(2020) by Isabel Wilkerson
I write about human nature. Pulitzer Prize. Humanities Medal. Author: The Warmth of Other Suns & Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
if the majority knew of the root of this evil, then the road to its cure would not be long – albert einstein
the man in the crowd
(in famous photo from third reich) he is alone in refusing to salute .. at the time, he could not have know the murderous path the hysteria around him would lead to.. but he had already seen enough to reject it
kaepernick ness .. et al
his personal experience (forbidden to marry jewish woman) and close connection to he scapegoated caste allowed him to see past the lies and stereotypes so readily embraced by susceptible members.. though aryan himself, his openness to the humanity of the people who had been deemed beneath him gave him a stake in their well being, their fates tied to his.. he could see what his countrymen chose not to see..
in a totalitarian regime such as that of the third reich, it was an act of bravery to stand firm against an ocean.. we would all want to believe that we would have been him..
but unless people are willing to transcend their fears, endure discomfort and derision, suffer the score of loved ones and neighbors and co workers and friends, fall into disfavor of perhaps everyone they know, face exclusion and even banishment, it would be numerically impossible, humanly impossible, for everyone to be that man. what would it take to be him in any era? what would it take to be him now?
part 1 – toxins in the permafrost and heat rising all around
1 – the afterlife of pathogens
(on the pathogen awakened in siberia in 2016) .. the anthrax, like the reactivation of the human pathogens of hatred and tribalism in this evolving century, had never died.. it lay in wait, sleeping until extreme circumstances brought it to the surface and back to life
on other side of planet.. world’s oldest and most powerful democracy was in spasms over election..
fall of 2008 – in midst of fin crisis.. a man from what aw historically the lowest caste, was elected president.. his ascension incited both premature declarations of a post racial world and an entire movement whose sole purpose was to prove that he had not been born in the us.. a campaign led by the billionaire who was now in 2016 running for pres himself..
after the votes had been counted (back to 2016) and the billionaire declared winner.. to the shock of the world and of those perhaps less steeped in the country’s racial and political history, a man on a golf course in georgia could feel free to express himself.. he was a son of the confederacy, which had gone to war against the us for the right to enslave other humans.. the election was victory for him and for the social order he had been born to.. he said to those around him’ i remember a time when everybody knew their place.. time we got back to that’
the sentiment of returning to an old order of things, the closed hierarchy of the ancestors, soon spread across the land in a headline grabbing wave of hate crime and mass violence..
on his own.. withdrew world’s oldest democracy from paris agreement on climate change
moxie on democracy et al
leading psychiatrists.. diagnose him as malignant narcissist.. a danger to the public.. then lists all bad stuff happening up to the denying pandemic.. the country was losing the capacity to be shocked.. the unfathomable became just another part of one’s day
what had happened to america? what could account for tens of millions of voters choosing to veer from all custom.. how could so many ‘vote against their own interests’
(on comparing what happened to earthquakes) only recently have geophysicists had tech sensitive enough to detect the unseen stirrings deeper in the earth’s core.. they are called silent earthquakes.. and only recently have circumstances forces us, to search for the unseen stirrings of the human heart, to discover the origins of our discontent..
would love it if she would.. but doubt she’ll be going deep enough herself.. our biggest problem.. missing the center of the problem.. we need to let go of any form of telling people what to do ness.. if we want to undo our hierarchical listening ie: 2 convers as infra
the vitals of history
ie’s of med history not being ignored
yeah i don’t know.. med field is so off base.. because we keep basing it on human field of history.. that is so off base
2 – an old house and an infrared light
(ie of old house and how you can’t ignore flaws in structure et al) we in the developed world are like homeowners who inherited a house on a ice of land that is beautiful on the outside.. but whose soil is unstable loam and rock.. et al.. may say ‘i had nothing to do w how this all started.. w the sins of the post..’.. and yes.. but here we are.. the current occupants.. and further deterioration i sin fact on our hands. won’t fix themselves.. toxins will spread..
live w it long enough and the unthinkable becomes normal.. exposed over the generations we learn to believe that the incomprehensible is the way that life is supposed to be
caste is the infra of our divisions.. the architecture of human hierarchy.. the subconscious code of instructions for maintaining, in our case, a 400 yr old social order
further back than that..
a caste system is an artificial construction, a fixed and embedded ranking of human value that stets the presume supremacy of one group against the presumed inferiority of other groups on the basis of ancestry and often immutable traits, traits that would be neutral in the abstract but are ascribed life and death meaning in a hierarchy favoring the dominant caste whose forebears designed it..
higashida autism law et al
google defn: the system of dividing society into hereditary classes.
wikipedia: Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution
a case system uses rigid, often arbitrary boundaries to keep the ranked groupings apart, distinct form one another and in their assigned places
siddiqi border law et al
thru out history 3 caste systems have stood out: nazi germany; india; us
each version relied on stigmatizing those deemed inferior to justify the dehumanization necessary to keep the lowest ranked people at the bottom and to rationalize the protocols of enforcement..
