I know, what do you expect?
On Tuesday the site Young Conservatives posted an article, originally from the Princeton Tory, about white male privilege. I have a few things to say in response.
I’m not going to go point by point because it’s not worth my time, but he manages to invoke the Holocaust and the American Dream™ without ever actually addressing that many MANY people have ancestors who came to this country as immigrants, having escaped the same situation (or other comparably horrific ones) and still do not have the same opportunities.
Of course I’m sorry his ancestors had to go through the Holocaust, because I’m sorry that ANYONE had to go through that (or other acts of genocide, slavery, and other atrocities). But what happened to them historically has nothing to do with the way the current American society treats white men, and, by comparison, how it treats people who are not white men. Our ancestors are not us — if they were, I want to know, would I be living in a poor village in the south of Italy or would I be a queen? Because I can trace my ancestry to both.
Our history can shape how we look at ourselves and the world, of course, but to suggest that the circumstances your family escaped negate the power structures in place in this country is laughable and obtuse. You only have to look back about a week in the news cycle to find a study that showed that students with names that read as white and male have more success when cold-emailing academics to find a mentor than those sending identical emails with names that are either female or read as non-white. The very fact that this young man had to go digging into his ancestry to find examples of a lack of privilege means he cannot find those examples in his everyday life, which indicates he is living with a lot of privilege. Many people merely have to walk out their front door to be confronted with their lack of privilege.
He completely misses the point that there is a power structure in place, one that he has and always will benefit from by merits of being white and male (and I assume cisgendered, heterosexual, and able-bodied). And since nuance is likely lost on him and his ilk, I will proceed with the following highly intellectual response: