As I read, they dropped me deeper into the rabbit hole of angry response to the claims of white privilege.
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.Applications are now open for the next class of CAP Leadership Institute.
My appearance certainly doesn’t tell the whole story, and to assume that it does and that I should apologize for it is insulting. Similarly, Barton raises sincere doubts about a host of factors other than white-male privilege that might influence human behavior, some having nothing at all to do with racial or gender bias.
While I haven’t done everything for myself up to this point in my life, someone sacrificed themselves so that I can lead a better life. Of course, those with privilege rarely acknowledge their advantage. But it’s hard to escape the obvious: These two men feel aggrieved that an unwanted group association is stigmatizing them. What Barton and Fortgang are asking of those who challenge their privilege is precisely what their nonwhite and nonmale neighbors have long sought for themselves.
This led to his father and mother making a life for Fortgang. They protest with emotion and logic that they should be recognized as individuals, not a member of a privileged—read: racist—group.
Clearly proud of his family, faith, and heritage, Fortgang concludes he has, indeed, been privileged in his life but not as “detractors” understand it: Behind every success, large or small, there is a story, and it isn’t always told by sex or skin color. Fortgang, in particular, makes a valid point when he argues that gender and race never reveal the whole story of a human life.
These factors are far more likely to determine whether or not I respond.
His pained response triggered a long string of comments.
Sam Fulwood III is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Director of the CAP Leadership Institute.
His work with the Center’s Progress 2050 project examines the impact of policies on the nation when there will be no clear racial or ethnic majority by the year 2050.
Their personal experiences won’t be the yardsticks by which all others are measured, no matter how much they argue to the contrary.
As Barton and Fortgang—and the nation—embrace this reality, then the unconscious bias that favors white men and fuels the real-world effects of prejudice and discrimination against others may be finally recognized and defeated.