it embeds in our bones an unconscious ranking of human characteristic s and sets for the rules, expectations and stereotypes that have been used to justify brutalities against entire groups.. in the american cast system, the signal of rank is what we cal race, the division of humans on the basis of their appearance.. in america, race is the primary tool and the visible decoy, the front man, for caste
race does the heavy lifting for a caste system that demand a means of human division.. it’s the historic flash card to the public of how they are to be treated..
caste is the bones, race the skin.. race is what we can see.. castes is the powerful infra that holds each group in its place..
caste is fixed/rigid.. race is fluid/superficial.. subject to periodic redefinition to meet needs of the dominant casted..
thus.. we are all born into a silent wargame.. enlisted in teams not of our own choosing..
use of inherited physical characteristics to differentiate inner abilities and group value may be the cleverest way that a culture has ever devised to manage and maintain a caste system..
andrew hacker: use of physical traits to form human categories ‘surpasses al others – even gender – in intensity and subordination
any form of people telling people what to do
3 – an american untouchable
more than a century and a half before the american revolution, a human hierarchy had evolved on the contested soil of what would become the us.. a concept of birthright, the temptation of entitled expansion that would set in motion the world’s first democracy and, with it, a ranking of human value and usage
f & b & dm same law et al
and.. way before 150 yrs before.. just got way better branding/violence then
if they were to convert this wilderness and civilize it to their liking, they decided they would need to conquer, enslave, or remove the people already on it.. to justify their plans, they took pre existing notions.. reinforced by their self interested interpretation of the bible.. and created a hierarchy of who could do what..
jensen civilization law et al
there emerged a ladder of humanity, global in nature.. upper rung from europe.. down to bottom – african captives..
again.. not new.. just new branding (or whatever)
there developed a caste system.. its very invisiblity is what tives it power and longevity..
charles sumner as he fought against segregation ‘the separation of children in public schools on account of color/race is in the nature of caste’..
school (supposed to’s of school/work) is in the nature of caste
the caste system and the attempts to defend/abolish the hierarchy, underlay the american civil war and the civil rights movement.. just as dna is code for cell development, caste is the operating system for econ, political and social interaction
1944 – swedish social economist gunnar myrdal .. produced volume work that is still considered perhaps most comprehensive study of race.. ‘an american dilemma’.. myrdal’s investigation into race led him to the realization that the most accurate term to describe the rankings of american society was not race, but caste, that perhaps it was the only term that addresses what seemed a stubbornly fixed ranking of human value..
color line has function of upholding caste system itself..
i embarked on this book w similar desire to reach out across oceans to better understand how all this began in us.. what are the origins and workings of the hierarchy that intrudes upon the daily life and life chances of every american?
i began to compile the parallels (germany, india, us) in a more systematic way and id’d the essential shared characteristics of these hierarchies, what i call the 8 pillars of caste,, traits disturbingly present in all of them
thru out this book you will see many references to the american south, the birthplace of this caste system..
tocqueville in 1831 ‘the prejudice of race appears to be stronger in the states that have abolished slavery than in those where it still exists.. and nowhere is it so intolerant as in those states where servitude has never been known
gare enslavement law et al
an invisible program
(ie of the film.. the matrix) humans search for way to escape their entrapment.. they are captives, safe on the surface, as long as they are unaware of their captivity.. the blindness to one’s imprisonment.. is the most effective way for human beings to remain captive
why structural violence is so effective..
those who awaken to their captivity threaten the hum of the matrix.. signals a breach in order..
‘the ones doing their job.. doing what they were meant to do are invisible.. you’d never even know they were here’
so too.. the caste system.. as it goes about tis work in silence.. its instructions and intravenous drip to the mind.. caste in the guise of normalcy, injustice looking just, atrocities looking unavoidable t keep the machinery humming.. maintaining the primacy of those hoarding and holding tight to power
part 2 – the arbitrary construction of human divisions
4 – a long running play and the emergence of caste in america
played the roles long enough to incorporate the roles into their very being.. to merge the assignment w their inner selves a dh ow they are seen in the world
the cosutems were handed out at birth and can never be removed..
at birth – yeah aybe – ie: maté parenting law et al;
can never be removed – well.. we just haven’t figured out how yet.. but they can be ie: almaas holes law.. et al
2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b free people
you are not to be yourself.. stick to the script and t othe part you are cast to play , and you will be rewarded.. veer from script and you will face the consequences..
before there was a us of a there was the caste system, born in colonial virginia.. at first, religion not race as we now know it.. defined the status of people.. christianity, a as proxy for europeans, generally exempted european workers from lifetime enslavement.. this initial distinction is what condemned, first, indigenous people, ten africans, most of whom were not christians upon arrival.. to the lowest rung of an emerging hierarchy before the concept of race had congealed to justify their eventual and total debasement
the creation of a caste system was a process of testing the bounds of human categories and not the result of a single edit.. decades long sharpening of lines whenever the colonists had a decision to make
yeah.. see the cancer of decision making
when africans began converting to christianity, they posed a challenge to a religion based hierarchy..
