Sorry, grown-ups. Young people can’t solve America’s race challenges alone

When it comes to moving past America’s troubling history—written in words and blood—and its struggle to achieve goals of racial equality, young people have the answers, adults have rationalized. The next generations will be better, more accepting of a diverse society because they are already living it, right? Well, no.

Dylann Roof, the young man who has confessed to conflicting carnage and trauma in a Charleston, S.C., church, was just 21. The barely legal man, who joined a prayer meeting for nearly an hour before methodically executing the young and the old, is a skinny kid with a goofy bowl haircut whose body looked lost in baggy prison clothes. Being part of a generation that attended integrated schools— including the high school he attended—and Facebook-friending a rainbow nation did not make him desire a multiracial utopia. Just the opposite, in fact.