Meet the poster child for “white privilege” – then have your mind blown



Liberals and feminists love telling people to “check your privilege”.  Tal Fortgang is a Freshman at Princeton, and he checked his privilege, and the Left isn’t going to like it one bit.

Via The Princeton Tory:

There is a phrase that floats around college campuses, Princeton being no exception, that threatens to strike down opinions without regard for their merits, but rather solely on the basis of the person that voiced them. “Check your privilege,” the saying goes, and I have been reprimanded by it several times this year. The phrase, handed down by my moral superiors, descends recklessly, like an Obama-sanctioned drone, and aims laser-like at my pinkish-peach complexion, my maleness, and the nerve I displayed in offering an opinion rooted in a personal Weltanschauung. “Check your privilege,” they tell me in a command that teeters between an imposition to actually explore how I got where I am, and a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world.

I do not accuse those who “check” me and my perspective of overt racism, although the phrase, which assumes that simply because I belong to a certain ethnic group I should be judged collectively with it, toes that line. But I do condemn them for diminishing everything I have personally accomplished, all the hard work I have done in my life, and for ascribing all the fruit I reap not to the seeds I sow but to some invisible patron saint of white maleness who places it out for me before I even arrive. Furthermore, I condemn them for casting the equal protection clause, indeed the very idea of a meritocracy, as a myth, and for declaring that we are all governed by invisible forces (some would call them “stigmas” or “societal norms”), that our nation runs on racist and sexist conspiracies. Forget “you didn’t build that;” check your privilege and realize that nothing you have accomplished is real.

But they can’t be telling me that everything I’ve done with my life can be credited to the racist patriarchy holding my hand throughout my years of education and eventually guiding me into Princeton. Even that is too extreme. So to find out what they are saying, I decided to take their advice. I actually went and checked the origins of my privileged existence, to empathize with those whose underdog stories I can’t possibly comprehend. I have unearthed some examples of the privilege with which my family was blessed, and now I think I better understand those who assure me that skin color allowed my family and I to flourish today.

Perhaps it’s the privilege my grandfather and his brother had to flee their home as teenagers when the Nazis invaded Poland, leaving their mother and five younger siblings behind, running and running until they reached a Displaced Persons camp in Siberia, where they would do years of hard labor in the bitter cold until World War II ended. Maybe it was the privilege my grandfather had of taking on the local Rabbi’s work in that DP camp, telling him that the spiritual leader shouldn’t do hard work, but should save his energy to pass Jewish tradition along to those who might survive. Perhaps it was the privilege my great-grandmother and those five great-aunts and uncles I never knew had of being shot into an open grave outside their hometown. Maybe that’s my privilege.

Or maybe it’s the privilege my grandmother had of spending weeks upon weeks on a death march through Polish forests in subzero temperatures, one of just a handful to survive, only to be put in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she would have died but for the Allied forces who liberated her and helped her regain her health when her weight dwindled to barely 80 pounds.

Perhaps my privilege is that those two resilient individuals came to America with no money and no English, obtained citizenship, learned the language and met each other; that my grandfather started a humble wicker basket business with nothing but long hours, an idea, and an iron will—to paraphrase the man I never met: “I escaped Hitler. Some business troubles are going to ruin me?” Maybe my privilege is that they worked hard enough to raise four children, and to send them to Jewish day school and eventually City College.

Perhaps it was my privilege that my own father worked hard enough in City College to earn a spot at a top graduate school, got a good job, and for 25 years got up well before the crack of dawn, sacrificing precious time he wanted to spend with those he valued most—his wife and kids—to earn that living. I can say with certainty there was no legacy involved in any of his accomplishments. The wicker business just isn’t that influential. Now would you say that we’ve been really privileged? That our success has been gift-wrapped?

That’s the problem with calling someone out for the “privilege” which you assume has defined their narrative. You don’t know what their struggles have been, what they may have gone through to be where they are. Assuming they’ve benefitted from “power systems” or other conspiratorial imaginary institutions denies them credit for all they’ve done, things of which you may not even conceive. You don’t know whose father died defending your freedom. You don’t know whose mother escaped oppression. You don’t know who conquered their demons, or may still conquering them now.

The truth is, though, that I have been exceptionally privileged in my life, albeit not in the way any detractors would have it.

It has been my distinct privilege that my grandparents came to America. First, that there was a place at all that would take them from the ruins of Europe. And second, that such a place was one where they could legally enter, learn the language, and acclimate to a society that ultimately allowed them to flourish.

It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race, but the content of your character.

It was my privilege that my grandfather was blessed with resolve and an entrepreneurial spirit, and that he was lucky enough to come to the place where he could realize the dream of giving his children a better life than he had.

But far more important for me than his attributes was the legacy he sought to pass along, which forms the basis of what detractors call my “privilege,” but which actually should be praised as one of altruism and self-sacrifice. Those who came before us suffered for the sake of giving us a better life. When we similarly sacrifice for our descendents by caring for the planet, it’s called “environmentalism,” and is applauded. But when we do it by passing along property and a set of values, it’s called “privilege.” (And when we do it by raising questions about our crippling national debt, we’re called Tea Party radicals.) Such sacrifice of any form shouldn’t be scorned, but admired.

My exploration did yield some results. I recognize that it was my parents’ privilege and now my own that there is such a thing as an American dream which is attainable even for a penniless Jewish immigrant.

I am privileged that values like faith and education were passed along to me. My grandparents played an active role in my parents’ education, and some of my earliest memories included learning the Hebrew alphabet with my Dad. It’s been made clear to me that education begins in the home, and the importance of parents’ involvement with their kids’ education—from mathematics to morality—cannot be overstated. It’s not a matter of white or black, male or female or any other division which we seek, but a matter of the values we pass along, the legacy we leave, that perpetuates “privilege.” And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Behind every success, large or small, there is a story, and it isn’t always told by sex or skin color. My appearance certainly doesn’t tell the whole story, and to assume that it does and that I should apologize for it is insulting. While I haven’t done everything for myself up to this point in my life, someone sacrificed themselves so that I can lead a better life. But that is a legacy I am proud of.

I have checked my privilege. And I apologize for nothing.

(h/t Acculturated and headline from The College Fix)

 
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  • calvin

    Very well stated young man…I was “privileged” to read about your family’s history

    • freehope
      • Alex

        The author starts with, “since I’m tired of unfriending those who have approvingly posted it”… really? Somebody disagrees with you on something so they must go, huh. Pretty immature start if you ask me.

        • Lex

          The author is not obligated to be friends with anyone, so I don’t see why it matters. https://medium.com/p/12a3018d5abc

          • revjshaft

            No, it just explains a whole lot about her tolerance of opposing viewpoints. And that typifies most of the columnists and posters at that site.

          • http://ninjamohawk.blogspot.com Ninjamohawk

            I think it’s less about that and more that seeing someone who you respect approve of something misguided is annoying, hurts, and eventually you just stop wanting to argue and cut out the whole thing.

          • saltydog

            Honestly my Facebook is so filled with people I don’t care about, haven’t seen in years and often never liked in the first place, I support anybody’s decision to unfriend at will. Though personally I just change the settings to hide people who annoy me, generally people with babies more than people I disagree with.

          • C

            Doing something just because you aren’t obligated to do otherwise is the weakest reasoning you can possibly have for doing something.

        • cypher20

          I noticed that as well. Mr. Fortgang is complaining that people are using the phrase “check your privilege” as a method of ignoring him and the author on Jezebel immediately admits she is doing all she can to ignore anyone who agrees with him. Um, hypocritical much?

          Plus, I love how she gets around the whole issue by changing the meaning of “check your privilege”.

          • Cynthia

            That’s the line you focused on in the whole article? Perhaps you should learn how to read between the lines. And to read for the main argument. Read it again. You might learn something.

          • cypher20

            That’s what I chose to write a short comment on as it pretty well encapsulates the author’s ignorance. If I wanted to write an entire blog post rebutting her, I could. I have other things to do however.

          • Teresa Fisher

            I think I’ll use this whole conversation strand as an example in my public speaking class of people using the “straw person” fallacy.

          • Qorse

            See also the no true Scotsman fallacy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman), especially as it relates to Newspeak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newspeak). Both spring to mind each and every time I see or hear someone dismissing another’s opinion with rationalizations like “you’re privileged, you can’t know what racism really is, etc. ect.” Specific examples: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness#Exclusions

        • Nia

          I hope you carried on reading. Because it’s a pretty perfect post, alleged “immaturity” aside.

        • Johnny_B

          No, but when she starts and ends the article on a snarky, condescending, hostile tone, it gives you an idea of who you’re dealing with.

          • Johnny_B

            Oops, meant to reply to Lex below.

          • ThomasD

            This is how all of these insects operate. They sing a beautiful song until they get hungry and decide to bite you because it suits them.

      • Brendan Hansen

        I stopped reading when the author used the nonsense term “reverse racism”. Something is either racist or it’s not.

      • AllOne

        despite the snarky tone of the http://groupthink.jezebel.com/ post (which always detracts from a good debate), this point really gets to the heart of things…

        “Checking your privilege doesn’t mean anyone is asking you to say ‘I only have things because I am part of privileged groups’. It does mean someone is asking you to say ‘By position of a characteristic I was born with, I have been helped, or at least not hurt, more than others without this characteristic’. It does not mean anyone wants you to apologize for it; it does mean someone is asking for an acknowledgement of the implications of it… In the simplest, crudest metaphor I can think of, let’s say you’re a fully abled person in a race against a man with only one leg. You train a long time, run really fast, and beat him. No one is saying you shouldn’t be proud of working hard or running so fast; all we’re really asking for is that you admit that maybe having two legs [expletive] helped a little bit. Using this metaphor, let’s again break down some other arguments you can’t really use. For instance, just because some one-legged people are faster than some two-legged people or manage to race doesn’t mean that it is still not, on the whole, easier for two-legged people to walk and run. Again, privilege deals with macro level institutional and cultural ideas, not anecdata. If your grandfather only had one leg, but you had two, you don’t get to claim that you do not have two-legged privilege. Having ancestors that endured hardships is important only if either you endure those same hardships [or, I would add, endure challenges stemming directly from those hardships (e.g. a parent who has to hold down 3+ jobs to make ends meet may not be as available to help with homework)] or if those past hardships have continued on today in the form of discrimination based on your shared characteristics.”

        • http://ninjamohawk.blogspot.com Ninjamohawk

          I agree. The author completely misses the point of the phrase. However communication isn’t about what you mean, it’s about what you get across. I’m sure, absolutely positive that people have said that phrase to him in a condescending way perhaps without using it properly themselves but purely out of jealousy or anger.

    • John McLaughlin

      Calvin, you are joking right?

    • russell

      “It’s been made clear to me that education begins in the home, and the importance of parents’ involvement with their kids’ education—from mathematics to morality—cannot be overstated”

      Incredibly true, but your privilege is that this was actually an option for you. Not every child in the U.S. can get help on math homework at home or has parents that can check their english essay.

      “Check your privilege” is a phrase that doesn’t need to be about detracting from what you’ve accomplished or what your family accomplished. It’s about being grateful for the support and opportunities that you personally were given. In other words, it’s not about “I”–it’s about building awareness that there are people who realistically have a more challenging set of opportunities than you were given.

      • Chase Chick

        Make better decisions and you would have two involved parents. I really don’t feel sorry for people who are out committing crimes and doing drugs.

        • Lindsey

          Here is a list of people who don’t have “two involved parents”: people being raised by single parents, people whose parents are not educated enough to check their math homework or don’t speak English well enough to help them with that essay, parents that are busy with work/keeping the house running (this especially applies to single parents), and, oh yeah, people with parents who are just plain old abusive or neglectful. It’s not about being “out committing crimes and doing drugs.” No child is responsible for causing their parents to be involved or uninvolved.

          • Chase Chick

            Here’s the thing. It starts with you. You have to be the one who decides, “I want to have a great life and leave a legacy of goodness for my children.” If your mindset is, “well I didn’t have as much as the next guy so screw it I’m going to make bad decisions,” then the cycle will continue. We all come into the world naked and crying, what you choose to do after that is entirely up to you. Blaming others, your privileges or lack thereof, is all excuses that will do little but to keep your mired in mediocrity or worse.

          • Dogtoon

            Chase has reading comprehension problems.

          • Chase Chick

            Ooh. You showed me.

          • I don’t even…

            But not everyone has the same opportunities. Not everyone has the chance to simply DECIDE to make a better life for themselves or their children. It’s easy to say when you don’t have to worry about being discriminated against by the institutions that are in place based on your race, your sexuality, your economic standing, etc. But when you’re worried about where your next meal is going to come from, it’s not so easy to simply “make better decisions.” When you can’t find a job because the area you live in doesn’t HAVE many at the moment, and you don’t have the money to leave to look for work elsewhere, it’s not so easy to simply “make better decisions.” When you’re discriminated against because of your skin color, your sexuality, your religion, etc., you have fewer opportunities because those opportunities are taken away or blocked, and it’s not so easy to simply “make better decisions.”

          • Page Turner

            Oh Chase! You need a few decadea living thw life of a hard working woman of any colour before you form and opinion, it seems by what you have said. And heaven forbid you should be born a black WOMAN. I have trained more wet behind the ears white men to “Take that job” I had been performing for years, with excellence in every area. Why? My boss was ALWAYS a white male who wanted to “commune” with white males only, though he would never admit it publicly. EVERY boss in many fields were like that. The young ones perhaps the worst. They starve high performance loyal, long term women off the schedule, refuse legitimate raise requests, based on performance, so they could get their “buddy” a job. So many examples but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Then there is the sexual harassment that gets by as “humor”. Including unsolicited, tackling in small spaces in offices and restaurants. I’ve seen it all. And if all you boys are done “mansplaining to each other you COULD really listen AND digest ( without your self deafening defence argument at the ready). I’m your Momma, your Gramma, your Sister, your wife or anyone who struggles. Where change is required has nothing to do with a person’s propensity for hard work and everything to do with white, male privilege. If hard work were the sole way to riches every African female would be wealthy AND retired.

          • Chase Chick

            So what exactly are you suggesting is the “way to riches?” Being vindictive of white males? Believing everything is rigged? That’s precisely the kind of mindset that keep poor people poor.

        • Jetblakc

          What decisions could I have made that would have made my parents more involved in my upbringing? I know that it sounded smart, inside of your head, but you fell on your face.

          • Chase Chick

            Oh yeah. In my face right there. In my face.

          • Chase Chick

            It’s not about what your parents did. It’s about what you do, and what kind of parents you choose to be. The cycle can always stop, just as it can always get going. If you truly believe that external factors are the determiners of your destiny, then you will be forever beholden to them. (cool insult by the way)

        • Russell

          I’m not denying that all of us have the chance to make choices, but I would disagree that we face the same choices or that when we make the same choices we will get the same outcome.

          Here’s an example on dating: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-race-affects-whether-people-write-you-back/

          Race does change the likelihood you’ll get a reply. Summary: it’s rough to be an asian man, black man or black woman on okcupid.

          Unfortunately, large studies with resumes show race and gender still matter. The exact same resume will be rated differently by employers if the name on the resume is male, female or “black sounding.”

          It’s not about making excuses for outcomes. It’s about recognizing where differences occur for different groups of people and being thoughtful about how all of our choices fit in this landscape.

        • Sean Laney

          “Make better decisions and you would have two involved parents.”

          Are you claiming a person’s decisions affect who his parents are?

          • Chase Chick

            I’m claiming that your decisions affect who you are the parents of, as well as who you turn out to be. (but nice try.)

        • Larry

          The thing you have to realize is that we have choices, but a lot of what we actually choose is rooted in patterns that we have been exposed to during development. I like to make the point that I came from an area where I never had to make the decision of whether or not to try crack cocaine, in turn my probability of becoming addicted to crack cocaine plummeted just by the shear fact I never had to choose. The minute we start realizing that choices are actually much more calculated and much less decisions we can stop blaming individuals and start making the social changes necessary to improve the probability of success for more people.

          • Chase Chick

            It’s not so much blame as the encouragement that you are ultimately the determiner of your destiny. If you go through life believing everything is rigged against you, then lo and behold you will get results that reflect that.

          • Chase Chick

            But don’t act like minorities and the poor are the only ones who ever get exposed to drugs. You and I both know that’s not true.

      • Qorse

        I think this is evenhanded and I agree with you, but I want to point out that phrases like “check your privilege” do not always, or even often, equate to the reasonable explanation you have provided.

        More often than not, it is either expressly used to rebut an opposing view or it is used in a context where the person saying it and the person hearing it don’t end up with the same impression of what the words mean.

        When used as a direct rebuttal, it is nothing more than a strawman. It is saying “you have qualities X, Y, and Z and so your argument is invalid regardless of what it may be.” To avoid this, it is essential to convey WHY qualities X, Y, and Z have lead the person to produce an invalid argument. But that’s never as easy.

        When it’s used in the context of a differing opinion but not in a fallacious or mean-spirited manner, the person saying it probably means well. They probably mean to express the very sentiment you have written out. But the person hearing it thinks “you are dismissing my beliefs because of something I have no control over and you’re expecting me to feel sympathetic toward your own beliefs?” It’s an issue of backlash and knowing your audience. If you know your audience is a bunch of right-wing gun nuts, you don’t begin your presentation on firearm control legislation with something like “as a society, we need to get over our obsession with guns and move past this Second Amendment idol worship that has killed so many children just in the past year.”

        The problem is that both sides feel entitled to their opinions but also feel entitled to being perpetually unoffended by their surroundings. These two things are mutually exclusive and neither side is going to accomplish anything other than pissing into the wind until we all realize how easy it is to listen and how rewarding it is to understand.

        • Russell

          Thanks for taking the time to write a thoughtful reply.

          I’m going to level with you–prior to reading this article I never had even heard of the phrase “check your privilege.” Similar to the author I’m at [insert name of prestigious sounding university]. Part of me is genuinely curious how much these words are used together in real life.

          I absolutely agree with you that using a phrase like that at someone in an argument is likely to offend them and make it less likely that they will listen to anything else you say.

          What I was trying to get at earlier is the sentiment behind what the phrase represents using the language of the article and this discussion.

          Also, it’s clear that the author is grateful to his family and believes in equality. The real issue is that there is a step missing: recognizing that when it comes to equality in the US we’re still on our way there. These days prejudice is often subconscious, which is what makes it so tricky to discuss with people.

    • Darwin

      No, it wasn’t.
      also
      No, you weren’t.

  • GlarryB

    I’d like someone to cite me one country or nation that can be called a success that was not founded, built and run by a bunch of white guys. Even better, name one country or city that can be deemed a success that is not controlled by non-whites.

    • Keifer Wynn

      I’m assuming you mean the modern era? I agree wholeheartedly that our current Western form of Democracy was promulgated almost exclusively by white men but what does that matter? Would it be any rebuttal to you to mention that many of the great totalitarian evils of the last few centuries have been the pet projects of white men? Of course not.

      • guest

        the concept “totalitarian” was also invented by white men

      • Bunnywithpancakeonhead

        Have you named one yet?

        • Keifer Wynn

          You’re in over your head buddy. The French Revolution. Italian Fascism, German Nazism, Communist Russia, Franco in Spain, Pinochet, the Eugenics and abortion rights movement. That’s not a critique of white people by the by just a description of an ineffective rebuttal.

      • sunnyvaleken

        First, the Western Democracy matters because more than any other method of governing it has produced a better life for more millions of people from all races and walks of life than any other form of government. People come to America because of the promise and hope for a better life for the immigrants and especially, the next generations.

        Second, by the last few centuries…. Does that include the Ottoman Empire? How about the more recent Pol Pot, Mao or what the Japanese did in Manchuria during WWII? Dare we forget Idi Amin in Uganda? How about the atrocities committed by Saddam Hussein against Kurds and Iranians?

        Atrocities have been the pet projects of many evil men of all races.

        • Keifer Wynn

          Exactly right sir (or ma’am). I wholeheartedly agree with you, I was simply attempting to describe to the OP what a similarly ineffective rebuttal to his argument would be. Of COURSE it’s not an effective critique of white people (or western civilization) to point out that white people have done some bad things just as it’s bad argumentation to say that white people have done great good. Sorry for the confusion, it’s on my fault

    • kyle

      Japan and south Korea

      • Bunnywithpancakeonhead

        South Korea was saved by the US. Japan was beaten by the US and built again by the US.

        • Junior

          how about china?

          • Bunnywithpancakeonhead

            Socialist country run by dictators. Nope.

        • sunnyvaleken

          We gave both countries the chance to remake themselves and start over. We don’t run them today and have not run them for decades. Give them credit for taking over and succeeding …. for crying out loud.

          How about India???

        • Mark Smith

          Well it looks like Asia has had some measure of success. In Asian countries as well as the US. An even smaller minority than blacks in the US, too! Are they “privileged” as well?

        • elsa

          they were pretty awesome before being “beaten” though

    • Ronald Kimmons

      Japan. South Korea. Singapore. Kuwait. Are we going to count ancient nations? Because then the list is way longer.

      Did you seriously just say that?

      Anyway, I like what this guy wrote. I don’t like the fact that you like it with me.

    • Nessa

      China was civilized while the west was still mucking about in caves.

      • cedarbend

        And Asians are every bit as “checked” as white Europeans. They sure as heck aren’t counted as “minority”.

  • Keifer Wynn

    Unfortunately I feel like this young man is both right and
    wrong in his analysis. I think his parents and grandparents should be
    celebrated as heroes for bringing their son up to be grateful to the
    society that allowed him the freedom to succeed. I think he’s wrong in
    what he’s responding to. I think he misses the point of the entire
    ideology of “white privilege”, it’s not that white people don’t
    struggle, fail and succeed it’s that the system only allows for whites
    (and only whites) to participate. So much so that even a white person
    that comes from nothing can succeed in a few short generations while
    people of color can only watch from the sidelines. I appreciate the
    guy’s refusal to kowtow to political correctness but I must say that I
    don’t think he’s addressing the thing he thinks he is addressing. To be
    clear though I think white privilege is bunk. If Booker T Washington
    could chronicle his upward mobility in “Up from Slavery” at the turn of
    the century then no person of color has an excuse not to do their very
    best to succeed.

    • ballbuster6969

      Tldr

      • Keifer Wynn

        lol

    • Bunnywithpancakeonhead

      You insult every black, hispanic and Asian man who has succeeded and through sacrifice raised children who are not in prisons or scattering fatherless children everywhere. No one is bound or imprisoned by what happened a “few short generations” ago, they are bound by their perception of not ‘getting their fair share’. There is no fair share. There are many who work like a dog and still only make a meagre salary, who live in a trailer or apartment, who make it paycheck to paycheck, there are many who suffer and die without every tasting the freedom of a good living but died with the freedom of the USA. There are no boundaries but that which is set before them and every one else. It is a fallacy you preach and a death knoll to those who listen and believe the false dichotomy you espouse. Shame on your and your insulting rhetoric.

      • Keifer Wynn

        What’s insulting about saying that white privilege is an empty philosophy? What’s insulting about saying white privilege is bunk? What’s insulting about saying that his parents should be commended as heroes? What’s insulting about saying that after the example of Booker T Washington no person of color has any reason not to do their best to succeed? Not a dang thing that’s what. I actually agree with your point and my comment was meant to provide a friendly critique to the conservative student. Your comment seems to be a striking example of the failure of our school system to teach reading comprehension. Read the dang comment, I agree with you for goodness sake.

        • Jake

          Word son. It’s as though no one actually took the additional 30 seconds to finish reading what you wrote. They got to the part they disagreed with and tuned out. You’re absolutely right, if a man like Frederick Douglas can become as influential and successful as he was even in that time then no black American (and no American period) has anyone to blame but themselves for their lack of success. White privilege is something that did exist once upon a time, but no longer. It lives on today only as an excuse people use to hide their own inadequacies.

          • Keifer Wynn

            Thank you so much. You’ve restored a bit of my faith in humanity.

          • Holly

            Your faith is restored in humanity now that you’ve read the response of a man whose conscience can rest at ease through a façade of color blindness, which inherently perpetuates racism and prejudice while dissolving the privileged of all social responsibility? The problems faced by minorities and other vulnerable populations in the United States are diverse and multi-faceted, and if you allow a man with such a one-dimensional argument to restore your faith in humanity, I’m terrified by your low expectations.
            Frederick Douglass was an extremely competent man, and in such, he was privileged. The most intelligent among us will always be presented with disproportionate opportunities to overcome the self-fulfilling prophecy laid before them by those who seek to oppress them. I would agree with you, that this is the case for white and black men alike. Regardless of who you are, your gender, the color of your skin, or any other apparent and distinguishing attribute, it will be in the interest of society to control you by telling you WHO you are and WHAT you can achieve. Only the strong by nature will overcome this. The majority of you posting on this thread have not, and will not ever challenge the mold. I apologize for your incompetence, because I’m actually privileged to have a shred of emotional intelligence.
            The disparities in opportunity available to white and black men are most evident when comparing the lot of those endowed with less capacity for greatness, from birth. An incredibly intelligent black man will face the legacy of his race. While the author of this story is somewhat of an anomaly, who’s family history will be documented in text books and wept over by Americans, any black man who’s family has escaped the horrors of de facto segregation or the gentrification and resulting spike in property crime/violent crime/educational inequality/bureaucratic injustice will be looked at as a brilliant and shining example of MERITOCRACY! THE AMERICAN DREAM! No, folks. No. That is a miracle. It all boils down to human nature. How do people who would be chewed up and spit out in a truly “survival of the fittest” state survive in our world? Through the humanness of others. Who receives more of your sympathy, a struggling, pretty white girl or an overweight black man? Stop lying to yourselves. It is apparent that we cannot trust humans to react equally to people on any superficial basis, let alone something so deeply rooted in our nations despicable legacy.

          • Keifer Wynn

            You seem to have spun a web of analysis from a comment you don’t have the competence to understand. I don’t blame you for that, it seems that quite a few people on this thread suffer from the same malady as you. Unfortunately my friend you didn’t seem to understand the context of my statement nor the gist of any other of my posts… Perhaps that is my fault or perhaps you’re simply guilty of being tendentious. I don’t have the time or the will to indulge in a psychoanalysis of your position so I’ll leave that for others. I do have to point out a few things about your long statement. First off, the immediate context of my statement was the fact that “Jake” had taken the time to read my earlier comment. I received quite a bit of negative feedback from individuals who had not taken the time to read my comment so I was expressing delight in the fact that he had been intellectually serious enough to take the time to read what I had stated earlier. Perhaps you would have less time to be outraged if you bothered to do the intellectual heavy lifting required to actually provide a relevant critique and not a bromide. I do not argue that racism is dead nor do I argue that persons of color do not face significant challenges in the world we live in. I do however resist and resent your Duboisian “argument” that only the talented and intellectually adroit are able to succeed in our society. That simply couldn’t be further from the truth. Racism, like poverty will always be with us YET there are ways to significantly combat it and many of those ways are left unused. Btw I’m black and I know that of which I speak, hard work and a little luck are all that are needed to succeed. Again if blacks could succeed in times of segregation and slavery then no person of color has a reason not to do well. Here’s a shining example of problems POC face that could readily be alleviated by the communities themselves: The ways to alleviate poverty are very simple (a) get married (b) don’t have single mothers and (c) don’t buy stuff you can’t afford. That economic data tracks across all races but some POC violate those principles and economic depression is the result. Clean those three things up and wealth will DRASTICALLY increase in the african-american community in particular.

          • apreciah

            Excellent response

      • Keifer Wynn

        Your rhetoric is insulting to conservatives because you make us look bad when you troll for likes by responding with over the top rhetoric to a procedural disagreement by someone whose very comment agrees with your position. If you had taken the hour (lol) to read my comment you would have seen me condemn the idea of white privilege as “empty”, “false” bunk. Goodness gracious what’s so hard about reading?

      • Youareinsignificant

        Did your parole officer tell you those big words?

        • len

          and THAT’S racism folks..

    • tiredofstupid2

      Hogwash!!!

      • Keifer Wynn

        Did you read my comment? Do you realize that I believe (and stated) that “white privilege is bunk”? That no person of color has any reason not to succeed if Booker T Washington could rise from slavery to fame? My point was procedural and philosophical, I argued that the false idea of white privilege was not being effectively refuted by the student.

        • Antoine

          White privilege is not bunk, you asshat. Are you really defending your views by cherry-picking a single case example? African Americans, statistically, have lower access to high-quality education and disposable income that allows, as the author of this bullshit piece of whiny idiocy states, for “education to begin in the home”. It’s a little easier to focus on academic success when you’re biggest daily struggle isn’t “how am I going to eat tonight” but “should I start my homework before or after I watch Sportscenter and eat pizza rolls?”

          • joMRA

            “how am I going to eat tonight” is not in any way representative of poverty in America. The average person living in poverty in the US has shelter and food, owns a car, and has air conditioning. Did you know the average person living in poverty in the US has more living space then the average european. Not the average european living in poverty but the average european. While it is true that a black person is twice as likely as a white person to live in poverty, most black people don’t, so why are we defining that group by a minority within said group?

    • César Enéas Guerreiro

      Here in Brazil a black man from a poor family is the Chief Justice of our Supreme Court. “…the system only allows for whites (and only whites) to participate”??? What about Magic Johnson? What about Oprah Winfrey??? What about BARACK OBAMA????

      • GF

        Yes, President Obama, CHIEF JUSTICE Clarence Thomas….Secretary of State Condelisa Rice…GENERAL Colin Powell… shall I continue?

        • Kat90

          Clarence Thomas is not the Chief Justice.

          • Gf

            You are correct. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. But hopefully I made my point. And before him was Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall.

          • Jfm

            Yes, what a point you’ve made! A full 2 out of 112 SCOTUS justices have been black!

            In all seriousness, I think the post is misunderstanding the concept of ‘white privelege.’ The idea is not that white people never struggle, or that black people cannot succeed. It is that there are still inherent biases in the system towards many minority groups.

            While the author of this post and his family clearly worked hard and did not necessarily come from a privileged place, he still has certain advantages over the hypothetical black version of himself. There are studies showing that black names are less likely to be hired, that children are conditioned from a young age to find white ‘prettier’ than black, etc.

            So you could compare the average person to your great examples of black leaders, that misses the point of the ‘white privilege’ concept, which is to compare the struggle for hypothetically identical people, one being black and one being white, and then see the difference in treatment.

          • Libertarian Fascist

            “The idea is not that white people never struggle, or that black people cannot succeed.” The problem is, that’s how it’s generally portrayed by the SJW crowd.

        • Keifer Wynn

          KEEP ON! Overwhelm the whiners with success stories.

        • Antoine

          Yes, you’re right, naming successful African Americans definitely validates an argument about the entire black population. What you’re saying is basically the equivalent to me asking you why you’re not a millionaire and saying “if Bill Gates could do it…”

          • Bill Streb

            If Oprah Winfrey could do it. . . .

          • Libertarian Fascist

            OP said that it’s impossible for black people to succeed. He proved him wrong.

      • Keifer Wynn

        That’s the argument we need to press more and that’s what I’m urging we conservatives do. I’m trying to point out a more effective way for conservatives to make their case here. Lol again, my example of Booker T. Washington should have exposed my intentions (since describing the idea of white privilege as empty, false bunk doesn’t count). The point of the ideology of white privilege is to render false ANY and EVERY contention presented by white individuals thus what is needed is an aggressive countercampaign full of stories of minority success. Believe it or not man I’m actually agreeing with you.

        • César Enéas Guerreiro

          I’ve already translated Tal Fortgang’s post into Portuguese and posted it in my FB account.

      • Antoine

        how can you pick out case examples and use that to defend an argument about the entire African-American population? for every Magic Johnson (who, by the way, succeeded by virtue of god-given talent), there are literally millions of African Americans who work hard their entire lives only to barely make ends meet. Or no, maybe you’re right, maybe every single African American who is barely scratching the surface of lower-middle classdom needed only to have tried a little harder in high school.

        • Bill Streb

          Excellent point! Because as we all know, there are NOT literally millions of Whites who work hard their entire lives only to barely make ends meet!

          • César Enéas Guerreiro

            “…as we all know…” WE, democrats, liberals, leftists and all their combinations and derivatives. WE, keepers of the truth…

        • Doom Shepherd

          According to the DSM-IV-TR, persecutory delusions are the most common form of delusions in schizophrenia, where the person believes “he or she is being tormented, followed, tricked, spied on, or ridiculed.” So make sure to consider that maybe, instead of there being some nebulous “man” who is “holding you down,” you may just be a paranoid loony.

        • César Enéas Guerreiro

          How can I? First, I think the First Amendment, or any form of it, applies to the entire free world, not only the US. Second, picking out isolated “case examples” is a legitimate discursive device, everybody uses it. Besides, those examples are not so rare. Our friend GF gave other examples, I can mention now two eminent physicists, Clifford Johnson and Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and the list goes on and on. You have better arguments? Produce them! And third, whenever some smart guy produces a generalist statement like “…the system only allows for whites (AND ONLY WHITES) to participate”, I just need ONE SINGLE example to prove he is WRONG. This is basic logic.

          “…Magic Johnson (who, by the way, succeeded by virtue of god-given talent…)” Now you are doing exactly what the detractors mentioned by Tal Fortgang did to his ancestors’ efforts: diminishing Johnson’s efforts. So you are saying that a black person can only succeed if God allows it? Isn’t that RACIST?

          P.S.: You may say that I’ll never feel what is like being a victim of racism. That’s right, but I did suffered a lot of bullying because of my skin being too white for Brazilian standards and because I was a fat boy. But shouting to a boy “You’re a whale!” or “You are a bicho do pau podre (wanna know what this is? Google it!)!” is Ok in our racist world…

      • CrusadaB

        Caesar Milan…

      • Jame

        This is the fallacy, that the success of one represents the success of the group. I won’t get into Barack Obama, where his presidency has been plagued with a level of disrespect never seen before. It doesn’t matter that once in a while we get an Oprah or Colin Powell or Condi Rice, when the average black person doesn’t have the same level of success as their white peers under the same circumstances.

        For every Barack Obama, there are a 2 dozen kids making videos like “I am Harvard/Berkeley/Oxford/Princeton/Michigan/UCLA/etc, too.”

        • César Enéas Guerreiro

          I didn’t mean to commit a falacy. The problem was the word ONLY (which was even repeated). Faulty generalization IS a fallacy.

    • Darrell Hager

      “the system only allows for whites (and only whites) to participate.” Oh poor, poor me.
      I have a well thought out, intellectual response to that: BULL SHI’ITE

      • Keifer Wynn

        First of all don’t quote me unless you’re prepared to be intellectually honest and not just “a an idiot trolling for likes on a comment thread… My comment condemned white privilege as “false”, “empty” and “bunk”. As my comment shows I disagree vehemently with the false philosophy of white privilege but I found the student’s efforts – commendable as they are – to be a bit misdirected. Lol. READ. THE. COMMENT.

        • Darrell Hager

          I read the comment. I’m not a troll, I don’t care about “likes” just feel the need to have my opinian heard sometimes. That being said, I Re-read the comment and I owe you an apology. This could be a situation where what I thought I was going to read overwhelmed what I did read.

      • Jake

        Finish reading before opening your mouth. You’ll sound less stupid in the future.

    • BillM

      A contemporary example of the ineffectiveness of that argument is the Vietnamese & Laotian Boat People of the late 70s & 80s who landed in the USA. They didn’t speak the language, brown skinned, all the “obstacles” that conventional wisdom would say wil hold them back, yet they & especially the r children have flourished. How can that be?

      • Chaduke

        I’ve heard a theory about this very subject, that the ones who did make it out of those areas and into America were the ones who were the most intellectually gifted and educated.

        • dake

          So you agree then; that it has little to do with ethnicity/race/skin color.

          • Chaduke

            I said I’ve heard a theory. I think that “fairness” has everything to do with certain factors in specific areas of the world. Yes, people treat you differently in certain parts of the world due to ethnicity/race/and skin color. That’s a fact and if you say it doesn’t exist you’re just blind. The degree in which affects people and what should be done about it, if anything, is an entirely different issue. I’ve never been a fan of using a government to legislate things like this.

      • Keifer Wynn

        Did you read my comment? In it I mentioned that Booker T Washington rose from Slavery to national prominence. I also mentioned my belief that white privilege is “bunk”. I concluded by stating that I don’t believe any excuse exists for people of color not to succeed. Those beliefs are in my comment… My point was that the false philosophy of white privilege was not being refuted effectively by the student. Surely conservatives can disagree on that procedural point?

        • BrianJ

          I think the problem is that your original comment is confusing. It took me three more read-throughs, AFTER seeing you defending it time and again further down the thread, to parse what you were saying. It DOES sound like you are deriding the author for defending “white privilege”, in the way you worded it, examples of Booker T. Washington not withstanding.

          • Keifer Wynn

            Too true Brian. My bad

    • cracker

      ” it’s that the system only allows for whites (and only whites) to participate.”

      OK, you figured it out: It is a private system … open only to legacies via private invitation. There is a secret meeting place and a secret handshake to get in the door.

      You cannot be serious with that nonsense Mr Wynn. Surely one’s perceived inability to “participate” in the “system” has nothing to do with one’s upbringing, family values, and personal decision-making. No, that couldn’t be the answer … that would be silly.

      • Keifer Wynn

        Lol, I figure you didn’t read the portion where I described the idea of white privilege as bunk? My point was that the student didn’t take on the right racist ideology. so I’m actually agreeing with you lol. My point was that he failed to squarely address the underlying false philosophy. Again, if Booker T Washington could freaking rise from slavery to national stature then NO PERSON OF COLOR HAS ANY EXCUSE NOT TO SUCCEED. My critique was focused squarely on the effectiveness of the argument not the ideology underneath. Did you not read the comment at all? Conservatives need to be able to disagree on the effectiveness of arguments without name calling. Good gracious. Read my comment.

      • Jake

        Next time read all the way to the end.

    • http://johngaltreport.blogspot.com/ John Galt Report

      By this passage…he is eloquently debunking the very point of white privilege that you claim he missed.

      >> It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal
      protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion
      or race, but the content of your character. >>

      • Keifer Wynn

        No sir, you’re wrong about that. You just are. The point I’m making is that people who actually believe in white privilege are NOT GOING TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS BECAUSE YOU POINT OUT A WHITE PERSON THAT SUCCEEDED. I’m not sure why that is hard to understand, as a black guy that has been involved in the black community since birth (my dad was a pastor) I know how these people will respond – “Oh, I don’t care what he thinks or what he did… HE’S WHITE!” So unfortunately pointing out that passage isn’t quite going to work if the goal is refuting the ideology of white privilege.

  • Tevis T

    The phrase “white privilege” is racist.

    • Edward

      Race doesn’t exist. It is a biological untruth that was created as a sociopolitical myth by a group of people (i.e. White/European colonizers) to discriminate, oppress, and subjugate other groups of people (e.g. African Americans, American Indians, etc.) The term “racist” implies the artificial hierarchy created by the oppressors. As such, any category that asserts superiority or advantage of the oppressor over the oppressed cannot, by definition, be racist. Since White People (as a generalized category) are the oppressor, and ALL White people (as individuals) benefit in at least some ways from — yes, White Privilege* — it is only White People/people who are benefiting from the historic superiority complex of the artificial term we call “race”.

      Therefore, the term “white privilege” cannot be racist, and reverse racism is an oxymoron.

      (In short, it’s impossible for anyone to be racist against white people. Prejudiced? Yes. Racist: No.)

      * ATTN. Mr. Riddle: not every White person benefits in ALL ways or at ALL times, or without other individual disadvantages; I do not assume this, nor have I ever heard such an argument assumed by anyone else.

      • Tevis T

        Now that’s really racist!

      • Go hawks!

        More evidence that blacks cant be racists:

        https://www.youtube.com/user/BamaFanatic12345

        • These2Nuts

          This is stupid. You have no idea why that happened. I hope that you don’t really consider this evidence

      • DeadMessenger

        Tal Fortgang at least did the required fact checking. You, on the other hand, have accepted leftist talking points, probably from an academe in a liberal college, and accepted those statements without question and without research. If you did some actual, honest research, you would learn in searching throughout all of history, and before the White/European colonizers that you have chosen as your scapegoats, whites were frequently oppressed and victimized, without provocation, by other racial and ethnic groups. You fail to understand that people are born sinful, and everyone has oppressed everyone else over time, based upon inconsequential “differences” such as skin color and gender. If you want to point at white, European slave owners, I’ll point to black slave owners, and also to white slaves. Archeologists have found blonde and red haired mummies of white people in the northern area of what would become China. Those were the indiginous people, oppressed by Mongols, who killed the men and used the women for breeding stock, the result being the Chinese people we see today. Which is why, even now, we see the occasional tall or blue eyed Chinese. Tons of examples of this.

        White privilege, as we see from Fortgang’s article, is a fallacy. It is used these days so that people like you can bludgeon and oppress innocent people unfairly.

        • Sarah Gray

          I think it’s remarkable that you assume that if someone is liberal or “leftist,” it means their thoughts are hand-fed to them and they have not thought them through. I, for one, absolutely think that one can be racist against white people. You can be racist against anyone who is a race. I also grew up in a liberal family and went to a liberal college and university, and I have thought through and researched my own opinions. Just because someone may be wrong does not mean that they represent an entire political view. Please argue with people for their thoughts, rather than for their political leanings; you will accomplish much more.

          • cindel

            It’s always easy to dismiss an opinion you disagree with by immediately categorising the other person as “one of THOSE” people and assuming you know everything about why they feel the way they feel. I see both left and right do it all the time.

          • DeadMessenger

            Here is my personal experience. I can’t speak for anyone else, only myself.

            Of the people I personally have regular contact with, in school, work, church, relatives, while visiting other friends, etc., the vast majority of those who self-identify as Democrat make more mean, foul-mouthed statements directed at me for no reason other than, for example, me saying something like, “Obamacare is killing me financially” (the truth) or “Inflation is breaking my back” (also the truth), or they are vastly more open and quick to insult and mock me for my religious preferences. Some conservatives will do this, too, especially regarding religion, but at least 95% of the time it’s Democrats. This is why I cast the dividing line by political leanings, because that’s how it’s worked out in my experience.

            Also, in my original response, I was actually arguing against racism (though that is really a much over-used term, most typically applied to people who are actually not racist at all), and arguing against people who make statements like “check your privilege”. Such people are arguing with someone because of the color of their skin, rather than for their thoughts.

            I appreciate what you’re saying, this is how it’s worked out for me. And thank you for pointing out that people can be racist against white people. Usually that is just excused away.

        • Hadiza S
        • cindel

          Hahaha if you think tall Chinese people are “occasional” I’m not sure you’ve met many Chinese people…

          • DeadMessenger

            Hahaha…I’ve met many Chinese people, yes.

        • Briana

          I disagree that people are born sinful. We learn and are shaped by society. Again, you can take individual examples from history to back your point. We are talking about right here and right now. Can you give me some specific examples of white people being oppressed because of the color of their skin in the United States? I mean, and example of this happening day in and day out in every American city?

          • DeadMessenger

            God says we’re all born sinful. It comes from Adam and is part of our DNA. Job 25:4, Psalm 51:5, Ephesians 2:3. If you disagree, take it up with Him. I’m just going by what He says (as well as my personal experience with little children.)

            An oppression example: Read the article we’re commenting on. “Check your privilege” is directed toward white people, whether it applies or not. Google “racism”. You’ll find lots of examples of white people called racists, whether it applies or not.

        • russell

          I think to understand race in america it’s good to look at data and make your own observations:

          1. Go to the okcupid blog because they keep track of whether or not people state a racial preference. They also look at how race impacts the likelihood you’ll get a reply rate.

          http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-race-affects-whether-people-write-you-back/

          (Take home message: It’s rough to be an asian man or a black woman on okcupid, but you don’t have to take my word for it.)

          2. Speaking of asian men and black women in our culture, here’s another exercise. Think about all the movies or movie trailers you’ve seen in the past year–count how many of them had a white male or white female lead and then compare it to how many had an asian male or black female lead.

          3. Sit down, people watch, and keep track of race. Look at how people interact with each while walking by each other in the street. (This may work less well in NYC where I’m told people just don’t interact with each other, not sure.) Do they smile? Do they avoid eye contact? When?

          4. There are experiments where people send the same resume to many employers, and change only the name. People will rate a resume with a white male sounding name higher than a resume with with a white female sounding name, or a black sounding sounding name of either gender.

          I don’t think apologies or guilt are necessary, but awareness is important.

          • DeadMessenger

            Your reply is very well thought out. But if you will permit me to make some comments?

            1. As a mathematician, I wouldn’t really consider okcupid to be a statistical cross-section. It may be anecdotal, but that’s all. However, I also think it’s anecdotal that I see many, many more mixed-ethnicity relationships and marriages than I did, say, 10 years ago. In regards to dating, I also think that there’s a complex relationship between the influence of friends and family, one’s position in society, job, religiosity and many other variables that would have to be taken into account if a study like this were to be made. As well as, I think there’s something to be said for the fact that many people feel more comfortable with a spouse or boy/girlfriend who is more like them, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing or a racist thing. It depends upon what the couple have in common. For example, I work in a highly technical field, and people in my field distinguish their commonality by their technical abilities and not skin color, so there are a lot of mixed-race or mixed-culture relationships in my field. Does this make sense?

            2. Regarding #2, Hollywood is full of idiots with an agenda, and that agenda comes through loud and clear in their work product. This is why I don’t watch movies or TV and I haven’t for 10 years, at least. Because idiots do and say idiotic things. Instead I read non-fiction books, where I see no delineation at all by race or culture in terms of content.

            3. Maybe it’s where I live, which is in Florida, but if you read the news a lot, you’ll know that Florida is full of criminal psychopaths. Anytime I hear about a really weird crime, I immediately start scanning the article to find out what part of Florida the perpetrator was from. So along those lines, I notice that everybody in my town makes eye contact with and smiles and chats with anybody of any race who does not look mad as a hatter or is trying to eat someone, for instance. I think in Florida it’s just a feeling of relief in passing someone sane for a change.

            4. Interesting anecdote on this topic. When I had a position open recently – very highly technical – I’d contacted people who worked for me before and who I thought would be good for my job. I told these people what to stress on their resumes, and then I sent personally sent the resumes to HR. The resume for the main person I wanted, who was a white man with a very specific and unusual skill set that I needed, I never got back from HR after their screening. I didn’t get resumes for anybody with “white sounding” names, even though some of those were actually minorities, but I did get the resumes for people with “ethnic sounding” names, even though some of them were actually racially white. When I questioned HR, I was told that these were the ones who “passed our screening” and when I questioned the nature of the so-called screening, I was told in other words to piss off. I’ve long said that names should be removed from resumes and replaced by an application number or something by someone before HR “reviews” them. I want to hire the best person for the job, and I really don’t care what color they are, what religion, what culture, how tall, short, fat, thin, or anything that they are. But apparently HR does care.

      • Hadiza S

        Usually I’m the one doing the militant prejudice vs racism spiel but you explained it so eloquently yourself I have nothing to add.

        Kudos!

      • Mooopz

        Just because race has no biological basis doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It’s a fallacy, scientifically speaking, but it’s a social construct. Racism is a type of prejudice. Being prejudiced means you have preconceived ideas about another group of (insert virtually anything here). Racism falls under that umbrella category. Whether you hate black people, white people, asian, people, etc, you are prejudiced based on somebody’s race…so you’re racist. I don’t think the term “white privilege” is racist, either, but that doesn’t mean that people of all types can’t be racist.

      • ljkolnick

        White/Europeans didn’t come up with discrimination via racialization singularly… Just the most recent example.

    • texassa

      It’s what it’s called when you receive privileges for being white. Like Donald Sterling’s approval, for instance. That would be a white privilege. Or not being stopped and frisked in NYC.

      • Stephanie Choya Guerra

        You probably haven’t realized that he’s been banned from the NBA and fined millions of dollars…

        • These2Nuts

          That has nothing to do with the point that he intended to make

          • Stephanie Choya Guerra

            I get it, it’s a hypothetical. I’m just not sure it’s a realistic example. I would argue that modern white privilege functions much more subtly than getting a pass after overtly discriminating minorities. That was true of white privilege back in the 60s. It’s 2014. It’s more constructive to talk about actual instances of privilege, not hypothetical situations that could not and have not happened in the present. If we don’t accurately represent and talk about white privilege today, you start to skew the reality of the situation.

            Even the stop and frisk policy in New York isn’t actually an example of white privilege exclusively BECAUSE if you actually take the time to look at the data, hundreds of people from the major racial categories are stopped: 20,877 White; 55,191 Latino; 104,958 Black. You’re telling me it’s valid to ignore 20,877 individuals for the sake of misrepresenting racial discrimination? That is completely invalid and ignorant of you to do so. Without fail, you’ll notice that the most targeted demographics are Black and Latino. Furthermore, of the Blacks and Latinos stopped, the vast majority were male. THEREFORE, anyone who is not a black male, not a latino male, or not a white male carries a privilege with regard to the stop and frisk policy. This includes the following: Asian males, Asian females, Black females, Latino females, and White females. Without fail, you’ll notice only one of those demographics is White. You’ll also notice that the majority are female. It’s interesting how we don’t display the same level of animosity towards the Asian community, as we do the White community, even though both racial groups carry the same privileges. Also, why aren’t we talking about sexism? It’s clearly the case that women benefit from being female, despite their race.

    • Hadiza S

      The problem so many white people have with this phrase is that they take an entire SYSTEM that was built upon white patriarchy and then insert THEIR OWN INDIVIDUAL SITUATIONS. No one is blaming white people for the discrepancies that we see in overall treatment of POC vs. White people…sheesh this is literally ALWAYS the response!

      Think about it this way:
      A white person can full well go through their life without ever having to think about how their race may affect certain situations. Any POC ALWAYS has to consider their race as a factor before entering any situation (whether they’re outspoken about it or not). I’m not saying white people DON’T think about race, but the fact of the matter is that as a white person, you BENEFIT from the system at large MORE than any POC…you DON’T ever have to think about your race being a factor in getting stopped by the police, or not getting a 2nd interview when you are more than qualified (and interview well).

      No one is blaming YOU for history. No one is blaming YOU for the disparate treatment experienced between whites and POC. Only thing we’re asking if we ever say “check your privilege” is to ACKNOWLEDGE that you will have a leg up because most people look like you and therefore will be quicker to empathize and sympathize with you simply because you’re white.

      • blip

        Thank you.

      • yanlm2007

        you’re kidding yourself though if you think that people who condescendingly spit at you to “check your privilege” don’t want you to apologize for having it.

        • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

          Well since I’m a black female, not too many folks are condescendingly spitting on me to “check my privilege”. Further, what would apologizing for your privilege do? Nada. That’s dumb to think that most people want an apology from whites simply because they are white.

          Read this: http://jezebel.com/i-dont-even-know-myself-scenes-from-a-live-tweeted-pub-1572088125

          have a nice day!

          • yanlm2007

            I agree that apologizing for it wouldn’t solve any problems. That does not mean, however, that those who use to phrase don’t still want the apology.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            Maybe a few but I doubt its the MAJORITY. Maybe someone asked you to apologize for being white, I feel sorry for that person because they are obviously ignorant and lay blame for their issues on others.

            All we are simply asking is that as white people, to understand that since the system (captilism, colonialism, imperialism) was intended to benefit people who look like you at the expense of the “others” (POC), that the legacy of all of that is still being felt today.

            TL;DR We want you as white people to recognize that even though you work hard to achieve your success, those of us who are not white will simply have doors closed (even though we work just as hard) because we do not look like the majority of folks in power. The playing field is not level.

          • Qorse

            The playing field really is not level and that sucks. It’s a terrible thing about human societies: they haven’t ever been able to level playing fields. Ours does pretty good compared to most others, but it’s still mediocre at best.

            But when you tell someone to check their privilege, when you make them aware that they have always had things that others have not, when you convey some sense of animosity toward them, are you helping to level the playing field? I have been told before that I could never truly understand racism because I am white. “Check your privilege” is saying the same thing. It is saying “you do not understand this issue because you are privileged and so you need to change your opinion or relinquish your right to hold one.” This isn’t what most people MEAN when they say “check your privilege” but it is nonetheless what it amounts to when a privileged person hears it. Perhaps, sometimes, underprivileged people fail to understand this in the same way that white fail to understand racism?

            Racism feels different to the victim than it does to the perpetrator. So does being told to “check your privilege.” When you say that to someone, you are not being thoughtful of how it will make them feel, of how it would make you feel to learn that someone was judging you, harboring resentment, over something you were born with. I suspect, unfortunately, that as a person of color you understand this feeling very well. Just know that other people have the same or similar feelings about things that seem very innocuous to you. If we want to overcome inequality, first ALL of us must learn to be a little faster in understanding and a little slower in passing judgement.

          • Dawn

            Oh no, you poor victim. If you have opportunities that POC do not through your privilege, thus socially placing you above most POC in society, then I’m pretty sure making you aware of this levels the playing field. What comes from an awareness of White Privilege is an understanding of your place, whether your choice or not, within a systematically oppressive society (established on colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism). Your awareness then provides the insight to change the system that is oppressive against POC, and in turn, levels the playing field. Therefore, if starting to change the system involves notifying you and many other white individuals with the harsh truths of reality, I provide my sincerest apologies. Of course upfront for the slight inconvenience that being aware of the truth will cause. No really, I know it’s hard to grow up and finally recognize for the first time that the world is not a great place!

          • Qorse

            Privilege is not a yes or no concept. There are different types and extents of privilege. For instance, I am privileged to be a majority demographic born into a middle class family. If you can ask me to check that privilege, I can ask you to check whatever privilege you have which makes you think people should intuitively internalize your viewpoint when you express your beliefs. I’m not saying they shouldn’t, mind you, but I’m saying that if you think it’s a safe bet that they will, such a safe bet that you will take offense otherwise, then you are assuming some privilege that only tyrants have ever been extended and you should know that.

            It is not inconvenient for me to be told I have privilege. I’m pragmatic about the situation. But not everyone is, just as not every minority feels inclined to ask people to check their privilege. If you look at how privilege develops, it is a generational thing in most cases. Someone at some point in your family line had privilege and multiplied it and then passed on more of it to a more proximate ancestor of yours. Even if it’s unreasonable for me to take pride in my privilege, is it unreasonable for me to take pride in the accomplishments of my family before me? I don’t, personally, but many, many do. Telling them they don’t deserve what they have is hitting them in their familial pride and you can’t do that and then complain when people write op-eds that you disagree with.

            If you believe otherwise, then I say again: you are alienating the people who most disagree with you, who you most need to reach with your message, by being inconsiderate of how you present the issue. The net result is more polarized opinions, more disagreement, and slower change.

    • cindel

      Can you explain how?

      • Tevis T

        Just like “Jewish cheapness” and “black laziness” are racist. You’re assuming some stereotype is true of all people of a particular race. “All white people are privileged and need to pay some sort of reparation” (which is where this is going) is a blatantly racist statement and idea. How is it not racist?

        • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza S

          No one is asking you to pay a reparation for being white. I continue to be so astounding with how so many white folks take this phrase so personally.

          I’m guessing this is one of the few times in your life you’ve had to think about your race. Fact of the matter is that POC have to consider their race as potentially being posing a liability when it comes to working towards success. That’s it. You’re white so by default you are “normal”, “right”, “accepted”. For everyone else we have to prove that we are not any number of whatever stereotypes exist to further marginalize our race just to be heard.

          That’s all. Again, no one is asking you to apologize or pay any sort of reparation. Just acknowledge that you will have an easier time going for what you want in life because the gatekeepers look like you and thus don’t overtly or subconciously hold a bias against you.

          • Tevis T

            I also think the phrase “person of color” is racist. It’s basically saying that there’s some magical link between all people who aren’t white. It’s racist against whites by implying that there’s some coalition against them, and it’s racist against every other race by artificially lumping them together into some ominous group.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            Hahahahahahaha wow you are behind the times then.

            The term POC is used in academia to study the sociological links between minorities operating under systems built upon white male patriarchy.

          • Tevis T

            So if I’m a redneck, am I also a person of color? What if I’m green with envy? What if I’m feeling blue today?

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            Either you’re trolling or you’re inexcusably dense

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            If you’re going to say “person of color” is racist then that phrase is just as racist as calling you “white” or you calling me “black”. Think about how idiotic that statement is…

            I’m not the color black I’m actually brown so by calling me and other people of African decent “black” you are lumping us all together…wtf?

        • Hannah Dodd

          The reason it’s not racist to say that white people are privileged is that “privileged” isn’t an insult. It’s not personal, and it does not imply that anyone should feel guilty or responsible for their privilege. It is a simple statement of fact that being white confers privilege in our society. I’m a white person and am constantly baffled at why white people get offended by this. White privilege is real and has been demonstrated in many studies. Get over it.

          • Tevis T

            Sounds like you hate yourself. Get over it.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            Sounds like you can’t face reality. would tell you to get over it but I’m really only here to show you the error in your thinking.

            I mean feel free to carry on without thinking critically about your position in the world but just know that you are complicit in extending the legacy of racism in America due to your ignorance

        • Hannah Dodd

          To lay it out even more plainly, “Jewish cheapness” and “black laziness” imply a personality characteristic. White privilege isn’t a personality characteristic held by an individual. It’s the benefits conferred by society onto white people that other groups don’t enjoy. It says nothing about an individual person’s personality, attitudes, etc.

        • cindel

          It’s not racist because it’s about the privilege offered by society, not any inherent trait of white people.

    • DenverRob

      No it is not. Call it entitlement if you want, same thing. The fact is white men feel they have the right to speak about any topic rather than listen, usually while talking over and in total disregard of the people that have first hand experience with that given topic. We tell women who express anger about harassment that they “are being too sensitive,” that they are “taking it the wrong way” and they “need to lighten up.” Privilege is believing that other people have to change how they feel and react to you so you don’t have to the time to examine your behavior and exhibit common manners.
      Instead of white people defending NYC’s stop and frisk with bs anecdotal stories we heard from a chain email, we should listen and believe when people of color who have experienced it personally explain how insulting and dehumanizing it truly is.
      White people and mostly white men on the whole fail to recognize that we have very limited life experience and on a lot of topics we need to shut our mouths, listen and most importantly, believe the people.

      • What…

        That sounds rather racist thinking. Oh, white man? You don’t have a right to speak. Just shut up and listen.

        Last I checked, this country encouraged discourse, no matter your skin color. We do have the right to speak on any topic. Not to enforce our own views on another, but encouraging discourse and thinking that people of a certain skin color should just shut up and believe the other is rather racist.

        Sincerely, a black (apparently privileged) male.

    • Guest

      I also think the phrase “person of color” is racist. It’s basically saying that there’s some magical link between all people who aren’t white. It’s racist against whites by implying that there’s some coalition against them, and it’s racist against every other race by artificially lumping them together into some omnibus group.

  • Jared Shipley

    Maybe Mr. Fortgang here should spend more time calling out his fellow Jews for being the biggest contributors and promoters of the “white privilege” meme.

    • Jim Keskeny

      No he got it right.Its generally a racist term.

    • Ted666

      Maybe you should spend more time apologizing for Christian socialists? It’s funny. Banks and media are owned by Jews and non-Jews, but it’s always those “Jewish bankers” and “Jewish media owners” who attract the attention of people like you. I see a socialist and condemn him as a socialist. I don’t care what religion he is.

  • Right Wired

    Damn.

  • therain

    Apologize for nothing.

  • Emac

    Those things you were privileged to get from your family and this country are the most valuable things a person can have. I hope to give my children those same privileges. Everyone, no matter their race or gender has things they had to over come, or their family had to overcome. When someone says that just because a white man is successful, it is because of privilege, they are being racist. I am not a white man, but I think there is so much racism toward that group, yet in our society, it seems to be accepted. As Martin Luther King said, we should judge people by the content of their character. Even white males. I know plenty of white males who had very hard lives and made something of themselves. I also know a few black people who are very well off, and are privileged, in terms of money. We can’t look at a person and know where they came from. That is being purely uneducated. Shame on your professors for being so ignorant. They should not be teaching! Great article!!

  • Jim Hull

    MY GRANDPARENTS CAME TO AMERICA , IN THE LATE 1800’S. THEY SETTLED IN NEW YORK CITY AND HAD 18 KIDS. TALK ABOUT PRIVILEGE. THEY LIVED IN A 3PLUS ROOM TENEMENT. RAISED THEIR KIDS AND GAVE THEM WHAT THEY COULD IN “PRIVILEGE”,. THEN, THEIR JOURNEY ENDS. GOOD JOB, JIM AND CLARA.

  • bonniekerrigan

    yay!

  • Bunnywithpancakeonhead

    If I could do cartwheels I would. Wait a minute. I can. And did. My son is in law school at a top 30 college in the top 10% of his class and he as white as white can be. I am as proud as proud can be because it was a sacrifice for this poor shrimper’s son to accomplish all that he has done in his short 23 years. Owns his own political consulting business, put a Senator, a Congressman and three other men in office, sold shrimp while keeping a 3.89 GPA at online Undergrad school, traveling 22 states to teach government to high schooler while helping his single mom raise his two younger sisters and his dad keep his boat going along with taking care of his elderly grandparents whenever they needed him. Now he is still soaring in law school. White privilege = knowing how to work.

    • OpenLettertoAFisher

      very well said. knowing how to work + superiority in our veins

      • OpenLettertoAFisher

        AND it’s all the whites’ fault for not doing a good job teaching the slaves how to work better. The Natives? Well, the majority was killed anyway.

        • Renee Houston

          Fingers crossed that you’re being sarcastic in these two posts. Assuming you are – kudos!

    • AaronSnelling

      The success of your son doesn’t disprove the reality of institutionalized racism. What if your son had been pulled over while drinking and driving? The likelihood of his incarceration in that scenario would have been dramatically higher if he was black. Political consulting is a field primarily concerned with image; if he was black it would affect his ability to network. It makes perfect sense that white people do well and try hard and deserve respect for that, but anecdotes about people’s lives don’t justify the racism you espouse without even being aware.

      • Lime Lite

        Here’s how I feel about your bigoted outlook.

        • AaronSnelling

          lol my bigoted outlook? In what way am I bigoted?

        • Beth McCormack

          That’s super cute, limelight! Awesome way to completely disregard what the poster is saying and demean huge groups of people. You can’t be bothered to listen, so you’ll just put up a cute little meme of a cute little violin. Cute! and so helpful.

      • ignoranceisbliss

        great point, to be more specific, ever heard of the 248 ratio? A man of color, is 248x more likely to be incarcerated or receive a heavier punishment than his white counterpart.

        • Peggy Bowes

          So that’s the fault of white people????? If you commit a crime, you should pay the consequences, regardless of race.

          • Edward

            But the entire incarceration system is built upon racist constructs. For example, before the abolition of slavery, prisons were comprised of 99% white men. Following the abolition of slavery, there was a dramatic shift, and the US prison population became 90%* black and adopted a convict leasing system that was nearly identical to pre-war slavery (if not worse).

            If you’re interested in learning more about the subject, I highly recommend Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness”.

            *http://www.doc.alabama.gov/History.aspx

          • Go hawks!

            Biggest problem with the African American population is they will not take responsibility for their actions. I’m sure you see the 70% out of wedlock child birth in the black population as a problem that whites created.Be men and stop acting like boys. Don’t father children that you have no intention of being a father too. Also, stop blaming things that happened several generations ago for the sins of this generation. Both of my parents were immigrants to this country and came here with nothing, including a bias towards race. Unfortunately, you were born here with one.

          • Edward

            Go hawks, I did not “blame things that happened several generations ago for the sins of this generation”. I am merely pointing out that racism, prejudice, discrimination, privilege, etc., are much more deeply entrenched than many people are aware. Our present lives have been influenced by a historical framework, and we need to critically examine that framework before we can make assumptions/generalizations about any group.

          • Matthew McIntosh

            You’ve just insinuated that all black men act like boys. Also, blaming modern issues on historical events is one of the most logical things I’ve ever heard. And where did you get the 70% number?
            The point here is that is SIGNIFICANTLY harder to achieve a higher status in society if you are non-European-American, queer, female, non-Christian, poor, non-English speaking, or generally anything that goes against “the establishment”.
            It’s still tough to get into Princeton, absolutely. It’s tough to immigrate to a new country. It’s tough to BE HUMAN. None of us have a free pass. But some of us were born with stable financial settings in a culture that identifies and respects our beliefs and accepts our skin-color as the norm. That’s white privilege, and it’s very real.

          • Tj Swift

            You have literally no proof for what you said except your your cherished Progressive identity.

          • anon

            i see many problems with the stat you just provided and the connection you are attempting to provide through it…

          • weberish

            Instead of thinking about blame, consider a more complex perspective. Privilege is not simply race or ethnicity, nor one group “doing” something overtly to another. I am not asserting you, nor anyone else (friends, grandparents, etc.), did not work hard. That being said, opportunity exists, often based on our circumstance, that is not open to other people. Yes, “that’s America,” etc. Checking one’s privilege is not about assuming blame for someone else’s position as much as helping to understand where and how people get opportunities.

            For example, family wealth can ease the need for students to pay their own tuition, freeing them from up to twenty years of debt. That many can be used to invest or purchase property. This advantage, luckily, helps the next generation. I am not saying this is bad. I am saying that certain places in society have more opportunities.

            Congratulations and bless your family for helping you be in the position to earn your way at Princeton. Asking one to check your privilege may just mean research your own family and be grateful for those opportunities.

          • DeadMessenger

            The point here is that nobody has a need to condescendingly demand that someone check their privilege. Frankly, unless you have already checked that person’s privilege and know their entire family and personal history, then you are making ASSumptions with such a demand.

            I’m white, my family is poor, but hardworking, and I worked a full time job, plus a part time job while I went to college full time in order to pay my way and also kick back some money to help my family. Then, you would have some kid who didn’t have the grades or the test scores, and who got into my school based entirely and solely upon his ethnicity dare to tell ME to check my privilege? You know what? People who make that statement can just jam it.

          • Tracy

            Just so you know many minorities “work a full time job, plus a part time job” as well to support themselves while obtaining a degree of higher education. The reality is that when you graduated, the chances of you being offered a position based upon your merits were much higher than those of someone of a different race. This is due to the fact that subconscious social constructs effect us all whether we agree with them or not. You need to understand that there is a devastating dichotomy between the equality of opportunity and the equality of outcome within this country. Although white individuals and minorities attend the same institutions, use the same economic system, and are subjected to the same laws, and theoretically the same opportunities, the outcome of equality based on this fact is drastically different. Picture this: A black individual and a white individual attend the same university. They both obtain the same degree and graduate from the same class. Both of them after graduation apply for the same position, chances are the black individual would not be offered this. Call this an irrational assumption if you may, but the evidence for this speaks for itself within the fact that minorities are disproportionately represented within Congress, and average annual income for Black households being $33,762 annually.

          • Tj Swift

            1. Subconcious intra-racial preference certainly exists. As does subconcious preference for attractive and athletic features. I’m not sure either can be responded to in policy, but if it’s possible to do one, the both have the same merit for policy applications.

            2. Due to the effects of affirmative action, it is unlikely that the average black graduate performed as well as the average white graduate of a particular University. This is pretty well known.

            3. For lack of a better term, the black accent, is likely to be viewed a substantial negative in a white majority area. a very early policy approach would be preferable, but I doubt attempts to “whiten up” the speech of black people will go over well.

            4. The average annual income for Black households is a statistic much to aggregated to tell us anything useful.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            For #2 care to provide evidence? And also can you please specify where exactly the “effects of affmirmative action” coincide with black graduates on average performing less well than white graduates on average?

            Or are you saying that black people are inherently dumber than white people and thus will automatically perform worse than their white counterparts even if they are admitted under AA policies? If that’s so, please note that eugenics has long been considered pseudoscience.

          • Tj Swift

            I have to admit that I am really amused by your response. First, you challenge me to provide evidence as if it doesn’t exist. The fact that you aren’t aware of the sea of evidence of AA effects makes it clear that you’ve never looked in to the issue, or if you have, you only looked at resources which stroked your political ideology.

            Second, you (accusingly) ask if am claiming that “black people are inherently dumber”. In your obvious baiting attempt, you feign ignorance of all known metrics of G-type intelligence. IQ tests, SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE all demonstrate black performance as lower than white performance. What does that mean? I’ll leave it for the social scientists to say “Racism, racism! The test is racist!” and real scientists to actually try to figure it out. I’ll leave those results to ignorant progressive hacks like you to completely ignore.

            http://www.nationalaffairs.com/publications/detail/the-sad-irony-of-affirmative-action

            If you need more sources, the first page of google is full of them, not that you’ve ever looked:
            http://lmgtfy.com/?q=effects+of+affirmative+action

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            It’s interesting how you seem to “know” what my responses will be before I respond. I guess I’m not surprised.

            I’m aware of the stats. I’m aware that study after study has shown that the average IQ of blacks is lower than that of whites. I don’t dispute any of that. Blacks on average, lag behind whites in terms of achievement that is nothing new.

            You, my friend (as well as a plethora of actual scientists) are suffering from what is known as “confirmation bias”. Black people consistently lag behind white people? Of course! It HAS to be genetic. It HAS to be an inherent cultural defect. Black people bring it upon themselves! It’s not in their genes to want to do better!

            ^All of this is lazy reasoning. I can commend the rigor in compiling the data, but the conclusions that all eugenics supporters including yourself make from the data are drawn up lazily. Stats 101 (have you taken it yet?), teaches us that correlation does not equate to causation. So yes, black people on average achieve less than whites in terms of IQ, test scores, etc but even you hesitate in determining what the true cause of the disparity is. If you truly value intellectual rigor, you would not support the argument that races are inherently better/worse than one another in different areas. That would mean that you don’t understand that race is, has, and will always be a CONSTRUCT. A human. construct with very real consequences.

            And also I wish you would stop labeling me as a “hacking progressive”. I don’t align myself with either party. If you ask me the 2 party system in America has failed miserably. I don’t plan on wasting my time voting ever again. Instead of constructive discourse, we have ego-plays masked as “debate” that only further divide us and pushes us as a total society backwards. This included (although I hope I’m getting you to at least think about your stance).

            All in all, I will say that it’s very easy to use statistics and data to support an argument whether it is true or false. Numbers don’t lie, but humans are biased. If we fail to consider ALL the variables that contribute to a certain outcome (in this case black vs white achievement), then we’re not doing ourselves any favors in the long run.

            I do hope that eventually you learn to replace the contempt in your heart with empathy. It would do you, and the rest of the world a lot more good than you believe you are doing at present.

          • SJWs are anti-evolution

            SJWs are anti-evolution. Race is not a social construct. Physical anthropologists have been able to classify remains for a very long time. Races carry different traits with different frequencies, and those traits are passed down through the generations. Two Negroid parents cannot produce a Caucasoid child anymore than two Caucasoid parents could produce a Mongoloid child. Race most assuredly exists. Cultural Marxism can’t change that.

            Now, once we have established that different geographic groups (races) evolved separately over the last 100,000 or so years, it is beyond idiotic to pretend that the brain has remained completely the same in that time. It is logical to conclude that our brains evolved just as our bodies did, and the fact that different races have different bell curves for intelligence regardless of environment speaks to the fact that genetics (race) is a key component of the IQ gap. Also, there is the fact that intelligence is ~.75 heritable by the time of adolescence with that rising to ~.85 for adults.

            Caucasians and Asians both consistently perform better than blacks. That is true regardless of where you go. It is not attributable to institutionalized racism in the US.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            You don’t understand basic biology.

            The statement “Two Negroid parents cannot produce a Caucasoid child anymore than two Caucasoid parents could produce a Mongoloid child.” Is 100% false and shows your glaring lack of understanding of genetics.

            Read here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/white-baby-shocks-black-parents-medically-possible/

            Your thinking and your “facts” fall in line with Eugenics which is not science but pseudoscience meant to push a particular agenda (yours is racism).

            There’s no point providing context for the statistics that you cite because to you, societal factors and constructs are imaginary.

            I also never said “race doesn’t exist”. Of course it does, but it’s a SOCIETAL construct, not a genetic one, so please take your faux-science elsewhere to someone who has no knowledge of biology or genetics and also espouses your racist mindset.

            Bye.

          • Norman Elizondo

            True, but the consequences for non-whites are different in terms of actual arrests, prosecutions and incarceration…http://www.upworthy.com/a-15-year-old-justice-department-memo-explains-why-no-one-was-jailed-for-the-financial-crisis?c=ufb1

          • Jiub

            Committing a crime isn’t the fault of anyone other than the individuals involved but to target people because of their race can be tied back to white people. Ever hear of Stop and Frisk? Bloomberg stated that they weren’t stopping enough minorities when the majority of those who commit crimes are white.

            Don’t be willfully obtuse, it’s not a good look.

          • Alex
          • Hadiza S
          • Matthew McIntosh

            Peggy Bowes – yup. Not all white people, but the people who make the rules do happen to be, by and large, white. European-American.

        • car

          Is that ratio before or after a crime is committed?

        • Tj Swift

          Men are 14x more likely to be incarcerated then women. Hundreds of thousands of rapes go unpunished in prisons each year.

      • Guest

        “What if your son had been pulled over while drinking and driving?”

        You’re a pretty big d-bag for assuming Bunny’s son drives drunk in the first place.

        • Michael Cooney

          Huh? He lives in America, is in college, and doesn’t live in NYC or similar city with extensive mass transit. It’s a damn good assumption that he’s driven drunk before – at least legally drunk since the limit is basically anything over a single drink in 2-3 hours.

        • AaronSnelling

          What a prescient observation, it has really moved this conversation forward. If you’ve ever been to college, you know it happens alarmingly often and that even the best and brightest do it from time to time. But aside from that, copy paste any other possible crime.

      • Woopsie

        You are a racist, plain and simple.

        • AaronSnelling

          You need to check your definition of “racist” and also take a look at my profile picture, I’m white as they come baby.

          • SJWs hate themselves

            A racist is a person who is bigoted based on race. Being white does not somehow mean a person cannot be racist against their own race. The common term is “self-hating.”

      • Tj Swift

        The primary privilege enshrined in the criminal justice system is not white privilege but female privilege. That fact doesn’t go over so well in the oppression studies departments however, so it’s seldom mentioned.

        • AaronSnelling

          Well I would have to see some statistics on that, but assuming that you’re right I’ll bet you can see a difference between the sentences for upper-class white women and lower-class minorities. Except of course the asians because we like having them around in society. Their babies are just so dang cute.

        • AaronSnelling

          do you mean the privilege to work just as hard and make less money or the privilege to be largely exempt from the ranks of business executives and world leaders. Or do you mean the privilege of having a 1/4 chance of being raped? I’m curious what privileges are you talking about? Do you mean occasionally getting a door opened for you, someone getting up from a seat? Those don’t really seem to outweigh the negatives here.

          • SJWs are cultural Marxists

            Women do not “work just as hard and make less money.” They perform entirely different jobs by choice, which happen to make less money.

            Also, 1/4 will not be raped. Such bogus statistics come from feminist “studies” where the “researcher(s)” define “rape” so broadly that they end up telling women that they were “raped” because their boyfriend said, “C’mon, baby,” after she initially said, “Not tonight. I’m tired.”

            Finally, women are not absent from the “ranks of business executives and world leaders” because they are actually being barred from such positions. Many women achieve both in the West, but women are less likely to actually go into career paths that lead to those positions. One key reason is the desire to have children. Women typically work fewer hours and spend fewer years in the workforce.

            Just another cultural Marxist arguing for equality of results while claiming they want equality of opportunity.

  • eddie

    this is great. Great job

  • tiredofstupid2

    You won’t see this in our liberal media. Very well said.

  • Rose

    find me a city that runs by black men and doing well or even good, im not saying they cant do it ,it just seem all they care about is themself not the people i know plenty white men are the same way, but we have great city ruin by the hands of blacks, i live in philly most of my life and my home is in a getto now, it was once a proud place to live, they even move in the blacks, and took care of the homes the few that did,but it was over run and became a place of drug, gangs and pimps,it seem they just dont want a nice place to live,when growing up there just about every black friend i had had a mom and dad,not no more,and i think that the factor in the homes ,,,and dont give me that bs im racist ive been there live their watch till i had to move for the sake of my kids,and their life,,, jack

  • Redniner

    I share your “privilege.” My grandparents came over from Russia in 1904 to escape the pogroms. My grandfather apprenticed himself to a dressmaker, saved enough to buy his own sewing machine, and started his own business. All my grandparents’ children went to college, became successful and sent their own kids to Ivy League colleges. To me, that’s what America is all about…or should be.

  • Fed Up

    I’m tired of this whining. I went to San Francisco State and some of my teachers tried to make me indirectly feel guilty for being “white” and talked about this exact subject. In retrospect they were the ones being racist. I also heard other teachers that were trying to push social acceptance but at the same time making fun of God and prayer. It is pure hypocrisy! Little do they know I have mixed blood and on one side of my family we have Native American, one of my great Grandfathers marked he was a slave on his Army documents from the Civil War. As I said I have mixed blood but took very caucasian features through genetics unlike some of my cousins and other family members.My Grandfathers history and life has nothing to do with mine. If your in the USA next time you feel sorry for yourself try living in a 3rd world country and watch little kids dig out of trash cans for food then tell me how bad your life is. This has gone to far. Racism is racism but for some reason our country has slowly accepted that racism against “whites” is ok.

    • Nathan VanSickles

      Interestingly my family too is rich with native American bloodlines, and I was born in a trailer to 2 parents that worked 2 jobs and went to school. They earned every penny our family now possesses. Yet I’m used to being accused of being privileged. The new liberal line though, is that even though we are NA, we aren’t NA enough to have an opinion on this subject. So you can have a great great great grandfather who was black and that makes you part black, but if your father is half Native American that doesn’t count… astonishing liberal logic huh?

      • Jack

        It does count, no one is using that logic, and everybody gets an opinion on the subject. The real key to the whole “privilege” thing is that some people have advantages in life. In my case, I’m a white male in college who in many cases has an advantage in instances like job interviews because not only am I a white male with decent genes but I was also raised and educated well. I’ve worked hard for my achievements thus far, but how did I learn to work hard? How much control did I really have over who I am? How much of it was the environment? Do I really deserve what I have more than anyone else? In my opinion (and this goes beyond the privilege thing) we have a lot less control over our lives than many people perceive. Every action is a result of something before it I’m never going to feel bad about this “privilege” and no one should, but just know that the humans less fortunate than you could really use some help and many. If someone tells me to “check my privilege” (no one has) I would probably say “it’s great” and move on.

        • Jordan
        • cindel

          This is really well said, and I feel like you have a really good hold on the issue. It’s not that people don’t work hard for what they have, it’s that the drive to work hard and educate one’s self is institutionalised in some cultures or more relevant areas of living. It’s not that much about skin colour but where you are from and who your family is, shaped by everything that came before it. Privilege is not necessarily entitlement and it’s very impressive of you to take the attitude that you have :)

        • LANE

          I think there’s probably a reason no one has ever told you to check your privilege and it might have something to do with you understanding what it means in the first place. Well said!

        • jk2001

          It’s easier to work hard an accomplish something when you’re not already needing to work hard to just survive. That’s what I’ve seen – and that is why I feel privileged. And I say that as someone with a lower-middle-class, minority background.

          My ancestors probably came over around the same time as the Princeton guy’s, but they didn’t have the advantage of being considered “white” after the 1940s, the ability to buy property until the 1950s, or even to get equal opportunity for most jobs until the late 1960s. That is white privilege.