the strengths of african workers became their undoing.. british ..saw africans as ‘a civilized and relatively docile population’ w were ‘accustomed to discipline’ and who cooperated well on a give task.. africans demo’d an immunity to european diseases, making them more viable to the colonists than were the indigenous they had previously tried to enslave
africans had birth mark over entire body.. so couldn’t escape.. colonists unable to enslave native population on its own turf.. solved w africans they imported.. left africans firmly at bottom and by late 1600s africans were not merely slaves; they were hostages subjected to unspeakable tortures that their captors documented w/o remorse.. and there was no on on the planet willing to pay a ransom for their rescue
americans loath to talk about enslavement in part because what little we know goes against our perception of our country as a just and enlightened nation, a beacon of democracy for the world
democracy as caste tool/perpetuation
for a qtr of millennium, slavery was the country
and still is
slavery in this land not merely an unfortunate thing that happened to black people.. it was an american innovation/institution created by/for benefit of elites of the domiant caste
american slavery which lasted from 1619 to 1865 was not the slavery of ancient greece or the illicit sex slavery of today.. the abhorrent slavery of today is unreservedly illegal, and any current day victim who escapes, escapes to a world that recognizes her freedom and will work to punish her enslaver..
yeah.. i don’t buy that.. just have made it more invisible
american slavery, by contrast, was legal and sanctioned by the state and a web of enforcers.. any escapee.. escaped to world that didn’t recognize her freedom and return her to her captors
the institution of slavery was, for a quarter millennium, the conversion of human beings into currency.. into machines who existed solely for profit of owners..
edward baptis: ‘no one was willing to admit that they lived in an econ whose bottom gear was torture’
still that.. ie: structural violence et al
slavery so perverted the balance of power that it made the degradation of the subordinate caste seem normal and righteous..
the colonists mad decisions that created the caste system long before the arrival of the ancestors of the majority of people who now id as americans
it was in the process of ranking that we were all cast into assigned roles to meet the needs of the larger production
none of us are ourselves
spot on – black science of people/whales law
5 – ‘the container we have built for you‘
‘i find that white people are fine w me as long as i stay in my place as long as i stay in ‘the container we have built for you”
each of us is in a container of some kind.. the label signals to the world wha tis presumed to be inside and what tis to be done w ti.. the label tells you which shelf your container supposedly belongs on.. in a caste system, the label is frequently out of sync w the contents.. mistakenly put on the wrong shelf and this hurts people and institution in ways we may not always know
way way deeper than that.. we’re all put in sea world
there is no right shelf for a human being
i will not mention the name, not because of censorship or a desire to protect any co’s reputation, but because of our cultural tendency to believe that if we just id the presumed-to-be- rare offending outlier, we will have rooted out the problem. the problem could have happened anyplace, because the problem is, in fact, at the root
yeah.. let’s make sure we go deep enough .. to get to the legit root.. otherwise.. great book/ideas/insight.. but still spinning our wheels
6 – the measure of humanity
(on the idea of race and how we’d think it was ridiculous if we based it on height rather than color of skin)
smedleys: ‘what we actually ‘see’.. are the learned social meanings, the stereotypes, that have been linked to those physical features by the ideology of race and the historical legacy it has left us’..
the human imumpusle to create hierarchies runs across societies and cultures, predates the diea of race, and thus is farther reaching, deeper and older than raw racism and the comparatively new division of humans by skin colcor..
the modern day version of easily deniable racism may be able to cloak the invisible structure that created and maintains hierarchy and inequality. but caste does not allow us to ignore structure. caste is structure.. caste is ranking.. caste is the boundaries that reinforce the fixed assignments based upon what people look like..
caste is the granting or withholding of respect, status, honor, attention, privileges, resources, benefit of the doubt, and human kindness to someone on the basis of their perceived rank or standing in the hierarchy..
we would do well to let go of respect, status, honor, attention, privileges.. those are all part of and perpetuating the deeper problem
caste is insidious and therefore powerful because it is not hatred, it is not necessarily personal. it is the worn grooves of comforting routines and unthinking expectations, patterns of social order that have been in place for so long that it looks like the natural order of things
what race and racism do extraordinarily well is to confuse and distract form the underlying structural and more powerful sith lord of caste.. a case system holds everyone in a fixed place..
many people.. including those we might see as good/in.. could be casteist.. meaning.. invested in keeping the hierarchy as it is or content to do nothing to change it..
its invisibility is what ives it power and longevity.. caste .. along w its faithful servant race, is an x factor in most any american equation, and any answer one might ever come up w to address out current challenge is flawed w/o it
why would we have an american equation?
that’s part of caste ing.. let go
7 – thru the fog of delhi to the parallels in india and america
unlike the us, which primarily uses physical features.. in india it is surnames that may most readily convey their caste..
