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He checked his privilege

I learned about white male Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang and the unearned privilege that got him where he is via Instapundit.

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.

Read the whole thing. The fact that those telling him to “check his privilege” were wrong in their assumptions is only the beginning of his argument.

19 comments to He checked his privilege

  • the other rob

    Well done, that man!

  • The Wobbly Guy

    Logic doesn’t even come into the equation anymore. It’s a matter of who-whom. White=bad, black=good. For these purposes, yellow=white=bad too.

    See how many comments on that article are against the author, and how warped they are? I bet a close scrutiny of the commentators and their racial origins will be very revealing.

  • patriarchal landmine

    it’s a new era of leftist tyranny. the goal is to convince you that your life means nothing. no need to call it genocide when an entire generation is committing suicide.

  • A number of the commenters are lunatic racists moaning about a jew being refereed to as white. Presumably because we all know jews are purple.

  • Chip

    I watch these things unfold from here in Asia, and it seems quite plausible that someone has spiked the US water supply with psychotics. I’m not sure I would send my (multiracial) kids to college there. After their schooling here, it would be a de-education and regression to toddler-like personality.

  • Paul Marks

    You are colour blind Perry – Jews are bright GREEN (the colour of money!)the “libertarian” left told me so.

    Of course (like the BM gang) they are only against “money Jews” – they are not anti-Semitic.

    In case anyone thinks the above is unfair……

    Ask a leftist who tells you to “check your privilege” what their opinion of Israel is.

  • Stonyground

    I loved the article but I was slightly shocked by the comments below it. I couldn’t believe how quickly the discussion descended into juvenile name calling.

  • NickM

    An ex-gf of mine is Jewish American. Her family on her mother’s side turned up in the USA around 1900 at Ellis Island driven from Romania by pogroms (they’d been driven from Russia before that) so they thought “bugger this – off to America!” where they by and large did very well. Anyway she did her UG stuff at Cornell and had a first year room-mate who was an anti-semitic black girl from NYC who was there on an affirmitive action program. When she discovered J was Jewish she was astounded because she thought all Jews had horns. I am not making this up. Yes, you read that right. An Ivy League student who thought Jews had horns. So how did this girl reconcile the fact that J didn’t indeed have horns? They had obviously been filed off so J (like all those other Jews) could more easily fit into society and spread their “infection” on the sly. J wasn’t even more than a vaguely believing Jew and indeed on her father’s side was DAR.

    For the record, I am of largely Nordo-Celtic stock. There are more paddies in here than a field in Vietnam. Doesn’t mean I ain’t English. Like the muslim South-Asian lady who runs the local corner shop. She’s as English as me or the Queen. She (the corner-shop lady, not the Queen!) speaks with a Manc accent. Though wouldn’t it be cool if the Queen did speak with a regional accent. Imagine a Geordie Queen…

  • Tedd

    That cracked me up, too, Perry. What’s even sadder is that the people saying it don’t seem to grasp that, even if it were true, it wouldn’t change the argument.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    A number of the commenters are lunatic racists moaning about a jew being refereed to as white. Presumably because we all know jews are purple.

    It comes from jews and non-jews alike.

    Some jews recognise that being a white male in the US offers the lowest position of ‘moral superiority’, so they endeavour as much as possible to divest themselves of that status. And if they are not considered to be white males, they can be as racist as they want without being called out on it.

    This attitude extends even to the Jews in Israel, who for a long time didn’t quite regard Ethiopian Jews as Jewish. And even when they were admitted into Israel, they weren’t exactly given the red carpet treatment.

    As for non-jews who adopt that attitude, they are either Jewsih sympathizers and sycophants, or nationalist and anti-semitic whites who hold the position that the Jew is responsible for every evil in the world.

    The US is a real mess.

  • The Wobbly Guy

    anti-semitic black girl from NYC who was there on an affirmitive action program. When she discovered J was Jewish she was astounded because she thought all Jews had horns. I am not making this up. Yes, you read that right. An Ivy League student who thought Jews had horns.

    And yet, she was probably in the upper percentiles of her ethnicity in terms of intelligence. Because the Ivy needed her to make up their diversity quota.

    So imagine what’s in the minds of her fellow ethnics with lower intelligence. And consider that there’s a lot of them.

  • staghounds

    Every time I’ve been required to participate in one of those idiot “white privilege walks” my pasty Southern butt has been pressed against the back wall by the time it was over.

    THE most revealing bit of Soviet theatre ever.

  • Simply excellent. I didn’t bother with the comments, and also, as the resident Jew (?) I would have picked a different quote.

  • CaptDMO

    Hmmmm. I checked my privilege. I earned it from heavy lifting, never mind “my” peoples um…history.
    I plan on keeping it.

  • Laird

    One of the commenters on the original site (The Princeton Tory — who knew?) gave the perfect response to the “check your privilege” challenge: “Check your excuses.”

  • The interesting thing is, it is not a given that somebody whose grandparents and parents suffered and toiled as his would end up thinking like he does: I’m betting half of those who are saying “check your privilege” have similar stories, but instead of appreciating their lot have turned into ungrateful, sniveling shits. Just because two generations worked their arses off to give their kids a chance, doesn’t mean the third generation won’t be complete twats. In fact, it’s normally the third generation who turns out to be the waster who squanders the opportunities and the family fortune. I have often been surprised when meeting the parents of some complete twat to find they are lovely people.

  • Jake Haye

    I wish my ancestors were intelligent, hardworking and enterprising with a strong family-oriented culture like that guy’s. I might even feel privileged …

  • Julie near Chicago

    Laird, you got a point there! :>))!!

  • Roue le Jour

    It’s a very moving story, but irrelevant. ‘Privilege’ is a magical mystical property that allows the wrong people to succeed.