Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Walking the Privilege Walk

Just a quick one today, as much to remind myself of this material as to share it with you.  (You all?  Y'all?)  I was directed to this post on privilege by a comment on this post at John Scalzi's blog.  I was so pleased by it that I clicked through to a couple of the blogger's other posts on the subject, especially this one.  It's about the now-notorious Time magazine piece by a Princeton freshman in which he explained why, as God is his witness, he will never apologize for his white male privilege.  The blogger writes:
How to respond to that? First, I don’t know who at Princeton has been telling [Tal] Fortgang that there is a patron saint of white maleness handing out success like a Sicilian godfather, or that “nothing you have accomplished is real”, but I hope that sooner or later someone gives Tal a more accurate metaphor: Privilege is like a tailwind. You have to handle the sails, but if you handle them moderately well, you get further. The places you get to are quite real, but … you had a tailwind and a lot of other people had a headwind. Sometimes that’s the difference between arriving at your destination, being lost at sea, or never getting out of port.

In short: Lots of people studied in high school and have strong values and characters. Lots of people’s parents and grandparents were smart, long-suffering, plucky, and hard-working. Not all of them are where Tal is or have the prospects he presumably does.
It's a good one.  That is all for now.