I always check my privilege. Far easier than trying to cram it in the overhead bins.
Princeton University freshman Tal Fortgang has been told repeatedly to “check his privilege” – to be aware of how his socio-economic and cultural background shapes his views – and he’s not happy about it.
“The phrase,” he writes, “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.”
In an opinion piece originally carried last month by a conservative Princeton student publication and reprinted on Friday in Time magazine, the 20-year-old condemns those who paint him with the “privileged” label 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”.
To answer his critics, Fortgang recounts his ancestry, which includes a grandfather who fled Poland after the German invasion in World War Two and a grandmother who was sent to a Nazi concentration camp.
“That’s the problem with calling someone out for the ‘privilege’ which you assume has defined their narrative,” he writes. “You don’t know what their struggles have been, what they may have gone through to be where they are.”
He says he is privileged, but not in the way the liberals think: