Earlier this month a Princeton University freshman took on the P.C. police over a growing trend on campuses, and across the country, that as a white person, a white male in this case, one has privileges no one else has and as such should approach every one else with this fact in the forefront of one’s mind.
In the words of Tal Fortgang, the student who penned the op-ed, “‘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.”
“Check your privilege” actually means “check your white privilege” and carries the assumption that all white people of privilege don’t feel empathy for others who may not have been as fortunate as they have.
This overcompensation, or special dispensation, for essentially talking about race, has deteriorated into name calling and baiting, rather than acknowledging that we should all judge people by their character and consider the different circumstance, history and lineage of every individual rather than the color of one’s skin.
But that’s not enough. Just two months ago in Madison, WI some 2,500 people gathered for the White Privilege Conference. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a taxpayer-funded (yes, you read that right) conference where a bunch of people get together to feel guilty about being white.
Organizers claim the event is supposed to eliminate the supposed system of “white supremacy, white privilege, and oppression.”
It’s quite an affair, but don’t take my word for it. Just take a gander at some of the highlights from the conference that even some civil rights leaders have called “useless.”
The McIver Institute took the following notes on various speakers at the conference:
- A breakout session on education facilitated by Kimberly Radersma, a student of “critical whiteness studies” at Brock University in Ontario, postulated that education and teaching are “political” functions. Radersma argued that “Teaching is a political act, and you can’t choose to be neutral. You are either a pawn used to perpetuate a system of oppression or you are fighting against it.”
- Radersma also acknowledged the inherent racism she apparently feels in daily life, comparing it to alcoholism: “I have to everyday wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply imbedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose everyday to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way.”
- A second breakout session at the conference took a direct shot at the Tea Party. Leonard Zeskind, a lifetime member of the NAACP and president of the Insitute for Research and Education on Human Rights, accused Tea Partiers of being racist, saying “these people think that black people are running the United States of America. These people, these Tea Partiers think that black people are oppressing them as white people. These Tea Partiers think that they are a dispossessed majority.” He encouraged attendees to “stand up and say the Tea Party is a racist problem and we want to get rid of it.”
So let’s get this straight. Taxpayers have to pay for white guilt conferences; there’s a course of study called “critical whiteness studies”; being white is just like being an alcoholic; and they guy (Zeskind) who correlates Tea Party Affiliation with racism used to skip work or get drunk on the job just to prove a point? Wow.
But wait. It doesn’t end there. There was an undercover investigator at the March conference who reported on even more disturbing revelations. In this case, regarding children.
In the session, “Examining White Privilege and Building Foundations for Social Justice Thinking in the Elementary Classroom,” presenters instructed educators to begin exposing children to white guilt as early as preschool, displaying various lesson plans as examples of effective teaching.
One worksheet reveals a child’s scrawl describing how the U.S. Constitution failed because “some people have different beliefs.” With another student writing, “if you are privileged you are white.”
One eight-year-old student explained, “White privilege is when people that are white get an advantage to the people who are people of color.”
You can watch the other segments of the investigation here:
Had enough? Apparently so has former Army Colonel Kurt Schlichter:
The Colonel touches it with a needle…All this amounts to is the latest in leftist insanity to help them grab the moral high ground.
So this kid Fortgang had a privileged upbringing with a few breaks along the way. He got into to Princeton didn’t he? He’s clearly not wasting that privilege. If we’re looking for a lesson here it would be that it’s not how much privilege you have (or don’t have), since you don’t have a choice, it’s what you do with it that matters.
If proto-egalitarian politicians and organizations want privileged people to feel ashamed about themselves then who’s going to get anything done in this country? How about all the privileged people out there who have totally squandered their privilege because they were privileged in the first place? So this kid came out in defense of that and the media’s reaction is to immediately take something away from him despite that his head is on straight and he wants to make something of himself.
Do you think we should be judged by where our great-great-great grandparents came from? Or do you think character is measured by the work we do and our achievements?
Race, and “privilege” in particular, are arbitrary qualifiers that do not constitute a basis for argument. Rather it’s an attempt to shut down rational conversation about race, where we come from and the choices we’ve made along the way.
Have you checked your privilege lately?