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As I read, they dropped me deeper into the rabbit hole of angry response to the claims of white privilege.But before continuing with Barton, let me tell you about the second email that I received a couple hours after the first.In an interview on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Milkman said the race and gender of the faculty didn’t faze the white male’s privilege.
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A pair of emails crossed my desk yesterday that plunged me down a rabbit hole and into an exploration of white-male privilege—it was an amazing trip.
My understanding of the phrase “white-male privilege” tracks along the lines laid down by feminist writer and academic activist Peggy Mc Intosh, a senior research scientist and associate director of the Wellesley Centers for Women, whose 1988 essay coined the phrase “invisible knapsack” as a metaphor for the benefits “of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks” that white Americans disproportionately carry compared with black and other Americans of color.
‘Check your privilege,’ the saying goes, and I have been reprimanded by it several times this year.
In his autobiographical essay, Fortgang explains how his Jewish immigrant grandparents fled the Nazis, escaping near death, to make a new life in the United States.
He took umbrage with the implication that his failure to respond to the researchers’ fake letter represented racial animus.
As Barton wrote: For one, some professors whom I know simply do not respond to any unsolicited email, period. Possibly, but it cannot be considered a sign of ‘bias’.
This one contained a link to a Time magazine opinion piece by Tal Fortgang, a Princeton University freshman, who argues that fellow students constantly challenge his white-male privilege.
He writes: 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.