          I’m not complaining, just explaining.

  • iamez2nv

    To assume a “white” person’s success is due to “white privilege” Is just as racist as assuming a “black” person’s success is due to affirmative action.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ FrozenTroll

      And assuming that a black man cannot succeed at all without Whitey’s help. Same damn thing Massa used to say down in Alabama.

      • guest

        It’s more about how a black man can’t succeed with whitey’s boot on his neck. You don’t have to do anything different but remove your foot.

    • Louise

      Exactly!

    • Hanz A.

      You cannot be racist against a white person. United States culture completely enforces and supports whiteness as the norm. Institutionalization of racism is so deeply woven into the fabric of our society that a white person can never experience true racism in the way a PoC will in their lifetime. White people may at times experience discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes, but they simply do not experience institutionalized racism in our culture.

      • iamez2nv

        I have heard that load of steaming crap before. What you are doing Hanz, is rationalizing(excusing) the abuse of whites.

        • Matthew Gunselman

          I’m interested in what kind of institutionalized “abuse of whites” you’re referring to. A lot of people are quick to react when they hear the term “white privilege” by crying foul and taking it personally. It’s not meant to illicit an apology or trivialize someone’s hard work. It’s meant to bring awareness to a real problem so that we can try to correct it.

          The writer’s grandparents went through horrible hardships for many years but worked hard to set up the next generations of their family for a better life. Fortunately it is LIKELY that before the Nazis invaded when they were in their teens, his grandparents had a stable home life where they could be taught the values the writer mentions toward the end of his article. Those could then be passed on to their descendants. This is the foundation upon which Mr. Fortgang has to build (and which I think he rightly points out is how he is privileged).

          What is unfortunate about many communities of people of color, and really any poverty-stricken community, is that there are fewer and fewer of these strong foundations upon which to build. For how long in this country have blacks been associated with rough neighborhoods, violence, the welfare system, gangs, etc., all symptoms of underserved and impoverished communities? Those negative associations inform, consciously or subconsciously, how a person of color is treated as a perspective employee, student, partner, and so on, regardless of how hard they have worked to be where they are. That is the part of the system that I, as a white male, am privileged not to experience. It is why I will never experience racism the same way as a PoC. I may be the target of prejudice or stereotypes from individuals or groups of individuals at some point in my life, but I won’t have to deal with it on an institutionalized level in this country.

          Congratulations to Mr. Fortgang on his hard work and acceptance into Princeton, but please do some more research on what white privilege and institutional racism are.

          • Chris

            Very well written. I disagree with the definition of racism as automatically equating to institutionalized racism, so that white people can by definition never be the victims of racism (mostly because I think that definition just gives ammo to the defenders of privilege), but I agree that we will never experience it on the same level.

          • jaq

            “Racism” and “Institutionalized Racism” aren’t the same thing.
            Your argument also only holds true in countries where caucasians are the majority. Claiming whites never experience institutionalized racism implies we are the privileged majority everywhere we go, and that is simply not the case.

          • Matthew Gunselman

            You and Chris are right. I tried to address that by adding “in this country” at the end of the third paragraph, but maybe that didn’t come out clearly enough. I appreciate you all taking the time to read my comment though. It helps when everyone can take the time to talk about these issues from different perspectives.

          • Tracy

            And where would it be where this “is simply not the case?”. I would like to refer to the fact that colonialism instituted “whiteness” as the norm within many countries in which caucasians were and currently still are the minority. Specifically Latin American countries.

          • Hadiza S

            And African and Asian nations.

          • Hadiza S

            Well if you consider that the world as we know it today has been shaped largely by (white, male) colonialism and imperalism, yea, actually a majority of places you go you will be accepted simply because you are white.

            Ever heard of colorism? In colonialized nations, brown and black people are subject to European standards of beauty that were imposed during colonial rule. This also occurs in America, but just to expand your viewpoint, if you go to Japan you’re more likely to be revered than if a black person goes to Japan. (one example, but you may get it).

            Also, what type of insitutionalized racism have you faced as a white person in America? I’m really curious.

          • Brosephus

            Colonialism and imperialism are a two-way street, Hadiza. Witness Arab / Muslim conquests in Europe over the last ~1300 years:

            Muslim control of Spain (732-1492) (i.e. a period longer than Europeans have been colonizers)
            Battle of Tours (732) (French stave off full-scale Arab invasion of Europe from conquered Spain)
            Sack of Rome (846) (Arabs plunder the Vatican)
            Fall of Constantinople (1453) (ending the Roman Empire after ~1500 years and instituting Muslim control of a city (now known as Istanbul (i.e the capital of Turkey)) that had been Christian for over 1100 years)
            Battle of Vienna (1683) (Holy Roman Empire staves off Muslim invasion by the Ottoman Empire in the heart of Europe)

            While you’re at it, look into Devşirme (the Ottoman practice, continued for 300 years, of enslaving Christian boys from conquered European territories and forcibly converting them to Islam)

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza S

            Thank you for the history lesson, but do any of those empires you’ve taken the time list influence how the world operates on a grand scale in the present-day?

            I was referring to the most recent assent of colonialism and imperialism which has shaped what we know about capitalism, racism, sexism and practically any othe rism you’d like to think of that exists in both the modern and post-modern age.

          • Tj Swift

            Yeah, Quiet Brosephus, your facts don’t fit the victim narrative.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            You’re right they don’t because there is no “victim” narrative being carried out here. You’re reading way too much into my posts and using your own biased thinking to make conjectures that are wrong. Dead wrong. You don’t know me and I don’t know you. No one’s asking you to feel guilty about your maleness or whiteness. No one would benefit from your guilt.
            Why does acceptance of reality (i.e. the playing field is NOT level in terms of race, class, gender), automatically mean “guilt” to you? I’m curious, it’s a very defensive stance you take, which doesn’t really help the points that you’ve been trying to make throughout this thread.

          • Tj Swift

            Let me get this straight. There is no victim narrative, and white men aren’t guilty of anything, but I need to accept reality. Is that right? And just to be clear, the reality is that white men have it easier at the expense of everyone else? But we aren’t guilty and there is no victim narrative? Oh, okay. Do you really think that makes sense?

            Hadiza, let’s just cut to the chase, how much money does every white man owe you to ‘level the playing field’? I just want to get an idea of how much I have at your expense.

          • Matthew Gunselman

            Could the victim narrative be turned around? Perhaps white males are being disadvantage by a “progressive” system that attempts to undermine white maleness. Are white males inherently better at all of the jobs they perform, thus creating jealous classes of less motivated people? If pay scale is any indication of merit, it would suggest that white males are just naturally better at things than every other demographic.

            Or maybe white males are a victim of a system that unfairly burdens white males with more skilled and higher paid positions. Or maybe they’re victims of a system that burdens them with demands for supporting every other class of people.

            Because you feel that Hadiza is essentially attempting to extort money from you, it does suggest a certain amount of recognition of being in a position of privilege. You have money, and Hadiza, by virtue of being non-white, must not. But then I guess my ultimate question to you would be why do you think white males, as a whole, tend to do so much better in our society than everyone else?

          • Tj Swift

            Let’s just cut to the chase right now Hadiza. I’m a white male, how much money do I owe you? That is what you are after, right? Otherwise why go through such effort to move the goalposts in your pursuit of establishing white guilt? What could you desire besides reparations? Maybe you a bit more aggressive? Genocide more your flavor?

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            What? Why should you feel guilty about circumstances you can’t change or choose?

            You owe me nothing. White people today owe me nothing. Everyone today owes it to themselve to educate themselves about the history of racism in America and push their own egos aside (even for an hr) when we discuss race and what it means to be white or non-white in America. THAT’S why I go through so much effort on internet forums to push for postive discussion about race. It’s not to undermine anything you’ve done in your life or to gripe about “who has it the worst” or any of that.

            America has a problem with discussing race. Too often, people jump to the defensive instead of taking the time to actually consider other viewpoints as valid even if they may contradict their own reality. To you, the notion of “white privilege” is a construct meant to undermine white people and make them feel “guilty” (which, how does that help anything?). That’s not the case. I’m privileged because I grew up middle class. I’m privileged because I was fortunate enough to puruse a 4 year (double) degree at a top 20 instiution. My race and gender DO adversely affect endeavors that I embark on, but I’m not asking you to apologize for that. I’m just asking you to simply recognize that being white and male DOES open doors for you that would be slammed in my face simply because I don’t “fit”.

          • Tj Swift

            Your entirely premise is absurd. You claim “white privilege” and that we must “level the playing field” but that there is no “victim narrative” and that white men aren’t “guilty” of anything. You think we should stop “getting defensive” when we read you claim that white men have “privilege” and so have things easier than you. We should just “accept reality”.

            How about you accept reality? “accepting reality” and “leveling the playing field” will require payments of some kind from white men to everyone else. A generally understood fact is that you only owe someone something if you have transgressed against them: your narrative implies white GUILT and that you are victim of white people’s privilege. And, to top it all off, your top 20 schooling means you are more privileged than the majority of white people who you want paying you reparations.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            Nope. It’s your own bias that implies “white guilt”. Why is it so hard to admit that being white, male, and educated allows you to work with more social capital than a black female (and also) educated counterpart simply because you share more physical qualities with the majority than the latter?

            Guilt is an ego-centric response. The fact that you believe I should believe that you should pay me just because you’re white and I’m black is absurd enough, and completely revealing of how personally you take the whole matter. It’s nothing personal.

            If I hurt your feelings I’m sorry? You will get over it in time.

          • b-real

            Well… I guess this explains why countries run strictly by brown folks are such shitholes….. Utter tripe.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            Do you genuinely know nothing about colonialization and imperialism or are you just choosing to be ignorant because it’s too painful to recognize that the truth does not fit your bias?

          • Tj Swift

            Affirmative action is literally a law which actively discriminates for and against certain people on the basis of race. The fact this didn’t occur to you suggests to me that you may be the type of person who would deny any act of racism against white people, no matter how explicit. Maybe I’m wrong?

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            First of all Affirmative action is not “literally a law which actively discriminates for and against certain people on the basis of race.”
            Affirmative action is literally a policy put in place in which institutions will not discriminate on the basis of “race, greed, gender, religion, or color”…so it’s not that AA necessarily negatively discriminates against whites, rather AA was put in place as an effort to level the playing field and move towards equal opportunity for people of all backgrounds. Let’s not make the mistake of conflating positive discrimination for minorities with negative discrimination against whites.

            As a white man, I’m sure it’s hard for you to see that the playing field is simply NOT level. That is precisely why AA exists. Do I necessarily agree with AA? No, there’s a lot wrong with it and it also hurts me as a black woman because when I do start a new job there is always the notion of “did she get here because of AA?” or more nefarious versions….

            I will not deny any act of discrimination or prejudice against any type of person no matter what background the aggressor (passive or active) hails from. Just because someone is black does not mean they can’t harbor prejudiced beliefs or make racist statements. The fact of the matter is that we live in a white supremacist nation (and arguably, world). White is the status quo. White people in America wield the most power. Black people and POC simply do not have the power numbers-wise, or just power-wise to wholly disenfranchise white people…we operate within the white, male, dominated system. The system BENEFITS white people…does having white skin generally act as a hinderance towards your goals? I mean you threw out the AA argument, but your interpretation of AA is quite frankly, false and suggests to me that you simply do not understand that based on faulty assumptions. Opportunity is something that is STILL a myth (and no, AA has not fixed it).

          • Tj Swift

            You post from a position that racism exists and that it benefits white people. None of your claims make any sense unless we agree with your premise. But your premise is overly broad and lacking in evidence. At this point, I’m just going to ask you to check your top 20 undergraduate privilege. Also, go read Schuette vs. BAMN because your Oppression Studies World View is wrong. While racism CERTAINLY exists, there is no such thing as inherent white privilege in the United States. Despite your beliefs, some minorities and women in the United States are more privileged than some white males. Your position is stupidly based on aggregate national averages and completely falls apart if you look at individuals, yet you never look at individuals. As you fail to realize, the purpose of the Oppression Studies narrative that you are regurgitating was never and is not equality, it is to extract economic rents from white men.

          • cindel

            Yes that’s true, but is anyone really implying that white people are privileged everywhere in the world? Can we not glean context? Why do we need to draw this line, we’re all grown ups who can work out what and where we’re talking about, it’s just nit-picking.

          • Renee Houston

            I absolutely love your response, and only partly because you saved me the effort.

          • Hadiza S

            Ditto

          • cindel

            I agree with this, and I also feel that it is important that we remember this and not use the term “white privilege” to attack others.

          • Tj Swift

            White privilege is an absurd concept. I realize you are probably just regurgitating a social science text you were likely forced to read by ideological progressives in college, but did your book even bother addressing these concerns:

            1. White privilege implies shared responsibility and shared benefit of people based on appearance. For instance, I am responsible for the actions of my ancestors and anyone else ancestors who look adequately (as defined by a progressive judge) similar to me.

            2. Privilege (Merriam-Webster):a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.
            Privilege as defined by the dictionary must in spectrum of different amounts for both white and black persons. Using national averages is foolish and is only done to reinforce Progressive political goals. What relevance does White Privilege have when comparing the children of Barack Obama to a white family who lives in a rural area of abject poverty. What privilege do they have?

            3. White privilege is nothing more than the establishment of de facto social classes consistent with the concept of noblesse oblige. Progressives have decided that there are white men, and everyone else. Those other groups can compete with one another to determine who is the biggest victim of them all, because the bigger the victim, the bigger the reparation.

            I’ll stop here and just comment quickly on the irony of your concern about black welfare utilization and the end result of white privilege and oppression studies can be nothing other than increasing redistribution. Black people as a group will never escape the ghetto when the only solutions allowable are various forms of socialism.

            deirdre McCloskey demonstrates that for the entire course of recorded history, the average wage per day was $3 2013 dollars. It was the revolution of commerce and technology which was fueled by the liberalization of regulations and the end of mercantilism began a path that has lead us to our current ~$130 figure. It is axiomatic to say that freer markets tend to be more efficient then less free markets. Socialism will not solve the problems of the inner city and it will never bring social justice. I agree with Hayek that those who would be central planners instead of allowing markets to function are arrogant and conceited.

          • Matthew Gunselman

            Although I disagree pretty much entirely with what you say, the biggest flaw I see is in this statement: “Using national averages is foolish and is only done to reinforce Progressive political goals. What relevance does White Privilege have when comparing the children of Barack Obama to a white family who lives in a rural area of abject poverty. What privilege do they have?”

            This illustrates clearly your misunderstanding that white privilege is systemic. It doesn’t make sense in any science, natural or social, to favor anecdotes over widespread trends. You’re looking for examples that buck the trend to confirm your existing beliefs rather than looking at the evidence that challenges them. Your evidence doesn’t even have to be national; you could look at regional, state, or local data that leads to the same conclusion: minorities are at a disadvantage from the very start.

          • http://www.politicalsplash.com Political Splash

            Where does one sign up for White Privilege? My white friends who’ve lost their homes, jobs, income, and savings keep telling me they never got the memo.

          • Matthew Gunselman

            That’s the thing about privilege, you don’t sign up for it. Society at large tends to favor whiteness and maleness so white males, at no fault of their own and without asking/signing up, are in a privileged position. I’ll provide a couple examples. Think about the fact that “nude” color is light to match white people’s skin in band aids and bras. Or that when referring to high school sports, “the basketball team” refers to the male basketball team and women’s sports are the ones that need the gendered modifier. Referring to the women’s teams comes out as “the Lady Raiders/Patriots/Rangers/[insert mascot here]”. These are somewhat trivial examples, but they’re things that I’m sure you are familiar with (unless you’ve never accidentally cut yourself or went to an all male high school, of course). It’s also important to point out that these examples do not particularly contribute to success of white males, but rather are evidence of a skewed societal preference toward them.

            This is not to say that a black person couldn’t experience privilege trying to get a job with the NAACP or a woman trying to get a job at Jezebel. While those hypothetical applicants may still blow their interview and not get the job, the fact they had an interview at all was likely influenced in part by their skin color and gender respectively.

          • SJWs are cultural Marxists

            Bandaids match the skin color of the majority of people due to the fact that they will sell more that way. White people are not “privileged” because of that.

            Male sports teams are typically more popular and more profitable. In addition, football and basketball are more popular and more profitable than most other sports. Are football players “privileged” over soccer players because more Americans prefer the former?

            Market forces are not “privileges.” If McDonald’s recognizes that most people prefer eating hamburgers over tofu, that does not mean that burger eaters are “privileged” over tofu eaters. It means it is not profitable to sell tofu over meat.

            By saying such things are privileges, or advantages, it is implied that others are disadvantaged in turn. It follows then, to be fair, that “black” bandaids should be given preferential treatment even though the market is much smaller, female sports teams should be given preferential treatment even though they are less popular and less profitable, and so on.

            Unbiased and neutral forces are not “privileges,” and it is not unbiased and neutral to demand that minorities are treated like they are 50%+ when they aren’t.

            No one is entitled to equal results in life. No one has to like you, and no one has to cater to your feelings. The majority does not have to pretend like a minority is just as big and as important because of “fairness.”

      • melissatx

        Bullshit.

        • anon

          Nuanced.

      • Rey d’Tutto

        Your initial statement is Bullshit, and the reason is this:
        Racism is discrimination based upon RACE.
        A White Man in Japan is just as Gaijin as a Black Man in Japan.
        While I agree the Institutionalization of Racism has primarily been Anti-Black, Anti-Native, Anti-Hispanic… Anti-Jewish… Anti-Irish… Anti-Polish…
        It’s all Hate. The Source of the bigotry matters not.
        And one day, maybe, the Idea of Loving one Another won’t be so foreign a concept.

        • Matthew Gunselman

          You’re right, it’s not the source of the bigotry that matters. It’s the institutional enforcement of it that matters.

          • SJWs are idiots

            Racism is not defined by the ability to act upon or enforce said racism. It is simply bigotry based on race. The notion that racism requires “institutional enforcement” is idiocy pushed by people determined to defend some racism while attacking other forms of racism.

            A black racist is no better or worse than a white racist. Both are racists regardless of their ability to act on their views or the broader societal context.

            Racism =/= institutionalized racism

            Racism is racism. Institutionalized racism is just racism on a broader scale. The institutionalization seen with the latter is not required to define the former.

      • Mooopz

        Anybody can be racist against any type of race. I agree with pretty much the rest of what you said regarding institutional racism, but that first sentence was pretty ridiculous.

      • Timmy Wilburn

        when group of black men kidnap a white woman and white man and rape them , torture them and kill them , then what do you call that ? I say it is a hate crime because of being racist. if the majority of white dumba$$ liberals would open their eyes and see the truth about how white people are discriminated against because of their stupidity , then maybe racism would die in America . the only way for racism to die is to do away with affirmative action and charge all races of people with hate crimes not just the white people.

        • Matthew Gunselman

          I believe I may be someone you would term as a “white dumba$$ liberal”. If that couple were targeted specifically because they were white, I would consider that a hate crime. The difference here is that hate crime laws deal with racism on an individual basis; affirmative action attempts to deal with racism on an institutional level. To have a meaningful discussion, we need to be clear about that distinction.

      • Tj Swift

        Affirmative action is literally the dictionary definition of: Institutionalized and Racism. The problem with the Progressive ideology is the lack of objective truth which if you dig deep enough, is always hiding below. Here you show us the nature of Progressive Oppression studies: Your methods to establish social justice are, by definition, racist against whites, so you just change the definition of racism to exclude white people. Problem solved.

        • Matthew Gunselman

          Would taking a predominantly white suburban school system down to the level of an inner city, predominantly black and latino school system be racist against whites? If your answer is ‘yes’, does that suggest that it is racist to leave non-white school systems in the state in which they currently are?

          • SJWs are idiots

            Of course, that assumes that white people are responsible for the state of non-white school systems. Odd that many, if not most, cities with non-white school systems have black politicians, blacks on the school board, black principals, black teachers, and black parents involved within the non-white system.

            If a non-white school system is not overseen by whites and is in a state of disrepair, it hardly makes sense to say that whites are responsible for something to which they have no direct connection.

            In contrast, it absolutely would be racist to take a white school system and degrade it to the level of unrelated, non-white school systems in the name of “fairness.”

            If your yard looks like crap, I am not responsible for it as it is not my responsibility to mow your grass. If you tear up my yard so it doesn’t look better than yours, that is not “fairness” or “equality.”

          • Matthew Gunselman

            The presence of black administrators in a school district does not mean that racism has not factored into the current state of that district. When you consider that schools are funded by property taxes, it is easy to see that the system we have in place disadvantages poor neighborhoods, white or black.

            It’s important to consider the history of segregation in our country’s not-so-distant past. Remember that Brown vs. the Board of Education was as recent as 1954. With segregated school systems and a history of discriminatory and predatory home lending practices after slavery ended, blacks oftentimes concentrated in specific neighborhoods of cities around the country. Affluent whites left those neighborhoods in response and schools were left with diminished funding. Diminished funding and lingering anti-black sentiments translates to a deficiency in opportunities, and fewer opportunities means fewer chances at finding success. This makes it much harder for people living in those communities to work their way out of poverty and much harder to leave the community to search for better opportunities elsewhere. It’s then when we can see it becoming systemic: the laws around school funding favor affluent neighborhoods because funding is based on property value.

            You may try to argue that it’s not money that makes a school district successful but then will stand there defending a rich white school district’s right to more funding than a poor neighborhood. If money isn’t what makes the difference, then you should be fine with having equity in school funding and not feel like a white school is being degraded by having funding equal to a comparably sized non-white school. Without sufficient funding, no school administrator, black or white, can make his district thrive.

            So then where does this leave us? We should be able to conclude and agree that this is as much a class issue as it is a race issue, and that’s true. One has only to look at poor white neighborhoods to see similar patterns. That said, in light of our history of racial segregation, we cannot ignore the impacts that it had on the demographics of certain areas of our nation’s cities, even after school integration. Segregation, an unquestionably racist policy, helped create the ghetto as we know it today, and our current school funding scheme helps to maintain it. The effects this has on our country can hardly be overstated. It is this institutionalized racism/classism that does in fact disadvantage people, and more often than not those are people of color. This leaves the (affluent) white people as the advantaged ones.

      • Roger Abramson

        This is an apology for racism and an attack against a racial group. You either stand against racism or you don’t. You now can’t pretend you stand on any principle. You declare yourself the enemy of my beautiful brothers and sisters… my family… my friends. You tacitly call for the violence against my people, by calling for institutionalizing further evil.

        You how to explain how two wrongs will somehow make a right. You buy into the zero sum game… that all must suffer to alleviate.

        Would you have us all boiled in a pot because one of us was burned? Your ideas are disgusting and foolish and those who only pretend they stand on principle are disgusting and foolish.

        You can stand against racism, or you can stand opposed to a racial group. But not both.

        I was once a female, for five weeks in the womb. My ancestors were all African and black, a mere thirty thousand years ago. When you stand against any of us, you stand against all of us.

      • rsbmg

        Congratulations you earn this weeks Darwin award.

      • Daisytoo

        Really? We don’t experience institutionalized racism?! Wow. So I guess it’s fair for me to p/u the welfare tab (aka ‘reparations’) for every able bodied minority member simply because I’m white, I work, am successful and so pay the lion’s share of income tax. And you don’t think of this as racist?

      • Nevir

        People like you are the reason there are minorities playing the “knockout game” and other forms of beating whites for being white. Then you wonder why minorities are overrepresented in the prison population? You are a disgrace.

    • Stuart (Austin, TX)

      Except that affirmative action exists.

    • Farmworker/Army First Sergeant

      Jame2nv I agree with you. No one said the writer was successful due to “white privilege” he’s saying it about himself. On the other hand, I usually here whites say affirmative action is the reason minorities get selected for promotion over Anglos. I’m a minority married to an Anglo. Just saying…

      • iamez2nv

        I just feel that when people start tossing around terms like “white privilege” or whining about affirmative action, they are usually just eating sour grapes because thay failed to get something they wanted. and they need something to blame, rather than redoubling their effort, they quit and blame “the system”.

        • Jordan Rutledge

          “I just feel that when people start…”

          people? people who?

          white privilege is very, very real, any white person who has lived near poor blacks cannot deny this, the police are the ally of white people, and the enemy of blacks.

          the fact that it is real, however, is among the most misused and misrepresented facts that there is. Feminists have stolen this truth and twisted it into a silencing tactic, where people with any privilege you can specify are therefore unfit to have an opinion on anything.

          • Tj Swift

            Take your white self to an all-black neighborhood in Atlanta and I think you will find that privilege exists independently of color.

          • Jordan Rutledge

            Privilege usually implies societal or institutional structures. It is not an institutional privilege to be black in Atlanta, quite the opposite. The cops are the enemy of black people, the ally of whites, even more so in the blackest of neighborhoods.

            Privilege absolutely exists independently of color, its just that each color does tend to have different privileges and hindrances, and these privileges and hindrances do not necessarily even out for all the races. One of the tactics of feminists and other SJW’s is to say “your privilege is much more powerful/meaningful than your hinderances” but that’s is unfair, its not about comparing. A white person being denied their rightful place in a university is no less unfair solely because white people are treated better on average by police and CEOs, although the SJWs would have you believe it is.

            The problem with the privilege dialogue is it only makes sense when you speak of real life, specific situations, and yet when its actually used, its used to paint whole races of people into abstract categories with a wide brush.

    • anon

      Well, why don’t we worry about which of those is more common…

    • cindel

      I think that people assume that this assumption is made, to be honest. If I meet a white guy who is successful, and I know many, I do not assume he has had an easy ride. But this is also what causes the misunderstanding. People get their hackles up because they know they worked damn hard for what they have, but what they don’t understand is that many people also work just as hard and get absolutely nowhere. Success is not guaranteed for white people anymore than failure is for minorities but it is more likely, because the majority at the “top” are white and people like to elevate and promote people they can relate to culturally. That doesn’t detract from the success of hard working, successful white males at all. All that I personally would request is that if or when they work their way to the top they remember to consider those who are not of their culture and if they are also hard-working to give them a chance. As anyone at the top should regardless of culture.

    • maimonedes

      do you believe then that black people’s successes have nothing to do with affirmative action?

      • iamez2nv

        I personally feel more Blacks were hurt by AA than helped, far too many competent blacks were assumed to have attained promotions they didn’t deserve because of AA.

  • ned

    So…your dad’s rich and now you go to Princeton. Cool story bro

    • Cathie2027

      You’re an idiot.

      • ned

        He assumes that others demean him with a pejorative, “check your privilege,” casting doubt on his family’s origins and work ethic, given that white men have, on average, done pretty well for themselves over the last 500 years. His privilege stems not from being a white man, but from having hardworking, successful, ethical parents who have likely given all they can to make his life better than theirs. It has very little to do with race or gender. If he denies that he (not his grandparents) has lived a more privileged life than 99% of the planet, then he is the idiot.

        • http://www.black-and-right.com/ FrozenTroll

          But “privilege”, used in this context, is most particularly meant to demean, in that it asserts that success is NOT due to hard work, etc., but simply an inherited status bulwarked about with the power structure. How that came to be is glossed over, as is the notion that anyone else can either penetrate that structure or establish their own.

          • ned

            He did inherit his status without doing any hard work. His family worked hard, but their inclusion in the dominate racial group did not hurt their chances. This is not an American (US) phenomenon. Examine the power structures of Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, the UK. In the words of Louie CK, “being white is awesome.”

          • Jon

            No, this use of the word “privilege” is NOT meant to demean. That is the fundamental misunderstanding this young man has. It is meant simply to be a reality check. Perhaps “gratitude” would be a better, more positive way to think about it. All of us who manage to achieve some manner of success in life, in addition to being proud of our hard work, ought to have some humility and acknowledge and be grateful for all the undeserved advantages we had that helped is get to where we got. That’s what privilege is — advantages we have over others simply because of the circumstances of our birth. Just about everyone is privileged in some way — certainly every American is, by being born here rather than in, say, Afghanistan. What’s wrong with simply acknowledging it and being conscious of it?

        • Mark Smith

          I don’t think that word “privileged” means what you think it means. Let’s consult Random House Dictionary.

          privileged   Use Privileged in a sentence

          priv·i·leged [priv-uh-lijd, priv-lijd] Show IPA
          adjective
          1.
          belonging to a class that enjoys special privileges; favored: the privileged few.
          2.
          entitled to or exercising a privilege.
          3.
          restricted to a select group or individual: privileged information; a privileged position.

      • haha

        That’s a very mature response.

        • http://www.black-and-right.com/ FrozenTroll

          Some people deserve nothing better.

          • ned

            You’re on a roll Frozen Troll! haha!

  • Easygoing

    In the late 1990’s early 2000’s there was a huge push to diversify newsrooms across the nation. White males dominated the newsroom for decades, right or wrong thats how it was. I grew up farming so I had little to do with how that became the norm. In 2000 I was leaving photojournalism college at the top of my game. I had just become photographer of the year for both college level and professional level in my state. Something that had not been done before and has not been done after me. I made it into the Eddie Adams workshop. The EAW only accepts the top 100 applications in the nation. You would think I could walk into about any job I wanted at that point. WRONG! Being a white male was a complete road block during this era. Even 2nd tier newsrooms would shelf my applications without hardly opening up my resume. Being a small field I knew most everyone applying for the jobs. Needless to say job openings that I applied for were not being filled by me nor white males. I survived in the field on 3 rounds of internships before I finally got some crap photography job at the state paper. Off the record conversations with friends in newsrooms I would apply for would nicely say. “no white males at this time” It was rough, any other era besides the one I walked into would have placed me into a great job. Not because I was a white male, but because I was one of the best entering the field with great potential. 5 years into my first job newspapers are now failing, jobs are being cut by the handful. In 2009 I get laid off so I work to start my own business. I now watch from a distance as newspapers crumble and I am glad I am no longer part of that business model. My story does not make headlines. Nobody cares.

  • http://rip-ragged.com/dross Raymond Meyers

    That was the most powerful thing I’ve read in a long time.

  • The Abstract

    It is now time to add to the list.

    The first person to:

    1) accuse their opponent of racism, or
    2) use the phrase, “check your privilege”

    has lost the argument.

    Thank you.

    • Louise

      I’ve always believed that yelling “RACISSSSS” is a really graceless way to lose an argument.

  • Wes

    Whoa man. You have a huge chip on your shoulder. Remind me what have you accomplished again? You got into college? Oh, cool. Good job. Have you actually accomplished anything that can be sold in a capitalist market or help mankind?

    Hey man. Your grandparents had a rough time. Welcome to middle-class America. All of our grandparents had a rough time. Mine survived the Great Depression on a small farm in rural Virginia. Their grandparents escaped Ireland during famine. Big whoop.

    I’m really not seeing how your families ancestral struggles have to do with conservative politics. Could you help make that connection for me?

    The only two semi-political thoughts that you have contributed is the notion that “we” applaud environmentalism but shun passing along values and property (also shun national debt). Yo man, it would be reckless to not enforce environmental regulation (which, by the way, is primarily driven by impacts to human health and secondarily driven by impacts to ecological health) just as it would be reckless to irresponsibly increase the national debt. I think you will find that most people recognize that a climbing national debt is a bad thing. What we don’t agree on is what should be cut. Let me remind you that the last US President to have a balanced budget was….a Democrat (Clinton). The last Republican to have a balanced budget was Eisenhower……not Nixon, not Reagan, not either of the Bushs.

    The first amendment will always protect your families right to pass on your “family traditions.” However, it will also protect people that don’t share your family’s traditions to not have to have public funds spent to support them. Umm, who is taking away your right to pass on property? Yes, you have to pay a tax when you acquire wealth, but no one is taking away your ability to inherit wealth.

    • pitbullmutt

      Let me remind you the Clinton had two houses run by the Republicans. Before Newt came in 1994 there was no balanced budget. And even this “balanced budget” was only on paper, never came to be. Reagan raised taxes on the promise that the Dems would cut the budget, never happened, even with the added monies, the budget grew. Both parties are at fault.
      So, sure don’t cut the budget, we will all go down together.

      • Wes

        Good comment. I’ll agree that the three-branched government that we have make the politics complicated, so they can be interpreted in any-which way by whomever it suits best.

        I think the biggest political struggle we face in our world today is extremism (left and right) and the sensationalism of these meaningless “insecurities” like the concept of “white privilege.” The truth is that most of this country hovers around the political middle. We allow small, petty, social issues divide us and allow our governmental leaders to take advantage of this perceived divide making it difficult to actually accomplish anything useful.

        There is no such thing as “white privilege” but there is a such thing as “privilege” and it can be 1 generation old. I’m not saying that you should be ashamed of your families wealth, good for you. Acquisition of wealth to pass it on to future generations is a noble pursuit. However, having wealth to help support youth development and go to college is a privilege, not a right. Recognize it as such.

        I’m a white man, a professional civil engineer, and hold a graduate degree in engineering. Being white or male was irrelevant to my education or getting a job. My direct supervisor is a woman and my office manager is a black man. Who cares. They are both gifted engineers and have provided mentorship to me regardless of my whiteness, my maleness, or my privilege (since my blue collar daddy, with the help of scholarships, could still afford to help me go to college).

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ FrozenTroll

      “I’m really not seeing how your families ancestral struggles”
      Gee, I beet you’d see how his families ancestral struggles had to do with politics if he was another cookiecutter black leftist.

      • Wes

        Your comment is racist in and of itself. It would be nice if your comments actually contributed to a conversation instead of just yelling nonsense (see pitbullmutt below as an example of contributing to a conversation).

        Are you another insecure white person who is afraid that they might have to attribute some of their success to being born into privilege or god-forbid being white? OH NO. Good luck with that.

        I don’t know what a cookiecutter black leftist is. Would you mind filling me in?

        • Mark Smith

          Your rhetoric is racist.

  • ugh.

    Yes but a minority of color who might have the same entrepreneurial spirit and values education like your grandparents would have had as many if not more hoops to jump through making it harder to succeed. This is true now more than ever. That is where the concept (and frankly, reality) of privilege comes into play.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ FrozenTroll

      And then a “minority of color” would be crucified by the leftist plantation owners as being a sellout or “not authentic” and or one of “the worst negroes in America” or just a plain old Uncle Tom Oreo for making something of himself and not continuing to lick the boots of the Demonrat Party.

    • Anonnie1

      Ask Dr. Ben Carson bout hoops. He’d likely reply, “jump through them. Any questions?”

  • Austin Chirstopher

    Beautiful. Just beautiful. It’s sad it had to be said, but what a great piece of reading.

  • Rick

    What does the author accomplish by comparing and contrasting his ego to America’s socioeconomic history? Why is it bad for a liberal to suggest the author put himself in another person’s (or peoples) shoes by using their imagination and consideration of history? Why does the author take such questions as a direct threat to his character, instead of what they are?

  • Ben Ketchum

    It’s mighty self-evident that he’s picking and choosing his jargon in order to fit his narrative rather than acknowledging that, while perhaps his family had it hard, he doesn’t seem to have suffered very terribly on any personal level. He also ignores the numerous bits of luck or privilege that touched even his back story.

    Was it horrible that his family ended up in Siberia in a work camp? Yes. But they likely did end up in America largely in part to the huge Jewish population that appeared her following the war which provided assistance and community support to those arriving from the horrors of Europe? Probably. As is common following a refugee crisis of any magnitude, the communities follow each other and assist others in reaching final destinations.

    At the time, work was plentiful for all and the economy here was booming thanks to the US’ almost singular role as re-builder following the war. It was almost unthinkable NOT to have a job and prosper, especially from a community with such cohesion (let us not forget that most of the European Jewry that made it to the US were those of means…ones that had money to get out… and thus assist other displaced persons in their arrival and acclimatization).

    So his grandfather righteously entered into the middle class which, with some hard work, enabled his father to enter the upper-middle class.

    Of course there is where the story ends. The author does not speak at all of his own upbringing. Did he overcome obstacles on anywhere near the same level of his grandfather, or even fathers? Doubtful. Does it matter? No.

    And why not? Because when one uses the idiom “check your privilege, one is most likely referring to the system within the US that represses so many from day one.

    Would his story have been different if his grandfather had been a black immigrant? Would his story have been different had he been raised by a single mother? What about if he had grown up in a poor neighborhood with poor schools? What if he had a parent or both parents addicted to drugs? What if he had been a ward of the state? What of any combination of these or more factors?

    I could go on, but I digress.

    The author is surprising in his shortsightedness, in spite of his claims to academic excellence. He does not recognize the numerous encounters with luck his family had along the way and the incredibly fortunate position that he himself was born into.

    I, on the other hand, recognize my privilege. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. It doesn’t make me less of a person. It is what it is. Just the same, having been born a male into a middle-class, educated and relatively politically connected white family that enabled me to travel, pursue a broad range of interests and which protected me from ever being truly destitute (I’ve certainly been bailed out by my family along the way), is a privilege not afforded to the vast majority of the world.

    So to this gentleman, I would suggest that he completely misunderstands or willfully ignores the meaning behind the very phrase he seeks to disparage.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ FrozenTroll

      Media Matters paying overtime tonight?

    • Shawn Brink

      The author is a freshman at Princeton. Let me know when you qualify to get in there by privelage.

      • Duh

        Privilege has either influenced or qualified admission to Princeton since 1746.

    • Jeffrey Lamela

      Equating luck to privilege. Shortsighted indeed.

    • Patricia I. Forman

      So would the response be different if he had grown up with a single, alcoholic parent and as a ward of the state? I’m not sure. That’s my “privilege,” and I was able to build a successful career despite those things. Yet I’ve been told to “check my privilege.” I think the point is that “check your privilege” is used as a way of shutting down dialogue that someone disagrees with.

      • https://www.facebook.com/HumanAnimalasTotem luckytroll

        You’re right, it is often used that way, but it doesn’t ever have to be taken that way. Any person can benefit from stopping and taking stock of their opinions and judgements to see if they still fit or need adjusting. Someone with a different experience from mine may actually be saying this as a gentle reminder that just because I accomplished something doesn’t mean that another person is worthless for not accomplishing the same thing. If I use the phrase as a reminder to examine my own thoughts it no longer matters as much how the other person meant to use it, and it makes it more likely that I won’t just smugly reaffirm what I already believe to be true.

  • Rich Watson

    Conservative philosophy = Support business at the expense of society.
    Liberal philosophy = Support society at the expense of business,

  • Tod

    This article doesn’t portray what white privilege really is. White privilege doesn’t mean you haven’t overcome hardships or that your accomplishments aren’t due to your hard work. White privilege is the fact that if a white man and a black man are equally as qualified for a job, the white man will get it (see Pager, 2003). White privilege is the ability to turn on the television and see strong, admirable, intelligent, sympathetic characters (read:protagonists) look like you. White privilege is the ability to walk into a room and not be the only person of your ethnicity there. White privilege is the ability to walk down the street at night without people crossing the street so they don’t have to pass you. White privilege is knowing you can walk through the streets of your own hometown without worrying about being “randomly” stopped by a police officer, or “randomly” searched at an airport every single time you fly. White privilege is, overall, knowing that you will never be discriminated against by a society as a whole because of your race.

    • http://www.black-and-right.com/ FrozenTroll

      Shut up, leftist jerkoff.

    • Chris

      “if a white man and a black man are equally as qualified for a job, the white man will get it…
      Then explain Obama vs. Romney. I mean, if Obama hadn’t had millions of dead people voting for him.

      • Chaduke

        Romney lost that election because he and the Republican party were only pretending to care about the common American, but the majority saw through it as the facade it was. Obama was just better at fooling everyone.

        • Umbrellas1964

          Just once I would like to see Obama with his sleeves rolled up and dirty helping the victims of a tornado or other disaster, comforting the family of a serviceman who has died fighting, visiting an injured serviceman in the hospital and spending time looking in his eyes and caring. This man is a self centered, selfish, arrogant pompous, elitist fraud who cares about no one. All I ever see is his snoot in the air as he takes in applause or waving as he jets off to another taxpaper funded fundraising event that inevitably involves several rounds of golf. F HIM.

      • august589

        Or explain Affirmative Action quotas…

      • Hunter McFarland

        “dead people”? Excuse you?

      • Jon

        Easy, the black man in this case was way more qualified for the job.

    • aliswell

      “White privilege is the fact that if a white man and a black man are equally as qualified for a job, the white man will get it.” No, thanks to Affirmative Action the black man will get it, even if he isn’t equally qualified. That looks like black privilege to me.

      “White privilege is the ability to turn on the television and see strong, admirable, intelligent, sympathetic characters like you.” Ratings sell. If blacks aren’t able to pull off the strong, admirable, intelligent, sympathetic character and sell it for what it is ~ a product ~ then how is that whitey’s fault? Oh, sorry, PRIVILEGE?

      “White privilege is the ability to walk into a room and not be the only person of your ethnicity there.” Really? Gee, and here I thought it was the neighborhood/party/class one was living/attending that determined that. *face/palm*

      “White privilege is the ability to walk down the street at night without people crossing the street so they don’t have to pass you.” Um, newsflash: white people can’t walk in a black neighborhood at night without becoming a target of the polar bear “game,”
      at the very least. *smdh*

      “White privilege is knowing you can walk through the streets of your own hometown without worrying about being “randomly” stopped by a police officer, or “randomly” searched at an airport every single time you fly.” I’m white and I’ve been randomly stopped by police officers numerous times, so has most every other white I know. And you must’ve missed all those white grandmothers and infants being felt up at airports, huh? And the white woman who was tazed to death for refusing to be manhandled, or the girl who’s crotch was grabbed and squeezed by a female officer because she rejected being x-rayed ~ all white. You’ve not seen ANY of those countless pictures of whites being singled out to be frisked, felt up, and violated at
      airports, huh?

      You don’t get out much, do you?

  • http://www.black-and-right.com/ FrozenTroll

    *STANDING OVATION*

  • Really?

    I am proud of your accomplishments. They are very impressive in their own right. I like you am a white male writing this post instead of studying for my Friday exams in a US medical school. I, like your family am an immigrant from eastern Europe. Your families struggles while grueling are hardly extraordinary, as most people from eastern Europe can tell you, “the war” impacted everyone there.

    Your story however proves the case against you. While you worked hard to get where you are, you had a home which nurtured your education. I bet you were able to come home and get help with your math work, I bet your parents encouraged your education. I would even venture to say that they probably did as much as they can to support you in your pursuits. None of this diminishes your hard work, nor should it. However, if you were raised in a home where your parents could not speak English, how would that have impacted your success? If you had to take a job to support your family, would that have made high school harder for you?

    You and I are very much the essence of privileged. Not because we are white or male, rather due to our family’s socioeconomic and educational standing. As I am reading your article, the headlines of the news of Donald Sterling’s comments show racism are alive and deeply entrenched in our society.

    I would say this to you, the fact that you are a white male shouldn’t be used against you. But recognize that statistically speaking, had you not come from a family with your socioeconomic and educational standing, you may not be in a position of success to write this article. If you think otherwise you should look at statistics yourself.

    • Steffy93

      You just don’t get it. Wasn’t there something about “learning the language”? That implies that there was a time that they did not know the language.
      And I didn’t get the impression that his family was wealthy, in fact, just the opposite.
      Blame the shortcomings of the unsuccessful where it belongs.

    • sunnyvaleken

      The UNIVERSAL CONDEMNATION of Donald Sterling’s remarks prove you wrong. His comments reflect his own thoughts NOT those entrenched in our society. I think you should apologize for showing very poor judgement.

    • torchwood

      Asian Americans are, on average, the wealthiest citizens in the country. Where is all this talk of “Asian privilege” if it’s all about socioeconomic standing?

  • Straight88

    Bless your wisdom. Many of us can relate.Each generation of my family has made it somewhat better for the next.I am proud that I have been able to continue the upward spiral of
    my generation. No Apologies !

  • Paul

    I always thought the people who received free money from the government were privileged… since not everyone in America gets free money without having earned it.

    • Jon

      Yup, farmers, homeowners, and oil companies are privileged, you’re right!

  • Louise

    “I have checked my privilege. And I apologize for nothing.” LOVE. THAT!

  • zaqan

    hahahahaha

  • vworre

    TOUCHE!

  • jeffersonpayne

    Liberalism is blind to the soul.

    To Liberal eyes, your success can only be the result of your “privilege” – your heritage, culture, parentage, race, & formative experiences.

    To Liberal eyes, a criminal’s failure can only be due to his being “oppressed” – his heritage, culture, parentage, race, & formative experiences.

    To Liberal eyes, aborting 56 million babies is no real loss – babies are merely blank slates upon which society imprints everything of value.

    Because of this, to Liberal eyes, only power matters – to mold, shape & control the raw material for their utopia – that raw material being us.

  • maddaddyssa

    Mr. Fortang, you will soon find, as I did back in my college days that those who cry racism, are in reality the worst bigots you will have the DISpleasure of knowing. Instead of facing up to their own personal bigotry, they need to project their twisted attitudes on others. I’ve witnessed this mindset firsthand. White “student activists” and other useful idiots, generally from pirviledged backgrounds, putting on their schtick about how they were in solidarity with their “Brothers and Sisters” in the ghettos as well as oppressed peoples anywhere, pretending to be “down for the struggle” I wish i had these phonies under surveillance during a typical Saturday night of partying. When the brewskis flowed and the doobies passed around, that’s when they let their, no pun intended, TRUE COLORS show. In vino veritas, indeed!

    • Jon

      Wait, did I read “privileged backgrounds” in this comment? Then you DO accept the reality of privilege?? So then what’s your problem?

      • maddaddyssa

        Get a clue, Jon-boy I was referring to their disingenuous attitudes. DAMN, does everything need to be explained to you pseudo-intellectuals? You really need to get that CRY RACISM! trojan horse malware removed.

  • Godless American

    This is the definition of privileged. Your grandparents and father sound like they did a lot, you’ve done nothing. You’re now able to stand on their work and their success and become successful with little to nothing extra on your part. They worked hard for you to do nothing; you can recognize that and see that other people are where your father and your grandparents were, but in different ways, and recognize the help they received during strong labor rights and corporate integrity, including pensions and retirement plans and a decent living wage, or you can ignore all of those facts and ignore your own PRIVILEDGE.

    • jeffersonpayne

      As I replied to Joellen, privilege comes from 2 Latin words meaning “private” + “law”. So, privilege is NOT having a Dad who worked hard for you or a Mom who loved you. It is not about being taller or more beautiful or more talented than someone else. It is not even about whether you have to work hard yourself. It IS about having a LAW that gives you advantage merely because of your identity. You know, like Jim Crow … or Affirmative Action.

      • ned

        And the word boob came from the latin word ‘puppa,’ meaning ‘little girl.” But when I say I love looking at beautiful boobies, it’s unlikely I’m mistaken for a pedophile, or no? The origins of words do not demarcate their social significance.

    • snafubar

      So if a black family works all their lives and scrapes and saves and gives something to their children as a legacy, then those black children are also the recipients of what you call “privilege”. What do you recommend, that they reject their parents gift and start from zero ?

      Did you even read the article? The author worked his azz off in college to get good grades. You ignore reality.

      • Jon

        Yes, of course those black kids would be privileged, at least in terms of wealth and class. And no, of course they shouldn’t reject their parents’ gifts and start form zero, neither should the kid who wrote this article. The concept of “privilege” isn’t about feeling guilty for what you have or making excuses for what you don’t have. It is simply the common-sense acknowledgement that the circumstances you are born into — in terms of wealth, class, race, gender, etc. — have an impact on your chances in life. That’s it. Do you really want to try to deny that this is true? Do you really think that Bill Gates’ son has the same life chances as a girl from a poor Afghan village and that if he’s more successful it’s only because he worked harder and not because of any “privilege” he had from the start?? Come on!

  • Me

    LOVE LOVE LOVE. Thank you for this. Back in the 80’s I was harassed by a College Sociology professor the entire course. Assuming I suppose because I was blonde, fit, and not unattractive in my 20’s that my rich “Daddy” was taking care of me and my college tuition. He called me “Barbie doll” every chance he could and made reference to my “privileged life” many times. I wish now I had retorted during one of his “examples” of me during class by standing up and telling the fool that my father spent his life busting his butt in the armed services as an enlisted soldier and then when he left his day job with the military, he would head to his 2nd job as a boat painter or bartender at the NCO club so that Mom could stay home and take care us 5 children. We weren’t poor in that we had a roof over our heads, food on the table and clothes to wear but most times money was very tight. I lived in hand me downs and I can count on one hand the number of times we went out to dinner. I should have told him that my father just barely paid the bills for a family of 7 much less for a college education for any of his children…as much as he wanted to. He’s 76 years old and that man is still working…as a produce clerk at Wal Mart. But I love him and the pride we share for each other is strong. I should have informed that man right then and there I was a divorced single mom raising 2 preschool age children and cleaning houses to supplement child support and pay for my schooling. I paid every penny from my house cleaning earnings for my degree and nursing license so that I would never have to depend on a man again. My ex thought it perfectly normal to beat the crap out of me on a regular basis…I left and never looked back. Privileged is a descriptive which used in error is a force to be reckoned with. ;)

  • Joellen

    This guy should read up on exactly what privilege means… he doesn’t seem to understand that a person can be privileged in certain ways and not in others. Being a white male is an enormous privilege, there’s no use denying that.

    • Steffy93

      I suppose if you believe that white males are more valuable than black males, you’d be correct.

    • jeffersonpayne

      Joellen, I did read up on exactly what privilege means. It comes from 2 Latin words meaning “private” + “law”. So, privilege is NOT having a Dad who worked hard for you or a Mom who loved you. It IS having a law that gives you advantage merely because of your identity. You know, like Jim Crow … or Affirmative Action.

    • aliswell

      Do you have ANY idea how nutty you sound? How about reading what Mr. Riddle said with your eyes and not your heart, which has settled on a foolish notion and embraced it. There is no such thing as “white privilege” and you sound ridiculous aping such tripe. Grow up.

      • whitehouseky

        And yet you have accused him of ‘ridiculous aping’ and sounding ‘nutty.’ Be an adult, please. Refute with evidence, not with condemnation.

        • aliswell

          Joellen made an assertion without evidence, I refuted without evidence since the fact that “white privilege” is an invented fantasy is self-evident. IF one has any sense, that is.

  • Woods guy 1

    Here here! Well articulated.

  • rakerj

    Wonderful! I want to stand up and cheer! Thank you for articulating the individual story so well. We need more people to stand up to the intimidation of leftist, liberal morons and especially leftest professors and politicians and tell them ” it is enough”. Americans do not have to apologize for being citizens of the best country in the world. We need to remember that it is NOT “a village” that raised it to be the greatest nation, but the stories of countless individuals who overcame their barriers and rose to success and shared that success with others. Americans, Wake UP. You are throwing away the greatest country in the world because you believe the garbage the left is throwing. AND YOU KEEP VOTING THEM INTO OFFICE SO THEY CAN LAUGH AT YOU WHILE THEY TAKE YOUR FREEDOMS AWAY! Those progressives want us to become like the European countries our ancestors turned their backs on for the freedom to thrive in the USA! Stop accepting their propaganda and fight back! Why not ask those liberal leftist professors if they want to give up their TIAA CREF to help those under-priviledged get their share! They are hypocrites!

    • aliswell

      Amen.

  • thought-provoking

    Yet I assume he himself has done nothing but benefit from the hard-work of those that came before him? Nothing against him or his family, he’s done incredible things with his life and his family has fought through toil and trouble to get to where they are now.

    But all ‘check your privilege’ (though I agree its a bit accusatory and unnecessary) is asking is that someone take some time to put yourself in another person’s shoes/consider someone else’s opinion or experiences. Someone who grew up in an environment that didn’t nurture you when you came home from school every day, those that went to a school where they were treated consistently as an outsider or looked at suspiciously as they walk down the street late at night. This is not just people of color. There are lower SES white individuals who grow in similar environments, people who I think deserve every bit of the government’s assistance as those who come from differing racial backgrounds. I see students like this of every color in the classroom every day.

    This kid clearly brings to attention a conversation we need to have in this nation. But he does so in a polarizing fashion that does the exact same thing ‘check your privilege’ does… He’s simply ignoring the fact that the alternative could even be an option. Until we develop some sense of open-mindedness to converse with those of differing opinions our Nation will continue this faux ‘culture war’ that we all think we’re stuck in now, getting tossed around at the whims of the polarized left and right while those of us in the middle are forced to just hold on for the ride.

    That being ssaid – Mr. Fortgang, I salute you for your accomplishments.

    • snafubar

      There are many children of privilege who wind up in the gutter. There are many children of the gutter who escape poverty through hard work and education. Many of societies ills are due to the government sticking its nose in where it doesn’t belong..

  • Blake

    It doesn’t matter given your family history, white privilege is based on current american society and the way it is set up. Look at the statistics, a white man has a higher chance of going to college, a less chance of getting arrested, and an educational system that favors him. Schools today are segregated just as much as they were during the Jim Crow era…
    Now, Look at the whole incarceration system in america today? How can you not tell me that favors the white man ? The White man uses more drugs then any other race in this country, but is arrested at the lowest rate. Look at slavery and the implications of it that still exists today? Look at where most of the wealth of the 1% comes from-Blood money… Where did you grow up ? Probably a segregated white area that is affluent… So yes, you do have white privilege. Because of your skin, you will not deal with half the things that come with it. You will never have someone lock there car doors as you walk past… Your chances of being racially profiled for a crime will never happen. Your chances of being hurt by a racially motivated hate crime are none.
    Your ancestors might have not done anything in regards to oppressing another race, however, the society you live in has. You reap the benefits, and your skin color is a badge of superiority.

    So yes my friend, you do have white privilege.

    • snafubar

      Every single example you gave is the result of the breakdown of the black family unit, and substituting Uncle Sam as daddy. Compliments of the Democrat welfare state. What was it LBJ said after he signed “The Great Society” into law? “We’ll have these n****rs voting Democrat for the next 200 years.”

      Slavery still exists. Generations of blacks are still slaves to their white welfare masters, since they have never been taught to take care of themselves. White privilege is a figment of your imagination, and is nothing more than an excuse for multi-generational failure of black American society.

      I blame the American left-wing.

  • Joanne

    Racial privilege has nothing to do with your family background or your living conditions. It is purely societal. “Checking your privilege” is not to say that a white person’s life is easier in any way other than that they have an obvious advantage when it comes to societal acceptance. White people have never faced racism the way minorities have, white people have never undergone the amount of oppression that the minorities in our country have faced. Reverse racism? Yeah right. Checking your privilege is acknowledging the fact that as a white person, you have many advantages that minorities do not. It’s that simple. It’s nothing personal and no one is claiming that white people do not face struggles or do not work hard. People, like the Joshua Riddle, grossly misunderstand the meaning of “checking your privilege.”

    • Michael Clark

      To say that “white people have never undergone the amount of oppression that the minorities in our country have faced” reveals your total ignorance of much of human history. Have you ever heard of the holocaust? The vast majority of those people were white Europeans! That is but one example.

      Groups of similar or even the same racial groups have more often than not over the course of human history oppressed others of the same race based on something as trivial as what language they spoke, what religion they practiced, or on which side of a political boundary they were born.

      • Blake

        The Hollocaust is nothing in comparison to Slavery in the United Staes. 200 million plus died in slavery, in comparison to 2 million in the hollocaust.

        • snafubar

          So that make the holocaust OK then. Got it.

          • Blake

            No.. Actually I am jewish. Just comparing the two.

        • Mogo

          The Holocaust was more like 5-6 million…and if you look at the amount of time I’d say the impact was nothing to be considered less than slavery. Slavery was done for profit (not ok) but the holocauat was in hopes of killing off an entire race. Apples & oranges…the two are nothing alike.

          • Andrew

            Actually, if we want to get specific…the number of people killed was closer to 11 million. 6 million Jews were killed, but there were also 5 million other “undesirables” that were put in the camps and killed.

        • scott

          where did you find those numbers Blake?

          • Holly

            Scott,
            Who would’ve kept numbers on all of the slaves killed? Slaveholders? I don’t think so. White men don’t tend to keep track of black casualties. They are blessed with selective “color-blindness”, in that way.

          • Stephen Bogan

            Holly, your comment doesn’t help blake’s cause……..sorry.

          • jaq

            Back then, horrible as it was, it was a “business,” better records are obviously kept of people considered a commodity than people who were considered vermin to be destroyed. Of course records would be kept of the slaves who died.

          • Blake

            Journal of African Studies… There is no exact number, but that was the consensus scholars of the journal came up with.

          • test

            nice way to re-write history

          • Blake

            Re-write history? No thanks, eurocentrism already did that. Dumbshit

        • CAmom760

          Wow – don’t know where you got those numbers, but they are VERY exaggerated.

          According to Henry Louis Gates Jr., who is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and founding director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University:

          Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America.

          And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That’s right: a tiny percentage.

          In fact, the overwhelming percentage of the African slaves were shipped directly to the Caribbean and South America; Brazil received 4.86 million Africans alone! Some scholars estimate that another 60,000 to 70,000 Africans ended up in the United States after touching down in the Caribbean first, so that would bring the total to approximately 450,000 Africans who arrived in the United States over the course of the slave trade.

          So, killing “200 million plus” might be a stretch.

          • melissatx

            and just to be sure we all understand, it was blacks who sold each other into slavery, and Europeans that brought it to America’s shores. It was Christians, British citizens, and citizens of America that eradicated it from the US. To be sure we all further understand, slavery still exists today and NO ONE in America is crying about it, or asking Boko Haram to check their privilege or go to sensitivity training for “stealing” 200 little girls sold into the slave trade or used to “marry” terrorists. The race baiting in this country is all about the shakedown and extortion of Americans, and very little to do with slavery. It’s all about redistribution of wealth and payola to generations of people who have NEVER experienced slavery or racism.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza S

            Blacks sold each other into slavery but whites also manipulated and captured Africans for increased revenue potential…think about it…if they’re all black who cares which one of “their own” are slaves/servants…

            Let’s also be sure that Boko Haram is an Islamist extremist group (i.e. political, there are members of Boko Haram who aren’t muslim). The girls they captured are mostly Muslim. Boko Haram means essentially “Sinning West”. To the socio/psychopaths in Boko Haram, muslim female education is something lines up with the ideals of the Western world therefore must be eradicated at any cost.

            I’d agree with you that most of this has to do with wealth and power but to say that this has nothing to do with slavery and that terms such as “white privilege” are mere “race-baiting” is simply false. What your last statement yells to me is that you feel threatened by the potential of non-whites to gain more positions of prominence. We hadn’t even gotten that far in the discussion but since you took it there…I guess now I can understand a little more about why there is so much resistance to accepting that being white tends to give you a leg up in a lot of instances

          • melissatx

            Since you took it there, tell me, where have you been a slave?

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

            That cannot be a serious question. Did you read my entire response to you before you decided to re-engage?

          • marie

            because it is written in a book doesn’t mean that it is the gospel. Do you believe that in the course of 400 years 200 million is an exaggeration? Did you take into account the many who did at sea? The women who died giving birth to babies that they had to claim to? Those same babies who died during the deliverey? Just take those numbers and multiply them by at least two (slaves were treated and bred like cattle) for the next 400 years. I think 200 million might not be a stretch after all.

          • CAmom760

            Seriously? You’re trying to compare FOUR HUNDRED YEARS of murky “facts” about worldwide slavery – to the Holocaust? That’s not just apples and oranges, that’s apples and dinosaurs!

            …..and, sorry, but your “facts” are just something YOU wrote on an internet blog. I’ll take the study by the University Professor and founding director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, thanks.

        • George

          That’s statistic is not even close to accurate…you also left out that The majority of executions of Jews happened outside the hollocaust

      • Russell.

        There are more anti-Semetic racial incidents than there are against any other group in the US each year, check your facts. And they are on the increase whilst racial incidents against other groups continue to drop….

        • AndresC

          “racial incidents” does that count unwarranted stops and seizures? Being followed around a store? Having your resume thrown out because of your name? Get a grip.

          • Thanks

            THANK YOU! This is the problem with this article: Joshua Riddle simply does not understand what the concept of white privilege even is. White privilege is the fact that as a white person in the United States you never have to think about being judged, discriminated against, spat on, etc. just because of your race/the way you look.

          • jaq

            That is a shocking amount of ignorance. Everyone judges everyone else based on all kinds of things. Discrimination can happen to ANYONE. I have been discriminated against based on my educational background. Discrimination isn’t something that happens based on only race, people are discriminated against based on gender, religion, upbringing, marital status, language, the list can go on and on.

            Further, you assume none of us have lived outside the US and experienced racism. I have.

          • Peggy Bowes

            AndresC, you are the one who doesn’t understand! You use the words “fact” and “never” with absolutely nothing to back them up. Please provide proof for your “fact” that white people are “never” being judged, discriminated and spat upon. Especially when I can link to an article about a Saudi Arabian student purposely spitting on white people here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388148/Saudi-Arabian-student-spat-WalMart-customers-Americans-push-around.html Oh, and here’s an article about schools openly discriminating against white Christians: http://godfatherpolitics.com/14858/school-districts-contract-spells-discrimination-christians-caucasians-men/ As far as judgment, your ignorant post does just that. Please engage your brain before engaging your keyboard.

          • lalala

            that is to say that a black person in africa has the “black privilege” then. it is indeed insulting and proves nothing substantial, while also perpetating racism. Whether of whites or blacks is not important- either way it should not be encouraged

          • Howard Roark

            Get an argument

      • AndresC

        Joanne didn’t make her statement immediate enough. White Jews function as white in this country. The oppression faced by many peoples in this country are not faced by Jews. Historical racism is important for understanding privileges, but it is not everything. Historical racism does not mean that you are eternally oppressed. You should read Karin Brodkin Sacks essay “How Jews Became White.” They’re a group that has faced many hardships. That does not mean they have not benefitted from privileges in this country. Privileges that are denied to so many to this day.

      • Perspective

        1. Your comment reveals your total ignorance of the mean of “country.”

        2. Saying the Holocaust happened doesn’t mean institutionalized and socially ingrained racism against people of color in the United States hasn’t been awful or continue to exist. All you did was bring up another instance of humans being awful to one another.

        3. Just to reiterate, this article, and the comment to which you replied, are talking about race in the United States. Throughout history in the U.S. being white is seen as better than not, male better than female. If you haven’t caught on to that part of our culture, then you have some catching up to do.

        4. White and male privilege are but two of the many privileges that exist. No one is playing a game of who has it the worst, but it’s generally becoming of a human to recognize when they have certain advantages over other humans in certain aspects of their life.

      • Michael

        She’s referring to the white people in the US, the only racial group in the country that has never undergone oppression that the minorities in our country have faced. There is nothing wrong or to be ashamed of being white, but being white does provide you a list of privileges, which goes far beyond financial/societal success. In fact, quite fundamental ones, such as fewer stereotypes regarding the white race. Minorities in America face more difficulties and dilemmas when it comes to opportunities that white people have a relatively higher access/exposure to, sometimes due to their skin colour.

    • Blake

      our posts’ def complement e/o

    • snafubar

      Just who, exactly, do you think a Fortune 500 company will hire first? A black college graduate with a 4.0 or a white college graduate with a 4.0 in the same major?

      There are infinitely more minority slots to fill in companies across the country due to the desire to hire minorities to show how “diverse” their organizations are.

      Opportunities for minorities has never been greater, if they are only willing to sacrifice a great deal for the GPA, as many non-minority students do regularly.

      Get real. You live in fantasy land. The white bogeyman is in your head.

      • whitehouseky

        So is that why statistically it takes an African American male 14 weeks to find a job compared to a similarly qualified White male’s 10 weeks?

        • snafubar

          Links please.

        • snafubar

          What, no links? I’m still waiting………

          • whitehouseky

            Straight from Jstor – read some real sources, educate yourself, and maybe stop and think before jumping to conclusions about someone else’s opinion. It’s what this country needs more of. http://www2.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ321/orazem/bertrand_emily.pdf

          • snafubar

            I read the study. Many inferences could be made from the data. For instance, only Boston and Chicago were chosen as test cities. Since Boston and Chicago are notoriously left wing cities, one might draw the conclusion that liberal left-wingers are prejudiced against blacks. This has been my personal experience. There is also no data that tells us the race of the person responsible for call backs. For all anyone knows, they could all be black, with a chip on their shoulder against black Americans,

            I could do a study using a black man named Johnathan and a white man named Bufort or Stanislav, and I’ll bet the numbers would flip. After all, Johnathan sounds so much more sophisticated and educated than Bufort. You can rig a poll and manipulate data any way you want. Being “educated”, you should know that.

          • Doug

            “Since Boston and Chicago are notoriously left wing cities, one might draw the conclusion that liberal left-wingers are prejudiced against blacks.”
            …Do you live in a cave?

          • ofie

            You are correct. Companies seek to diversify…as they should. But look at the coworkers said POC will be surrounded by…..a large majority of them will be white. White privilege still exists. There are large attempts to integrate things and that is great. I commend efforts of those companies. But to say it doesn’t exist would be to blindfold ourselves. It is something we should recognize and strive to continuously minimize. This does not mean that white privileged should be an excuse to be lazy or an excuse to not work hard. But we should be conscious that these are obstacles that POC still face on a day to day basis–because it still hinders them.

            This does not minimize the struggles of the parents and forefathers of any white person out there. People have struggled without a doubt. But POC still face disenfranchisement in the United States and it dates back to the economic growth of this nation and continued on through segregation.

            If a group of people rise up and say that they feel they are disenfranchised. It means they are looking for a conversation, communication, dialogue, change.

            So we need to create an environment conducive to that conversation. Broke people need healing, not pointing fingers.

          • Mark Smith

            The systematic and institutional degradation of black families in America on the part of the Democratic party is the problem. At every turn, bad behavior is excused. This guy’s black, he’s disadvantaged and should not be expected to care for his children because it’s not fair. This woman’s black, she can’t be expected to not have children that she can’t afford. These black kids aren’t “privileged”, therefore all tests must be dumbed down so they are on level ground with “privileged” white kids. Etc., ad infinitum. It’s time they and you stop pointing fingers at me because you see “privilege” where only hard work and determination are present, and start pointing them at yourselves. Maybe you should ask yourself why, when talking about advantage or disadvantage based on race, it’s not about “POC”… it’s about black people almost exclusively. Rarely is it about Hispanics and it’s never about Asians.

          • Mark Smith

            Case in point: Rachel Jenteal. She couldn’t even read a letter that she allegedly wrote and she was excused because she’s black and “disadvantaged”. The word “cracker” was thrown around in her testimony and it was excused by apologists because “that’s just how they talk”. That has nothing to do with “white privilege” and everything to do with “lowered expectations”.

          • HisWife

            THIS. My husband works for a very large corporation with a diverse employee demographic. When a co-worker asked management, “Why are we white guys reprimanded and disciplined for things that overlooked when our minority co-workers do them?”, the reply was, “We expect better performance from you white guys.” Let’s stop excusing bad behavior because of skin color and gender, and then we can talk about equality and fairness.

          • maddaddyssa

            “”Why are we white guys reprimanded and disciplined for things that overlooked when our minority co-workers do them?”, the reply was, “We expect better performance from you white guys.”

            So, Is that the real thinking behind affirmative action and all the other touchy-feely crap? That Whites ARE intellectually superior to Blacks? Does this mean that liberals are in agreement with the klan, White supremacists, neo nazis, etc?

          • Mark Smith

            That’s exactly what it means.

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza S

            This is your worldview: Whites are saintly and “saviors” to the po black man and his po family.

            Reality: You are unable to view black people as a whole with empathy and respect. You are complicit in the problem.

          • Test

            I don’t want diversity, I want people who can work hard and can do the job- whatever the color of their skin. Also, why do all Asians assimilate into America’s workforce so easily, without ever having to claim discrimination?

          • jaq

            Asians tend to assimilate quicker because of their culture (or values). That is the problem here, people blaming skin color for lack of success. Most Asian cultures instill hard work, discipline and respect for elders and superiors (meaning your boss, teacher, person in a higher position than you) in their children.
            Now, there are a lot of things about Asian culture that don’t work well in America and may cause problems, but work an educational success don’t tend to be problems for them.

          • jaq

            “But look at the coworkers said POC will be surrounded by…..a large majority of them will be white. ”
            Well DUH, because the majority of people in the country are white! What, are you saying companies shouldn’t hire people who belong to the majority race? Or are you saying the minority person working with white coworkers is automatically going to be treated badly by their coworkers?
            If you were trying to make a point with that you failed badly.

        • Mark Smith

          People start businesses to make money, not to service some jacked-up notion of “equality”. You think that “white privilege” is an unfair advantage, but it’s a cultural “advantage” of being born into stable homes with values that are passed from parents to children which *should* be the default for all and *is* the norm for white families, therefore it’s not a “privilege”. The blame lies with the culture that puts AA males at a DISadvantage. It takes an AA male longer to get a job because employers understand that the AA male likely got “similarly qualified” through affirmative action. American society, via Affirmative Action and a hundred other “feel good” initiatives that rob blacks of the only initiative that matters, has taught us that blacks just can’t make it without help. In the real world, nobody’s going to hold your hand and guide you through real world problems no matter how much you think you continue to deserve it. Constantly lowering the bar does nothing but make people stop trying to jump so high.

          • Test

            Perfectly said

          • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza S

            Interesting.

            It’s always funny to me how the fact that most gatekeepers to financial success view the playing field as truly “level”. It’s always the same old, “it’s ingrained within the culture, if blacks don’t find success or get into better situations it’s their own fault”.

            These same gatekeepers are usually white, a lot of times male. You say that we must lay blame onto the culture that PUTS AA males at a disadvantage….So to you any successful black person only got to their success via AA?

            You must not know any black people too well.

        • CAmom760

          1. Where do you get those stats?
          2. According to AOL, there are five key factors which actually determine the length of a job search. They are:

          1. What you want to earn.

          The salary you want plays a huge role in how quickly you find work. There are more lower-paying jobs that higher ones. Thus, you will need to work harder to find those precious opportunities in our price range. Add to that the fact many hiring managers see you as over-qualified when you apply to a lower-paid job, and the challenge to find work gets tougher. It takes real talent to convince a company you’ll be happy with less money. They are more likely to assume you’ll jump ship as soon as a better offer comes along. And candidly, they are usually right.

          2. Where you want to live.

          The total number of businesses in the commutable area of where you want to live plays a big factor in how fast you’ll secure a job. Fewer employers mean less job opportunities. It’s that simple.

          3. Lack of job search knowledge.

          When I start working with job seekers, they soon realize how little they really know about job search. I always tell them, “The reality is that school teaches us everything, except how to get the job.” Add to that all the bad advice out there and you see millions of people wasting hours of valuable time on job search tactics which yield zero results. Just ask anyone who has applied to hundreds of jobs on-line and yet to receive a response how good they feel about their job search abilities. Nothing is more demotivating. It’s no wonder people give up! Job search today requires a very proactive, focused approach. I can tell you for a fact, the majority of job seekers out there have no idea how to do this effectively – and that’s lengthening their job search considerably.

          4. Networking ability.

          Similar to job search knowledge, knowing how to network effectively is vital to conducting a quick, effective job search. Everyone has heard the statistic that 80% of jobs are gotten via referral. To get referred, you need to network! Sadly, most people enjoy networking about as much as they enjoy a root canal without Novocain. That’s because they don’t understand how to do it well. Networking can actually be quite rewarding when we approach it with the proper mindset and expectations. The easiest way to look at the power of networking is to think of the concept of ‘six degrees of separation.’ Your next employer is just six connections away. The sooner you start networking, the sooner you meet that hiring manager!

          5. Economic conditions in your local area.

          You didn’t think I’d forget to state the obvious, did you? You need open positions to get hired. More importantly, you need to know about open positions that meet your criteria so you can apply to them. And when times are tough, those get harder to find. I’ve talked to many business leaders recently who have told me they have open jobs, but no longer bother to post them. Why? Because they get inundated with applications from unqualified people – and they don’t have the time to go through them all just to find the 1-2 ideal matches. Instead, they rely on referrals (go back and review factor #4), as a way to find the right talent. In short, there are more jobs available then what you see on the job boards. It’s called the “hidden job market” – and it takes a savvy job seeker to tap into it.

    • Greg

      Bullshit. Being white doesn’t give you any more advantage….Minoroties have plenty of privledges whites don’t…are you white?

      • Jon

        I’m white, and I am definitely privileged. I have never been pulled over by the police for no reason; I have never been followed in a store; I have smoked pot without fear of arrest; no one at my office has ever mistaken me for a janitor or server; no one crosses the street to avoid passing me; I am not pre-judged before I speak. Most black people have a very different experience on all of these parameters. That is white privilege.

    • τιτς

      The mere fact that you are more interested in demonizing those who are not victims of oppression than devoting your time helping those who are oppressed makes it clear to my eyes that you might be a racist.

      I conclude to that also by your use of the phrase “reverse racism”.

      Racism is racism no matter where it originates from and whom it affects.

      It is true that minority groups have had and still have a hard time and have faced discrimination and we should ought to help anyone who needs help.

      However, using phrases such as “reverse racism” only serves to monopolize victim-hood which in terms constitutes white victims of racism vulnerable and strengthens the position of racists.
      It’s been popular in the academic spaces to deny the notion that white people could experience racism and that white males could experience sexism.

      These racist and sexist notions not only brainwash young people and lead them to hate themselves and their peers, they lead to division by portraying white people as “guilty oppressors” and the rest as “victims of whiteness” and finally they lead to extremist white nationalist groups taking advantage of circumstances and actually discriminating and making it worse for everyone.

      • Libertarian Fascist

        Best post on this article, no questions asked.

    • theone

      I grew up in a minority majority state. I can tell you for a fact that I faced racism every day for being different. I have even been told that I do not have the family heritage that I claim simply because I am white. Do not tell me that white people do not know what it is like to suffer through racism. Do not tell me that white people do not understand oppression.

    • Joanne

      Look it is so simple. White people have it better off than minorities when it comes to societal advantages. Affirmative action oppresses white people? Why do you think we have affirmative action in the first place? Answer: because our country’s history of racism has left lasting consequences on minority populations that leaves many populations of minorities without the advantages that white people (as a whole, i’m not talking about individuals here) have. Minorities are more likely to live in areas with higher crime rates, less income, and less access to high quality education. It is for these reasons that affirmative action is in place and when we get to a place where all races are able to make the same name for themselves, then we can get rid of affirmative action. For now, we “suffer” an injustice as white people in order to better our society. Alex de Tocqueville once said, “Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”

      • Libertarian Fascist

        “Americans are so enamored of equality that they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.”

        This is exactly what you are. You want there to be two types of discrimination rather than none. Fix schools in black areas or something like that.

        Your problem is that since you’re a racist, you view groups as a whole rather than how the individuals are affected. You’re ok with an innocent white kid being thrown under the bus for the sake of advancing a demographic. To me, that’s as racist as it gets.

    • Jordan Rutledge

      all you have said is true but when you say “white privilege” you mean something different than the feminists who have usurped the term and now dominate the conversation on the topic

      to them, it IS personal, it used to silence and dismiss the opinions of individuals. it is used to say that a specific person has not faced enough hardship to understand a given topic

    • lalala

      “White people have never faced racism the way minorities have, white people have never undergone the amount of oppression that the minorities in our country have faced.” What a load of crap. Do some research. Look at the first major cities in this country after colonization and you will know that racism and discrimination existed just as harshly, if not more, against all immigrants who were not WASPS. Italians, Irish, Germans…they all faced extreme discrimination and in many ways they still do. White people have, indeed, faced racism in the same ways current minorities do. The difference is that these people have been able to overcome them in many ways and it is the hope of the American dream that one day all minority groups will be able to do the same. Dumbass.

      • Guest

        Right, and who discriminated against those immigrants? White people.

        • Libertarian Fascist

          What’s your point? Does that somehow make their experiences any better?

  • rakerj

    it is a put down made to make the person it is directed at to feel less than they are. Enough.

    • snafubar

      Jeesh, grow a pair pantywaist…..

  • Anonnie1

    Out-freaking-standing!

  • nandrejczyk

    This is great, thank you!

  • dreaded “liberal and feminist”

    Citing the struggles of his ancestors has nothing to do with the privilege he benefits from today (and that he always has benefited from, and that he will continue to benefit from), as an individual who is able to pass as a white male. All this argument does for me is to solidify his complete and willful ignorance as to the struggles and barriers lined up in a minority’s life. Instead of complaining about the “racism” directed toward him – a white male at an Ivy League school – how about considering opening our minds, acknowledging the position in life some over others are granted, and owning up to the fact that those others might work just as hard to no avail; in fact, above all this shouting, that they may not even have their voices heard at all.

    • snafubar

      All the left ever wants to do is keep picking open the scab of racism. That is not what America is about. America is more racially divided now than it has been since the 1960’s, thanks to Holder and Obama.

    • http://www.theamericanengineer.com/ Charity

      Like what benefits? Why don’t you name a few real life-changing systematic advantages he has as a “white” male?

  • James Jones

    ever notice how few successful people are ugly or fat? there’s a huge discrimination against kids who don’t fit the mold of beautiful..How many newscasters can stop a train at 40 yards, not many.. So we clearly need to even the odds and have those people wear paper bags..I succeeded despite being born with a cleft lip, (or perhaps because of it). I wasn’t accepted, so i evened the score by out scoring them.. I may look a bit odd, but heck I’m smarter than any of you. .I’m always a little amused when I look at my medical students and they’ll all gorgeous. No one talks about the privilege of beauty. I”m an MD, PhD by the way.

    • snafubar

      Nonsense. I know many fat ugly programmers and chefs and carpenters who are very successful.

      You are correct though, Outscoring your opponents through hard work is how you escape poverty. Not by dropping out of school and dealing drugs.

  • snafubar

    White privilege. Nothing more than a slogan of the left to drive a wedge between the black and white races in America. Class warfare on display.

    It’s like Obama saying “you didn’t build that”. So why does one business succeed and another fail, when they are both down the road from each other? Why didn’t they both fail? Why didn’t they both succeed?

    The answer is obvious and self evident. It’s what our founders had in mind when they created America.

  • David

    You have a fantastic family history, and I thoroughly enjoined reading it, but none of it had anything to do with checking your privilege. If your response is reflective of how people have been using the phrase with you, than I apologize, as they were confused about what the phrase means as well.

    Your “privilege” has nothing to do with your family history. It’s not an accusation that everyone before you had it easy, or that they committed terrible atrocities for which you must now pay. All it means is that being white and male confers certain societal advantages in the US. It means that people are more likely to assume that you’re educated, intelligent, and qualified. It means that you can feel more comfortable asking people for help, because society as a whole is less likely to see you as a physical threat. It means that until we finish closing the wage gap, you are statistically likely to earn more than a woman would in the same position. These are the sorts of things that “white male privilege” concerns itself with.

    Your family history and your personal achievements have nothing to do with this kind of privilege, because it simply address the ways in which society today treats you differently than it might someone else. If someone says that because of this privilege you don’t have the right to a say in issues, or that because of the advantages it may have given you, your achievements are not admirable, than those people are fools, and fundamentally misunderstand the reasons that people study privilege as a sociological phenomenon. At the same time, you would be willfully ignorant and dismissive of academic work in the area to assert the claim that you do not (without having ever chosen them) have these factors working in your favor.

    • David

      enjoyed*

    • snafubar

      American society was the idea of white Europeans. African societies are ruled by black Africans. Blacks are conferred certain societal advantages in black African countries, like whites are in white ruled countries. Are you surprised by that?

      • jeffersonpayne

        If being black confers certain social advantages in Africa, why then did the Hutus commit genocide against the Tutsis? Both groups were black.

        Race is a lie. It was invented by oppressors, to divide & conquer.

        David, you are enabling the lie, by saying that skin is destiny in America. (Yes, you wrap it in pretty words, but stripped down to essentials, that is what your post says.)

        For the sake of my children, who are (according to the liars) “multi-racial” & for yours, if you have any, & for all the children who will ever be born … STOP ENABLING THE LIE.

        Justice can’t begin until we start believe the truth again. The self-evident truth, that we are all created equal; that our Creator has gifted us with our human rights — life, liberty & to try for happiness; that the purpose of government is to secure our rights, not run our lives & certainly not to try to untangle the Gordian knot of genealogical “justice”.

        That truth has been embraced more in America than anywhere else in the world, or any other time in history. To that extent, America has been successful & happy; to the extent Americans — slave owners, Democrats, the KKK, etc — have clung to the lie, America has suffered.

        It’s time to let the lie die, dammit.

        • snafubar

          If a white society confers certain social advantages to fellow whites, then why did hundreds of millions of white men kill each other during the 20th century?, After all, the groups were white. Face it, homogeneous racial “tribes” cling to each other until the SHTF, then all bets are off.

    • jeffersonpayne

      If being black confers certain social advantages in Africa, why then did the Hutus commit genocide against the Tutsis? Both groups were black.

      Race is a lie. It was invented by oppressors, to divide & conquer.

      David, you are enabling the lie, by saying that skin is destiny in America. (Yes, you wrap it in pretty words, but stripped down to essentials, that is what your post says.)

      For the sake of my children, who are (according to the liars) “multi-racial” & for yours, if you have any, & for all the children who will ever be born … STOP ENABLING THE LIE.

      Justice can’t begin until we start believing the truth again. The self-evident truth, that we are all created equal; that our Creator has gifted us with our human rights — life, liberty & to try for happiness; that the purpose of government is to secure our rights, not run our lives & certainly not to try to untangle the Gordian knot of genealogical “justice”.

      That truth has been embraced more in America than anywhere else in the world, or any other time in history. To that extent, America has been successful & happy; to the extent Americans — slave owners, Democrats, the KKK, etc — have clung to the lie, America has suffered.

      It’s time to let the lie die, dammit.

      • David

        I agree that race is a lie. Genetic differences between different humans “races” are minimal, and don’t justify the scientific term as we apply it to other species. As everyone is so fond of saying, the only race is the human race.

        And I am not interested in achieving genealogical justice. My ancestors may have been slave owners, or they may have been die hard abolitionists. Who knows? I was neither, and deserve neither praise nor condemnation for their actions.

        What I am interested is in the realities of the modern world. You can claim color-blindness all you want, if the rest of society is not, than you pushing for practices that fail to recognize this are never going to breed anything but oppression. Maybe you live in a world where everyone has worked hard, and now has an equitable position in life. I live in a world in which most people have worked incredible hard, and yet some of them run banks, and some of them live in ghettos with the knowledge that a third of their brothers will spend at least some time in prison.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          but who’s to blame? the ones who TRY to be colorblind, or the ones who REFUSE to allow colorblindness to start the healing?

      • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

        exactly!

    • http://www.theamericanengineer.com/ Charity

      1) There is no wage gap between men and women for equal work. Women statistically choose lower earning careers. Women and men in the same job don’t have a statistical difference in their wages.
      2) Society treats him like he has more earning power just because he’s even though that’s not true. That’s discrimination.
      3) Being “comfortable” asking for help is not a real privilege. Statistically, minorities receive more monetary help from the government than “whites” or people we perceive to be white receive. So that’s another “privilege” he can’t claim.
      4) In the real world people don’t assume you’re intelligent, educated or qualified. I have never, nor have I ever heard of anyone breezing through a job interview because they were white and the interviewer didn’t even need to look at their resume. So that’s another non existent privilege he can’t claim.
      5) The only form of systematic racism we have left in this country is Affirmative Action and other race quota policies. They hurt whites, males, and Asians dis-proportionally. So that’s not only a privilege he can’t claim, its systematic discrimination against him that says his accomplishments aren’t as valuable because of his skin color.

      Check yourself. This isn’t Georgia 1950. This is 2014 and the tables have turned.

      • David

        1) Actually, the bulk of studies in the area show a consistent gap, even when people’s different career choices are taken into a account. This number is less than many extreme feminist groups claim it is, but it also fails to be explained away by any factor other than discrimination. Some studies disagree with this, but the bulk do not. Since, I assume, neither of us are experts on the subject, I prefer to go along with the general consensus.

        2)Positive discrimination is exactly what privilege refers to.

        3)Statistically, white rural farmers receive more monetary help from the government than anyone else. But, I’m certainly not denying that minorities do receive the majority of our entitlement programs. Of course, if he were poor and hungry, presumably he could apply for food stamps as well. Or are you saying that these programs discriminate against the white poor?

        4)It’s great that you haven’t ever heard of it, and I hope that this is a sign of progress. Of course, your personal anecdotes don’t really matter in a discussion in an area in which there have been academic studies, and in which white men consistently get more call backs for jobs than other similarly qualified applicants. Or indeed when the same effect is achieved simply by choosing a white male name to use on the application. But no one is saying that people breeze through anything. Life is difficult, and the achievements people make should be celebrated. Privilege theory simply asks people to recognize that they had certain advantages going in to these situations, and consider whether they can help the world be a more equitable place.

        5)The only formal piece of systematic racism is affirmative action, I agree. Informal structure are no less systematic, however. And I hate affirmative action; it’s anti-capitalist, and breeds discontent. And I will fully support repealing affirmative action when there is some sign of equality being achieved. All the law schools I applied to give a substantial boost to minorities and women, and I don’t deny that I got frustrated knowing that I could have gotten into a higher ranked university (and gotten scholarship money as well) if I had been anything other than a white male. But, then I looked at the racial breakdown of these schools, and saw how little impact these programs had had on changing centuries old trends.

        Unless you believe that there are genetic racial differences that make minorities fundamentally less able to compete in our world, why do the stark racial disparities in our society persist even today, in the futuristic world of 2014?

        • http://www.theamericanengineer.com/ Charity

          In answer to your last question: Culture and personal choice. Certain cultures are often, though not exclusively, associated with certain races. Asian cultures tend to value education highly and therefore their parents push them harder in education and they are generally taught to make personal decisions that further their education. The gang banger culture of inner cities that is predominantly black (once again not exclusively, some cities have predominantly Hispanic gangs) fosters a culture of crime, drugs and violence, hence increased incarceration rates for blacks. It has very little to do with genetics and nothing to do with skin color. There are so many exceptions to these two cultures where people have made personal choices that took them a different direction. We are influenced by our culture but we are defined by our personal choices.

          • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

            here here!

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          maybe we should all become farmers! you may tout all the presumed “privileges” of the white male all day long, but when you weigh them against all the blame and hatred spewed at those same men, one can come to only one conclusion… the world sucks and life is not fair. white men are blamed for pretty much any and all of the world’s problems, so in that light, perhaps they do deserve a few “privileges” after all.

  • Pick a name

    Crowing about how hard your grandparents had to work to make your life effortless isn’t checking your privilege. It’s ignorance and it’s egotistical.

    • http://www.theamericanengineer.com/ Charity

      Calling his life effortless is ignorance.

      • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

        don’t forget “egotistical”!

  • Katie Mantius Bennett

    Is it possible to take a less hardline stance? Because you are making an excellent point that the politically correct police need to hear and consider. My concern is that the triumphant tone of your piece may send an unintended message: that because you have relatives that have suffered and triumphed over unimaginable hardship that you are immune from self examination.

    You clearly are hardworking and gifted and a beneficiary of the sacrifices and strength of character of your relatives. But you are not the only young American who has made the most of the hand you were dealt. And while you may not have been privileged when you triumphed over adversity to really do something amazing- (and do not think that I take your admission to Princeton lightly) the fact remains- as a white male graduate of Princeton you will experience doors opening for you that most young people do not have access to.

    So perhaps over the course of your college career a shift in tone will serve you well in that it will inspire you to have empathy for your peers who were only able to make it to community college for reasons that are unknown to you. I don’t know if you are a man of faith or not, but I know that the sentiment “To whom much is given, much will be required” has been a helpful touchstone for me as I have tried to reconcile my own privileges (as a wealthy white female who has been blessed with a beautiful family I am fortunate enough to be free to give my all to) with the responsibility to be empathetic to those who suffer in ways I don’t have direct experience with.

    May your character continue to grow alongside your (well earned) privilege. I wish you the best of luck.

    • snafubar

      Just think of all the doors opening for a black graduate of Princeton.

      • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

        bravo!

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      and here again we see part of the problem. why can’t you simply refer to him as “a graduate” of Princeton. the very fact that his color and gender are repeatedly pointed out as labels, is prime evidence of where the racism and prejudice lie. the fact remains- ANYONE who graduates from Princeton will experience doors opening for them that the rest of us will never have access to.

      • Jon

        Yes. And the doors of Princeton are much more likely to open to YOU if you happen to be wealthy or white.

  • Not a political party

    Whenever people ask 50 years from now, “Why do people still fight about politics? Why is our country so void of empathy,” you will have no one to blame but yourself.

    • Guest

      What a curious coincidence — I was thinking much the same about you just now.

    • snafubar

      More specifically, why does our country still obsess about race?

    • Banyansmom

      People can have plenty of empathy but still disagree about its policy implications. Yes, the experience of someone born to a crack-addicted single mother is going to be much harder than that of someone born into an intact family with a mother and a father. My empathy tells me that the best way to fix that is to encourage sexual restraint, stable marriages, and abstinence from drugs. A leftist is going to say that the best way to fix that is to provide welfare payments and affirmative action. I find that so appallingly short-sighted that I question whether the goal is to improve the lives of disadvantaged people or to increase dependency on government. The leftist is going to tell me that I have no real empathy for the poor because I want to control their lives. It’s like two parallel lines–there’s no meeting point, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

  • Here is my take

    Louis CK – Being White: http://youtu.be/TG4f9zR5yzY

  • Lancer

    Great write-up. I am part German, Irish, Scotch, Chinese, American Indian, English & Portuguese….or as many would label, “a privileged white American male.” Every person has a story…and writes their own chapters by what the choose to do in life. Some of my ancestry has fared better than others, but I am who I am despite what I was born into…not only because of it! So don’t call me white and suppose that you know everything about me. Judge me on who I am, what I say, and what I do….

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      exactly!

  • Gawd

    Feminists ask you to check your privilege more than any other group, at least that has been my experience.

  • snafubar

    OK, hard questions:

    Why do whites, on average, have a more supportive family structure than black families, and does a more supportive family structure lead to higher lifetime success? When and how did the destruction of the antebellum American black family truly begin?

    If you know the answers to these,questions,then you know the solution to the problem.

    • Keifer Wynn

      Not a hard question, welfare emasculates the black family and creates a dependency class.

      • snafubar

        Sorry, I was being sarcastic. Many on the left have no clue as to what I am talking about. For them, these are questions they dare not answer. Blasphemy.

        • Lauren

          Totally agree with you.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          they dare not answer, because the truth would sting like a … motha.

    • Darkness Dragon

      Bingo.

      Minorities like black & hispanic Americans, especially, need to wake up to the reality that the “progressive” statist structure and promotion of abortion is what turned them into system-dependencies & destroyed their family structure as a result.

      • Eric Reynolds

        NOPE. The promotion of abortion did not destroy the black family structure. Slavery destroyed the black family structure, literally. African families were systematically targeted, separated and destroyed upon their arrival on American shores. For a long time slavery alone prevented the formation of black families and any families that formed on a plantation were dispersed and sold off the moment they were discovered. Following slavery black males in particular were targeted and dehumanized creating a status quo that still exists. It isn’t some deep, dark sinister conspiracy, it’s history, it was intentional and it was highly effective. The black family has been in decline for years and it’s because it is the only ethnic family to be specifically targeted and attacked by the society, culture and legal system of an entire nation. Even in today’s society economic and social conditions lead to an increase in both crimes committed and arrests made by/against African-American males, the men who commit these crimes receive harsher sentencing than whites who commit the same crimes, and the legal system is designed to dehumanize the people who go through it. Black family structure wasn’t ruined by progressive structures or the promotion of abortion, it was targeted and destroyed by a society that saw it as a threat and it still hasn’t recovered.

        • Darkness Dragon

          Are you also the same person that believes Africans never sold themselves into slavery and that only blacks were treated like slaves? Certainly my Irish ancestry, as well as the ancestry of a majority of Americans can attest to the latter – black Irish, as they were called, treated far worse than any blacks ever would be (the Salem Witch Trials is just one example of what happened to Irish slaves).

          Yes, slavery did help destroy but it was most certainly the progressive policies of the last century – which indoctrinates one into believing government should be depended on for everything – that was the last straw to break the camel’s back. They were even precisely implemented to destroy the future of minorities to begin with!

          Yes, the legal system is a problem today. There’s no denying that, but it’s hardly just for blacks. You talk about black criminals getting more time, but the fact is they don’t get time in comparison to a multitude of individuals whose only crime was smoking a little weed on their own. It happens all the time, anyone caught smoking gets years of jail when even a 1st-degree murderer gets hardly a year and while even most dangerous inmates get access to a nice bunker that makes every homeless person attempt to commit crime just so they can have a place to sleep.

          • Eric Reynolds

            Again incorrect. First and foremost the “black Irish” were not treated worse than blacks. In a few cases they were treated as bad as African slaves and in most cases they were treated preferentially to the slaves they were often appointed to oversee. African-American families were not destroyed by government dependency, and the progressive policies of the last century were not centered around, utilized by and in many cases even offered to African-Americans. Affirmative action is a relatively new policy (relatively new in comparison to many other social “progressive” policies) and nothing has damaged the African-American family nearly as heavily as slavery or the institutionalized racism that followed slavery. The legal system is another example of institutionalized racism and African-Americans receive harsher sentencing in a number of criminal trials, especially in criminal trials that involve drugs. They get heavier sentencing for possessing drugs, they are far more likely to be charged with intent to distribute drugs even if the amount they had on them didn’t result in the same charges being charged against white people carrying the same amount. Government dependency isn’t a solution but it wasn’t the cause of the problem nor is it the largest proponent of the problem. And don’t say black Irish were treated worse than blacks. At most they were in the same boat and comparing historical atrocities just makes everybody look bad.

          • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

            again, incorrect. “african-american” families may not have been “destroyed by government dependency and the progressive policies of the last century”, but those things have certainly helped to perpetuate the problem. far too many children are being raised in single parent homes, by drug addicted parents who have been brainwashed into thinking it is the government’s job to provide for them. this is no one’s fault but the families themselves. the cycle can and should be broken, but whose job is it to do the breaking? and before you cry foul, notice that i did not say what color these unfortunate children are! and don’t even start me on the whole “blacks get harsher sentencing” fallacy… remember OJ?

          • Jon

            Ah yes, a singe anecdote (“remember OJ”) is a good counterweight to the mountains of statistics on the disproportionate treatment of blacks in the justice system as a whole. Good argument.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          NOPE. holocaust victims could make the very same argument. and native americans. and what about the japanese camps? families torn apart, with nothing but prejudice and hopelessness in their bleak futures. all colors of people who have been “targeted and attacked” have had plenty of time to end the cycle of crime and poverty. true, “the legal system is designed to dehumanize the people who go through it”…ALL people. today’s “economic and social conditions” could drive anyone into a life of hopelessness, crime and despair. skin color has nothing to do with it. however, all groups of people have the opportunity to teach their children the values and characteristics necessary for happiness and success.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      my only argument would be…these really aren’t hard questions at all. someone hit the nail on the head.

  • Keifer Wynn

    I tried to make this point earlier today but I think it got obscured… I agree that white privilege is stupid envy masquerading as philosophy. I would like to make the argument though that this student will be dismissed because white privilege ideology is such that it automatically disqualifies whites achievements because (as I heard my friend say once) “the system is set up in such a way that only whites could truly have a Horatio Alger story.” I disagree with that notion but purely as matter of effectiveness and pragmatism we should realize that we are probably not going to convert people of color to our position by showcasing white individuals achievements as refutations of white privilege, what will likely be necessary is an all out assault of black republicans and activists to provide incontrovertible evidence of the erasure of racism from American life. We all agree that “blaming whitey” is bad business and stupid thinking what’s next is to strategize about the right way to subvert this nonsense with clear thinking and good activism.

    • Jake

      This right here. ^^^

      • Jon

        Instead of trying to “provide incontrovertible evidence of the erasure of racism from American life” why don’t we try to actually erase it? If you have any doubts about the existence of racism in America today, please spend about five minutes reading the comments at foxnews.com.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      yep

  • Do Your Homework

    The struggles your ancestors went through is not your “privilege.” Your privilege is that people see you as white and so you get treated as white… meaning you are 20% more likely to be employed than a black with the same qualifications, don’t have a 28% likelihood of being incarcerated at some point in your life like blacks do, and are generally seen by the public as more trustworthy, professional, and intelligent.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      hmmm…so blacks are 28% more likely to commit a serious crime and you are asking why they are not perceived as trustworthy, professional or intelligent? go figure…

      • Jon

        Nope. 28% more likely to be incarcerated, not to commit a serious crime. That’s the whole point. How many white teenagers have you heard of being arrested for possession of pot? How many blacks? Way more blacks are arrested for it, yet both races smoke it at about the same rate. If that’s not institutional racism, I don’t know what is.

  • Jaspy

    And I thought “privilege” starts the moment you were born and represents how YOU have been treated growing up and living in the society, NOT your parents or ancestors. I feel bad for you missing the point, entitled ignorant idiot

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      and more name calling. badly done, sir. badly done.

  • KublaConn

    What does the lives and actions of your great-grandparents have to do with what you are experiencing now? I would also ask, have you considered what your great-grandparents’ experience in this country have been like if they weren’t white? You’re actually making a very weak case when you bring up 100 years ago in this country, because your great-grandparents experienced “white privilege” like you wouldn’t BELIEVE. The words “check your white privilege” are being said to you NOW, so let’s talk about NOW, not what happened to previous generations, well, unless you want to keep making the case for “white privilege”, that is.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      hold on one second! let me get this straight…you say that he is “making a very weak case when he brings up 100 years ago”. and you tell him to “talk about NOW, not what happened to previous generations”. is that not EXACTLY what your kind are all about? all this thread has been is one whiner after another, bringing up something that happened generations ago and talking about how it WAS instead of how it IS. sir, you would do well to take your own advice…”if you are going to draw equivalencies, then draw them across the board”.

      • Jon

        “Your kind?” What do you mean by that? Are you assuming KublaConn is black? Why?

  • WhitneyEliz319

    He’s talking about all of the hard work his parents and grandparents did… we get that they weren’t privileged (and obviously witnessed and experienced immense horror).. but they worked hard to ensure HE had privileges. The struggles of his parents and grandparents aren’t HIS struggles.. Kind of the notion that you’re not rich.. your parents are… I think he rants on a good bit, while missing the point.

    • none

      What about where he states that his ancestry taught him good values and hard work? I think that plays a huge role in how our next generation grows and prospers. I know I teach my kids the value of hard work, good ethics, and value.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      and colored parents and grandparents can work just as hard to ensure THEIR children have “privileges”.

  • Succint

    Your argument
    is flawed. There are students of color whose parents also were blessed
    with resolve and entrepreneurial spirit and self-sacrifice, but were
    unable to accumulate the same benefit of those characteristics because
    they were systematically and institutionally excluded from the
    democratic process, educational systems and business in this country.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      “were” is the operative word here. perhaps at one time, but not now…that is where the flaw lies.

  • Tanker74

    lol @ the haters below trying to justify their slurs toward “white” college students.

  • Anna

    As much as I admire this young man’s effort to provide a rebuttal (that was obviously well thought out) he has not properly understood the term “white privilege” and how serious of an issue it is for people of not-so-fair skin and for fair skinned people as well. Now I do realize that he has Jewish ancestry, which as a people have experience as much hardship as “people of color”, however the one discerning different is that the majority of Jews and people of Jewish ancestry are fair skinned and as such have a far higher chance of “blending in”. As a minority both in gender and “race” I will just post this as elaboration: http://youtu.be/8SIINVfqnxw

  • Anna
  • Anna

    As much as I admire this young man’s effort to provide a rebuttal(and he obviously put a lot of thought and work into it) he has not properly understood the term “white privilege” and how serious of an issue it is for people of not-so-fair skin. Now I do realize that he has Jewish ancestry, which as a people have experience as much hardship as “people of color”, however the one discerning different is that majority of Jews and people of Jewish ancestry are fair skinned. As an minority both in gender and “race” I will just post these as elaboration: http://youtu.be/8SIINVfqnxw

    and http://thoughtcatalog.com/…/explaining-white-privilege…/

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      i love how you people try to discount the holocaust, simply because the victims were “fair skinned” and not “colored”. this is the truly racist mind set. and you are only victimizing YOURSELVES further by perpetuating this narrow minded way of thinking.

  • Anna

    Additionally a decent explanation is: http://thoughtcatalog.com/…/explaining-white-privilege…/

  • τιτς

    Thomas Sowell says it best and I paraphrase: “The real war is waged on achievement”.

    It just says something when some people are so obsessed with demonizing achievement they have no energy or will left to actually partake in helping the underachievers and it tells a lot about where this country is going.

    Political correctness and blind devotion to academic pseudo-facts.

  • Joe

    I too was priviledged to attend all black inner city schools through a short lived and failed us government forced integration and bussing initiative growing up. I experienced the true face of black racism and extreme hatred having endured gang beatings daily just for being white. To have blacks make assumptions about my upbringing involving a silver spoon or being “priviledged” really exposes their ignorance. The problem is however that as ignorant or innocent as this racism may seem, its not really. While maybe not as overt as the daily beatings, the racism and hatred against whites is alive in the black communities. There is an agenda to keep affirmaive action alive and push as many blacks to the top as possible regardless of whether they are deserving. Actually I think the proper response to any black stating “check your privilege” is simply “check yours.” Its beyond time to END affirmative action and pushing people into colleges and government positions just because of dark skin pigmentation. And thats all I have to say about that.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      amen brother!

  • bob k

    I’ve heard stories just like that from african peoples whose don’t end as well as yours soo yea. that’s white priviledge. it exists. the very fact that you are blind to it means it exists. this was nice but doesnt change anything. imagine ALL the hardships they faced, and then add institutionalized racism to it. Imagine being constantly told you won’t make it and then having no real proof in media/history that you will..ALSO a jewish family can hide their faith. people of color can’t escape their color and by the 1950’s/60’s in most places being jewish in american wasn’t a big deal anymore. I’m glad your family made it but this has nothing to do with the social issues you’re trying to debunk. White privilege isnt saying white people all have it easy and don’t go through anything. but they are the ones controlling dominant discourse and the power system so on a grand scale you have it easier no matter what.

    • dudeguy

      I’ll go ahead and make the assumption that you’re black. And that based on your own experience, with others of the same race, you assume whites also show solidarity with each other and “stick together”. You’re incorrect. The majority of whites don’t care what their race or heritage is. We don’t care what our own sin color is, much less yours. So buried in your statement is the assumption that a white, in a position of power will primarily try to help other whites and try to oppress other races. “institutionalized racism” may feel good to say and write about, but you’re doing a great disservice to all who have been convinced they have no hope other than a life of welfare, poverty and crime.

      • bob k

        I don’t have to “assume” anything. racism exists and yes it is institutionalized. btw i AM black. and you know who taught me about institutionalized racism? a white British/Swedish woman who not only acknowledged her privilege but teaches others about it in an active antiracist way. haha. so I also understand that not all white people are alike..There are alot of assumptions in your response but not alot of comprehending my statements.. You don’t care what your color skin/ethnicity is? 1. That’s actually wrong historically because whites did in fact classify/discriminate themselves in rigid categories (italian/irish/german/english) to start with. It wasnt until the 40’s and 50’s that it didnt matter what you were as long as you were light and white. 2.i can’t make sweeping generalizations about all white people in positions of power. but i can say that most of those people in power ARE white and that’s a result of a system of unfair advantages. CEO’s are bred in ivy league. prep school breeds ivy. who can afford prep? on average, mostly white people.ITS NOT IMPOSSIBLE for people of color to get there but if they do they are the exception to a rule that shouldn’t even exist, or someone cries affirmative action. As far as “sticking together”..walk into a suburban highschool or a gated community or a prep school and count the number of black people you’ll see..i’m gonna suggest you read Peggy Mcintosh (or really any book in general). there’s just too much wrong with your reply. **Btw the fact that you needed to point out that I’m black and use it as a negative against me is the result of your privilege, of a mentality that says “He’s black and stupid and hypersensitive, I’m white, my race is well represented, therefore I am smarter.”

        • none

          You do realize there is a higher percentage of whites than blacks in the U.S.?

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          whoa buddy. in your final statement, you do the VERY thing you accuse dudeguy of doing! you make hypersensitive, stereotypical, stupid assumptions and generalizations. your entire, poorly written rant, says nothing more than white guys are to blame for black guys not going to college. i’m white and i didn’t go to college. my white children didn’t go to college. sounds very privileged, doesn’t it?

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      there is no such thing as “institutionalized” racism. racism is a personal mind set or way of thinking about and treating others. only an individual can be racist. IF whites “are the ones controlling dominant discourse and the power system”, ask yourself why that is…and leave your racist, narrow mind out of it. open your heart and mind and you will come to realize that the color of one’s skin has absolutely nothing to do with privilege

  • Guest

    To whoever said that white’s have never been an oppressed people, look up history. Just because it hasn’t happened in the past hundred+ years doesn’t mean it never happened. Look at London before and during the industrial revolution, look at post-war 1066 in England after the French invaded, review the years during the holocaust and World War II, look at the dark ages where everyone was oppressed for being Protestant…the world is a terrible place and people will always be taken advantage of and oppressed. I think our job in the 21st century is to grow out all these old people who believe that race, religion, and gender matter -_- this is America…

    • Guest

      All of the examples you’ve listed are white people oppressing other white people. What’s your point?

  • Sharon Tope-Grassi

    Every now and then I hear a voice that gives me hope for the future of America. Someone who can look beyond the rhetoric to see reality.
    Most of us “privileged white folk” are really just the result of ancestors who took America at it’s word. They inter-married, they didn’t worry about lineage, and they embraced the country that allowed them to let go of stereotypes.
    I am a white “mutt”. My ancestors are Irish, French, German, and American Indian. My great grandfather was disinherited for marrying a “half-breed”. My Irish ancestors farmed, my German ancestors worked hard, and my French ancestors were rich jerks. My history is not written on my skin, it is written in my ethics, my attitude, my faith, and so much more.
    We are Americans, we are not white, black, or yellow. We are not one religion, we are many. We are not one race, we are many.
    Thank you young man for reminding your peers that almost every privilege came from someone else’s sacrifice!

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      let’s hear it for the mutts! woot woot!

  • eag24
  • Mike

    So does everyone here think that white Americans and non-white Americans have exactly the same levels of opportunity?

    • Brad Wags

      For the most part, but whites cannot benefit from affirmative action or the UNCF or any of the other number of minority programs out there.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      i can’t say what “everyone” thinks. i almost answered “yes”. and then i read brad wags’ comment and realized the correct answer would have to be “no”. “non-white americans” actually have more special privileges/programs, more benefits, handouts, bailouts,etc. they just don’t want to acknowledge or admit it.

  • Erika

    Very well worded.
    I wonder, would this site be willing to post the story of a woman who has been discriminated against in college?

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      please, no! enough whining, finger pointing and name calling for one day.

  • http://johngaltreport.blogspot.com/ John Galt Report

    Brilliant!

  • Luci

    “It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race, but the content of your character.”

    Understanding the places of privilege we come from is not about detracting from one’s accomplishments or even the sacrifices made now in the in the past to achieve certain things. Understanding privilege is about acknowledging that, even in a small way, certain traits like skin color, gender, religion, educational access, social class, ability vs. disability have played a role in opening doors to you that are not always as readily available to others who lack those traits.

    As for the quote at the top of this post, many would argue that the fact that the author believes that statement offers a glimpse into the way privilege can change perception. Many would disagree about opportunities for equal protection under the law for all of its citizens regardless of the content of character.

    • Cold_Play

      Therefore ALL people who are white and male must be punished for the “privilege” of simply being white and male. Essentially this is your argument, regardless of any and all circumstances that may indicate differently. Who has the right to tell someone sight unseen that their story, their struggles are meaningless simply because they are white? The sanctimonious priggishness of a nouveau riche ideology that must always (and without exception) rest comfortably in the arms of discrimination.

      • Luci

        I don’t hear anyone arguing that “all white males must be punished” but maybe I missed something? What I hear are many people, those both those in and outside of places of privilege asking us to take a closer look some of the societal structures that are perpetuating any sort of privilege at all that isn’t based on merit – which seems to be the same thing you want.

        You can make the argument that this already exists in the US, but stats will tell a different story, especially when you compare the number of minorities in prison with the number of minorities in positions of leadership in US business and government.

        There is really only one conclusion you can draw from that. Either, as a whole, white individuals are better at being leaders while minorities are better at committing crimes, or something is systemically broken in American.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          well, i was going to answer your question, but you answered it yourself. stats do tell the story…more colored people commit crimes and fewer colored people are leaders, either because they don’t WANT to be, or they are not qualified to be. no one else’s fault, it is simply their choice.

  • Fletch

    Wow, powerful article! Thank you for sharing this and summing up the frustration I too have with the liberal idea of “white privilege.”

  • Ruby

    I think people misuse “white privilege.” I agree that it is important to understand that you play the central role in your success. But at the same time, by your own admission, there privileges that you and your family have had, such as being welcomed into the country and given the space and opportunity to open businesses. For certain groups this is more difficult than others. Im my opinion, we each have privileges that come from societal factors. They may be related to race, gender, SES, education or any number of factors. The important part should be understanding that there some opportunities that may exist for you abd not for others. But that does not mean that you need to apologize for it out that your thoughts or opinions on issues in which you may have privileges are any less valid. I commend you for looking into your privilege. What are you going to do with your new understanding?

  • blah

    Everyone has a story and the color of your skin does not tell it!!

  • hilaryaok

    This is very well said and an excellent, thought-provoking read. I am a first generation American. My parents, too, came here with practically nothing, having survived WWII in Europe. They got themselves educated, worked really hard, and created a wonderful life of opportunities for their children. They did it all on their own. I have never liked the phrase “white privilege”… for all the reasons you state. I am aware, however, the the wealth gap in this country is larger than it has ever been. It is larger than most Americans have any comprehension of. I wonder, if my parents came here today, how easily they could realize the American dream… or if they could at all. Pulling yourself up by the bootstraps is much more difficult now than it was 50 years ago. Just something to consider in the midst of this discussion.

  • Dawn Marie Christiansen

    What amazes me in this entire mess of “check your privilege” is that there is this erroneous assumption that just because a person is white that live hands them a box of chocolates on a silver platter! any person with the least amount of observation and logical reasoning skills would look around and see the stuggles that so many people face every day!
    Being white certainly gave me zero privilege. Number three of six children, my parents struggled to put the food on the table after the family business took a dive during my mother’s battle with cancer. my youngest brother was only one when she was diagnosed. we lost the business, our home, everything. my dad took any job he could -even working for a garbage company to make ends meet.
    I finished my sophmore year of college and couldn’t afford to continue -despite working 20 hours a week and carrying a full class load. And this was at a fairly affordable university. I just didn’t want to be in miles of debt. Being able to go to afford to finish is a ton more privilege than I ever had! I get really tired of this view that the color of skin automatically means my life is all unicorns pooping rainbow skittles on to giant beds of marshmallows. Pain, poverty and hardship don’t give a crap the color of your skin. Neither do hard work and an excellent attitude. These things lift you up -no matter your color.

    The sad part is that readiing this article we see what the true “white privilege” has become: work ethic, morals and principles worth keeping insilled in the young by parents who refuse to remain victims, but are willing to rise above circumstances to be all they were gifted and intended for.

    • none

      Bravo!

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      bravo!

  • Samuel

    I applaud you and your research on your family history. I have a similar family history where my ancestors had worked incredibly hard and grueling hours on farms in order to provide for my family down the road and I am incredibly grateful for it.
    However, I think it is important to think about the other side of this, if your grand parents had been, say, from Nigeria or Kenya, would the opportunity to start their own business and be successful have been there in the late 1940s and early 1950s? I’m not saying it would have been impossible, but segregation was still a thing at this time in our history. A black man, just as hard working as your grandfather, would have no doubt had a more difficult challenge to succeed. Again, I am not taking anything away from the hard work of your family, and I agree with your stance, but I think it is definitely something to think about.

  • Katie Mantius Bennett

    Your privilege is not white privilege so much as it is the privilege of being the beneficiary of your relative’s hard work and good character that set you up to be able to study and have access to the sort of “enrichment” that Princeton looks for in its quest for the well rounded student. In addition to developing your fine mind, I’m guessing you didn’t have to work at a convenience store where you can hear gunshots as you were trying to study in between ringing up customers. Judging by your picture it looks like you’ve been the beneficiary of someone driving you to regular medical and dental checkups, making sure you have nutritious food and have had the time to devlop your physique and leadership skills through team sports that someone was responsible for transporting you to.

    What that means is you are privileged. It doesn’t matter what color you are. People say to you, “Check your privilege” and you assume they mean “you’re not special as you think because you’re a white boy”

    What the “liberals and feminists” may actually be reacting to in you is the fact that the loving care and investment of time and resources your heroic close relatives have provided you with have created a sort of blessed bubble that has made your life much easier than than the lives of many children who do not have the sort of social supports that you do.

    You choose to see this criticism in a very black and white (no pun intended) way. Your lack of perspective coupled with your arrogant sense of entitlement is what people react against, not your status of being a white boy. Your triumphant denunciation of anyone who would counter a statement you make with “check your privilege” makes me think that you do not have the humility and wisdom that your relatives manifest.

    Others have invested in you- that is your privilege. You did not achieve your success on your own. You are hardworking and gifted, but you are also … PRIVILEGED. Ignore that fact and you will develop a blind spot the size of Texas in your soul.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      so why don’t the mothers of those colored kids drive them to regular medical and dental check ups? they can get them all for free, you know. and why aren’t those colored moms feeding their kids nutritious food? they can get it for free, you know. and why aren’t those colored kids hanging out at the open (free) gyms, so as to develop their own physiques and leadership skills? i mean, if they have all dropped out of school, then they should have plenty of time on their hands. if being privileged is the result of “being the beneficiary of your relative’s hard work and good character”, then doesn’t every person, regardless of color, have the same opportunity for being “privileged”? by your own reasoning, the fault for not being privileged, would then fall on the shoulders of one’s family…not the color of someone else’s skin. if no one has invested in YOU, then blame them personally, not someone else whose skin is a different color than yours. ignore these facts and you will develop a blind spot in your soul the size of texas.

  • Cathy

    What an excellent article! No apologies needed!!!

  • gloucesterlady

    Tal Fortgang needs to grow up and quit embarrassing himself in public. QUIT WHINING!!!

  • POTUS mime

    nicely done. But to add to this scholarly piece, I think the phrase is “tow the line”, not “toe the line”..but then again, I could be wrong…not being privileged enough to be a Harvard student.

  • Mark E Roberts

    Bravo!

  • POTUS mime

    As for me, I feel very privileged to live in a country where I can flourish if I choose to, although it seems that those opportunities are diminished (along with my liberties) based on the premise of “equality”. equal…what? Equal opportunity? or Equal Outcome?

  • Joseph

    White Americans do have privilege. It is not enshrined in the law, but exists socially. White people regardless of there family history are seen as equivalent. As a white person, I don’t get stopped and frisked. I won’t get turned down for an apartment, treated differently/fired at work, or any number of things. Racism exists, not just as an interpersonal interaction, but between the society as a whole and black people. The historical context s important. Looking at racism today by itself would be like looking at the holocaust without also looking at the centuries of antisemitism that led up to it.

    • DeweyDS

      What color am I?

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      yeah, well, i have never been stopped and frisked in this country, because i have never given law enforcement a reason to need to do that. i was, however, stopped in another country and asked for identification, etc. my crime? i walked on the grass at the tower of pisa. was i singled out for being different? you betcha! all around me, locals were walking, running, playing and lounging on the very same grass. so yes, context is important. and the context to be considered here is that this argument lost all credibility about 50 years ago.

  • Nicole Petrino-Salter

    Awe. Some.

  • Jim

    This is the stupidest thing I have ever read. The concept of “check your privileges” means the life YOU PERSONALLY have lived skews your view of the world, just as the life of someone more or less privileged than you skews their view of the world. This kid grew up rich and privileged!! The fact that his family struggled before his birth has nothing to do with how privileged he was to grow up well off. If someone is asking him to consider his world view from a different perspective and THIS is what he responded with, he clearly is unable to “check his privileges.”

    More likely he is just trying to write a race baiting rant about how white people are the real victims of racism. Either way, he personally has never experienced any victimization in his entire life and his response to “check your privileges” completely misses the point of what that means.

    • DeweyDS

      He’s articulate. Obviously passionate. Probably disciplined. Most likely overcame life long disappointments, etc. Those are characteristics of personal responsibility regardless of income. We don’t know his struggles…and it seems you fell right into stereotyping.

    • Paul

      And you are clearly unable to comprehend what this guy was saying.

      • jim

        He is saying dont judge a book by its cover because its racist and unfair to do that. But asking people in college to consider a world view different from their own isnt really judging a book by its cover. Its asking them to have empathy and think critically. Its kind of a pretty big skill to have in life.

        I suppose he could be upset if people said that to him and he actually was not himself privileged…BUT he tells us himself that he in fact is privileged, in spite of what his family went through. So instead he kind of makes the “check your privileges” crowd’s point for them: he is unable to recognize his own privilege and he refuses to consider a different world view because he is angry in spite of his privilege.

        Either he is completely non-self aware, or he is being disingenuous to rabble up some anti affirmative action feelings. I suspect the latter. But either way, his point is certainly blowing my mind as the title of this post promised me it would.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          you are right. he is, in fact, reminding us to not judge a book by its cover. and yet, that is exactly what you and your like minded kind do. each time he claims to be “privileged”, he follows it up with a definition of what that means to him. he never mentions monetary privileges or possessions in those examples. he repeatedly refers to his heritage, his character, his strong family values, etc, as his “privileges”. me thinks that perhaps it is you who are angry and trying to “rabble up” some sort of race baiting, inflammatory rhetoric.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      where, at any point in his article, did he say he “grew up rich and privileged”? you are making assumptions based on his nationality/skin color. you also have no idea whether or not he has ever “personally experienced any victimization in his entire life”. again, you are assuming that because he is white, this has never happened. you, sir, are the one who “completely misses the point” and who is “just trying to write a race baiting rant”. your “rant” is only one example of the racism and victimization to which he may or may not have been exposed.

  • jb

    BAHAHAHAAHAHA FAGGOTS – PRIVILEGE DOESNT EQUAL PERSONAL HISTORY.

  • De

    Obama says he came from humble beginnings. Going to one if the most elite private schools in Hawaii and Kenya, being raised by wealthy grandparents, living in a home on the beach, and having everything handed to you is not a humble beginning. Since Obama is half white then maybe he should look at his white privlage.

  • Elephantintheroom

    I think that’s interesting. I have a friend of mine who doesn’t like to engage in conversations about inequality because he’s always the enemy for being a “white male.” The minorities see Whites as being racist, and the women see the male as being sexist. I not for sure that not all White people come from privilege (I think that the statement is generalizable considering statistics of jobs, education, etc.) Especially for White people who grew up in communities where they were the minority. However, it doesn’t negate the fact that this young man’s family fled oppression from the Nazi’s and came to a country where White people did hold the power over other racial groups. There family came during a time when Whites had a distinct advantage because of segregation and other laws. There’s a book by Paulo Freire that talks about the Oppressed becoming the Oppressor in the process of coming out of oppression. I’m sure his family coming to America during segregation, they could have engaged in oppressing others (maybe likely as business owners). Or maybe not. During WWII my grandmother wasn’t served food at a restaurant in the South, because she was of “Color.” Yet her husband was going to war like all the other “White” husbands. I think White privilege is still there speaking in generalities.. anecdotally you will have some White males that can a make a case. But it is still all relative. If you compare this student whose family fled the Nazis to the American Indians, you could say he has White privilege. It almost becomes who was oppressed more. Genocide was committed against American Indians on their own land. The effects of colonization still permeate in the communities. You know that growing up on the reservation and seeing the struggles in the community. So this young man’s family was able to overcome because of the opportunities his family was given being White coming to a country where White’s held the power. American Indians were not given any voice till maybe the 70s, and that voice still is not heard. In the end, I think “White privilege” exists, but it is relative. I know that White privilege exists, and I’m okay with that. My issue is that people don’t think about their privilege. Even I need to be grateful for my privilege of coming from a two parent home, food on the table, job, house, education, etc. So I like that article and his reflection. But if his story is compared to a minority family history, I wonder what the narrative would look like.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      this is what their narrative would look like…

      oh poor me. 150 years ago a couple of bad guys did something really bad and so now i’m going to whine about it and use it as a politically correct excuse for letting others take care of me. and then i’m going to whine some more because they aren’t taking care of me as well as i want them to. oh…and if i’m a “native american”, i can have loads of free stuff and make a gazillion dollars from the casino revenue at the same time…

      how’s that?

  • Turf

    Most millionaires are first generation immigrants. “People of color can’t succeed in a system built only for whites” seems to be true, but only with African Americans. Asians, Africans, Hispanics, and Europeans are all succeeding in America as “People of color”.

  • Maggie Brown

    “Checking you privilege” does not mean that all of the success in your life is do to the simply fact that you are white.
    It does mean that you should acknowledge the fact that because you are white, you will have greater opportunities in your life than PoC.
    This man obviously had to work hard to get to where he is today, but for PoC, they have to work even harder because racism still exists, whether conservatives want to believe it or not.

    • http://www.theamericanengineer.com/ Charity

      Really? Why don’t you go give me an example of real life-changing systemic racism against PoC in America? How about institutionalized racism? The only form of that we have left in this country is Affirmative Action which is a policy that restricts PoC from being accepted into college…. oh wait no its not. It keeps whites, Asians, and males from being accepted into college. Check yourself.

      • Maggie Brown

        Wow. You are incredibly ignorant. Do you even know how affirmative action works? If two EQUALLY QUALIFIED candidates apply for the same college and one is white and one belongs to a minority, you have to give the minority applicant EXTRA CONSIDERATION, this does not mean that they are automatically accepted into that college over the white applicant. And some colleges don’t even use it to begin with so it is possible for white, asian, and male students to get into college. And guess what? White students make up the majority of most campus populations anyway, so your argument is invalid. And for your question about institutionalized racism – Why are most Fortune 500 companies run by white men? Why does it take longer for a black male to find a job than a white male? Check yourself.

        • none

          There is a much higher percentage of whites than blacks.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          “you have to give the minority applicant EXTRA CONSIDERATION”. that statement alone speaks volumes. does it not? the very notion that both applicants are not given EQUAL consideration is appalling! you need to ask yourself, honestly, why it is that “white students make up the majority of most campus populations”. if you are completely honest with yourself, you will realize that it has NOTHING to do with the color of their skin. “why are most fortune 500 companies run by white men?” first of all…are they? where do you find that information? in any case, assuming you are right, i would ask you again to HONESTLY ask yourself that same question. and if you are completely honest, you will again be forced to admit that it has nothing to do with skin. i mean, seriously, do you actually believe that flesh is the answer to all your problems? what about hair? eye color? dress size? oh, that’s a good one…let’s talk about how many people are discriminated against because they are “fat”. you want to be the CEO of a fortune 500 company? then by golly why aren’t you? stop blaming white males and go be the CEO!

          • Maggie Brown

            First of all. Here is where I got the info on Fortune 500 CEO’s.
            http://www.diversityinc.com/diversity-facts/wheres-the-diversity-in-fortune-500-ceos/
            You should check it out. Guess what? I’m right.
            Secondly, the reason why minorities are given extra consideration in college applications is because they have been historically repressed and still are today. Some PoC have to over come poverty, racism, and so many other obstacles while historically, white people have not. This doesn’t mean that white people haven’t struggled in their lives. I know I have. I know a lot of people have.
            And I’d just like to say there are so many flaws in your argument, but I’m not going to waste my time arguing with someone so incredibly ignorant to think that racism doesn’t exist anymore. Racism still exists. Racial stereotypes still exist. Racial profiling still exists. Stop living in a fantasy world and start noticing that the country we live in is not diverse by any means, and that needs to change.

          • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

            you misunderstand. i never said “racism doesn’t exist anymore”. i am simply stating that racism goes all ways and includes people of every color…i am not “so incredibly ignorant” as to think that only “PoC” are the victims of poverty and repression. if i were “living in a fantasy world”, i would believe that my own children could actually get a college education. but unfortunately, we are too poor to pay for college and because we are not considered a racial minority, we are not “given extra consideration”. which means, too bad, so sorry for us, sucks to be a poor white kid. we are not the ones living in a fantasy world…our world is nothing but bitter, hard truth. racism is truly alive and well…and us po white folk know it!

        • http://www.theamericanengineer.com/ Charity

          Okay I actually attended a college that implements affirmative action and everyone, including the minority students, know that’s not how the law is implemented. Even then, a law that treats races differently is racist and discriminatory. Yeah there are a lot of white students in colleges because, shocker, over 70% of Americans are white. I went to a majority minority school, a very very large state school that was actually skewed in favor of minorities over the general population. I don’t care if more minorities go to college, I care that everyone is given equal opportunity and we end race discrimination in this country. If you’re okay with race based policies then you support institutionalized racism.

      • Playa_of_the_Year

        Funny how you say that, when WW like yourself benefit from Affirmative action more than anybody.

        • http://www.theamericanengineer.com/ Charity

          Actually I’m part native too and there were lots of other scholarships and benefits I could have qualified for if I chose to. I earned my way into college by getting good grades and test scores and earning a full athletic scholarship. Never once did I take advantage of the system rigged my way. Just because I benefit doesn’t mean it’s fair or right.

  • AndresC

    I doubt your grandfather immigrated to this country when our nation was “a country that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race, but the content of your character.” The way you talk about your family history, I would assume your family immigrated here in 1940s or 1950s. In those days, not everyone in this country had equal rights to owning a business and obviously pre-1964 not everyone had the same political rights. Could a Black family from the South have opened a similar business?

    “First, that there was a place at all that would take them from the ruins of Europe.” America took in your family. Did it take in all others? The Immigration Act of 1924 prohibited Asian immigration completely until 1965. Your family came and learned English because they met a teacher who knew European languages and could teach them. Were there teachers for all languages in this country?

    White privilege is functioning in your family history. That is not the point of checking your privilege. You have privileges in this country regardless of your family history. What exactly are you saying when people tell you to check your privilege? Are you omitting the things you have said that would make many people tell you to check your privilege? Furthermore, privilege is not only handed down to white males. Everyone has them and everyone at Princeton has some form of privileges I can assure you that. Do not get so offended by it, if you do you are denying the privileges you have. And if that is the case…dare I say it?…you are not checking your privilege.

  • Erica

    Am I mistaken? Or does white privilege not have anything to do with the fact that I don’t get pulled over while driving as frequently, because I am white? Or that I don’t get followed around in a store because the people working there assume I will steal because of the color of my skin? Or that I am not judged or feared as I walked down the street? White Privilege is something that usually goes unnoticed by white people because we have not been wronged by society as often as other ethnic groups.

  • White College Student

    Having
    privilege doesn’t mean you have to apologize. Be aware of privilege,
    acknowledge its influence, and act accordingly. Here’s where Joshua came
    close but failed to walk in others’ shoes:
    1) Immigrants of certain decent have advantages. “a place they
    could legally enter…allow them to flourish”. The conservative right
    fights to keep our boarders shut. Many sharing our corner of the world
    are labeled illegal. How can a living being be illegal?
    2) “a country that grants equal protect” Incarceration rates and education are not equal in our country.
    3)
    “his legacy he sought to pass on”. Illegals & slave decedents do
    not have the privilege of fathers, grandfathers, etc let alone values to
    be passed along.
    4)
    “My grandparents played an active role in my parents’ education”.
    Clearly Joshua didn’t research enough. Many Americans were not allowed
    to pass along the ability to read and were killed if they tried. They
    were separated from their families. Today’s parents earning minimum wage
    need to work 2-3 jobs which leaves little time with their kiddos.
    5)
    “racist patriarchy holding my hand throughout my years of education and
    eventually guiding me into Princeton.” Joshua must not be aware of his
    school’s racial statistics, the homogeneous peers he passes daily on
    campus, or the generational history outside his own culture. His
    exploration should have also included those less privileged.

    The forces he describes as invisible are actually quite visible to most. Invisible might represent his ignorance.

    I wonder who he’s referring to as ‘detractors’? It is presented as an evil person.

    I
    think Joshua is confusing being called out personally for privilege
    verses calling out the institutions we support as unjust. Individuals
    should be called out if they are completely ignorant of these privileges
    and act to reinforce/preserve these injustices.

    For Joshua to call racial injustices invisible is to deny the personal experiences of millions of Americans.

  • White College Student

    For Joshua to call racial injustices invisible is to deny the personal experiences of millions of Americans.

    Having privilege doesn’t mean you have to apologize. Be aware of privilege,
    acknowledge its influence, and act accordingly. Here’s where Joshua came
    close but failed to walk in others’ shoes:

    1) Immigrants of certain decent have advantages. “a place they
    could legally enter…allow them to flourish”. The conservative right
    fights to keep our boarders shut. Many sharing our corner of the world
    are labeled illegal. How can a living being be illegal?

    2) “a country that grants equal protect” Incarceration rates and education are not equal in our country.

    3) “his legacy he sought to pass on”. Illegals & slave decedents do
    not have the privilege of fathers, grandfathers, etc let alone values to
    be passed along.

    4) “My grandparents played an active role in my parents’ education”.
    Clearly Joshua didn’t research enough. Many Americans were not allowed
    to pass along the ability to read and were killed if they tried. They
    were separated from their families. Today’s parents earning minimum wage
    need to work 2-3 jobs which leaves little time with their kiddos.

    5) “racist patriarchy holding my hand throughout my years of education and
    eventually guiding me into Princeton.” Joshua must not be aware of his
    school’s racial statistics, the homogeneous peers he passes daily on
    campus, or the generational history outside his own culture. His
    exploration should have also included those less privileged.

    The forces he describes as invisible are actually quite visible to most. Invisible might represent his ignorance.

    I wonder who he’s referring to as ‘detractors’? It is presented as an evil person.

    I think Joshua is confusing being called out personally for privilege
    verses calling out the institutions we support as unjust. Individuals
    should be called out if they are completely ignorant of these privileges
    and act to reinforce/preserve these injustices.

    • Banyansmom

      1) A living being can be “illegal” if he’s in a place he has no right to be. You would be “illegal” and subject to deportation from any country in which you were not a citizen and did not have a valid visa. You may not like the existence of national borders, but they do exist, and they are recognized by both national and international law. Those objecting to illegal immigration are objecting because of the illegal part, not the immigration part. We are a society of laws, and although the young often think that an absence of law would lead to Utopia, the truth is in fact the opposite.
      2) Incarceration rates and education are not equal in our country. True. Neither are crime and dropout rates. You are confusing output with input. I’ll grant that there may be issues with disproportionate sentences for similar crimes (e.g. crack possession vs. powdered cocaine), but with some notable, and truly unfortunate exceptions, if you follow the law and respect duly constituted authority, you don’t end up in jail. Further, in order to get an education, you have to work at it, not dismiss studying as “acting white.” No matter HOW run down or underfunded any given school is, it only takes a book, a teacher, and a willing mind to learn to read. And yet how many kids end up being promoted through the school system without having that basic ability, which is so foundational to everything else?
      3) In this country, there are no “slave descendants” whose fathers were born in slavery–that’s a century and a half ago, and in the meantime quite a few African Americans have managed quite well to follow the same path poor whites and Asian immigrants have taken to get out of the poverty trap. It can be done, and the biggest barrier keeping more people from doing the same seems to be the excuses they make for why they can’t do it.
      4) Again, it’s been over 150 years since it was illegal anywhere to teach anyone to read. And even in slavery, only a subset of African American families were split up. The problem of working multiple jobs to make ends meet is not limited by race, and in fact, is made worse by government action, particularly high taxes, but now, Obamacare as well.

      • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

        amen!

  • It is all good

    My two cents for what is worth… Racism does and will always exist but, it is not limited to just the color of someones skin. Racism comes in many different forms and ways it is fed by the media and those that would like to incite trouble. As long as we continue to be fed that Racism is a problem and remain divided it will continue to be. When I look at person I don’t see skin color I see someone just like me working, struggling and trying to live their life. I know my family history but it has nothing to do with the color of my skin or if I am privilege or not. I have and do work hard for everything I have. I do not blame others for my problems or for what I lack. My belief is if you have a roof over your head and food on your table then you are privileged which is probably most of the people in the United States. I think if all people took responsibility for themselves instead of holding out their hands and expecting someone to give to them we would all be better off. I hear all the time that “whites” have more advantages and to that I say not true. Minorities have more advantages then anyone. They have Affirmative Action Policies on their side. Which I think continues to fuel a racial divide.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      here, here!

  • SlowTrainLurching

    I don’t often get
    pissed off about stupid stuff like this, but I can barely express with words
    how angry this attitude makes me. The whole thing reeks of indignant,
    agenda-driven writing. Telling someone to “check their privilege”
    isn’t even about race (like this author appears to think?), it’s a contemporary
    means of saying “be aware your narrative is different from anyone
    else’s.” But cool drone reference, that’s totally relevant, right?

    One’s entire multi-generational family legacy has only
    marginal relevance to their ‘privilege.’
    It’s about YOU, and YOUR perspective: a simple reminder to be considerate of the
    diversity of narratives one finds in the real world. This is especially
    relevant on college campuses full of young minds who can afford to be there in
    the first place, likely via education and wealth courtesy of OTHERS (parents,
    scholarships, grants… all the result of other people generous enough to help
    them). By his own admission, most of these students have by and large not yet
    faced the sacrifices he describes. Unless you’ve pulled yourself up by the
    bootstraps from nothing your entire life, you have some form of “privilege” you’ve
    benefitted from, and would do well to “check it” when thinking about others who
    may not have such a background. The fact that anyone would respond to such a
    reminder so indignantly and with such a tirade against perceived white
    guilt-tripping is existentially sad to me.

    There are plenty of people of all races that are privileged.
    But I suppose that part will play well with the (I’d be willing to bet my life
    savings) mostly white readership that frequents “Young Conservative”… at least
    when you cross-reference that against the group of people who can relate to
    attending an Ivy League school.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      “there are plenty of people of all races that are privileged”. you would do well to remind your non-white readership of this. and remind them how those people attained their privilege. when it comes to whine vs work, i will side with work every time.

      • HalfAndHalf

        Then pardon my ignorance, but I’m a bit confused here: You’re defending someone who hasn’t really illustrated any of their own ‘work,’ just a plethora of anecdotal events from their lineage… who also wrote an entire article to ‘whine’ about people reminding him (in an educational setting, I might add, since it is after all a place to try to LEARN something) to be aware of the luxuries afforded him by the life he was born into.

        Your error is that you conflate possibility of success with likelihood of success. If you want to tell me it’s possible for a poor black kid from the Bronx to make it to an Ivy League school, I’ll believe you. Tell me that the author personally faced difficulties even remotely comparable to a poor black kid from the Bronx looking to reach the same educational goals, and I will laugh at you. Minority success stories exist, but pretending that they are the norm is comical at best, downright insulting at worst. Try following an inner city elementary school student through their schoolday and then tell me they have every opportunity as the child that grew up to write this story.

        If you favor ‘work’ over ‘whine’ so much, perhaps you should choose your champions more wisely.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          the error in your argument is to lump all white people (males, especially) into one group who are presumably “born into” wealth and privilege. people who are brain washed into falling for this argument seem to forget all the white kids who are born on the wrong side of the tracks and who are every bit as likely to drop out of school and remain impoverished as their colored counterparts. i have personally attended school where i was the minority. trust me when i say, that “minorities” who find themselves the majority can be evil and cruel…not tolerant at all. i guess my question is this…if whites are supposed to be tolerant of colored people, then why aren’t colored people expected to be tolerant of whites? at the end of the day, aren’t we all just “people”, after all? and one more…if being white gives one special privileges, why are there still so many whites living in poverty? please point me in the direction of this elusive pot of gold.

          • HalfAndHalf

            Wow. You are staggeringly dense. I don’t know what world you think you live in, but in this one African Americans are statistically disproportionately impoverished by a very large margin, especially in urban settings. So yes, poor white people exist, but that has virtually no relevance to this conversation. Whatsoever. Not to mention that this is not a racial issue, but a socioeconomic one, since last time I checked the author was the one who drew the connection between privilege and race, not his ‘attackers.’

            I am white, and went to a 88% black high school in the city, so you don’t need to try and tout your supposed ‘minority’ status as real-world experience. My experiences could not have been further from what you describe, but I suppose that could be because I’m not the type of person who makes character judgments about minorities as a whole… since that is generally regarded as prejudiced behavior by anyone with anything greater than a second grade reading level.

            I’d love to hear you actually address any of the flaws in your argument that I pointed out, but since you’ve now resorted to just blatantly saying ‘colored people,’ I’ve entirely lost interest in this.

            I hope your God is merciful to hateful bigots, and farewell.

          • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

            i have “resorted” to the use of “colored people”, because that is the term they were using themselves, throughout this entire thread…it seemed a tad more respectful than “POC”, which means “piece of crap” where i come from.and how is that offensive, anyway? what would YOU have me call them? for you to say that white poverty has “no relevance to this conversation” only goes to further prove my side of the argument. you go on to blatantly tout the fact that your experiences are somehow more important than mine…further proof to my side. again…just who are the “hateful bigots” on this thread?

  • Taylor

    He obviously don’t know anything about privilege. Like… he thinks that it’s some giant racist thing against ~the whites~ but he doesn’t seem to understand that by being born white, he isn’t judged as harshly as people who are not white, he stands a better chance to not get followed around in stores because of their skin color, and many, many other things.

    No one is expecting people to apologize for being white, which this guy seems to think is what people want from him. There’s nothing to apologize for for simply being white, but people want acknowledgement that by being white, you are more privileged than others. Being a rich, white, male gives him a whole lot of privilege and this article just proves how much he DOES need to check his privilege.

    • http://www.theamericanengineer.com/ Charity

      Yeah I’m sure he is where he’s at in life because no one judged him or followed him around in the store. If you can name something that is an actual advantage because he’s white and not some vague perception of slightly different treatment then maybe your comment has some validity. In this nation there is actually more institutionalized discrimination against him than for him. Affirmative action is the only race based law on the books and it dis-proportionally harms whites, Asians and males.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      “he obviously don’t know anything about privilege”? please. where did you go to school? but you are right… he “doesn’t” know anything about privilege, at least, not the kind you are referring to. you claim that it isn’t a racial issue and then spend the rest of your rant doing nothing but referring to the fact that he is white and how that makes him the big, bad guy who enjoys “a whole lot of privilege” based on his skin color… sounds like a “giant racist thing” to me. and you are right again…”there’s nothing to apologize for for simply being white”.

      but you are wrong about “being followed around in stores because of his skin color”. who do you think is being followed? i’ll tell you who…”rich, white men”, because that’s who the hoodlums target! and you are wrong again if you expect to get an “acknowledgement that being white” he is “more privileged than others”. i am white, and my sons are white. we live under the poverty level and experience absolutely no privileges other than, peace, happiness, love of family, freedom, good health, a roof over our heads and food on our table….all of which we EARNED ourselves. perhaps it is you who needs to check your privilege.

      • Jon

        “experience absolutely no privileges other than, peace, happiness, love
        of family, freedom, good health, a roof over our heads and food on our
        table….all of which we EARNED ourselves.” Well, maybe. Privilege is all relative. You may not feel very privileged compared to most Americans, but the very fact that you live in America at all makes you immensely privileged compared to the rest of the world. You have “peace, happiness, freedom, good health” because of your hard work? Really? If you had happened to be born in Somalia rather than America, do you really think any amount of hard work would grant you any of those things? You didn’t “earn” the fact that you live in a wealthy democracy where there is opportunity to find work and there aren’t roving bands of warlords fighting with each other all the time. You just lucked into it by being born in the right place. That too is privilege. If you were born with exactly the same talents and work ethic, but in Somalia instead of America, I can pretty much guarantee that you would not have the quality of life you have today. And no, I’m not saying you should feel guilty about being American rather than Somali. But just appreciate your good fortune in that regard. Don’t take it for granted, and have some empathy for those born into less lucky circumstances. That’s what “check your privilege” means.

  • LJk

    My mind was completely blown by your arrogance and lack of empathy for others.

  • bob the realist

    Sounds exactly like something a Jew would say.

  • Inigo Montoya

    You keep using that word “privilege”…

    http://amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html

  • Matt B

    I don’t think someone of Jewish ancestry is the poster child for “white privilege” in the sense that Jewish people have certainly experienced their share of oppression and continue to face discrimination and paranoid accusations. In that sense, your rebuttal of and frustration with accusations of white privilege makes sense!

    What doesn’t make sense is the idea that you would reject the notion of systemic privilege (that all white people benefit somewhat from an established racist patriarchy), yet be more than willing to use your relatives/ancestors as measures to reject accusations of privilege directed at you specifically. The struggles your family has had to go through are a testament to their personal characters, but they are not your individual struggles to claim.

    You don’t say this directly, so I am not trying to accuse you of relying on your family, nor am I discrediting anything you have done. I think, instead, that you are attacking the wrong part of this issue, using people who throw around the phrase as a proxy for the concept of white privilege as a whole. Your white privilege is the inherent privilege you get from simply appearing to be white. Logic doesn’t always come into play—in fact, since the analysis of your whiteness is inherently superficial (and wouldn’t inherently reveal someone from a Jewish family that experienced the Holocaust, or a Russian fleeing an oppressive regime, as examples), logic is rarely the case! That is a convincing argument against people who wantonly throw around the “check your privilege” phrase, but not a convincing argument to reject privilege entirely.

    Instead, you should understand that we live in a system where people of color stand a much higher chance of being judged unfairly because of something they have no control over—conversely, by not being a person of color (something you also had no control over), you avoid much of this unfair judgement. Simply recognize that the playing field is uneven, and that progress comes from realizing this and fighting against these superficial assumptions.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      “The struggles your family has had to go through are a testament to their personal characters, but they are not your individual struggles to claim”. i could not have said it better! the struggles the slaves had to go through are theirs alone, but they are not the struggles of a present day person to claim. you tell this young man that his ancestors and their struggles can not and should not be introduced into the argument and then turn right around and insist that present day blacks can and should be allowed to do that very thing. that is hypocrisy and proves the point that whites (males, especially) are “judged unfairly because of something they have no control over”…that white struggles aren’t as important as black struggles.

      and then there’s this doozy … “i don’t think someone of jewish ancestry is the poster child for white privilege in the sense that jewish people have certainly experienced their share of oppression and continue to face discrimination and paranoid accusations”. do you not see the blatant hypocrisy in that? the majority of blacks in this country do not even descend from slaves, and yet you are willing to lump them all in one big, tidy group. some were oppressed, so we will claim they were all oppressed. and yet you are not willing to do the same for whites. only a few white people are allowed to claim oppression, because it makes the score look better. it is your math and your archaic attitude that keep “the playing field uneven”. when will you and your kind recognize “that progress comes from realizing this and fighting against these superficial assumptions”?

      • JennyGoHome

        Alright, I’m done.

        “The majority of blacks in this country do not even descend from slaves.”

        I think I’ve been giving you too much credit for forming coherent thought. That one pretty much confirms the full frontal lobotomy.

        I’d love to see the research you consulted on that one.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          just because a person is black, does not mean they are of “african-american” descent. and just because a person is of “african-american” descent, doesn’t guarantee they are descended from slaves. only a few tribes actually participated in the raping and kidnapping of their neighbors. prove me wrong.

          • JennyGoHome

            Unless they are descended from recent African immigrants, the vast majority of black citizens in the US are of African American descent, logically. Even as immigrants who have obtained citizenship, they are free to identify as African American, so my apologies, but that’s not really your distinction to make.

            Also, I’m not sure if you’ve ever actually participated in thoughtful academic debate, but the burden of proof generally falls to the person making the claim, and it’s called “citing your sources.” Generally, when someone intelligent makes claims about an entire people as whole, they make sure to do it.

      • Jon

        The issue is not that their ancestors were slaves and they are still overcoming this past oppression. The issue is that African-Americans are STILL DISCRIMINATED AGAINST TODAY! All other things being equal, if you are black in America today, you are still less likely to be hired for a job than an equivalent white person, less likely to have access to good education, more likely to get arrested, and then to be given a harsher sentence for the same crime as a white person, etc. etc. Now, OF COURSE it’s not as bad as it was when there was slavery, or when there was legalized segregation. It is most likely less of a disadvantage to be black in the US now than it has been at any time in our history. HOWEVER, racisim is still real and it still has an impact, and it’s up to all of us to be conscious of it and aware of it and do what we can to overcome and mitigate it. Similarly, women are far better off in today’s society than they ever have been in the past. They can vote, own property, marry and divorce freely, and control when and if they have children. Nonetheless, they still experience discrimination and sexism: they still get paid less for equivalent work, are far less likely to hold leadership positions, are vastly under-represented in politics, and are generally perceived to be less competent than equivalent males. Again, we just ought to be aware of this and think about what we can do to make things fairer. That’s all “check your privilege” is about.

  • TSG

    Lol.
    You’re telling me that a black kid from Bronx, whose grandparents were not allowed to sit on the bus, or go to school, and whose parents were tolerated on the bus, but did not do well in school (since they were the first generation actually allowed to go to school in this country), has the same opportunities and possibilities as you? That your challenges through growing up and education are equal to his?
    I don’t believe it.
    Check your privilege.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      that’s exactly what i’m telling you. how many “black kids from the Bronx, whose grandparents were not allowed to sit on the bus, or go to school, and whose parents were tolerated on the bus, but did not do well in school (since they were the first generation actually allowed to go to school in this country), do you actually know? this is the 21st century america, sister…how ’bout you check your arrogance and join it.

      • JennyGoHome

        Or you, in your limited social circles, don’t know them. It’s not just the Bronx, it’s the South. Or Detroit. Or inner city Cleveland. How about you check your ignorance about American civil rights history and the state of urban education in our country? Newsflash: a new century doesn’t mean a blank slate, and the impact of centuries of marginalization of an entire race doesn’t disappear quite that quickly. The writer’s grandparents could certainly attest to that.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          you know nothing about me or my social circles. having said that, i am also not ignorant about American civil rights history, nor the state of urban education. i have witnessed, first hand, how unfairly civil right can be trampled on. and i have participated, personally, in urban education. so here’s a newsflash for you…the very fact that we are even having this discussion, is proof that whites are mistreated and unfairly judged every bit as much as others. and here’s another newsflash…last time i checked, we were all part of the same race…the human race!

          • JennyGoHome

            “…participated, personally, in urban education…”

            Pray tell what that role was? And remind me again how this discussion is “proof” (it pains me to even use that word with quotations in this context….) of the ‘mistreatment’ of whites? You asking how many people that match that description TSG personally knows shows your doubt that such a demographic exists, which is dumbfounding. As is your belief that somehow if you don’t know a particular demographic, they must not exist…? So I suppose since I don’t know any Australian-Americans, they must not exist either. And if one doesn’t know any holocaust survivors, that must not have happened, either? I would continue my point, but if you haven’t gotten it by now, I sincerely doubt you ever will.

  • ljk

    I see you didn’t like my last post so you deleted it. No dissent for you? I find it interesting that you can’t see the difference between fleeing Europe to come to a country that offered you safety and education vs. being chained to a slave ship and dragged here against your will. Your family chose to make sacrifices so that you could become the arrogant young man that you are. African American families were forced into sacrifices. You don’t think faith and education were/are important to them? Your lack of empathy must be horribly shameful for your family who tried their best to raise you as a decent caring person. At least for now, they have failed.

    • none

      Are African-Americans still forced into sacrifices? Has this been going on all along and I didn’t know in my 53 years they were still forced into sacrificing? Did my generation chain them to a slave ship and drag them here against their will?

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      and i find it interesting that YOU can’t see the difference between “being chained to a slave ship and dragged here against your will” vs being dragged to a concentration camp, “against your will” and being murdered over a mass grave. his family “chose to make sacrifices” to correct the wrongs committed against them, instead of choosing to blame innocent people for wrong doings they never committed. it was blacks who dragged their neighbors away from their families and chained them to the ships and then sold them to less than 1% of the population as slaves. and it is people like you who “choose” to perpetuate this falsely grounded hate mongering. the people responsible for the slave trade, both black and white, have been dead for centuries and no one today is “forced into sacrifices”, nor had any part in those atrocities. i’m sure your mama tried her “best to raise you as a decent caring person. at least for now,” she has failed.

  • Carie ‘Cain’ Tate

    Amazing!

  • June

    He misses the point. Privilege is about your position in society based on ASCRIBED (gender, race, etc.) rather than ACHIEVED (education level, employment) characteristics. Those with privilege are likely to have never had to battle against these institutions (of oppression based on ascribed characteristics) because their privileged position has afforded them the ability to not be aware that there ARE barriers. – this is essentially a summary from one of the best postings I have ever read about privilege: http://melissafong.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/check-your-privilege-meme-and-why-it-is-ineffective/

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      i think it is you who missed the point. he does not have privilege because of a lack of “barriers” or “oppression based on ascribed characteristics”. quite the contrary…the majority of the article is spent defining and describing the very “institutions” of which you speak. and as an individual, he has earned his status and/ or position as a result of his own hard work and determination, in spite of the barriers, rather than the assumption that such barriers did not exist.

      • Jon

        Nope. His ancestors overcame various barriers, and kudos to them, but he did not. He was born into most of what he has. No one’s claiming he hasn’t worked hard, I’m sure he has, but he was nonetheless helped immensely by the status he happened to be born into, in terms of race, wealth, class, and gender. Note that his hardworking grandfather did NOT get in to Princeton. Why not? Did this kid work harder than his grandfather did? Of course not. Thanks to his grandfather’s efforts, he started out life with a higher level of privilege than his grandfather did, enabling him to get into Princeton — not through harder work than his grandfather, but by being in a more privileged position at birth than his grandfather was. And further, no one disputes that his grandfather worked hard and deserved all he achieved, but it’s idiotic to claim that had his grandfather been black he would have been able to achieve as much on the same amount of talent and work.

  • Farmworker/Army First Sergeant

    Ok, I read your story and wonder? I wonder…had your grand father been black on the year her arrived to America, would he even be allowed to own a business. I wonder if he was Hispanic when he arrived to America would he have even survived for you to tell your story. PLEASE STOP. Minorities are dealing with the discrimination your grandfather dealt with 100 years ago, today! I’m sure my grand daughter will someday write an article similar to yours thumbing her nose and whom ever is the unaccepted minority of her times. I hope not. I’m sure she wouldn’t because she will learn to be hard working and dignified from me.

    • 1stanley

      oh right because Jews were really welcome in this country in the 1940’s!

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      ahem…excuse me, but there were plenty of black business owners at that time in history, because it had not yet become politically correct to use skin color as an excuse for failure. men who wanted to provide for their families did just that, anyway they could. they had pride and a good work ethic. everyday, today, it is the white male who is discriminated against and mistreated…not the other way around. and guess what? he IS the minority…go figure. this young man sounds like a very “hard working”, “dignified” individual…which he learned from his father and grandfather. get your thumb out of your nose and quit blaming others… it’s not very “dignified”.

      • Jon

        Are you insane? Plenty of black business owners at that time?? At a time when it was still legal to discriminate against blacks in much of the country, to refuse them services based on their skin color?? Look around you. White men still dominate pretty much every aspect of our society, from business to the arts to politics. Please go ahead and identify a prestigious profession that is not dominated by white men. Some sports, perhaps, no longer are, but I can’t think of any others. Business? Check. Lawyers? Check. Academics? Check. Scientists? Check. Politicians? Check. Hollywood? Check. White men everywhere.

  • SorryIguess

    There are African American and Hispanic CEOs. If you want to blame racism for that not being you, hopefully it gets you to sleep at night. It is very easy to make excuses. I’m a white male who comes from a home with a household income of under 65,000 a year and my grandparents are immigrants. Where is my privilege? I could really use it to pay for college.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      exactly. growing up, if my siblings or i wanted to attend college, guess what? we had to get a job, make good grades and pay for it ourselves. as a mother of six (3 sons…all white), we have a household income of $29,000. if any of my children want to go to college, guess what? they have to find a way to pay for it themselves. not much privilege here either. someday i am going to find a piece of this “white male privilege” for myself…sounds like an awfully elusive pot of gold to me…

      • Jon

        Aha, so you DO recognize what privilege is! Do you not think that Donald Trump’s or Warren Buffett’s children are going to have an easier time of it than your kids will, due to the privilege of being born wealthy? Not that your kids have no hope of being successful, but just that the Trump children will have to work much less hard to attain the same level of success. Due to the circumstances of their birth, they have a leg up on most of the rest of us. Surely you can’t deny this, can you?? This is all privilege means — the fact that the life circumstances you happen to born into have a significant impact on your likelihood of success. Wealth is one form of privilege, perhaps a type you can understand better since you don’t have it. It’s always hardest to appreciate the types of privilege that we actually have — we just think of them as normal. But just as Trump’s kids have certain inborn advantages over yours, due to wealth, so do your white kids have certain inborn advantages over similar kids who happen to be black. No one’s asking your kids to feel guilty about this, nor are we asking Trump’s kids to feel guilty. Only to acknowledge it and be aware of it. That’s all.

  • Chris

    No one asked for your apology. The first thing white male allies learn is that guilt is a useless emotion. This entire article is based on strawman fallacies and false dichotomies. The concept of white privilege does not mean that white men will never have struggles or that they don’t work hard.

    Honestly, I never even realized that the idea that white men have advantages in our society was controversial until I got to college and started hearing white guys deny it all the time. It seems like such an obvious part of life.

  • Liz

    Bravo sir.

  • Eli Kaplan

    This young man may have a family history of suffering, and perhaps he has bad interactions with those who call out for social justice. But does he really understand the Jewish mission of tikkun olam? If he does not see the blessings that he has and the people today who do not share the same blessings, due to their backgrounds, how can he fulfill the obligations that his forebears cherished?

    I’m Jewish, and I was raised in an environment that praised modesty and tzedakah. The value of self-worth is something you should hold in your heart, but without a commitment to fulfilling the obligations that come with being Jewish, it’s meaningless.

    I imagine that he views the concept of privilege as a cudgel, as a tool to hurt others and to assert cultural dominance. That isn’t the point. The utility of the concept is to identify your assumptions and to use the advantages you and your colleagues have to do good for others. And if he has had some bad experiences in dialogue with others about privilege, well, perhaps they need to have further dialogue to look at everyone’s assumptions, ethics, and beliefs in best practices.

    • 1stanley

      that’s his point: he CAN’T have dialogue as he isn’t entitled to an opinion being a privileged white male. No one will allow him to even speak. oh and by the way, he understands his Jewish mission better than you think. he is wearing a kipa and tziizit. you are conflating modern day social justice with religion. Good for you that you care for others so deeply– but don’t make that into the entirety of Jewish religion unless you are willing to say that other religions don’t ask for these things. before you quote from Jewish liturgy, learn the sources. Tikkun Olam as stated in liturgy is strictly “beMalchut Shakai” and is therefore an imperative of religious practice and not your bastardized “Judaism as social justice movement”. I know this young man and will take his modesty and tzedakah vs yours, I guarantee it!

      • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

        thank you…i wasn’t even sure that mr kaplan and i had read the same article. it’s opinions like his and others on this thread that make me glad to be a woman, albeit a white woman…i’m sure there is some social injustice somewhere that is all my fault! please give your fine friend a big hug and handshake for me!

        • 1stanley

          So few –on both sides of the discussion–actually get Tal’s point. He isn’t expressing a view on race or class or religion. He is explaining that he too demands the right to have his opinions heard and he refuses to be silenced simply because of his gender, his sexuality or the color of his skin. He is just demanding what others demand of him. That, fans of social justice, is called fairness. “Freedom of speech for me but not for thee” isn’t written in the constitution, is it?

          • JennyGoHome

            Then perhaps he should learn to communicate such thoughts better? Although if Princeton can’t teach him to convey his point effectively, then… well, maybe it’s time to stop trying?

          • 1stanley

            really? communicate better? this is one of the most eloquently written pieces most of us have ever read. He doesn’t have to dumb it down so that you can understand it. Just read it before you decide your opinion of it and maybe it will be clearer.

          • JennyGoHome

            Or -and here’s a thought- good, clear writing does not equate to gaudy, flowery language. This isn’t the tenth grade, and you don’t get points for using vocab words, or even keeping your sentence structure tidy. If the most consistent comment here is somewhere between “He fundamentally misses the point,” and “No, you’re just misunderstanding what he’s trying to say,” it’s bad writing. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact (…unless he’s attempting some postmodernist narrative, where he INTENDS to leave his thesis unclear and simply rant and guide his readers down his tangential, irrelevant family history). I read the whole, ostentatious pile of poorly strung-together drivel. But nice try with the whole “you must be dumb” thing, I guess you couldn’t know when you’d strike gold with someone who has a master’s degree in journalism and a PhD in creative writing.

          • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

            “jennygohome”…is that your actual name, or are you too ashamed to let us know who you really are? i certainly hope you were not referring to yourself when you mentioned “someone who has a master’s degree in journalism and a PhD in creative writing”! this young man’s prose was far more entertaining, far more enlightening, far more thought provoking and far more interesting to read than any “poorly strung-together drivel” you have managed to post thus far.

          • JennyGoHome

            I can’t believe I actually have to say this, but no, that is not my real name. Nor am I ashamed to let anyone know who I am, so I suppose “no” on both accounts? I’m just intelligent enough not to throw fodder to jackals like you who can’t formulate a thoughtful argument without reverting to name-calling, personal accusations, and general bigotry.

            I actually am quite glad you dislike my writing, though, because if someone who was incapable of gleaning that I’m using a nom de plume, or that the final sentence of my previous post was self-referential actually LIKED my writing, then I might have been concerned. So… thank you? I suppose dislike by the tasteless is almost as flattering as praise from the tasteful.

          • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

            first, one would have to be more than a little daft to be incapable of gleaning the sarcasm in my question. and i don’t think for one second that the “jenny” in your name is a coincidence.

            second, you are a coward for hiding behind a “nom de plume”…betcha don’t think i even know what that means, do ya? wink, wink.

            and third, you have done nothing on this thread, but follow me and verbally attack me from the get go. you have made false assumptions, false accusations, YOU have called ME hateful, distasteful names and you have tried, repeatedly, to discount my life experiences based on the color of my skin.

            a small sampling of your own intelligent, thoughtful arguments…

            you called me “an offensive, pitiful embarrassment to humankind”, accused me of “egocentric arrogance”, told me i run in “limited social circles”, accused me of having had a “full frontal lobotomy”. you told me to “cite my sources”, while you, yourself, have cited none. and after all this, you say i am the one who “can’t formulate a thoughtful argument without reverting to name calling, personal accusations and general bigotry”.

            thank you. for all of it. i’m serious. i could not have made a better argument for my claims…your own hypocritical, discriminatory, inflammatory responses are the perfect example of the point i have been trying to make.

            i would love to share my life story with you, but what would be the point? you have already judged and condemned me and you have made it obvious that you do not want to hear the truth…not from a whitey like myself. after all, you have a way of “changing a platonic debate into a personal accusation with zero knowledge of the other party involved”, so i would be wasting my breath.