8 – the nazis and the acceleration of caste
they (nazis) were looking to move quickly w their plans for racial separation and purity and knew that the us was centuries ahead of them w its anti miscegenation (interbreeding) statutes and race based immigration bans
wester europeans had long been aware of the american paradox of proclaiming liberty for all mean while holding subsets of its citizenry in near total subjugation..
tocqueville (1830s); ‘surface of american society is covered w a layer of democratic paint’
deeper.. f & b & dm same law
germany well understood the us fixation on race purity and eugenics, the pseudosciene of grading hmans by rpresomed group superiority
marsh label law et al
a racial slur that the nazis adopted in their campaign to dehumanize jews and other non aryans – the word untermensch, meaning ‘subhuman’..
hitler had studied america from afar, both envying and admiring it.. genocide of native americans et al.. nazi germany looked to america for inspiration.. the nazis recognized the parallels even if many americans did not..
mindful of appearances beyond their borders, for the time being at least, the nazis wondered how the us had managed to turn it racial hierarchy into rigid law yet retain such a sterling reputation on the world state.. ‘public opinion accepted them – racial prohibitions – as natural’
kier was just one of several nazi researchers ‘who thought american law went overboard’
the tangle of american definitions lent a measure of latitude and a useful inconsistency to the task of human division.. a defn of race apart from logic/science.. an approach freisler called it the ‘political construction of race’..
the one drop rule was too harsh for the nazis (one drop of negro blood counted as blacks)
9 – the evil of silence
they were covered in evil, and some were good parents and capable spouses, and yet they did nothing to stop the evil, which had now grown too big for one person to stop, and thus no one person was complicit, and yet everyone was complicit..
bonhoeffer ‘silence in the face of evil is itself evil.. not to speak is to speak.. not to act is to act’..
the people had ingested the lies of an inherent untermenschen, that these prisoners – jews, sinti, homosexuals, opponents of the reich – were not humans like themselves, and thus the townspeople swept the ash from their steps and carried on w their days.. mothers pulled their children inside when the wind kicked up, hurried them along, to keep them from being covered in the ash of fellow human beings
500 people.. fall 1921 to see wylie mcneely burn.. but first.. settle who would get which piece of body..
july 1935.. lynchings et al
part 3 – the eight pillars of caste
the foundations of caste – the origins of our discontents
it mattered little that they were misperceptions of distortions of convenience, as long as people accepted them and gained a sense of order and means of justification for the cruelties to which they had grown accustomed, inequalities that they took to be the laws of nature
human nature ness
these are the pillars of casted.. commonalities of three major caste hierarchies.. america, india, nazi germany.. beliefs burrowed deep w/in the culture and collective subconscious of most every inhabitant, in order for a caste system to function
begs a means to undo our hierarchical listening
pillar 1 – divine will and the laws of nature
the people who the europeans told themselves (dark skin) had been condemned to enslavement by god’s emissary , noah himself.. (curse of ham).. leviticus and bondmen/maids.. they took this as further license to enslave those they considered religious heathens.. hierarchy evolved.. lightest skin above darkest
slavery officially ended in 1865, but the structure or case remained intact, not only surviving but hardening
didn’t end – why do people keep saying that
belief in a human pyramid willed by god..
pillar 2 – heritability
ascribed rank at birth.. deemed immutable, primordial, inescapable..
class is an altogether separate measure of one’s standing in a society, marked by level of ed, income, and occupation et al.. these can be acquired thru hard work.. ingenuity.. or lost thru poor decisions or calamity.. if you can act your way out of it, then it is class .. not caste..
pillar 3 – endogamy and the control of marriage/mating
to keep castes separate and to seal off the bloodlines of hose assigned to the upper rung.. endogamy – restricting marriage to people w/in same caste.. before there was a us.. there was endogamy, said to be ordained by god..
endogamy ensure the very difference that a caste system relies on to justify inequality..
