Some people still think it is a socially acceptable way to explain things. Let me be clear, those people are wrong. It does not in any way explain anything to a prejudiced person. It makes things worse. Yes, often people that have never had their rights violated do not understand how pervasive the problem is. But using the word privilege makes it harder, not easier, for them to understand the problem.
This is partly because it is often used as an insult, but that is a side issue.
It is NOT a 'privilege' to:
- Walk down the street without being catcalled.
- Not be stopped by a police officer for walking/driving/standing while black, latino, etc.
- Wear my religious gear, including artifacts of faith - such as a kirpan blade.
- Get a mortgage based on my financials without regard to race, gender, etc.
- Get married to the man/women of my choice without regard to my own gender
Those are not privileges. These are Rights. Constitutional Rights in America, Chartered Rights in Canada, Human Rights in England, etc.
When you call these things as privileges, not rights you are saying these violations are not so bad. You are saying that certain people get the advantage of not having to deal with them. These things do not happen to tall, white, straight christian male Americans but that is not an unearned privilege that can/should be taken away from them, putting them in the same place as minorities.
That is the idea of an autocratic, dictatorial tyrant, not a democracy.
When you talk about "privileges" in this manner, including the incredibly obnoxious phrase "Check Your Privilege", you are being totalitarianist. You are making the problem worse, not better.
Anyone using the words "Check Your Privilege" is worse than the racists they are talking to. The racist may not be aware of rights being violated, but at least they know Rights exist.