05/16/2014 01:05 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Princeton Professor On White Privilege: Our Conversation Needs To Be Bigger

Princeton University freshman Tal Fortgang made waves online with a controversial editorial republished in Time titled "Why I'll Never Apologize For My White Male Privilege." The piece generated an energetic discussion about the concept of privilege and what it means, but Princeton professor Imani Perry says we need to change the conversation.

In a HuffPost Live segment, Perry, who teaches at Princeton's Center for African American Studies, said Fortgang would benefit from one of her classes on racial inequality. But the real issue, she said, is that the reaction to Fortgang's piece has strayed too far from the big picture.

"One of the problems with the conversation focusing around privilege is it does make it a conversation about individuals and a question of individual narrative, as opposed to about the structures and the longstanding practices of racial inequality," Perry said.

She added that the discourse needs to focus more on the deep-seeded aspects of why things are harder for minorities.

"When we talk about inequality," Perry explained, "we really need to have more rigorous discussion about the accumulation of wealth, about employment opportunities, about all sorts of things."

Catch the full HuffPost Live conversation about racial privilege below.