pillar 4 – purity vs pollution
purity from dominant caste.. pollution from castes beneath it.. protecting sanctity from perceived taint
on beaches and pools and text books..et al.. being kept separate
‘the traceable amount’ – in blood – ‘became pre req to functioning caste system’
their exclusion was used to justify their exclusion.. their degraded station justified their degradation.. they were consigned to the lowliest, dirtiest jobs and thus were seen as lowly and dirty.. and everyone in the caste system absorbed the message of their degradation
the burden fell on those in the lowest cast to adjust themselves for the convenience of the dominant caste whenever in contact w white people
interpretive labor et al
also.. keeps saying beyond race.. then using white.. and saying that white means caucasian.. but..? i don’t know.. not really getting to the root of our separation.. all ie’s have these lines.. even tracing amounts of variation in blood.. still leaves some in some upper group.. yet the separation (the root of the problem) goes beyond that.. beyond excluding based on purity and pollution.. i guess if that boils down to seeking/defining good/evil.. i don’t know.. i feel like this is bikeshedding ness
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caucasian_race: Caucasoid has been used as an umbrella term for phenotypically similar groups from these different regions, with a focus on skeletal anatomy, and especially cranial morphology, without regard to skin tone. Ancient and modern “Caucasoid” populations were thus not exclusively “white,” but ranged in complexion from white-skinned to dark brown
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste: Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution
the manufactured terror she had allowed to consume her .. the box that she realized had imprisoned her for all of her life.. he was a captive of his own conditioning.. which he called a certain madness
pillar 5 – occupational hierarchy: the jatis and the mudsill
mudsill: beam to anchor foundation of a house.. all components of house are built on top of mudsill.. in a case system, the mudsill is the bottom caste that everything else rests upon
1858 us senate – james henry hammond: ‘must be a class to do the menial duties.. to perform the drudgery of life’
yeah..again.. kropotkin dirty jobs law et al
the historic association between menial labor and blackness served to further entrap black people in a circle of subservience in the american mind
all of us.. whatever labor.. any form of people telling other people what to do.. supposed to’s of school/work et al.. maté parenting law et al.. i could go on.. the issue is any human being being told how to be.. what to do ..
forced good cheer became a weapon os submission to assuage the guilt of the dominant caste and further humiliate the enslave.. if they were in chains and happy, how could anyone say they were being mistreated
pillar 6 – dehumanization and stigma
dehumanization.. is a war against truth, against what the eye can see and what the heat could feel if allowed to do so on its own
i think this is what we need to focus on.. setting 8b people legit free.. let’s do this first
it’s harder to dehumanize a single person standing in front of you.. which is why people and groups who seek power and division do not bother w dehumanizing an individual. better to attach a stigma, a taint of pollution to an entire group
dehumanization distances not only the out group from the in group but those in the in group from their own humanity
yeah.. that.. which tells me this is much deeper than caste (what i was referring to at 128)
(on horrendous acts to jews, blacks, et al.. to strip them of id.. ).. we would all like to believe we would resist impulse to inflict such horror on fellow member of our own species.. and some of us very likley would.. but not as many as we might like to believe (cites milgram shock experiment)
only reason.. is because we’re all whales in sea world.. we’re all not us.. and we have no idea how legit free people would be/act..
not to mention how we’ve ‘nicened’ (aka: blurred) the abuse (de-id ing us) .. ie: 5 yr old entering school.. et al.. just perpetuating and deepening the madness
a certain kind of violence as part of an unspoken curriculum for generations of children in the dominant caste .. ‘white culture desensitized children to racial violence so they could perpetuate it themselves one day – kristian durocher
pillar 7 – terror as enforcement, cruelty as a means of control
only way to keep an entire group of sentient beings in an artificially fixed place, beneath all others and beneath their own talents, is w violence and terror.. psychological and physical, to preempt resistance before it can be imagined
this is all of us
evil asks little of the dominant caste other than to sit back and do nothing.. all it needs from bystanders is their silence complicity in the evil committed on their behalf, though a caste system will protect, and perhaps even reward, those who deign to join in the terror
separation is the terror.. the violence.. let’s save our energy and just focus on that.. ie: maté basic needs
pillar 8 – inherent superiority vs inherent inferiority
from the beginning, he power of case and eh superior status of the dominant group was perhaps never clearer than when the person deemed superior was unquestionably not
part 4 – the tentacles of caste
brown eyes vs blue eyes
10 – central miscasting
11 – dominant group status threat and the precarity of the highest rung
12 – a scapegoat to bear the sins of the world
13 – the insecure alpha and the purpose of an underdog
14 – the intrusion of caste in everyday life
15 – the urgent necessity of a bottom rung
it turns out that the greatest threat to a caste system is not lower caste failure, which, in a caste system is expected and perhaps even counted upon, but lower caste success, which is not.. achievement by those in the lowest caste goes against the script handed down to us all.. it undermines the core assumption upon which a caste system is constructed and to which the id’s of people on all rungs of the hierarchy are linked.. achievement by marginalized people; who step outside the roles expected of them puts things out of order and triggers primeval and often violent backlash..
16 – last place anxiety: packed in a flooding basement
caste helps explain the otherwise illogical phenom of african americans or women or other marginalized people who manage to rise to authority only to reject or diminish their own
the enforcers of caste come in every color, creed, and gender. on does not have to be in the dominant caste to do its bidding.. every rung.. helps keep caste system humming
17 – on the early front lines of caste
1933 – allison davis and elizabeth – distinguished black couple .. and burleigh and mary gardner – white – two other harvard anthropologists.. secretly working together to understand infra of divisions
despite their immersion and mastery.. gardner and davis fell under greater scrutiny and face more obstacles just to complete book.. resistance to davis’s work inadvertently proved the very theories davis had devoted his life to exposing..
