I don't think Dalton Piercey understands how bizarre and outlandish it is to accuse a millennial in Napa Valley of belonging to a decolonization movement.

In his most recent correspondence ("Don't open the door to assimilation," May 31) he doubles down on his accusation that I belong to a national decolonization movement and I'm left not knowing what the hell he is talking about. He literally cites my own words against me and juxtaposes them besides selective text on a Facebook page he created to inform the community about what I really meant by those words. It's a gaslight tactic. I've never read the texts or authors he references.

Again, decolonization is a historical-political process whereby colonized peoples overthrow a colonial power to establish their own political institutions and independence. Decolonization struggles are often accomplished through political movements and can utilize electoral and/or paramilitary strategies.

What decolonization movement, then, do I belong to? I recently stepped back from local politics and I'm not engaged in armed guerrilla warfare. I don't know the first thing about fighting against colonial governments or which colonial powers I'm allegedly aiming to overthrow in Dalton's thought experiment. It's frankly an insult to say someone like me is a "decolonizer" in light of the real freedom fighters in the Global South who die fighting for liberation and better futures for their children.

I'm no more "decolonizer" than I am a U.S. military veteran.

He is using classic red-baiting McCarthyism-style tactics, and it's beneath someone of his self-ascribed astute intellectual stature. It's sad that such dishonest rhetorical tactics are in vogue again in today's Orwellian political environment.

Like many millennials, I enjoy most of my days reading books on my couch, listening to podcasts in the sun, going for nature walks, drinking cheap coffee, nurturing friendships with others based on mutual aid, and hanging out with my gray cat Nemesis. It is a way of life practiced by many people who find themselves in what Historian Yuval Noah Harari calls the "useless class" that is emerging within late-capitalism as it transitions to what professor Paul Mason calls "post-capitalism."

Jobs are being decimated by automation, and they aren't coming back, which is creating a generation of people with nothing to do.

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Recent employment data supports their observations: According to the U.S. Department of Labor's May report, the unemployment rate decreased to 4.3 percent but 233,000 fewer people reported no longer having a job and 608,000 more people dropped out of the job market and are no longer looking. This is because the capitalist job creators, those classic market failures from the private sector, are not creating jobs; they ignore enormous economic needs in our communities rooted in structural inequality and poverty.

Young people must create work themselves, specifically within decentralized creative industries, to survive in contemporary post-industrial economies.

Dalton Piercey has a wild imagination. I believe it should be celebrated. However, I would suggest he use this imagination to tackle real issue that indigenous and marginalized students face instead of using me as a proxy to battle his spooks.

Alex Shantz

St. Helena

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