Why I’ll Never Apologize for My White Male Privilege

by robinhardwick

Tal Fortag is going to have a real embarrassing time when, in four years, he looks for a job and employers are googling him. Sure, this essay is naive and misguided, but I actually wonder how he got into Princeton and none of the advanced classes he took in high school explained the simple concept of INSTITUTIONAL v. INDIVIDUAL racism. Because really, that distinction would have cleared everything up for him. Sure, Tal is having his moment in the spotlight, but someone get him to a Sociology 101 class, stat.


There is a phrase that floats around college campuses, Princeton being no exception, that threatens to strike down opinions without regard for their merits, but rather solely on the basis of the person that voiced them. “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. “Check your privilege,” they tell me in a command that teeters between an imposition to actually explore how I got where I am, and a reminder that I ought to feel personally apologetic because white males seem to pull most of the strings in the world.

I do not accuse those who “check” me and my perspective of overt racism…

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