18 – satchel paige and the illogic of caste
one of greatest baseball pitchers.. yet coming of age in early 20th cent, when jim crow was at its cruelest.. he never had chance to become all that he could have.. the distorting lens of caste can cloud the sense, make the dominant group willing to deprive itself of the benefit of talent outside its ranks..
part 5 – the consequences of caste
19 – the euphoria of hate
(on film in nazi museum) this massive number of people could not all be what we would consider evil.. they are husbands wives, mothers, fathers, children.. all gathered at a ticker tape parade on a brilliant, sunny day celebrating what we know to be a horror.. they knew the carnage they were celebrating.. (but) a big enough majority had been persuaded centuries ago or in recent past, that these groups were ordained by god as beneath them.. they were neither god/bad.. they were human, insecure and susceptible to the propaganda that gave them an id to believe in, to feel chosen and important
marsh label law et al
who has the courage to stand up tot he mutlitudes in the face of a charismatic demigod who makes you geel better about yoruself, part of something bigger than yourself, that you have been primed to believe
when the right conditions congeal
hari rat park law et al
*it is harder to focus on the danger of common will, the weaknesses of the human immune system, the east w which the toxins can infect succeeding generations.. because it means the enemy, the threat, is not one man, it is us, all of us, lurking in humanity itself
so the flip.. *easier to focus on our common essence.. the strength of the human immune system.. because it means we don’t have to train/prep anyone.. that essence is already in each one of us.. if we just set it/us legit free .. so let’s let’s do that first
20 – the inevitable narcissism of caste
thru no fault of any individual born to it, a caste system centers the dominant caste as the sun around which all other castes revolve and defines it as the default setting standard of normalcy, of intellect/beauty, against which all others are measured, ranked..
it would be the rare outliers who would go out of their way to experience the world from the perspective of those considered below them, or even to think about them one way or the other, and the caste system does not require it of them.. society builds a trapdoor of self reference that, w/o any effort on the part of pepole in the dominant caste, unwittingly forces on them a narcisistic isolation form thos eassigned to lower categories.. it replicates the structure of narcissisic family systems, the interplay of competing supporting roles – the golden child middle ccastes of socalled model minorities.. the lost child indivenous peoples, and the scapegoat casete at the bottom
why do many good hearted people have no clue
the highest and lowest rungs are seen as so far apart as to seem planted in place immovable.. thus those straddling the middle may succumb to the greatest angst and uncertainty as they aspire to a higher rung.. \everyone in the caste system is trained to covet proximity to the dominant caste: an iranian immigrant feeling the need to mention that a relative had blond hair as a child.. et al
we are accustomed to the concept of narcissism – a complex condition of self aggrandizing entitlement and disregard of others, growing out of a hollow insecurity 0 as it applies to individuals.. but some scholars apply it to eh behavior of nations, tries, and subgroups..
trained to believe their inherent sovereignty ‘the essence of this overestimation of one’s own position and the hate for all who differ from it is narcissism’ wrote erich fromm. ‘he is nothing but if he can id w his nation, or transfer his personal narcissism to the nation, then he is everything’
a person deeply invested in his group’s dominance ‘has a euphoric ‘on top of the world’ feeling, while in reality he is in a state of self inflation’ fromm wrote. ‘this leads to sever distortion of his capacity to think/judge.. he and his are over evaluated’.. and underneath may lie the fear that he cannot live up to he constructed ideal of his own perfection..
marsh label law et al
history has shown that nations and groups will conquer, colonize, enslave, and kill to maintain their illusion of their primacy. their investment in this illusion gives them as much of a stake in the inferiority of those deemed beneath them as in their own presumed superiority..
fromm: ‘the survival of the group depends to some extent on the fact that tis members consider its importance as great/greater than that of their own lives, and that they believe in the righteousness or even superiority , of their group as compared to others’
thus when under threat, they are willing to sacrifice themselves and their ideals for the survival of the group from which they draw their self esteem
this kind of group narcissism – that leads to fascism.. has gripped two nation in particular according to fromm: ‘the racial narcissism in hitler’s germany and found in american south’ he wrote in 1964 in height of civil rights movements
fromm well knew the perils of group narcissism from both his training in psychoanalysis and his person al experience.. he was a german jew who fled switzerland after nazis took power in germany, and then to the us in 1934.. he saw firsthand the nazi appeals to the frears and insecurities of everyday germans int eh lead up to the nazi takeover
fromm ‘if one examines the judgment of the poor whites regarding blacks, or of the nazis in regard to jews, one can easily recognize the distorted character of their respective judgments.. little straws of truth are put together, but the whole which is thus formed consists of falsehoods and fabrications. if the political actions are based on narcissistic self glorifications, the lack of objectivity often leads to disastrous consequences’
in both instances, fromm found the working class to be among the most susceptible, harboring an ‘inflated image of itself as the most admirable group in the world, and of being superior to another racial group that is singled out as inferior’.. a person in this group ‘feels: ‘even though i am poor and uncultured i am somebody important because i belong to the most admirable group in the world – i am white’; or ‘i am aryan”
a group whipped into narcissistic fervor ‘is eager to have a leader w whom it can id’ fromm wrote. ‘the leader is then admired by the group which projects its narcissism onto him’..
