There’s an awful lot of talk about “privilege” these days,
but not much talk about one of the most peculiar things relating to it: the
people who seem to scream the loudest about it are apparently unaware that they
themselves are often the most privileged among us.
Maybe they do know it and their obsession with telling
everyone else to “check their privilege” is overcompensation for their
guilt. But I don’t think so. I think they have truly convinced themselves
that they too are victims of the privileged class.
Someone needs to break it to them that (see if you can
follow this) being so blissfully unaware of how privileged you are to the point
that you can obliviously lecture those less privileged than you about their
problem with privilege is about as scandalously privileged as a person can
For instance, touting her Time Magazine cover story on freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, privileged reporter Charlotte Alter tweeted:
“[Cortez] and I were born the same year. She was a Dunkaroos kid – I liked fruit roll-ups. People our age have never experienced American prosperity in our adult lives – which is why so many millennials are embracing Democratic socialism.”
Plenty of other people appropriately exposed Alter’s rather
pathetic appeal to victimhood. Alter
went to Harvard. Alter’s mother was the
executive producer of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central. Alter’s dad is a best-selling author. Alter’s dad was also a former editor of
So let’s be frank: her family’s money, name-recognition,
connections, and politics – something she did not earn, and something millions
of her contemporaries did not have the benefit of – have locked her into a high-paying
gig at a major U.S. media organization.
Alter is privileged. Alter knows
The same goes for Cortez, of course.
And the same goes for a generation of millennials raised on Dunkaroos and fruit roll-ups. They aren’t foolishly flirting with socialism because they have never experienced American prosperity. Much the opposite, they are foolishly flirting with socialism because they have never experienced anything but American prosperity.
They’ve come to believe that Dunkaroos and fruit roll-ups are things the under-privileged are forced to endure. They’ve come to believe that their own decision to rack up ridiculous amounts of college loan debt so that they could enjoy the campus lifestyle while obtaining a uselessly unmarketable degree of their own choosing is somehow a sign of their misfortune.
To the contrary, it’s nothing but proof of their great
privilege that they have grown up in such an environment that they can type of
their economic plight on an $800 iPhone, promoting a system by which they can
take more of someone else’s productivity for their own benefit.
Contrary to what you’ll read in Time or hear from a certain
New York representative, it is that reality – a brash, arrogant sense of
privileged entitlement – that draws significant numbers of millennials to
socialism. Nothing else.