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Pride and Prejudice

Posted on: May 5, 2014

http://www.salon.com/2014/05/04/ill_never_apologize_for_my_white_privilege_guy_is_basically_most_of_white_america/

For the love of God. This guy. For the non-clickers, this is a link to a Princeton University freshman named Tal Fortgang on Fox News talking about how he will “never apologize” for his white privilege.

I have a few thoughts on this. But you already knew that.

1. First and foremost, there is no discussion that is ever expanded, edified or improved by the addition of the opinion of any college freshman from any school in any country at any time. I say this as a former college freshman who led, attended and invoked countless discussions, roundtables and symposia during my college years. I’m not being a hater; just a realist with an honest memory of my insufferability at the time. College freshmen have quite literally nothing to add to any serious discussion of any topic, simply because their heads are too far up their own self-satisfied and self-important asses to be of any value. So there’s that.

2. Ugh. He’s Jewish, and embarrassing the rest of us in the Tribe. Old Jews–and this kid–will claim that Jews aren’t “white” as the “check your white privilege” meaning goes. The very fact that this kid gets to claim this shows how white we are in America today. Please hear me. There is nothing wrong with us getting ahead and bringing our kids and grandkids with us. But to have gained all the benefits of whitedom in America as the GRANDCHILD of bootstrapper Holocaust survivors and somehow act like you yourself survived Auschwitz with a dollar and a dream is just disrespectful BS. And to get on TV to complain about it? Privilege. This kid’s existence on TV and in Time Magazine is making the point about privilege in gorgeous, living color.

3. I hear what he is TRYING to say. That being told to check his privilege is dismissive of him, based on nothing but his skin color and gender. I get it. My dad was a white guy who I assure you never felt privileged in his life. I have many friends who work their asses off in long-day jobs who I assure you do not feel the soothing milk of privileged kindness each day as they punch the clock. That’s a discussion we can have without pretending some wealthy 19 year old college freshman is a victim. So why can’t he just say that? He has to launch into a list of all the great qualities that were imparted to him by his hard working forebears (that obviously weren’t imparted to the lazy poor people he deals with). He has to whine about the Libruls being mean to him. “I do condemn them 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.” All the hard work he has done in his life. He’s 19 fucking years old. At Princeton. What if Tal had been born in Slapout, Alabama to a single mother in a trailer park? Would he still be at Princeton? Would he still be so sure that NOTHING BUT HARD WORK gets you to your goals? The fact that he has not even considered this alternate reality for himself tells us all we need to know about the real amount of thought that has gone into his beliefs.

4. THIS: “‘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.” Wow. He manages a swipe at the President, a florid description of his smooth creamy delicate skin, AND a ludicrously hilarious pseudointellectual German synonym for “point of view.” ALL IN ONE PARAGRAPH! Please please please refer yourself back to Point #1. And ask yourself, if there were no white male privilege operating at any level in the world, whether this ridiculous essay would have even been considered for publication had it been written by anyone else.

No, Greta and Sean and Megyn, this kid did not “take down” or “demolish” the liberal argument about white male privilege. He quite elegantly proved it.

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