the right kind of leader can inspire a symbiotic connection that supplants logic.. the susceptible group sees itself in the narcissistic leader, becomes one w the leader, sees his fortunes and his fate as their own.. ‘the greater the leader’ fromm wrote ‘the greater the follower.. the narcissism of the leader who si convinced of his greatness, and who had no doubts, is precisely what attracts te narcissism of those who submit to him’
one reason why leader\ness is so cancerous to human being
caste behavior is essentially a response to one’s assigned place in the hierarchy. according to the script that the culture hands us all.. the dominant caste is not to take instructions or even suggestions from the lower caste
why we need a means to undo our hierarchical listening
the script decrees that the dominant caste must be right, more informed, more competent, first in all things. the caste system primes the dominant caste to experience discomfort, unfairness at the sight of a lower caste person in a position above their perceived station and more particularly above them, and may feel the need to restore equilibrium buy putting the lower caste person in their place
the dominant caste tends to resist comparison to lower caste people even the suggestion that they have anything in common or share basic human experiences as this diminishes the dominant caste person and forces the contemplation of equality w someone deemed lower.. a comparison forces the contemplation of that person’s humanity, a source of internal conflict when confronted w injustice that society deems appropriate if the target is not seen as fully human as themselves
why we need – nationality: human ness
historically, their (upper caste) job is to correct, direct, discipline and police the people in the lowest caste.. a convention of the american caste system that often places the word of a dominant cast person above the world of a sub caste person even in matters that the sub person would be more likely to know about..
why we need to let go of any form of people telling other people what to do
21 – the german girl w the dark, wavy hair
even the favored ones were diminished and driven to fear in the shadow of supposed perfection
22 – the stockholm syndrome and the survival of the subordinate caste
they must develop powers of perception if they are to natigate from below
interpretive labor et al
‘knowledge w/o wisdom is adequate for the powerful.. but wisdom is essential to the survival of the subordinate’.. patricia hill collins
edumnd leach: ‘the first moral duty is resignation and acceptance.. the individual gains personal merit by fulfilling the tasks which are proper to the station in to which he has been born.. the rewards for virtue will come in the next life’..
the ancient code for the sub caste calls upon them to see the world not w their own eyes but as the dominant caste sees it, demands that they extend compassion even when none is forthcoming in exchange, a fusion of dominant and sub that brings to mind the stockholm syndrome – generally shows people bonding w those who abuse/enslave them
the violence and terror used to maintain the hierarchy keep you in your place w/o signage..
caste is more than rank, it is a state of mind that holds everyone captive.. the dominant imprisoned in an illusion of their own entitlement, the subordinate trapped in the purgatory of someone else’s defn of who they are and who they should be
the caste system had derived them of the need or the use of a basic human trait, one’s imagination
like sub caste people.. has had to create an entire protocol to protect himself from insult..
‘what i need is to feel better inside my own skin’
begs a means for 8b people to find/live/be their fittingness
23 – shock troops on the borders of hierarchy
when lower castes end up in dominant castes spaces – ie: first class airplane
24 – cortisol, telomeres, and the lethality of caste
modern med has long sought to attribute the higher rates of disease in african american s to genetics.. but.. turns out .. ‘the effects of spending my entire adult life as a black man in this country are making me sick’.. the friction of caste is killing people .. societal inequity is killing people.. the act of moving about an navigating spaces w those whom society has trained us to believe are inherently diff form us is killing people.. and not just the targets.. studies are showing the prejudice itself can be deadly
threat they perceived as result of prejudice set off body’s alarm system.. restricted blood flow to heart, flooding of muscles w glucose as body releases cortisol.. useful in rare moment when one might need to escape danger, but damaging to the body on a regular basis.. can lead to life threatening damage to heart and immune system.. and to death before one’s time..
even briefest exposure is all it takes.. among whites, sight of black person.. can trigger amygdala of brain to perceive threats.. when whites are prompted to think of the black person as an individual.. threat level falls..
