Checking Privilege at Southern Oregon University
February 19, 2016

The Bias Response Committee at Southern Oregon University has launched a "check your privilege" campaign. These have been popular among diversity people for quite some time. The current SOU campaign involves placing posters about campus with wordings like, "If you don't have to think about it, it's a privilege." ( Did You Check Your Privilege? by Ryan J. Degan, The Siskiyou, Feb 10, 2016. See also SOU tells students size DOES matter when it comes to privilege, Peter Fricke, Campus Reform, Feb. 10, 2016)

I have thought about it. When members of something like a "Bias Response Committee" talk about "privilege," they are usually talking about good fortune. In Europe, in the old days, if you were an aristocrat, you had privileges not enjoyed by commoners. We do not have that system in the U.S.A. Indeed, a founding principle of the U.S.A. was a rejection of that system. But, of course, we have large differences in fortune.

Part of good fortune is being born into a prosperous family in a prosperous community. Part of it is being born into a culture that fosters personal growth and achievement in its members, through institutional services as well as general attitude. "It takes a village to raise a child," as Hillary Clinton once noted. Part of good fortune is being born into a village that does that well.

The Social Justice types want to think in terms of "privilege." Conservatives think in terms of culture and social capital. I'm with the conservatives on this issue. Those who sincerely wish to enhance the fortunes of non-white Americans should think deeply about institutional, cultural and attitudinal features that have contributed to white prosperity. Simply observing the good fortune of white Americans and calling it "privilege" does nothing to help anyone.


Here are links to some propaganda fliers you might use to counter the "privilege" meme.



Student Loans

Cannon Fodder


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