Carlos Lozada on the new book The Perils of Privilege:
It’s an unseemly yet ubiquitous practice and, as Bovy suggests, one you need to be at least somewhat privileged to indulge in. “So much of the privilege conversation really is fancy people contemplating their own fanciness,” she writes. “Privilege awareness has become a status symbol.” (…)
And she worries that, in the current political climate, it is the wrong battlefield on which liberals should make a desperate stand. “Addressing unconscious bigotry — never the most effective strategy — is altogether hopeless against the conscious variety,” she concludes. “And it’s the conscious one we’re now up against.”
As she worked on her book, Bovy confesses, she occasionally worried that she was creating a “microhistory” of a moment, one that we’d look back on with bemusement, an intellectual Macarena. But she thinks there is more to it than that; the privilege critique “isn’t a blip,” she decides. To counter it, she calls for a greater focus on differences in financial capital rather than cultural capital, and more awareness of lingering macro problems over microaggressions. Bovy also yearns for more socioeconomic diversity in media organizations and a return to traditional reporting over all those clickbait personal essays and knee-jerk anti-privilege screeds. “Let’s start writing and assigning something else,” she urges editors.