I do not accuse those who “check” me and my perspective of overt racism, although the phrase, which assumes that simply because I belong to a certain ethnic group I should be judged collectively with it, toes that line. But I do condemn them for diminishing everything I have personally accomplished, all the hard work I have done in my life, and for ascribing all the fruit I reap not to the seeds I sow but to some invisible patron saint of white maleness who places it out for me before I even arrive. Furthermore, I condemn them for casting the equal protection clause, indeed the very idea of a meritocracy, as a myth, and for declaring that we are all governed by invisible forces (some would call them “stigmas” or “societal norms”), that our nation runs on racist and sexist conspiracies. Forget “you didn’t build that;” check your privilege and realize that nothing you have accomplished is real.
The above is an extract from an opinion piece in Time penned by the grandson of Jewish immigrants who survived Hitler, a Death March and a Siberian work camp before making their way to America with no money or understanding of English, yet met and built enough of a life together to hand down the work ethic that enabled Tal Fortgang to go to Princeton.
The story is both moving and inspiring. Read as Tal explains, "Why I’ll Never Apologize for My White Male Privilege."