            ” i would continue my point, but if you haven’t gotten it by now, i sincerely doubt you ever will”. au revior et bon chance!

            and ps, mr journalism with a PhD…not sure “gotten” is actually a word …you might want to check on that.

          • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

            oh, and don’t forget “jackal”.

  • Steven Metlak

    Reading this, I am a white forty something male, I can’t help but look a bit deeper into this rant. While very well written, he only proves to me that his parents and grandparents did extraordinary things to survive and make their lives a better, if only a bit, place. I do not know the circumstances that brought on this story time, but if he feels obligated to certain ideals beaus of what his relatives did is simply rationalizing his attitudes. What I DIDN’T see is why HE should be accepted and why we should accept him and his attitude. I want to hear HIS story, not his relatives. Anything else only lessens his argument.

  • OpenLettertoAFisher

    you’re privileged enough to be able to know your ancestors’s history and origin. Others were simply stripped from their freedom and shipped to this continent. I feel sorry for you and your blindness and cold heart. I can’t predict love in your life.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      if i had a daughter and had to choose between you and this young man to be her husband…love would not be in YOUR future. he is willing to see and acknowledge the hard work and sacrifice of others…and to show gratitude for it. you, on the other hand, are simply content to sit back and assign ill-placed blame for the acts of others. did you not read the part about his ancestors being “stripped from their freedom” and “shipped” to mass graves? religion or skin color, what difference does it make what the reason was? either way, injustices were committed. the difference is, his family overcame the horrors dealt to them, while some use it as an excuse to fail. “i feel sorry for you and your blindness and cold heart”.

      • JennyGoHome

        I love that your go-to in these comments seems to be a scenario where you are choosing a ‘young man’ onto whom you will bequeath your glorious, and seemingly hypothetical daughter. It dates you right back to the dark ages, where you belong.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          all three of my real life, beautiful, intelligent daughters have chosen exceptionally fine young men as their husbands. thanks for asking. i was simply trying to commend this young man for his fine character traits, which i’m sure are not limited to a good work ethic, acknowledging the value of a good education and the humility to recognize and express gratitude. all traits lost in days of yore.

      • Hunter McFarland

        I am convinced that you Jennifer are one of the most disgusting and uneducated humans on this planet. I will pray for your daughter.

  • Farmworker/Army First Sergeant

    I wonder if his grandfather had dark skin would have been able to own a business?? ahh not!
    I wonder if an employer or a landlord has ever told him he is to dark to work or live in a location? NOT
    I thought he said he was educated???
    Privilege..having special rights or advantages that other people do not have.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      whining…blaming others for things you want and aren’t willing to work for.

  • melissatx

    Daily dollop of awesome sauce. I echo that sentiment.

  • XandGunn

    This man’s essay is extremely self-centered and unaware of what “privilege” actually means in sociological terms. I’ll try to give an example to explain my reply.

    I have male privilege. As you can probably guess, it’s similar to white privilege but it’s about women. Notice that I said it’s about women, not men. It may be called “male privilege,” but that term is about women. It’s about all the obstacles and issues women face simply because they are women. I, as a man, can acknowledge that male privilege exists and that there are plenty of problems that I have never and probably will never deal with, all because I identify as and am perceived as a man. I, as a man, am also able to realize that this does nothing to take away from anything I have done in my life. I don’t go around complaining that male privilege makes people think I am lazy and never work for anything. I don’t get pissed off about male privilege because IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. Now, back to me calling this essay self-centered. The writer is under the impression that white privilege is about him. It’s not. Its not about you or his father or anyone else who identifies as white. It’s about me and my brother and my best friends and anyone who identifies as any race/ethnicity other than white. I know this may come as a shock, because our society wants everyone (no matter their race) to think that white men are the center of the universe. That’s not his fault. Just the way things are. So, maybe, the next time we see an article about any type of privilege, we’ll take a step back and realize, “this isn’t about me”. I apologize if I offended you. ‘m sure you’re a nice guy.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      and once again we see the “self-centered”, short-sighted opinion that “white men” have no struggles, no problems, are never mistreated or discriminated against, and can be blamed, collectively, for every societal malfunction one can conceive. please! i am sick and tired of “non whites” whining about injustice. everyone struggles. everyone has problems. opportunities for happiness and success are available to ANYONE willing to work hard enough to attain them. get off your high horse and quit blaming others for imaginary offenses. and ps…being a man is not a privilege, it is an honor. an honor which bears certain obligations and responsibilities. how are you living up to your obligations and responsibilities?

      • JennyGoHome

        You are an offensive, pitiful embarrassment to humankind. Just thought you should know.

        • aliswell

          Nope. She’s just truthful, which progs like you hate almost as much as individualism.

        • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

          and pray tell…what did i say that could possibly have offended anyone? does the truth really have such a bitter sting?

          • JennyGoHome

            “How are you living up to your obligations and responsibilities?”

            This was but one instance of you changing a platonic debate into a personal accusation with zero knowledge of the other party involved. Maybe everything’s not as great as it used to be in the “good old days” because people like you lack even the most basic of manners when addressing perfect strangers.

            But please, continue on with your egocentric arrogance as if I have said nothing, as it appears you are apt to do.

      • XandGunn

        Answer me honestly, did you even read my comment? I expressly said that white privilege is not about hating white people. That’s what my entire comment was about. “Privilege” is simply a concept the sociologist used to show that certain groups of people don’t have to face certain problems. Not that those people NEVER face ANY problems. I’m sure plenty of white men have problems. All humans have problems. Its like you are actively trying to misunderstand this concept. I don’t knwo why, it is so easy.

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    There are truths within this essay that I cannot deny; however, there is also a willful conceit, or more accurately, a willful ignorance. The concept of privilege is not about your personal accomplishments so much as it is about your gender and race having given you a ‘head start’ against all others. To deny this part of concept is to be naive at best, purposefully dismissive at worst.

    You should never apologize for your own successes but you should also be aware of history, especially as it pertains to minorities and their struggles. You didn’t suffer, you grandparents did……thing is, people of non-white, non-male status still suffer, in a myriad of ways….and that’s the privilege to which they speak. Instead of taking the comment as an insult, take it as a challenge, or a chance to engage in discussion. What you wrote here comes off as an exercise in deflection, nothing more.

    Finally, I note that you opened your essay with a not so subtle slam against the President and although I have no doubt you did so to be humorous, it does reveal a certain air about your character. Sometimes, it’s what we don’t say that speaks volumes. Food for thought.

    • Salty Earth

      I agree, his dig at President Obama made me read the rest of the article with a bias. He tries to use privilege ironically, but he fails to see that because of his family’s successes (and depending on the region he lives in, his religion) the privilege his “moral superiors” are trying to reveal to him are actually true. So no, he shouldn’t feel guilty about that, his family survived unspeakable horrors and survived long enough to settle in America and start a business, but he also shouldn’t use those struggles as a template for how others should live their lives. Also, I’m sure the poor white boy in a trailer that smells like last night’s meth party that Mommy and her “new friend” were having would love to know all about how hard life is as a Princeton student.

  • Morgan

    Whiny white guy completely invalidating his entire argument with that last line: “I apologize for nothing.” Nobody’s asking you to apologize. Someone telling you to “check your privilege” is not a direct insult to you. It’s asking you to recognize the systemic advantage you undoubtedly have due to your skin color. No one is saying you/your family hasn’t struggled, but you are not currently, in this day and age, struggling because of your skin color. The way your family was ostracized during the Holocaust is the same way some people are being treated now (of course, people aren’t actively, physically abusing most people of color, but the same bigoted mindset Nazis had about Jewish people is the kind of mindset MANY people have about people of color). Your entitled attitude is a contributor to the oppression of minorities.

    • none

      I don’t believe I read anywhere in his writing that he felt entitled to anything. What it made me do was reflect on my own ancestry and realized they had hardships as well, just like everyone else. My ancestors did what they had to to survive through hard work and passing along values. You make us feel we need to apologize for things that happened years ago. I wasn’t there. My mother wasn’t there. When are you going to get past that and move on? Nobody is holding you back from attaining your own dreams. Why is it the white person’s fault now? The last thing I’m going to do is feel guilty and apologize for achieving what I have accomplished because the African-Americans feel oppressed. I didn’t oppress the African-Americans. My mother didn’t oppress the African-Americans. With all the opportunities available for everyone, all you have to do is look in the mirror and see where the oppression lies. Feeling sorry for yourself and blaming others is what holds anyone down.

      • Luci

        Heritage is certainly important, at it is nice that this piece made you reflect on yours, but I think Morgan’s point was not that you need to continue to apologize for things you were not a part of in the past. Instead, those that ask people to realize that privilege exists, are asking those in a position of power (as a result of their gender, race, religion, financial ability) to understand the fact that much of this discrimination still exists, even if it is not as blatant.

        Stats will support this. When you look at the number of minorities in the prison system versus minorities in positions of political power (as just one of many examples) you can really only draw one of two conclusions. Either white people are better leaders and people of color are better criminals, or there is some happening systemically that is perpetuation discrimination.

  • MD

    Well said. I agree with Calvin…it was a privilege to read about your family’s history. You have inspired me to look up my family’s history. Best wishes to you. You are already successful because you know who you are, are confident about that, and you stand up for what you believe it. GO YOU!

  • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

    bravo and amen!!! makes me wish i had one more single daughter…i would have her give you a call!

    • joedawg3

      pimping out your daughters… Classy…

  • Howard Roark

    Anyone who uses that term deserves to be punched in the throat

  • lifeisgood

    Let me try, and I say “try” because I know that more than likely you will not agree with my point, but I hope deep inside that my argument will somehow change the way you think even if you won’t admit it. I understand everything about merit, just like him, my family and I have gone through so many obstacles and more diversity than you might understand. I also value my family’s legacy and I can completely sympathize for this guy’s argument. Only thing is that, in life, you don’t get a choice of where you are born and whom your parents are. Life is a game of situational luck, and for example, if this kid or even I had been born in the 1808 to black parents, then i can 99% of the time, guarantee that he would not be studying at Princeton right now. I can give you a million scenarios if I need to in order to make you understand, but the point is that life is all about situational luck. There’s millions of kids out in the world that have been born in the slums of a third world country, not knowing that it is possible to live the lives that we do. It is heartbreaking, and if you haven’t already, I would advise you visit the slums of some of these third world countries, to understand how heartbreaking it is to see all these kids that were born without a shot at a life like ours. Yes, merit and hard work are huge in life, but from the moment you are born, luck has everything to do with it. And if you can’t see my point, or at least sympathize with my point, then it is no wonder why this is such a sad world to see. Ignorance is bliss, and I wish i had remained ignorant.

    • Salty Earth

      “if this kid or even I had been born in the 1808 to black parents, then i can 99% of the time, guarantee that he would not be studying at Princeton right now.”

      Just capturing this to say, I can 100% guarantee that if you or he were born in 1808, neither of you would be at Princeton now, you’d be dead. You should edit this point.

      And privilege is all about perspective and the actual definition of the word. In these third world countries, is it really a privilege to be raised up as part of a warlord’s family? If you want privilege to mean wealth and power, then yes, but if you want privilege to mean a family that loves one another, and have no fear about being betrayed, then no. Alternatively by the second definition, an extremely poor family might feel privileged to have each other, knowing that they will stick together.

      People who want to judge other’s and call them “privileged” like it’s an insult will always try to find a way to make them feel guilty about something good in their lives.

      The author of this piece tries to say he’s privileged ironically, but the truth is not everyone is lucky to have a family, and not everyone’s parents are able to teach hard work. Also, not everyone is capable of the self-determination entrepreneurship or Princeton take.

      • Luci

        You’re absolutely right, the term “privilege” can have many different definitions. However, in the sociopolitical world that this article is coming out of, and based on the critiques leveled at the author by classmates and professors, I think they are talking about something that has become very specific. Privilege in this case is the way that certain social labels have aided in his efforts, whether that is his gender, race, education, class, financial background, religion, etc.

        While having a family that you love is definitely a privilege, it does not help eliminate social stigmas that come with the labels that can disenfranchise other groups.

        • Salty Earth

          My point was that he was twisting the word to meet his needs, so I in turn twisted the words to meet my needs.

  • Michael Barranti

    Congratulations on proving the point that the people who tell you to check your privilege are feebly trying to make when they throw around that condescending phrase. Their point, and maybe they don’t make it so well, is exactly what you didn’t do when you wrote this story. The whole point of what they are saying, and perhaps what they need to do themselves, is don’t judge the rest of the world or other people by your experience, or your notions of what works for you. Look outside of yourself before you pass judgement or make definitive proclamations about the world.

  • Kenneth

    I am from America and I live in Africa. When I look at the people here and the people there, there is a big difference. “African American privilege” could be a new topic. If these people here had even a small percentage of the privilege you have in America they would have much better lives. It’s easy to complain about what you don’t have, but at least look and see what you do have. Maybe white people have more options and more favor in the world, but I know there are millions of people on this side of the world that would do anything to have what you have.

    • joedawg3

      you may be mentally challenged, you might want to check.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      this is a beautiful reminder to us all. thank you.

  • Norman Elizondo

    Johnson Reed Act, 1924-establishes racial quota for immigration.

  • Idealistically Lost and Found

    Luckily your grandfather wasn’t black and it wasn’t your grandmother that aspired to open the whicker basket business. This is not “checking your privilege” because you did not go through any of these struggles. You were not marginalized because your grandparents suffered under Hitler.

    There are people, of minority groups, that face stigmas everyday that disable them. Things such as being judged as less based on their skin tone or gender. While it is wrong to do this for white males, I would sure chose being part of the “better” majority group any day.

    People tell you to check your privilege because you do not understand the oppression experienced in everyday life. The anecdote about your grandparents is quaint and all, but it does not make you unprivileged. You did not and do not continue to experience marginalization because of their struggle. The fact that your grandparents nurtured their children and taught them the value of an education is pivotal. Their are thousands of children whose parents do not understand this concept and therefore do not foster achievement. You privilege comes from a drive and a means to succeed.

    Finally, acknowledging that you have had more opportunities than someone does not mean you demean your achievements. Your potential might be the same, simply you had the means to fulfill that potential. By claiming at the end of this piece that you have checked your privilege you are displaying your privilege. Instead you should be thankful for the opportunities allowed to you by your family and situations to truly check your privilege and not regret it.

  • lapallia

    I would like to say that if you really believe race and gender don’t matter , then Princeton owes you a refund! What you fail to realize is when your struggling ancestors made it to America blacks were slaves and woman were considered property and not people. By checking “your privilege” you should have taking into consideration that people are all in even footing and we did not all start the race of life at the same starting point. In this “land of opportunity” only the select have been afforded opportunity. For minorities its been less than a 100 years that they have even been allowed to share the same spaces as whites. Yes the color of our skin and gender has determined our “privileges” . How could education have started at home for those who came from families of slaves , when they were prohibited from learning to even read? Step out of your small little world and see the big picture. Your story and struggle are yours to be proud of and no one asked for an apology. White man’s privilege is the time and availability they have had here in the “land of the free” to put roots down for their children and children’schildren. Not all Americans have always been free.

    • 1stanley

      blacks were slaves in 1948, really?

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      lapallia, have you and yours not had “time and availability” “to put down roots for your children and children’s children”? no? then what the H are you waiting for?

  • Norman Elizondo

    I agree that your family suffered greatly from the prejudicial genocide that occurred in Europe during WWII…it is interesting to ponder though, what opportunities your family had to work hard and make it in America, that simply would not have been possible for a black man or woman immigrant. There are quotas for immigration…brown skinned people can’t even get into this country…

    • 1stanley

      misrepresenting facts doesn’t change the facts. there were quotas on Jews back then and those who didn’t get in were sent back to the gas chambers. stop with the racism card. its not gonna work anymore.

    • Jennifer Guthrie Packard

      norman, you know not of which you speak.

  • Frank Cristelli

    Is this idiot for real? When you benefit from hard work you haven’t done, then yes, that is privilege.

    • aliswell

      Then that makes blacks and illegal Latinos the most privileged classes in the US.

      • Hunter McFarland

        You are just blatantly antiblack and racist.

        • aliswell

          Truth isn’t racist, darlin’, it’s just truth.

  • http://www.jayriley.com Jay Riley

    Hear hear! Well said. I too feel privileged to have read that moving family history!

  • jose

    HAHAHA all this is very well written where the truth of what your saying is hidden. Slaves kept on coming when this great nation was founded which could counter your family’s history of success because they also came penniless. When slavery ended, they technically “re-arrived” to this nation without a chance to succeed. Now you talk about your jewish family and how hard it was for them to escape their struggles for being jewish (i dnt refute their struggles) but the moment they stepped into america, a nation that is all about race, then their struggles ceased to exist. Why would i say this? because not only did jewish succeed but so did the italians, so did the germans, so did everyone else who passed through ellis island have succeeded in a way. Why do you think we do not see other european races in the ghettos? YES!!!!! they all worked hard to get out of the city slums but do you not find it a coincidence that all white europeans have somehow accomplished the american dream and yet blacks, who have been here for so much longer, have yet to do it? To say that race does not matter actually makes your argument and story irrelevant. If you dispute that race is not important when it comes to success in america than you are clearly blinded by your privilege. You have yet to analyzed the position of your family in regards to others. Others say ” i have made it and so can you” which clearly states that both people are on the same level. When we are all on teh same level, then you can say race is irrelevant but until then, you clearly do not understand privilege and how it really works in this nation

  • jaemae2

    This is one of the most mentally incompetent pieces of writing I’ve ever read. Princeton have REALLY lowered there standards, it’s pretty evident.

  • Angela

    His grandfather was able to learn a trade and start a business because he was white. People of color during that time were held down in domestic servitude jobs or dirty, low-wage jobs. His parents were able to go to great universities because they were white. Don’t forget schools weren’t integrated and people of color were only provided a substandard education until after the civil rights era. So, somebody needs to check their privilege.

  • STFU

    Dear Princeton Privileged Kid: You missed the actual definition of privilege.

    http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740

  • Rianya

    I have seldom read such a lot of self congratulatory, nonsense that totally misses the point of what privilege is. What an utter and complete self absorbed narcissist.

    Check your privilege simply means being aware that your gender and ethnic identity can (and generally does) grant you special treatment. Like not being pulled over because you look black or hispanic. Or having teachers work with you when you misbehave instead of assuming straight from the word go that you’re a lost cause. Or getting paid more simply because you have external genitalia.

    I don’t know what kind of an education you’re supposed to be getting in Princeton, Tal, but apparently your logic courses were either lacking or you’re just being willfully obtuse.

    • Libertarian Fascist

      There is no “pay gap”, do some research.

      Also it’s not special treatment to be treated justly.

      • Rianya

        I have done my research. There’s a huge pay gap with black women being the lowest and white males being the highest. Quit kidding yourself. Better yet, quit lying to people who actually know better.

  • Mr. Ed

    You are privileged in that you were born to a good family, a good home and parents that instilled the value of hard work into you. You are privileged in that you were given an intellect to achieve great things. You are privileged to have inherited a temperament to excel and persevere while being surrounded by a positive support system. Had you not been born with these talents, had you been born to parents with drug or alcohol addiction, to parents who couldn’t hold a job, to parents who burnt you with cigarette butts for misbehaving, where would you be now? Be proud of your family legacy and these values that were passed down generation to generation. But, understand. We don’t get to choose what family we are born into. You could’ve just as easily been born into a broken home with a heroin addict for a mother. So step down off the soap box. The actions of your family before you are not your actions. You are, in fact, privileged and you did nothing to deserve this privileged existence except to have been born at the right place at the right time. But don’t feel guilty. And certainly, you shouldn’t be complaining. Check your privilege? No, use it. Take your privilege and do good for mankind and for those less fortunate. Do good for those less privileged.

    • thedude12

      “The actions of your family before you are not your actions.” Your base would beg to differ.

  • FYI
  • allison

    Stop taking this so damn personally. Regarding that white privilege exists and is built into the culture isn’t a direct attack on you or your accomplishments.

  • allison

    Privilege is not something you can control. Privilege is something you have because OTHERS give it to you, and white privilege is something that you are given simply because of the color of your skin. No one is saying that you asked for it. No one is saying you don’t deserve success. No one is saying you don’t have your own struggles. But you can’t deny the fact that if you walk down the street at night, people aren’t going to suspect you as much as they’d suspect a black man walking down the street at night. You can’t deny that a lot of people would be less surprised about your going to Princeton than a person of color. Is it racist? Of course. THAT’S THE PROBLEM.

  • Hunter McFarland

    For all of you white people commenting on this article, suffering from what critical race theorists refer to as “white guilt,” listen up. There never has nor will there ever be racism against white people. You are all confusing racism with prejudice and discrimination. Racism is a patterns of discrimination that is institutionalized as “normal” throughout an entire culture. It’s based on an ideological belief that one “race” is somehow better than another “race”. It’s not one person discriminating, but a whole population operating in a social structure that actually makes it difficult for a person not to discriminate. Seeing as white people are the dominant race operating in our worlds social structure they can never experience racism.

    • Joe Vaish

      Sorry, but this isn’t correct for several reasons. 1) The word racism does not imply an “institutional” or even a widely practiced social norm. It refers to a belief based on an inherent inferiority and/or superiority of another race. Period. 2) The only people who say white people don’t experience racism have never traveled outside of Europe or North America. 3) You can’t predict the future, so you have no way of knowing what will happen to white folk. Your post simply shows the naive arrogance of someone who doesn’t have much life experience.

  • David St John

    From one white male to another, you have completely missed the point of being told to ‘check your privilege’. You have utterly and tragically failed to actually check your privilege. If you are still suffering under the delusion that this somehow constitutes a clever response, smugly thinking to yourself ‘checkmate, reverse racists!’ then you have a long way to go to understanding.

    • Libertarian Fascist

      So you have no argument. No surprise there.

  • tara

    That’s not really the point… your ancestors went through some hard times, yes, but that doesn’t really change the fact that, in this day and age, you, as a white male, have it better off than even say a white female, simply because of the fact that you are what you are. Not saying your grandparents didn’t struggle, but ‘checking your privilege’ is about simply realising that you may have a slight leg up in the world. I am a white female, and I know that I have an easier life than many other people simple because of the fact that I’m white, but despite that I went to an excellent college and then on to a world-renowned university afterwards, I still am less likely to get an interview for the same job than you, get that job than you are, and if we were both in that same job already I would be less likely to be paid as much as you, simply because you are a man. THAT is checking your privilege.

    • Libertarian Fascist

      ” I still am less likely to get an interview for the same job than you, get that job than you are, and if we were both in that same job already I would be less likely to be paid as much as you, simply because you are a man. ”

      There is no proof of any of this.

  • Read this
  • gabrielle_d_estrees
  • Alex
  • GenuineHipEmom

    Huh, I have nearly an identical familial story and yet I am able to recognize my privilege. It seems that Princeton hasn’t taught you much except how not to apologize for your privilege..

  • Dianoga
  • guest

    Het Tal, Good luck getting a job in 4 years. This rant, along with the racist tweets, makes you basically unemployable. Arrogant, self-serving and short-sided. Your parents ,who worked so hard to get you where you are, money just went down the drain.

  • texassa

    Tal Fortgang. Of course.I bet his brother’s name is Chip.

  • boBisa

    My grandfather served in the Korean War to gain citizenship. My other grandfather came here without citizenship, but worked on farms for many years, then later as a stevedore until he could pass the citizenship exam, all without learning how to read basic English. But I STILL get asked, “Were you born here?” “When did your family get here?” “Have you always spoken English?” as if I were some magical creature for having overcome the hardships of 2 generations ago, like you did.

    We are not so different, sir. The difference is, you have the PRIVILEGE of invisibility. Of blending into the majority. Of shedding the association with the immigrant class that is so disdained still in this country, while I remain so inexplicably tied to a country I haven’t seen except while on vacation. People see your name on a resume and think nothing of it, people see mine and hypothetically were our qualifications equal (sorry I didn’t walk the hallowed halls of Princeton, got a much cheaper public Uni education) they would STILL be more likely to call you 17% of the time. I don’t expect this comment to get a lot of “likes” on this site. But sometimes it’s nice to hear the voice of someone who does not think exactly like you. Food for thought.

  • Matt G

    As I was reading through this, I really couldn’t tell if it was a joke or sarcasm, some sort of Colbert Report-style rant. Unfortunately, I believe the author is serious. Ignorance is bliss.

  • Tyrell_Corp

    I don’t get it. You’re astonishingly privileged, and you admit it? Other people in America face long odds not so different from your grandfather’s; surely his experience might allow you to extend some compassion to them.

  • Abe

    Having never been told to “check my privilege” I understood it to mean “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time” – Lincoln.
    Am I totally off?

  • FozzyBear

    The headline should be “Poster Child for White Privilege Proves Himself Just That by Not Understanding What ‘Privilege’ Means.” Seriously, this whole editorial is based on a straw argument and/or a complete ignorance of the term’s connotations in this context.

  • http://pajamaproductivity.com Annie Sisk

    The mere fact that you have been reprimanded with the saying several times *should* clue you in to the need to re-examine your interpretation and, especially, your hysterical reaction to it. It doesn’t at all mean what you think it means. http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740

  • A

    I hope you’ve read this article in response to your post: http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740

    It pretty much perfectly breaks down your misunderstanding of privilege. If anyone has asked you to apologize for what white people have accomplished because you are also white (or because you are male), then I am sorry to hear that. If that were the case then they too lack a proper understanding of privilege. But speaking as a fellow white America Jew, there is a privilege to be had in our whiteness. In the education that our families had. While my dad did have to work a little harder because he dropped out of college, I’ve been privileged enough to have both of my parents raise me and help guide me through life – just as your parents have done for you. Many lower income families do not have the privilege to dedicate this time with their families that we do as middle class Americans. This alone is an economic/class privilege. And what about the fact that you are a male? As a woman I’ve run into situations where my opinion or comment is invalid just for this fact alone. I have had to work harder to be taken seriously while a male might say the same thing and there would be no question. No one is to blame for the privilege that they have, but it is important to understand the implications of it. You may have busted your butt to get to where you are, but there are certain struggles that you did not have to face because of certain characteristics (i.e. white, male, middle class etc) that are outside of your control. Basically, just read the article to get a larger perspective of the issue at hand.

  • MJ

    You know what? good for this kid. White privilege is not real, generally. Just because I am white doesn’t mean that I automatically am privileged. I’m a female undergrad who goes to a state college where minorities go for free simply because they are minorities! How is that not privilege? According to the FAFSA I filled out my family is considered poorer than the general minority in my state yet I pay more for school than they do. Please keep telling me how I am privileged because I am white, while the poor-African American or other minority drives past me in his 2013 Ford Mustang.

    • DisentAgain

      Uggh. So to paraphrase “Because some overcome unfair disadvantage, said unfair disadvantage does not exist…” You see the problem with your thinking, yes?

      • MJ

        Just sayin’. Check your fricken selves before you accuse me of having privilege.

        • DisentAgain

          The first sign that you might be privileged is when you deny privilege exists. Just sayin’.

    • MJ is whiny

      Want some cheese to go with that whine?

      • MJ

        Yeah sure. Though I’d probably have to pay for it instead of using food stamps like you would.

  • Matthew

    I was linked to this through my Facebook feed and generally view myself as a liberally minded person, but I love this. Don’t assume that I won’t find something inspirational and brutally honest just because a few radically Democratic people overtly advocate against “White Privilege”. To be succinct, let us not put people into boxes that is what this very article is about.

  • Kris

    this guy got into Princeton and (clearly) doesn’t understand the meaning of the word “privilege.” Nice.

  • mjcramer

    http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740. A most excellent counterpoint. Maybe y’all could enjoy your achievements with just a little humility instead of acting like spoiled little brats. I’ve earned every bit of my success and it doesn’t hurt my pride one bit to admit that I’ve had a lot of privilege. I wear what are called “big boy britches.” Y’all could use some.

  • daniel

    picked up where sterling left off. wonderful

  • LC
  • Rose and Gray

    Poor young conservative white guy at Princeton – nobody appreciates how special you are.

    Yeah, no. Just because you do something meritorious, it doesn’t erase centuries of embedded prejudices and privileges you continue to enjoy. That’s not how it works.

    You are very smart, but not yet wise. A wise man knows he has much to learn from the experiences of others, and values the opportunity to see things from those new perspectives.

    Sincerely, a privileged Vassar alumna (Go Brewers)

  • freehope
  • DisentAgain

    The amount of denial is often a fair barometer for the amount of privilege. If you don’t think privilege exists – that’s your first clue that you are in fact, privileged.

  • ft

    Clearly you were not educated in science. If you were you’d know that your sample size is not big enough. Aside from the fact that “check your privilege” doesn’t mean apologize or feel guilty, it means recognize where your advantages are…How can you POSSIBLY counter statistical evidence that shows how across the board African Americans are treated differently because of their race, women because of their gender, etc. with your own personal family history? With all due respect and admiration for your ancestors, your sample size is not big enough to form a valid hypothesis. Period. This isn’t personal, these are the rules of scientific method and data analysis.

  • Andrea

    You obviously don’t understand the meaning of the term ‘white privilege’. It has absolutely zero to do with you or your family’s background, actions or inactions. It has nothing to do with individuals. You are part of a group that receives benefits and that you receive those benefits is not something that you control or can reject.
    Here is an example. Maybe you are tall. As such, you get the benefit of never having to worry about being in a crowd and not being able to see the stage. You didn’t ask for it, but you certainly benefit. If the short person next to you can’t see anything, it is not your fault nor is it theirs. It is just tall privilege. You can’t remove that privilege just because you happen to have short parents. It is irrelevant. You are tall. Lucky you.

  • Allison McLeod

    Saying “check your privilege” is not intended to diminish the accomplishments someone has made in their lifetime. It is not easy to get into Princeton, I’m sure this man worked very hard and deserved his acceptance. However, his privilege comes in from the fact that he can afford it. It is evident when he says his father taught him the Hebrew alphabet, some parents don’t have time to create those memories with their children because they have to dedicate all of their time to putting food on the table. This is not to say that he had everything handed to him on a silver platter. We all have many identities, most people have some privileged and some not. I am privileged because I am white, I come from an upper middle class family, and I am able-bodied. I am at a disadvantage because I am female and in the profession I am working towards my male counterpart would likely make more money and be promoted faster. Checking your privilege is not supposed to make you feel guilty, it is to make you realize where you might have had an advantage where others didn’t due to factors beyond your control.

  • vicmanoe

    Privilege is not personal. Privilege is institutional and cultural. It is macro. You have privilege because you are part of a group that has privilege. It is not because you are special or different or better in anyway (any more than those without privilege are not special or are worse in any way). This is going to be really hard for you to hear, and this is normally about the time where you’re going to start railing and ranting about how you are at Princeton because you worked super hard and are naturally brilliant and wonderful. Maybe you are; and no one wants to take that away from you. Seriously – no one is saying that. But let’s step back and remember once again, this isn’t a personal conversation.

    Checking your privilege doesn’t mean anyone is asking you to say “I only have things because I am part of privileged groups”. It does mean someone is asking you to say “By position of a characteristic I was born with, I have been helped, or at least not hurt, more than others without this characteristic”. It does not mean anyone wants you to apologize for it; it does mean someone is asking for an acknowledgement of the implications of it, either for how it is impacted where you are now, how it might be skewing your perspective or level of knowledge in discussing a subject, or for how the lack of that same privilege may have made things different for someone else.

  • Bagels

    Lol so mad about getting waitlisted at Yale. Yeah your life sucks.

  • KC

    hi i think you should read this xo a white female who has really checked her privledge

    http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740

  • Chinyere Osuji

    Yes, you can tell you’re still a freshman. You’ve rehashed the classic “Jews as American Dream Myth”. You need Some Stephen Steinberg in your life to wake you up. Now take one of these and call us in the morning after you’ve read it: http://www.amazon.com/Ethnic-Myth-Ethnicity-Class-America/dp/080704153X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399328423&sr=1-1&keywords=ethnic+myth

  • Tom Kelsall
  • Judith

    It should be “…allowed my family and ME to flourish today.” Not my family and I. Sheesh.

  • JLRC

    The fact that his wonderful grandparents could do a damn thing was the result of *white* privilege. Every interaction you have in your life is influenced, sometimes ever-so-subtly, by race. I’m a white man and I know when I walk into a room, my appearance suggests to people that I could plausibly be smart, trustworthy, competent, etc. Nobody wants to feel this way, most don’t recognize it, but we do.

    The property one wants to pass along was attained unjustly. It’s not like some magical coincidence that the wealthier you are, the more likely it is that you are white in the USA. It’s because our gradual emancipation of blacks from slavery and desegregation never had any real counterweight to even the playing field. The property passed down from every generation, even in the recent past, was accumulated in part due to a system that systematically excluded and harmed blacks, women, and a variety of other groups of people. This isn’t a sin of anyone’s grandparents, per se, but it nonetheless is a statement of fact. This kid has benefited immensely due to a self-perpetuating system that he wishes to perpetuate because, hey, his grandparents worked hard after immigrating.

    I’m sure those people were great. They did sacrifice. They faced unfair challenges. He should be grateful for those things. It should be humbling. He still benefited from white and male privilege.

  • Lear

    Interesting … sounds like the writer’s grandparents had some serious struggles, and even his parents had to work pretty hard to make it. What he doesn’t mention is that by the time he was in grade school his parents HAD made it already so he had the best of everything. He counts his grandparents & parents struggles as his own, even though he had no personal experience of them – he has only heard the stories. Perhaps when people tell him to “check his privilege” it isn’t about his race (as he seems to assume) but about his attitude. I’m a white guy also – nobody has ever told me to “check my privilege.” Maybe that’s because I’m already aware of it.

  • Definitions

    Anon

  • Definitions

    Please remember that racism is the product of both prejudice and power dynamics.

    In addition, this mean racism is different in all countries. In America, whites are the majority. In China, Chinese are the majority. So there will be different oppressed groups. You cannot take those groups’ experiences and apply it in a different context.

  • MARC

    Privileged DOES NOT mean you did not work hard and that
    everything you have accomplished was with no effort. That would mean every
    white person (especially males) would be successful and we know that’s not the
    case.

    Privileged means you have an advantage and this can be due to many things
    like race, gender, class, mental health, sexual preference, and physical
    appearance. Therefore, the argument is NOT whether you do or do not have
    privilege. The argument is how much privilege you do have relative to others.
    Some individuals have more privilege than others.

    Let’s take me for example. I am privilege because I am (1) young (2) good looking girl
    (3) physically healthy (I walk, lift, etc.) and (4) educated (I have 2 masters
    and working on PhD). However, I am also underprivileged in the following ways:
    (1) Latina (2) female (3) parents low social class (4) parents uneducated (5)
    born and raised in South Central LA and (6) suffer from anxiety. And yes there
    are many other disadvantages do to my family background such as wars but I will
    leave it at that for now.

    The point is that you shouldn’t be so offended by someone calling you
    privileged. It’s not the worst thing in the world. From your own words it seems
    like you were/are privileged in many ways. You are (1) white (2) male (3)
    educated parents (4) middle class etc. Count your blessings you have many privileges
    and yes many of these things helped you get as far as you have gotten. I’m glad
    you took advantages of your privileges and worked hard (not everyone does) but
    try to understand that not everyone has this choice and opportunity. Try to use
    your Princeton education to provide these choices/opportunities to less fortunate
    students who are more underprivileged than you.

  • Dyl

    His privilege was his family. He misses the point. His family made him who he was and he knows it. Privilege oftentimes has nothing to do with race or gender but instead class. In other words, his dad paying his way through college is a privilege (which I will assume he is because Princeton is expensive and he did not say otherwise) is something that most people do not have the opportunity to experience.

    If he wants to know what it is like to not be privileged, than he needs to stop talking about his family and learn what it is like to earn his way to success instead of talking about his family’s success. That is the privilege that others talk about.

  • CW

    Mind isn’t blown. Like many do this kid misses the point before launching into a defensive spiel. Here is an excellent response to the op-ed here: http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740/all

  • Allison

    You do not understand privilege. Privilege is earning 30% more than your peers by default. Privilege is that your father was even able to gain admission to college. Privilege has nothing to do with your immigration status per say, it has to do with the benefits you get (or the lack of negative forces) because of your gender, race, sexuality, ect. Privilege did not get you in to Princeton, you did that. But it does enable you to walk around safely at night, have no worries about your parents disowning you about your sexuality, or get harassed by the police because you look suspicious.

  • SweetJamesJones

    “It was my privilege that my grandfather was blessed with resolve and an entrepreneurial spirit, and that he was lucky enough to come to the place where he could realize the dream of giving his children a better life than he had.”

    My Grandfather was Black. He didn’t have that privilege. My father graduated from a segregated school and couldn’t go to a “White School” despite his grades. Until the late 80’s, he could hardly get promoted into a management job despite how hard he worked.

    I’m not saying you didn’t work hard or that you don’t deserve whatever you work for. I’m just saying that the *American* experience you and your family had is not the one that American minorities (African Americans, women) had.

    Your family went through the holocaust. That is a tragedy of which there is no comparison and that includes slavery. It doesn’t change the fact, however, that as soon as your grandfather’s boat arrived here, he was a first class citizen and had more status than my grandfather along with just about every woman.

    That “privilege” did help your family obtain the status they have today. That’s why its a matter of “white or black, male or female or any other division which we seek”. You are three generations out of poverty because your grandfather was allowed to rise. Many of the “other” groups are only one, because America only allowed them to have those privileges one generation ago.

    • Hannah Dodd

      Very well put. Thank you.

    • NosefaceKillah

      While you’re mostly right, post wwII jewish immigrants were not first class citizens. better off than african americans…but still.

  • The_wonder_boy

    “It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race, but the content of your character.” His grandparents probably came to America in the 1940s yet he’s delusional enough to think the U.S has always granted ‘equal’ protection under the law? And does he really think many Muslims are not under unusual scrutiny? Hahaha. I wish him good luck convincing Princeton professors with such arguments in his essays.

  • Hannah Dodd

    What a bunch of ignorant, whiny, defensive BS. This kid obviously has no idea what privilege means. It doesn’t mean that your life is easy or that you haven’t worked hard. It’s ridiculous and childish to take it personally. It’s about recognizing the benefits that you enjoy as a white person. It’s not even remotely racist to say that white people are privileged in our society; it’s a statement of fact. Study after study shows that white people face fewer obstacles than people of color, whether that be housing, employment, or education. This is not an indictment of white people; this is a recognition that we don’t live in a color-blind society. Stop taking it so personally and acting like people are trying to put you down by saying that you need to check your privilege. I say this as privileged white person who is mature enough to recognize my own privilege without throwing a big hissy fit about how special I am and how hard I’ve worked.

    • Ifrancine Ij Iharris

      Well said. And should we imagine that no one at Princeton has explained that to him? Because that would speak poorly of the faculty at Princeton. Or should we imagine that he’s just not able to hear it because he’s busy feeling insecure and defensive. Freshmen, after all, can be that way.

  • bmorejoe

    Kind of missing the point. Not about guilt, about analysis. Try some some time.

    • Hayley Prychun Rodgers

      Many many people who say “Check your privilege” seem to think a person should feel guilty, I am not saying all, or even most, but many do.

      • bmorejoe

        Fair enough. It gets confusing. And the phrase is a thing now so it gets tossed around and mixed up with anger, guilt etc. At the same time I think many people feel defensive and guilty about their privilege and don’t like having it pointed out even dispassionately, so they get defensive and do a lot of irrelevant rationalizing like our friend here. I hope if we all talk about it enough we will make some progress. ;-)

  • Vania

    Tal Fortgang, I predict you’ll be the new face of Privilege Guy memes. Congratulations.

