Check your own damn privilege
Complaints about privilege are growing tiresome.
It’s the shallow call of those who can’t win an argument on the merits. It’s a cop-out.
It’s an epidemic on campuses, and in the “white privilege” industrial complex where careers and incomes depend on getting universities and donors to pony up big $$$ to support conferences and academic slots.
We saw it last night on Twitter as an anti-Israel divestment resolution at UC-Davis ended in a tie, which meant it did not pass:
Zio speaker at #UCDavisDivest: "this is wasting our time" — Ok… thanks for demonstrating your privilege.
— SDSU SJP (@SDSU_SJP) May 9, 2014
#UCDavisDivest Considering it's a tie (which led to failure) I think the winner tonight is neither Zionism or human dignity, but privilege.
— Nadir Bouhmouch نادر (@LeJebly) May 9, 2014
Ramesh Ponnuru writes about this phenomenon at Bloomberg, ‘Check Your Privilege’ Means ‘Shut Your Mouth’:
We’ve all known forever that Princeton University is a place of many privileges. It has recently gotten a new one: Starting an argument from there, filled with conservative sentiments and anecdotes, is now a surefire way to command the attention of the Internet.
Last time it was “the Princeton mom,” Susan Patton, who wrote to the school’s newspaper advising female undergraduates to spend more time finding a husband. Now it’s Tal Fortgang, a freshman at the university, who complained about being told to “check his privilege” — the prevailing campus lingo urging people to admit their advantages in life — one too many times. (I was privileged to attend Princeton in the last millennium, before people used these words.)
Critics have been ferocious, and have largely missed the point. Sometimes they miss their own point. Mary Elizabeth Williams, a writer at Salon, says that Fortgang is only imagining that anyone has asked him to apologize for his privileges; a few sentences later, she complains, “Just what the world needs — more unrepentant affluent people.” So he isn’t being asked to apologize, just to repent?
It’s also reflected in the microaggression mania, as we documented at McGill University in Montreal, Microaggression Mania: McGill U. student leader apologizes for .gif of Obama kicking open door.
Noah Rothman writes, The Pending Implosion of the ‘Check Your Privilege’ Movement
The rapidity with which the “privilege” movement caught on within a small but influential cast of left-leaning opinion bloggers is rivaled only by the alacrity with which the many layers of “privilege” were discovered and subsequently denounced. In an effort to limit those who could claim the moral authority associated with being underprivileged, the movement grew unwieldy and overburdened. Now, the first glancing blow at its logical foundations has threatened to topple the structurally unsound inverted pyramid of the “privilege” movement. It seems set to collapse in on itself.
Your privilege, which you will be reminded to “check” repeatedly by those adherents to the faith, centers on the subjectively defined benefits associated with your gender, age, religion, physical appearance, full use of all or some extremities, height, race, skin tone (not to be confused with race), and sexuality. And that is a truncated list of the ever-expanding catalogue of “privileges” one might wield.
There is a privilege, alright. The privilege to tell others
to shut the hell up check your privilege.
I wish I had that one.DONATE
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