Monday, May 5, 2014

Oh girl.



Look at that posture. He means business. 

Tal Fortgang is a freshman at Princeton University with a lot of feels about white privilege. Let's forgive all of this... Why I'll Never Apologize For My White Male Privilege.
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." -TIME
...for he knows not what he speaks. A tender young frustrated thing. 

Naturally his feels gave me feels. 

My sweet Tal. Take heed.

I'm a black woman with an Ivy League degree. The experiences of my grandparents and ancestors are just as storied, if not more than your own. 
Guess what? I'm privileged. 
It has nothing to do with wealth accumulation or oppression Olympics. 
It has to do with perception. 
And in many regards, I am immensely more privileged than a lot of people. 
"Check your privilege" is said, for example when people say things like "Oh mag gah, I can't believe those people are living in the hood and are poor and aren't trying to get ahead," without taking into consideration that those people probably lacked positive exposure and a strong support system. 
Tal. You didn't get to Princeton on your own. You were raised.  Hence, "check your privilege."
It's not about prejudice or people thinking you didn't "earn your accomplishments."  Of course you earned it. Don't ever let anyone attempt to invalidate meritocracy. 
But it's not about that. It's about dynamics. 
It's about the opportunity to even consider Princeton, for instance. 
In a world where the C-Suite of the top corporations are white men and the the policy makers are mostly white men, I'm at a somewhat disadvantage because I have to work to fit into their world, which isn't some conspiracy against me. It just is what it is. I have to be the change I want to see and all that jazz. 
Stop getting so defensive. 
Honestly this article... it's obvious you're a freshman who has yet to introspect with sage. It's like you tried hard to miss the point. It's absurdly obtuse. It's almost as if TIME trolled you... or us?
Damn you TIME. 
I won't say "your privilege is showing," nor will I advise you to "check your privilege"  at the nearest eating club,  but my dear, dear Tal,  your insular "Weltanschauung" is most certainly waving its flag strong
I admit. I've been in situations where I've observed minority students express "check your privilege" in an exasperated, perhaps dismissive tone. And I admit, it isn't conducive to discussion and I certainly don't condone it. But again, Tal, have you ever considered why you're always being asked this? Why they are clearly frustrated with having to diversify your worldview? No one is asking you to apologize for being privileged. 
Hell, I feel zero guilt.  I'm not apologizing. I've been blessed. My parents have instilled in me the fortitude to seek out excellence and nothing less. 
But dammit, if you're constantly told to check something, then maybe, just maybe, you should ruminate on it. 
Don't list to us a family tree of your tribe's struggle in a failed attempt to see the point and then run far, so far the other way. I mean girl. It's almost cute. We all got struggle my brother. Apply some perspective. Widen your worldview.

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