The New York Times reports. Princeton freshman Tal Fortgang had the temerity to pen his opinion on the phrase “Check Your Privilege”. It is a phrase that is used to end a discussion when a participant is unable to argue the facts at hand. It is meant to challenge, typically white males, to think about how fortunate they are and how easy it is for them in life because of the situation of their birth. And fair enough, self-examination is critical in developing ones world view. The problem lies with those who use the phrase.
These people are so sure that the success of others lies with their “privilege” need to a great deal of soul-searching themselves. But they typically stop short because they know they are the ones who suffer daily at the hands of the Privileged. Everything in life is harder for them because of their skin color, economic status and so on, than for the lucky Privileged people, who are so blind they can’t see they aren’t deserving of the benefits that have been handed to them as a right of birth.
A rational discussion would be beneficial but to dismiss a contrary opinion with the flippant phrase “Check Your Privilege” is not helpful.