  • BAS

    Obviously, you don’t have EVERY privilege possible. I suspect that nobody thinks you do.

    You can have some disadvantages (being Jewish is these days perhaps a slight “unprivilege” in some ways, used to be far worse for your ancestors) while still acknowledging the many ways that you are privileged. It’s not “privileged or not”.

    Straight black men have privilege for being straight men, though they may face discrimination for being black. Gay white men have privilege for being white men, though they may face discrimination for being gay. Heck, if you’re a disabled, homeless, trans, black bisexual woman, you might even think that a poor black lesbian is privileged compared to you, and you’d be right. Even if said poor black lesbian is hardly privileged compared to the vast majority of us.

    The fact that you can seriously think that your grandparents arrived in a country “that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race” – at a time when it PATENTLY DID NOT, makes it clear that you really don’t get it. If your grandparents had come here not from persecution in Russia, but persecution in Nigeria, your story would have been very different.

  • Can’tbelievewhatIjustread

    You just don’t get it. The fact is that after your grandparents came to the US they had better lives, they were not marginalised and their hard-work was acknowledged enough for your dad to make something of himself and then raise you to be the way you are. But with most minorities in the US, this has not been the case; people have been categorised as criminals based on skin-colour and that is used as rationale to oppress them even more. Your skin-colour and ethnicity has helped you majorly, and my dismissing that fact you are being ignorant. People of other ethnic work just as hard, but reap a negligible fraction of the reward.

  • wowwy99

    This piece and many comments below is so entertaining…and silly.

  • um

    How exactly was my mind supposed to have been blown?

  • shu

    Dude, I get that your family had its struggles. Every family has them. But to apologize for nothing, well that’s a little self-centered of you. Your family came from a horrible time period of World History, The Holocaust is an etch in history that we must all learn from. Unquestioned authority is something at this day and age, we cannot comprehend because democracy is flourishing throughout the world. What Hitler did was wrong, and your family suffered like millions of Jewish people of the time period. However, your sob story is similar to many Jewish Americans of the time period and also many immigrants in the post-colonial era. They may not resonate with the same forceful impact you mentioned through your eloquent writing, but we all have a personal story of struggle and triumph if not for our own selves, but our family’s as well. Check your privilege just means you should appreciate what you have rather than downgrade what others don’t have. You obviously feel superior seeing that your a Princeton student and you view that as a form of success. Good for you, but that doesn’t give you the right to diminish other people’s success, which allows you to verify your own. I’ll tell you what, my mind isn’t blown, but I applaud your honesty in sharing bits and pieces of your family’s struggles with the world.

  • http://dannyfr.posterous.com/ @Danny_Fr

    If before I was born my father had spent his life working a back-breaking job to finally be able to, say, make a fortune on some extremely intelligent investments based on relentless self learning, would that make me privileged? It definitely would. It would make me privileged with an kick-ass dad, a family fortune and fortunate values. I would have contributed nothing to that situation.

    Then, his social status would have helped me to connect with educated people, from educated environment and make the kind of friends you make when you belong to the elite, people who can afford to do things and learn things because money isn’t a problem.

    I would have been given access to the best schools, best facilities, and except if I were a total idiot I would have seen the value of such opportunities and done the necessary to benefit from them accordingly.

    I still wouldn’t have earned anything or, really, compared to dad, very little.

    My father isn’t wealthy, and I was born without a dime to my name. I went to college on scholarships and the money I’d made while working instead of going to high school.
    I migrated out of my home country to start a life of my own, from the very bottom. I’ve known hunger and weakness from hunger, despair and weakness from despair. I’ve known this terrible feeling when you lose everything and have nowhere to go.

    And still, I do ‘check my privileges’ every single day. I’ve had access to higher education, I can afford gadgets, internet, a roof, food, sanitations, fresh water… More privileges: all the values my parents taught me. Independence, confidence, spirit, love for knowledge,,, my parent’s gifts to me.

    Instead of softly crying about how hard it is to be lucky and shielding yourself behind what your ancestors did, try feeling grateful and humble for the tremendous head start you have and put it to good use. Go, share with people who don’t have your luck, share what you have and for pete’s sake, until you’ve found out the difference between you and them along with what you can do to help… stay away from keyboards.

  • ThatGuy

    “It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal protection
    under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race,
    but the content of your character.”

    This country never has and, for a while still, will not do ANY of these things. No one wants you to apologize or be sad or feel guilty for being white and/or Jewish. The sheer fact that you can find records and information about your grandparents and their tribulations is indicative of your “privileged” position. You certainly have earned plenty through hard work, no one denies that; what is being expressed when someone tells you to “check your privilege” is not a personal attack. All that is being asked is that you recognize that because you are white, your hard work and accomplishments are taken seriously and accepted at face value. Being white gives you an automatic foot in the door because of a distinct lack of negative assumptions placed on you, based on nothing more than your name and/or skin color. It is simply a plea that when you one day end up in the halls of power as you are more likely to than any non-Euro American, you don’t perpetuate the same false beliefs about non-Euro Americans that have plagued these lands since its inception. It is a request that you do your part to level the playing field for those who usually get written off because of superficial features that elicit bias from those in a position to judge. I am sure you are a great guy, clearly you are intelligent; I would imagine it makes sense to you that everyone deserves a fair chance to show the work they have done and the work they can do. Asking you to “check your privilege” is asking you to be aware of the inherent, institutional, and silently socially sanctioned discrimination that occurs ubiquitously and daily in America; it is asking, at minimum, that you do not buy into it, and hoping that in whatever small way you can, you try and change it for the better.

  • I Have White Privilege

    The number of people commenting who don’t understand what white privilege actually is make me a little sad on the inside. Being born with privilege isn’t a criticism of the situation you were born into or an accusation that all you accomplished was a result of your situation, but instead a simple request for you to recognize that your point of view may be a bit different because you were born or raised under circumstances which are generally favored by the society we live in.

  • psittacid

    The fight for freedom has begun??? This is so preposterously absurd that the rest of the article loses its humor in the shadow of the premise of the whole website.

  • Cynthia

    A response that you’re not gonna like one bit:

    http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740

  • Samanthe

    “It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race, but the content of your character.”

    Really???? Have you ever read a US history textbook???? because quite frankly there has been and still is an ongoing struggle is accessing this “equal protection” for those who are not white, christian, heterosexual males.

  • Bill Dunbar
  • Anthony Cohen

    If people made privilege about “guilt” or “apologizing,” that was a mistake on their part. “Check your privilege” shouldn’t mean “shut up whitey,” or “none of your accomplishments are your own,” as he said. All it’s supposed to mean is, “please acknowledge that in our society today, though maybe less than before, there are things which you didn’t have to struggle with and other people do. And whether or not you intended it, it might have helped you out.”

    It is the social equivalent of “count your blessings” with an extra implication that when you’re speaking on issues that relate to marginalized groups you should be open to the possibility that there are difficulties you haven’t experienced and don’t really understand, or even biases that you’re not aware of, which often comes with the territory of coincidentally being in the group that’s on top/the majority (of race, religion, creed, etc.)

    I think the author has probably run into some people who took things too far/are bitter about these things/applied the word incorrectly (we’ve all met many) who got him confused, but the fact is, he’s misunderstood the general meaning of “privilege.”

  • Cythrawl
    • LOL

      Jezebel is nothing but fat women complaining about things, if this young scholar pissed off a Jez loser then more power to him.

      • Cythrawl

        Lo, don’t even get me started about the “Princeton Tory” haha. I mean “Tory” ffs?

      • Brittany Stevenson

        Why did you feel that ‘fat’ was a necessary adjective for these women?

    • Nia

      Not much more to add. Nail on the head.

  • LOL

    Privilege is being the beneficiary of systemic laws that justify the admittance of lower achieving minority students in to a university like Princeton.

  • Page Turner

    Lol! Mind NOT blown. It would take far more than a rant that goes on all the time among young white men in academia to do THAT!

  • Swag A. Licious

    Here is a parody anthem for you, Tal Fartgong

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qil5WSwiNmc

  • John McLaughlin

    Hard to take this site seriously with that banner headline of “The fight for freedom has begun.” Freedom from what? We have had enough of conservative BS for sometime. #GOP #Antiprodutive #TonsOfNonsense

  • Anthro Pop
  • John McLaughlin

    Perhaps Tal misunderstood a gentle jest? I would hate to see him when he is really mad…I am imagining a scenario were his laundry isn’t returned folded on time and he gets both sad and mad.
    p.s. Are there really scolds running around Princeton warning people to check their privilege? The privilege police (PP). Sounds awful (and untrue).

    • Krackle, Puff’s Cousin

      I honestly can’t imagine anyone using the phrase “CHECK YO PRIVILEGE” without following up with that derogatory word for people of African American descent… You know, that one with the couple of g’s and an n and an r in there?

      It’s alright, ignorance comes in all different shapes and sizes– one of which includes a guy that fails to get a joke.

  • russell

    “It’s been made clear to me that education begins in the home, and the importance of parents’ involvement with their kids’ education—from mathematics to morality—cannot be overstated”

    Incredibly true, but your privilege is that this was actually an option for you. Not every child in the U.S. can get help on math homework at home or has parents that can check their english essay.

    “Check your privilege” is a phrase that doesn’t need to be about detracting from what you’ve accomplished or what your family accomplished. It’s about being grateful for the support and opportunities that you personally were given. In other words, it’s not about “I”–it’s about building awareness that there are people who realistically have a more challenging set of opportunities than you were given.

    • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

      Poetically stated.

  • Unsurprised

    “Humility: a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.” Humility has never been a strength for white-male America. And why should it? Being asked to acknowledge their privilege is the first “semi-humbling” thing to ever happen to them and look how whiney and defensive they are about it. Instead of being humble or modest, they scream: “I’m not important because I’m white. I’m important because I’m awesome!” White, male America will only have a modest view of their importance when they are less important. Otherwise, it’s like asking a fish to describe water.

  • Joy

    except you are missing the whole point of what “privilege” is.

  • http://rationalmathed.blogspot.com Michael Paul Goldenberg

    How do you spell, “Clueless douchebag” at Princeton?

    • j

      S-T-U-D-E-N-T

  • David Richeson

    Wake up: This is what privilege really is, and why many do not see it. http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740/+violet-baudelaire

  • C_howel

    http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740

    “Privilege is not personal. Privilege is institutional and cultural. It is macro… let’s step back and remember once again, this isn’t a personal conversation.”

  • Debbie Sam

    The problem is that “white privilege” is used as a power tool — to keep certain people line, guilt-trip them and control them.

    • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

      Please provide an example

  • medical_student

    i’m white, male, middle class, attractive-looking and from a nice area… in the united states (aka as rich as they come). i know for a fact that anyone who is not described by any of those (and many other) characteristics has had to work much harder than i have. i didn’t choose my demography more than anyone else, and so i don’t apologize when i succeed. but i do feel grateful, and more importantly, humbled when i do. i succeed because of my own work ethic, but also because of societal factors that favor people who are demographically like me. and most importantly, i enthusiastically celebrate others who are just as successful as i, and come from demographically disadvantaged groups — they have had to work harder than i have.

    • medical_student

      also… there is no such thing is “reverse racism”. there’s only racism, and anyone can feel it. it can be against any race at any time. but i’ll bet you that i’ve felt racism directed towards me 100x’s less than any black person in america.

  • Cythrawl

    Any white person that can claim with any level of seriousness that they don’t have “White privilege” is deluded. And I say that as a white European with English as my first language. I’ve lived here for 10 years and if there is one thing I am grateful for everyday, it is that I am white. It makes a HUGE difference!

    • Barbara

      Very true, but at the same time, keep in mind that the vast majority of white
      Americans do not have the same kind of privilege that this young man
      has, and they never will. The vast majority of white Americans are not
      rich, and if they wish to succeed, they do have to work very hard (as opposed to sitting around and writing whiny letters about privilege. Most people simply don’t have time for this kind of nonsense, and even so, it doesn’t really apply to them in the same sense that it does for this young man).

  • Mark Pan

    I think we’re running into the issue of muddling normative statements about the world with descriptive statements about the world. I’m an able-bodied, middle-class, well-educated, heterosexual, atheistic, Asian male of sound mental health (that last one’s debatable :P). Those characteristics are only fragments of my overall identity – they don’t define me – and I agree that they shouldn’t matter with regards to how I’m treated. In an ideal world, they wouldn’t. But we don’t live in an ideal world; we live in this world. The fact that a person’s sexual orientation, the color of their skin, their religious views, and their economic status SHOULD not affect the ways in which that person is treated and what opportunities are made available to them, does not change the fact that they DO. You can deny that you would be interpreting my words differently if I had said that I was a homosexual, Hispanic female instead of a heterosexual, Asian male, but I’d be skeptical.

    I acknowledge that I have had a very privileged life. I grew up in a small town in the Midwest to parents who had the time and resources to take our family on vacations halfway around the world, and who had the energy to lecture me on the value of education and encourage me when I faltered in attaining my goals. I don’t apologize for my privilege. I’m not ashamed of it. No one should ever have to be ashamed of who they are. When I ask a person to reflect on their own privileged circumstances, I’m not looking for an apology. I’m looking for a spark. I’m looking for that flicker of recognition in that person’s eyes when they realize that they ARE far more fortunate and powerful than they had ever previously thought themselves to be. When that happens – when I see that wave of revelation sweep across a person’s face – that’s when I know I’ve gained an ally in my quest to make the world a better place.

    If you’ve read this far into this comment, then you’re obviously quite interested in this sort of thing, and I would highly recommend that you check out Jackson Katz. Just google him. Watch some of his videos, read some of his stuff. I like to think that he does privilege “the right way.” It’s not about blame or shame. It’s about acknowledging the facts about the world as it currently stands and doing what you can to right the wrongs. The fact that no single individual alive today is at fault for mistakes made in the past, doesn’t mean that the repercussions of those mistakes aren’t still being felt in the present. There are a lot people in the United States who are suffering. Their suffering, in many cases, has a complex historical context and we have to acknowledge that. We can all agree that they shouldn’t be suffering, but they are. The question is, “What do we do about it?” What CAN we do about it? That’s what it means to “check one’s privilege”. It’s a privilege to be in a position to help those less fortunate than us. It’s a privilege to be at a place where we have the power to change the world. I know what I can do. I’ve checked my privilege and I came out on top. I can do a heck of a lot with what I’ve been given and what I’ve had the opportunity to earn for myself. So the question becomes, “What can YOU do?”

  • Croquet_Player

    Unfortunately for Tal, he’s the kind of person who will only figure out what the whole “privilege” thing is about if he actually loses it himself. What if (God forbid), he suffered a devastating financial setback? Or if, (again, God forbid) he had a terrible accident in which he was seriously disfigured, or lost significant cognitive abilities from a head injury? He would suddenly find himself being treated very differently, and he would struggle with things that never used to be a problem for him before. I’m sure he’d resent it enormously, but perhaps he’d develop a new and wiser attitude in the bargain. I hope none of those things happen to you Tal, and that you can blithely continue living in blissful ignorance.

  • Stephanie Pinsky

    Your an idiot. Check your privilege.

  • Brittany Stevenson

    The thing about privilege is that it’s what YOU are given, not your dead ancestors. The other thing is that privilege doesn’t diminish your accomplishments. You’ve worked hard to be where you are. Rather, acknowledging your white privilege is about understanding that a black person could put in the same amount of work but would not be where you are and probably face discrimination on the daily, too. A woman could do the same amount of work but still face a glass ceiling and a wage gap. Checking your privilege is a way to acknowledge that others have things working against them that you don’t. It’s a cause to be grateful, and a cause to be angry that others are treated differently. Your privilege gives you power, that you can use for yourself, or you can use to neutralize injustice against others.

  • Jori

    No one here seems to understand the concept of privilege. It’s not necessarily that you didn’t work for what you have. Privilege is everything you have that another doesn’t because of who both of you are. For example, the author’s father might not have got that graduate school spot if he was black or muslim. You don’t have to apologize for who you are, but all of us who have, when others don’t, need to acknowledge out benefits, and be sensitive to disparity in order to help change it.

  • Tina Israel

    What I see here is that this young man’s family dealt with some horrific situations in their lives, but I don’t see that he has.

  • Taylor Coriell

    Just a suggestion, but I think you should read this response to your article. You make a lot of good points in yours, but I think you’re missing the point of the phrase. No offense intended and I hope none taken :-)

    http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740

  • Madonna Dougherty

    http://groupthink.jezebel.com/to-the-princeton-privileged-kid-1570383740 And the photo profiles on the Young Conservatives banner speaks volumes. Two white males.

  • David

    Are you seriously throwing a temper tantrum because someone pointed out that you have it easier than most people (as do I) for being white and male?

    Dang dude. That is pathetic.

  • oryp

    “Have your mind blown” HAHAHAHAHAHA

  • Jame

    I’m happy your family was able to succeed and thrive in the US after surviving WW2. At the same time your family was building their future and starting to thrive in the US, my granddad came back from WW2, as an honored vet, with a masters at a time when his peers hadn’t graduated high school. He couldn’t get hired at the local factory (because he was a “negro”). He struggled to find a place in the country he was born in, lived for generations in, and fought for, but couldn’t get a hotel room, or use public facilities or be a full-fledged member of society. But “we” opened our hearts and our arms whole heartedly to those fleeing Europe, while ignoring our homegrown black men and leaving them out of society.

    While your family got to take advantage of the glory days, and the boom that accompanied the post war period, mine was stuck in the segregated south where few neighborhoods and jobs were open, no matter how educated or qualified we were.

    My granddad did OK, raised his family and had successful children and grandchildren, with the ceiling rising a bit for each generation.

    And today, while you are here and can talk about all of your achievements and successes, when I stand up and talk about mine, some people in the audience will sit back and say…well she only got that because she was black and benefitted affirmative action.

    They playing field isn’t level. You get the privilege of having the benefit of the doubt and the assumption you have privilege. And my “privilege” is more like a big question mark: is she really qualified or did she play the race card?

  • Jon

    If people are actually constantly telling you to “check your privilege” you must be doing something pretty obnoxious to warrant it. I, like you, am a white male who was recently a Princeton student, and no one ever said that to me. It would be great to hear some context for this, like what you said that lead to this response from people.

  • Al C

    There has been a lot of interesting debate about your article – I frankly don’t know if I fully agree with what you say or what others have said about you. Like you, my family came quite far from nothing and have had a storied past that would suggest my family fought a lot to help myself, my siblings and future generations have the good fortune we have. What you missed is the point of this “privilege” that everyone is talking about. I can’t speak for everyone, but the majority of people aren’t suggesting you don’t deserve to be where you are or you didn’t earn it. You go to an amazing university and I’m sure you didn’t buy your way in, nor was that opportunity handed to you. Based on this article, you are clearly well-spoken and intelligent. However, you missed the mark a bit in your argument. Privilege goes deeper than you being handed something based on the fact you are a white male. That’s part of it, but it also means you didn’t personally struggle the same way a woman or a minority may have struggled.

    You probably have never walked down the street in fear that someone may attack you, simply to take advantage of you. You probably have never had someone stare at your chest while you were talking, or had someone drop a pencil just to get a peek down your shirt while you picked it up. You probably have never had someone talk over you or assume you weren’t familiar with something simply because you were a female. You probably have never been thought of as a threat because of your race. You probably have never been pulled over by a police officer because you fit the loose definition of a person of interest or had a sales associate follow you around a store because you fit the bill for a thief. You probably have never had these things happen to you because you are privileged.

    While there is no doubt you don’t deserve to be exactly where you are, you also have never had some of the trials and tribulations of a minority. I appreciate your points and can understand your frustrations that people are judging you, simply because you are a white male. However, you also need to understand that just because you may not discriminate and you don’t get where minorities are coming from, doesn’t mean that everyone sees the world the way you do.

    I don’t know you, but you are probably a good person who believes everyone deserves fairness and equality, regardless of background. Not everyone thinks that way and until there is that equality you say you want, privilege exists. You shouldn’t have to apologize for it. Don’t apologize. Don’t feel bad. It’s not your fault that privilege exists for some and not all. Do something about it. Take that frustration you feel and teach others – privilege shouldn’t exist and neither should disadvantages. This is America – the place where people can survive a terrible war and genocide to create a business and start a family that will one day be able to say one of the members of their family made it to Princeton. No one should feel they were at a disadvantage because of their gender or race or religion or sexual orientation. The more people like you step forward and say this is not okay, the less likely this inequality will exist in the future. But just remember – there is more to this overall privilege thing than you seem to think.

  • Logic

    Jewish immigrants came here voluntarily, as did most European immigrants. They’re weren’t taken, by force, from their homes, and brought here as property; where they would remain property for hundreds of years. Nor did European immigrants have their languages and religions banned, or their land taken through genocide.

    The author’s ignorance and sense of entitlement is breathtaking.

  • Jetblakc

    This guy set out to prove that he’s struggled to earn everything that he has. Unfortunately, the evidence that he used to prove this all pointed out that someone ELSE struggled and earned the stuff that he’s got. Why’s it so hard to say:

    “I’m lucky that I was born to people that won the cosmic lottery. Lots of other immigrants had stories that were similar to the one my grandparents tell, but it all worked out really well for my family. Maybe I’ll consider that for others it didn’t work out as well.”

    I’m the child of immigrants that worked their way up from nothing to have pretty comfortable lives. The result of THEIR struggle is that I am more privileged than 99.9% of humans that have ever lived. See? It’s really easy. Our privilege is that we were born into the families that we were born into, when we were born into them. We didn’t earn that; it was an accident of birth.

  • Auntie Rae

    Oh look. Another white person who DOESN’T understand what white privilege is.

  • The Wise One

    “The irony of American history is the tendency of good white Americans to presume racial innocence. Ignorance of how we are shaped racially is the first sign of privilege. In other words. It is a privilege to ignore the consequences of race in America.”
    ― Tim Wise

  • Barbara

    I went to The College of New Jersey, which isn’t too far away from Princeton. TCNJ is an excellent school, and like Princeton, it’s full of smart students with big aspirations– with a few key differences. For one thing, there are very few from the “rich and privileged” portion of society. During my junior and senior years, I worked at a cafe in Princeton (one of my two side jobs), and I met many Princeton students. Many were perfectly nice, pleasant people, but almost a little too often, one of them would say something or do something that made me think “Damn, this person really does not get it.” For example, one time I got into a conversation with this guy on a particularly slow afternoon, and I mentioned I was going shopping later. He chuckled and said, “Gotta spend the folks’ money somehow, right?” I laughed a little, but told him honestly that it would be my own money I was spending, and that I hadn’t actually asked my parents for money since I was 14. He raised an eyebrow and said something like “Well, they ARE paying for your college education, right?” I said that no, they were not, as they could not afford it, and that I was using student loans to pay for it (my two jobs were only enough to take care of books and basic necessities, along with some of my housing costs). He then said, “I’m sorry, and I don’t mean to offend, but isn’t that a little irresponsible? Especially since you’re only going to a public school? You won’t be able to pay it off for a long time.” I replied flatly that unless I wanted to be serving coffee drinks to over-privileged snobs for the rest of my life, I didn’t really have much of a choice. Needless to say, our conversation ended there, and I’ve never looked at Ivy-school students the same way again.

  • lancesackless

    And the loonies go WILD with seething frothing-at-the-mouth ANGER!

  • Akash Gandikota

    Hahahahaha

  • Margaret Bortko FNP, DNP candi

    Now go and define DISPARITIES

  • tamika

    I think the problem here is that there is not an understanding of what privilege means. I am a black woman, from an 2 parent home and my parents were good financially. So, while I sometimes say to people who are white or male that they should think about their privilege, I also acknowledge the privilege that I have and try to have that shape how I approach situations.

    I had/have privilege that I should recognize. I was fortunate to have two educated parents who could encourage me and were involved. I grew up in a city where people had money so my schools were good. Just because you acknowledge the privilege(s) you may have, does not mean that you are taking something away from yourself or your accomplishments.

    You can still (and in my opinion should) acknowledge the type of privilege you have without guilt or shame. It is just what it is and try to recognize that not everyone is as fortunate as you. While that takes nothing away from you- it gives acknowledgement to those who didn’t have the same advantages.

  • Ben Saunders

    A lot of valid points raised, but as a fellow white male of upper-middle class/reputable background, I must say that your analysis here over-simplifies and over-generalizes the implications of the phrase “check your privilege.”

    My grandparents on my father’s side, European Jews also as coincidence would have it, fled their homeland of Germany in the early 1930’s as the Nazi’s rose to power; my grandmother to America with her parents, my grandfather to England where he studied until entering into England’s military service and serving as a tank commander on the European front. After making it through the war he came to America (New York), met my grandmother, got married, and started work as a traveling salesman to raise my father and uncle while my grandmother worked as a math teacher.

    My mother’s side came from less destitute background, oil tycoon Texans on her biological father’s side, old money on her step-fathers. She grew up well-provided for, rode horses, attended high-society social functions, the works.

    But the fact is if we look at our family lineage with enough scrutiny and far back enough, there is always some example of destitution we can draw on to defend ourselves from the label of “white privilege.” But the fact of the matter is it doesn’t matter if this period of destitution occurred two generations ago as in the case of my father’s parents or two-thousand generation ago. Justifying validity through references to experiences of past generations justifies their experiences, not one’s own.

    So, let’s look at what we’ve experienced, from birth onwards.

    1) Both of us had hard-working parents who wanted to provide for us as is their right. We have made the most of the opportunities provided by our socio-economic background through applying ourselves to education and succeeding with effort, as is our right.

    2) By no virtue of our own efforts were we born to these lives. In The Marriage of Figaro, one of the main impetuses cited by both historians and contemporaries for the French Revolution, the famous 5th speech act references privilege:

    “Just because you are a great nobleman, you think you are a great genius—Nobility,
    fortune, rank, position! How proud they make a man feel! What have you done to
    deserve such advantages? Put yourself to the trouble of being born—nothing
    more. For the rest—a very ordinary man!”

    Now, this doesn’t as much apply to our situation as to the landed French aristocracy of the late 18th century, mainly because we have had to apply ourselves towards developing our own talents. Additionally, we all have our own struggles, and while some may be more limiting than others, all kinds have legitimacy. I personally suffer from Depression, at best it’s now little more than a nag in the back of my brain, at it’s worst it completely obliterates my ability to formulate coherent thoughts or even remember the names of friends in addition to the accompanying hopelessness and terror.

    But I still benefit from white privilege.

    When you and I walk around campus, we don’t feel as if we are somehow tokens, oddities that don’t really belong and therefore must prove ourselves to all those around us.

    When you or I walk into a store, we are not suspected of being thieves. Of course, the typical retort is to cite the fact that stereotypes are rooted in empirical statistics and fact, which may very well be true. You can cite crime rates, prison demographics, other such statistics to prove this point. However, this is not necessarily the case for every individual of that ethnic group. If in some alternate universe there existed a black or hispanic carbon copy of myself (a VERY theoretical and abstract example), he would still receive greater scrutiny, endure greater stigma on a daily basis than myself.

    And we are male, we need not hurriedly walk home for fear of being raped or assaulted AS MUCH as females. Yes, males are raped, robbed, assaulted, but at a much lower rate of incidence (not to trivialize the issue). But it’s far less likely that we’ll face the emotional scars of sexual assault, far less likely that we’ll have to defend the veracity of assault that faces many rape victims on college campuses when the argument “both of them were drunk, so it wasn’t REALLY rape” is used with a disheartening rate of success.

    But more than anything is the economic background. “White privilege” is a bit of a misnomer, in that it contains and arguably mainly refers to the privilege of economic status correlated with being white. You and I have been afforded fantastic opportunities, but if birth is merely a construct of random chance, then it follows that we haven’t really by our own efforts done anything to achieve these opportunities. Yes, many let these opportunities go to waste and the degree of these opportunities is widely varying, but they still exist really for no reason other than luck of the draw.

    And while we’ve experienced our own struggles in our own ways, we cannot equate these struggles with others. You should not feel guilty or feel that you are expected to be apologetic for your privilege. That is silly. It follows from the same argument above that we shouldn’t need to justify or feel bad about having these opportunities; we have them due to the efforts of those who came before us, and it is appropriate that we do what we can to make the most of it.

    What we should do is be careful to appreciate and acknowledge the benefits and privileges we have been accorded. When complaining of difficulties with the collegiate world, consider that there are millions of Americans who would kill for the chance to be in this environment from which most of us look forward to escaping for perfectly valid reasons. There’s a woman in my graduating class who’s in her mid-fifties, and I was lucky enough to cross paths with her. The path she’s had to take has been difficult not only academically, but financially, socially, and a number of other levels as well that never even once crossed my mind when applying to college.

    As I said at the start of this verbose comment, you bring up some good points. Our achievements are often trivialized, and we are often stereotyped. A few weeks ago I was stopped on the street speaking with a panhandler I’d recently befriended, and while engaged in conversation a young black man came up, put a token dollar in the cup, and then firmly told me to “just leave the guy alone.” I was immediately assumed to be engaged in this conversation for purely selfish reasons, perhaps to ridicule the man (Randyll), and this was due I imagine to the color of my skin, the clothes I wore, my way of speaking. So yes, stereotyping is a problem.

    But to entirely disregard the issue of “privilege” is not the solution. We have enjoyed immense advantage from chance birth, and while we need not be apologetic for this birth, we should make the effort to be conscious of these advantages, hopefully somewhere along the way doing something to assist others who have not had such chance advantages (although this is not necessary and is another issue entirely). I do hope you get the chance to respond to my comments, as I’d be very interested in discussing the issue further with you.

  • Meaghan Weber

    this may have been one of the dumbest things i have ever read in my entire life. He wrote an entire essay about misunderstanding the definition of privilege. Explain to me again how he got into Princeton.

  • maddaddyssa

    The concept of “White privelege” is nothing more than a guilt trip. Those who cry “white privilege” are worse than vultures. At least vultures wait until you’re dead before they eat your heart out. Assuming that someone born White has “privileges”? Isn’t that a form of bigotry? We all know what happens when we ASS-U-ME. And to those who do whine about White privilege, it kinda reminds me of the song Five Dollar Fine

  • http://soundcloud.com/diezzelle Hadiza

    Does anyone else think it’s hilarious how the URL for this website says “youngcons”. Young cons. Just marinate on that.

  • WB

    “My appearance certainly doesn’t tell the whole story”

    No, it doesn’t. But it may tell some of the story. Scientific study shows that biases based on appearance do exist.

    “and to assume that it does”

    No one is assuming that your appearance or race or gender or status of birth tells the whole story. We are assuming that it tells some of the story. That perhaps it helps when you come from privilege. And to assume that it doesn’t is naive.

    “and that I should apologize for it is insulting”
    No one is asking for you to apologize. No one wants to take your pride or your money or anything. This is a straw man argument that discussions of race and privilege mean people want to take something from you (and we know conservatives hate people who take things). We’re asking you to take a minute to think about your fellow man. To step outside of your box and pay attention to how others have been denied opportunities and try to promote justice and fairness. Is assuming you believe in justice and fairness insulting?

    My great-grandfather was a humble hardworking salesman who gave all his money to his great-grandchildren and I was lucky enough that that money increased enough that I was able to use it to pay for all of my college expenses. All of them. To ignore the fact that I graduated from college ahead of most people because I had 0 debt is stupid. To ignore the fact that I could afford to take unpaid internships that led to better job opportunities while other people could not because their parents couldn’t support them is stupid. To say that because my great-grandfather suffered, my well-of upbringing doesn’t put me ahead of others is nonsensical.

  • BigErnMcCracken

    How does this kid go to Princeton? He doesn’t seem to have any understanding of what people mean when they refer to “privilege.” I guess this is what passes for insight among the young conservative crowd?

  • Isaac

    So, your ancestors worked hard.

    And so you’re not privileged.

    And you won’t apologize for that.

    Wow.

    What an incredibly immature straw man argument.

    I guess your family’s admirable struggles somehow erase racism, sexism, and luck all at once.

    • Debbie Sam

      What he is reacting to is being “reprimanded” for being a white male and the suggestion that he needs to apologize for this whiteness. Yes, white people as a group have advantages. I don’t think he would deny it. Now it’s been said, time to move on.

  • Katie Bukata

    Lol, my mind was blown only because of the fact that the kid wrote this without first understand the concept of privilege.
    And by the way, your ancestors’ hardships do not, in any way, diminish your privilege.

    • Debbie Sam

      “White privilege,” as it’s being used on college campuses, is a way to guilt-trip people and put them down. Maybe that’s not what it’s supposed to mean, but that’s how it comes off.

  • Shantonu

    It was their privilege to come to a country that grants equal protection under the law to its citizens, that cares not about religion or race, but the content of your character.

    • Shantonu Basu

      When did his grandparents get here? Was it before 1965? If so, then this paragraph is just nonsense.

  • Laura

    This is a prime example of how education cannot buy class or intellect.

  • Kev

    At least you tried. But now that you’ve tired yourself out having a go at your pet straw man, you should probably have a nap. Also, it helps to know what you’re railing against before you open your mouth in public. Someone might get the awful impression that you’re just another sheltered, ignorant whiner.

  • Jesse

    Opportunity will always be received more by people who look like they belong and who are accepted by their peers. There’s much more nepotism out there in the “real world” than you are probably aware of, assuming your life story as you see it so far is ‘you working hard on equal footing with your peers and therefore getting into Princeton due to academic merit.’

    That’s a cornerstone of privilege, the fact that who you know in the world, and more so, the part you play, determines a lot. Support from your superiors is huge in the real world and it’s also huge at the college level and discrimination based on socioeconomic class is tremendously powerful and ubiquitous.

    And of course what a parent provides to a child enormously determines the opportunities they have. As someone stated in a response to you, a parent working three jobs simply couldn’t provide the educational support you received growing up, not to mention that parent’s own lack of educational opportunity in his/her lifetime, which may have been due to no fault of their own.

    And take a moment to consider, across America, what schools have acceptable funding from their local governments, what schools are ranked well and what schools are not, how intertwined race is to the makeup of one neighborhood to the next neighborhood across the country, and what history and socioeconomic class have to do with it all. The many, many people who think like you hear about affirmative action and cry that it’s injustice, and you feel like you’re attacked for the simple characteristic of being white.

    But you don’t need to be a genius to realize that the minor perks of things like affirmative action and the minor inconveniences you experience due to being white, are extremely minuscule compared to the presence of history in the landscape we live in today, which is one in which property values dive once a neighborhood starts to become predominantly black. No matter what race you are people will always make assumptions because of how you look. There is always more freedom to define yourself if you’re a member of the majority as opposed to being the member of a group that is marked in some way.

  • Joyce

    I suggest you read “How Jews Became White Folks and What That Says About Race in America”. I do realize it must feel demeaning to be told to “Check your privilege” but I don’t think you really understand white privilege.

  • saltydog

    Lol you got owned by a rebuttal from Jezebel. Lol I’m so embarrassed for you if that rag ever conclusively proved me wrong I’d change my name and move out of shame.

  • dddd
  • lilliana

    i’m confused- because your grandparent’s embarked on a death march you are no longer a product of privilege..? You were still born with a silver spoon in your mouth and a need to write condescending and pointless essays. Well done in proving a socialist’s point for them.

    • Mickey Logan

      What silver spoon was that?

  • bikingviking

    Sloppy headline, sloppy thinking. No one’s mind is blown when a white Jewish guy at Princeton talks about how rough life was for his grandparents. The point is not that he should shut up or feel guilty. Who cares? The point is, his main worries are likely not those of his ancestors. He has time to think of just the right remark to shut up that liberal in the dining hall, and no direct experience of what life is like for most people in the world–for example, a person who might sell a kidney for enough to eat. Many very smart, hardworking humans devote all their talents and energies to pure survival for themselves and their families. Should they happen to have internet access, and a moment to read this article, they will be dazed from hunger and overwork and thus immune to mind blowing.

    • Mickey Logan

      I have no idea what this means. He’s privileged because he never had to sell a kidney?

  • gduggan

    White privilege isn’t a white problem, it’s a “non-white” problem. One thing I love about my privilege is I don’t owe anything for it, why should I give it up? It’s free, and it’s mine. No one can take it away. It’s not racism, it’s privilege. White people rule the world — deal with it.

  • Tj Swift

    White privilege, male privilege, and any other privilege created to benefit an interest group are not useful as tools for identifying anything. The primary purpose, in fact, as demonstrated by the oft-repeated quip, “check your privilege”, is to shame white men in to voluntarily subsidizing through action, deference whatever is demanded. “Privilege” is a intangible construct for which there is no concrete evidence that is not trivial, vacuous, or biological.

    For instance, the wage gap, often quoted at $0.77 on the dollar, has been debunked endlessly. Properly corrected for all of those attributes which effect wages, the wage gap nearly disappears (~$0.95). It’s dogged resistance to dying and even it’s revival by our own President is further evidence: truth is not the concern.

    White and male privilege themselves are nearly useless as well. They are based on a dual-binary classification: male or female, white or minority. Could anything be less useful? The stunted concepts would suggest that the daughters of President Obama have less privilege than a white son of an marginally employed Appalachian man with a 9th grade education. The system returns outrageously false conclusions. Why not focus on socioeconomic status and the many metrics available for measurement? We can assume either incompetence or dishonesty.

    So why do these foolish concepts continue to exist? They are useful for particular groups. Barack Obama, having no slave heritage, having not lived in a ghetto, having not attending failing inner city schools, and having an above average IQ was still qualified to benefit from affirmative action. He literally suffered none of the harm affirmative action was intended to correct, and yet today he is the prime example of what affirmative action can put in motion. Male privilege on the other hand, and the accompanying demands for tithes or reparations, are disproportionately beneficial to highly enfranchised women. Does anyone really believe that a male born into a Nevada trailer park has more privilege than a female born to two professionals in NYC?

    Oppression studies and it’s concept of male privilege, white privilege, and otherwise universal victim hood is an artifact of the Progressive’s foundational belief in Noblesse Oblige are all the same system. The system has determined, correctly or not, that white men owe the rest of humanity reparations. The purpose of the system is to extract those reparations from Men to Women, from White to Nonwhite, from Western World to Eastern World, and from Global North to Global South. Of course, politics is all related, and the system of global warming is intended to work concurrently. Presumably, the result will be social justice: justice among men and women, justice between white and nonwhite, justice between industrialized and non industrialized and via Climate Change policies temporal justice via the preservation of the natural resources.

    The scope of the project should be frightening to anyone who is familiar with the performance of governments through history. Government can be defined as the holder of the monopoly of force. Appropriately then, Government emerged as a system of extortion: pay the violent gang it’s dues or be attacked. Government today is fundamentally the same: pay your property taxes or men with guns will seize it. A trip down Youtube lane will provide graphic illustrations of what happens if you don’t cooperate: government is violence as it always has been, that is how it enforces laws. A system of such massive and multidirectional redistribution will almost certainly result frequent use of violence.

    Today the focus of the Progressive machine is the 1%, but the 1% cannot produce the revenue necessary for sufficient redistribution to enact social justice. Realistically, who are the Progressive intellectuals pointing towards as the next cash cows? I think Justice Sotomayor made the answer eminently clear in her opinion. She would establish the concepts of white and male privilege in to law. Already today we have such interracial and intergender redistribution, but it is substantially hidden or a function of demographics. As the social justice machine grows so will it’s necessary inputs. Very long term, such a government may have to compel citizens to work. That would be a bad day.

  • Rekognize Real

    im white and im priviledged, nigas are mad

  • Whatever

    It doesn’t surprise me that people whine about his privilege. Jews are Schrodinger’s POC — they’re POC whenever they meekly comply and agree with whatever inane bullshit that issues forth from the mouths of SJWs, and they’re one of TEH EVUL WHITEMENZIZ whenever they don’t.

  • Captain America
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