hold and joining the growing number
of Americans taking a gap year
THERE WAS A surge of energy at the annual
Gap Year Conference in Boston in May. Attendees, eager to hear the latest from the world of
gap yearsthe time some young people take
off between high school and college in order to
travel or workhad learned that the movement
would be getting a famous new participant: Malia
Obama, the presidents eldest daughter.
Malia will attend Harvard University, the White
House recently announcedbut she wont be
starting this fall as originally expected. Instead,
the older first daughter will take a gap year, a
practice that has been gaining momentum in the
United States over the past decade.
Gap year programs (though not always lasting a year and sometimes taken during or after
college) were once more common abroad. Holly
Bull, president of the Center for Interim Programs, which counsels students and mid- or
post-career adults on choosing gap programs,
says that when her father founded the center
in 1980, nobody was talking gap years in the
U.S. Now, she says, theres far more awareness and support for the idea.
It is Britains Prince William and Prince Harry,
both of whom took time off after their studies
in the early 2000s, who deserve credit for the
growing interest in gap years, according to Bull.
That was when the term gap year started to really
appear in the United States, she says. Bull expects
to see a similar spike following Malias news and

NEWSWEEK

says she has already heard from one student she


counseled who was right on the fence about it.
And when she heard Malia was going to take a gap
year, she said, OK, Im going to take one too.
The American Gap Association, an accreditor
of organizations that offer gap year programs,
estimates that 30,000 to 40,000 students in the
U.S. take such time off annually. Gap year enrollment grew about 23 percent between the 2013
and 2014 school years, the AGA says, and has
increased every school year since 2006 or earlier.
Attendance at U.S. gap year fairs has apparently
spiked 294 percent since 2010.
The uptick is likely related to an increasingly
stressful college admissions process, education
experts say. Youre looking at a growing rate of
student burnouts, says Jane Sarouhan, an AGA
board member and a vice president of the Center
for Interim Programs. Overburdened high schoolers feel they need recovery time before hitting the
books again, she says. Todays young people are
often talented in many ways, she adds, but dont
have some basic soft skills, such as how to take
care of themselves, how to make good choices,
how to get themselves out of bed, accountability,
and they may seek time off to acquire them.
In a 20142015 AGA survey of gap year alumni,
92 percent said they took time off for reasons
related to personal growth, 85 percent said they
had wanted to travel and experience other cultures, and 81 percent said they had done so in

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BY
MAX KUTNER
@maxkutner

it, because just about everybody realizes


that it ends up resulting in more mature,
more focused student bodies, says Bob
Clagett, director of college counseling at
St. Stephens Episcopal School in Austin,
Texas, and the former dean of admissions at Middlebury College in Vermont,
who has studied the gap year trend.
Despite the momentum, many families worry about how expensive some of
these programs may be. Theres a very
common misperception, Clagett says,
that the gap year phenomenon is primarily the domain of the wealthy, or at
least the affluent, and I think its really
important for people to understand that
anyone can do a gap year. He worries
that Malias decision will deepen that
misperception. Some students choose to
work during such a year, he adds.
Still, the most expensive programs
could run as high as $40,000, says
Sarouhan. Clagett notes that deferring a
year might also result in having to pay a
higher tuition fee as rates increase.
Malia will join Harvards class of 2021 after she
graduates this spring from Sidwell Friends School
in Washington, D.C. Harvard says that typically
80 to 110 of its incoming students defer each year,
up from the 50 to 70 reported in 2009. This spring,
Harvard admitted 2,037 students.
For the child of a U.S. president, delaying until
her dad leaves office has added bonuses. Starting Harvard next fall means Malia will not be the

+
FALL INTO THE
GAP: By taking a

gap year, Malia will


not have to be the
child of a sitting
president on campus, which might
mean fewer secret
service agents
hanging around
the dorm.

order to take a break from academics. (The figures


add to more than 100 percent because many students cited multiple reasons.)
Inevitably, the uptick in interest in gap years
has been followed closely by an industry eager
to capitalize on it: Thousands of programs offer
experiences involving subjects like environmental
conservation, wilderness education and cultural
immersion; fairs promote programs, and consultants help people decide between
them. You need to put some work into
a gap year, because you dont want to
be twiddling your thumbs at home
without enough to do and your friends
are off at college, says Bull.
But taking some time away from
school seems to pay off. Research
shows that the grades of students who
took gap years improved, and that gap
year students were more likely to have
higher grade point averages upon graduation than similar students who didnt take gap
years. More than half of gap year students surveyed said their experiences set them on a career
path or solidified their choice of academic major.
Given such findings, schools are becoming
more receptive to students who defer. Harvard
encourages students to take time off, and Princeton and Tufts offer gap programs. Florida State
University and the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill offer financial assistance toward
gap year programs. Just about everybody allows

NIC K UT/AP

YOUNG PEOPLE ARE


OFTEN TALENTED IN MANY
WAYS BUT DONT HAVE
SOME BASIC SOFT SKILLS.

NEWSWEEK

daughter of a sitting president. As The Washington


Post noted, she may have less security with her as
a result. I think it makes a lot of sense for her,
says Bull. During Malias year off, shes probably
going to be somewhat in the public eye but not
quite in the same way, and then shell start at college when theres not so much spotlight on her.
Meanwhile, Harvard awaits her arrival. Writing
about Malia and her year-off announcement, a
student quipped on a campus blog, I guess that
means one less year of our friendship.

