Princeton University freshman Tal Fortgang is everything that’s wrong with white male privilege. Fortgang wrote an essay for Princeton’s school paper on why he would “never apologize” for his white privilege, and Time magazine picked it up and viral it went.
Fortgang told about his family’s history of success despite their struggles, and he’s tired of people telling him to “check his privilege”.
“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,” Fortgang writes. “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.”
So in Fortgang’s world, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, all you have to do is “do good” and you’ll succeed. Forget about all of the internal racism that still exists in the world, It’s all your minds, y’all.
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.
Must be nice to be white and delusional and privileged. Let me borrow some of that for a day or two.