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TEENS TODAY/BOOKS

PEGGY SUE GOT SEXTED

For her new book, Nancy Jo Sales spoke


to 200 teen girls. The takeaway: Many of
them feel constantly harassed about sex
NANCY JO SALES has a special gift: the ability to
talkreally talkto teenagers. From New York
City rap hipsters to the notorious, fame-obsessed
teen burglars that Sales dubbed the Bling Ring,
the author and veteran journalist can get teenagers to open up about almost anything.
For her new book, American Girls: Social Media
and the Secret Lives of Teenagers, Sales spent two
years on the road listening to over 200 teenage
girls talk about what plagues them today. Sales, the
mother of a high school freshman, has delivered a
harrowing compendium of anecdotes about coming of age in an era of mainstream sexualization,
slut shaming, online porn and cyberbullying. She
spoke to Newsweek about why she wrote the book
and what she learned about preparing teen girls
including her ownto grow up female online.

Q
Where did you grow up, and what
kind of a teenage life did you have?
A

I grew up in Miami in the 1970s. I loved my


parents; my parents loved me. I went to a good
public high school. I grew up in this unusually
diverse atmosphere, all sexual orientations and
all colorspeople who followed gurus, hippies.
It was good, but what I remember was that my
mother always had this very strong sense of
what was age-appropriate for children. I really
was schooled in that concept from her: Certain
things are OK at certain times.

NEWSWEEK

BY
NINA BURLEIGH
@ninaburleigh

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aesthetic, and there are sexual comments. Its all


about likes; its all about the validation. The one
thing thats different from when we were kids is
theres a number on your popularity and everyone knows it. What gets a lot of likes is you in a
bikini. And then so-called slutpages are in every
school I went to [during reporting], and theres a
sexting ring in every school. These are amateur
porn sites. Theres a whole minimizing thing that
goes on, like, Its just a prank. But it leads to terrible cyberbullying and sometimes suicide. The
pictures are like Pokmon cards to the boys, who
use them to jerk off or as a trophy.
This is a cultural phenomenon. I began to
see how deeply entrenched this is in the lives of
teenage girls. I was not aware of it, and I felt so
bad for them, that they were trying to deal with
this. And the boys too, because bro culture is
boy culture, and boys are overwhelmed. Its also
really homophobic. Its not just sexist.

What is the biggest difference between female


American teenage-hood in the 1970s and now?
A

Nobody is saying kids havent always been interested in sexwe all werebut I think whats different is that access to pornography has changed
how kids view sex in a big way. If you had asked
me two years ago, What do you think of porn?
I would have said, Whatever, live and let live.
I really have a different view now that I have
looked at it. Gonzo porn is the most popular version, and its very degrading to women.
We know from studies that porn influences
girls views of themselves and their bodies. This
is a huge, huge change. The way this relates to
social media is that online culture is influenced by
this porn aestheticTumblr is almost like a porn
site. Also, iPhones. My book is about porn-plusiPhone. It is changing childhood and teenage life.

KNOPF DOUBLEDAY

Q
Are you sure you dont just feel the same generational difference that parents in the 1960s
felt about their kids and free love, or their
grandparents felt about making out in cars?
A

+
PARENT TRAP:

Sales says many


parents want to be
their childs friend,
so they dont discipline them. The
girls say, Why do
our parents let us
do all these adult
things?

I hear that all the time. Oh, its always been that
way, its just moral panic. I am sorry, but there
should be a word for the opposite impulse of
moral panicmaybe theres a German word for
it. Its denial. Sure, the car was once considered a
dangerous thing because kids could drive off and
neck. Well, now you can be doing an approximation of that in math class. You can be sexting at
school, [watching] porn at school. It used to be that
Saturday night, you might have an experience.
Now it can happen all the time. It happens when
you open your eyes in the morning and get sexted.
The constancy of itwe can ask, Is it healthy?

Q
So whats the takeaway?
A

More than 200 girls in my book agree that there is


a lot of harassment. They are pressured into sexualizing themselves; they are more vulnerable to

PORN-PLUS-IPHONES IS
CHANGING CHILDHOOD
AND TEENAGE LIFE.
cyberbullying. People need to know that these
girls are concerned. More than half of the book is
in their voicesits one thing to hear an adult say
it; its another thing to hear a kid say it.
We have to change this culture. We cannot have
a generation of girls growing up like this. We have
to have a conversation about pornparents cant
be afraid to say, Nope, you are not doing that.
Schools can institute sessions where kids can talk
to each other about this, so its not like an adult
telling you what to think. It might be useful for sessions to be single-sex and then join them together.
Some of the best conversations I had were when
the girls started talking to each other. They said,
We never talk about this. The law hasnt caught
up to the technology. Girls are so vulnerable to
having these pictures passed around. They know
this is out there, and they have this incredible feeling of threat that has got to be addressed. Only a
small percentage of boys will rape, but a lot more
will press a button and send a picture. Its e-rape.

Q
You have a daughter. Do you monitor
her social media life and phone?
A

I feel really lucky because when I started doing


the first story on this for Vanity Fair, she was
only 12 and didnt have a phone yet. I was able to
learn about all these things and start having this
ongoing conversation with her. We talk about this
every day. She tells me about things that are going
on in her peer group. Its something you have to
talk to them about. Like, what happened in school
today? What happened on social media today?
Q
Will you talk about how social media
affects consent and body image?
A

A lot of social media is posting provocative pictures. These girls are styling themselves to a porn

NEWSWEEK

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