;this shows its possible to override worst impulses and reduce these prejudices’ – susan fiske
leaves many american at risk w/o knowing it.. signals triggered by unaddressed prejudice..
shortening of telemeres (bad) results from one’s exposure to social ineq and difficult life conditions.. rather than merely one’s race/ethnicity.. ie: poor whites short er than wealthier whites..
all of these groups appear to be paying a price when they step outside of the roles assigned them in the hierarchy..
people who face discrimination, david william said .. often build up a layer of unhealthy fat, known as visceral fat, surrounding vital organs, as opposed to subcutaneous fat, just under the skin. it is their visceral fat that raises the risk of diabetes and cardio disease and leads to premature death.. can be found in people of all ethnicities based on their experience of discrimination..
thus.. people of color w the most ed, who compete in fields where they are not expected to be, continually press against the boundaries of caste and experience a lower life expectancy as a result.. the more ambitious the marginalized person, the greater the risk of what evolutionary biologist joseph graves calls ‘the out-of-place principle of social dominance’..
part 6 – backlash
25 – a change in the script
obama as president
26 – turning point and the resurgence of caste
trump as president
27 – the symbols of caste
statues.. over 1700 monuments to the confederacy – of war
28 – democracy on the ballot
on choosing between democracy and whiteness
29 – the price we pay for a caste system
people show greater sense of join responsibility when see fellow citizens like them.. america can be harsh landscape.. cost for healthcare; incarceration rate; more mass shootings; childbirth deaths; math test scores; et al.. to largest virus outbreak
sicko et al..
‘this is a civilization searching for its humanity’ gary michael tartakov, an american scholar of caste, said of this country. ‘it dehumanized others to build its civilization. now it needs to find its own’
jensen civilization law et al
part 7 – awakening
30 – shedding the sacred thread
‘my message would be to take off the fake crown.. it will cost you more to keep it than to let it go. it is not real.. it is just a market of your programming.. you will be happier/freer w/o it.. you will see all of humanity.. you will find your true self.. ‘ and so he had discovered. ‘there was a stench coming from my body.. i have located the corpse inside my mind. i have given it a decent burial.. and now my journey can begin’
the radicalization of the dominant caste
it would be a better world if everyone could feel what she felt for one.. and awaken
31 – the heart is the last frontier
getting to humanity (talking about dead mothers) in order to cut thru the lines
epilogue – a world w/o caste
on einstein leaving nazi germany to land in america ‘the worst disease is the treatment of the negro’ he wrote in 1946
he grew uncomfortable w the american way of pressuring newcomers to look down on the lowest caste in order to gain acceptance.. here was one of the most brilliant men who ever lived refusing to see himself as superior to people he was being told were beneath him..
1946 – speaks at lincoln uni – black college..’the separation of the races is not a disease of the colored people’ einstein told the graduates at commencement ‘but a disease of the white people. i do not intend to be quiet about it’ web du bois wrote ‘he hates race prejudice because as a jew he knows what it is’
a caste system persists in part because we, each and every one of us, allow it to exist.. in large/small ways, in our everyday actions.. once awakened we then have a choice..
we do need a mech to facil the chaos.. costello screen\service law et al
the challenge has long been that many in the dominant caste, who are in a better position to fix caste inequity have often been least likely to want to..
caste is a disease, and none of us is immune.. like alcoholism encoded into dna.. cancer in/out of remission.. thus regardless of who prevails in any give election, the country sill labors under the division that caste system creates
because presidency/democracy/wealth.. and all that.. are part of the caste system.. the tools of the caste system..
telling people to buck up under that system is unethical
will us adhere to its belief in majority rule if majority does not look at is has throughout history
wrong question.. majority rule is part of caste ness
public consensus always oppresses someone(s)
many of the advancement that americans enjoy and that are under assault in our current day – birthright, citizenship, equal protection under law, right to voice, laws against discrimination on basis of gender, race, national origin – are all the by products of the sub caste’s fight for justice in the i country and ended up helping others as much as if not more than themselves
whoa.. those are all part of caste ness..
to imagine an end to caste in america, we need only look at the history of germany.. living proof that if a caste system.. 12 yr reign of nazis – can be created, it can be dismantled..
this is so not deep enough
this program has been installed into the subconscious of every one of us.. and high or low, w/o intervention or reprogramming, we act out the script we were handed..
thinking that.. is part of the program installed in us
we do need intervention.. but one that detoxed/uncovers.. what is already there.. we have to trust 8b souls.. listen to and trust the legit itch-in-8b-souls.. everyday.. and use that as data to uncover/augment our natural interconnectedness
(on wishing we were all like einstein – more awake)
not deep enough.. has to be all of us .. fully awake.. in sync for the dance to dance
today we have the means to facil that chaos
einstein: ‘we must make every effort to ensure past injustice, violence and econ discrimination will be made known to the people.. must be pointed out time and again that exclusion.. is a slap in the face of the constitution of the nation’
challenge for our era is not merely social construct of black and white but seeing thru the many layers of a caste system that has more power than we as human sol permit it have
yeah.. layers like: voting, democracy, constitutions, nations, all the red flags
in a world w/o caste, instead of false swagger over our own tribe/family or ascribed community, we would look upon all of humanity w wonderment
ie: cure ios city
has to be all of us or it won’t work
in a world w/o caste, we would all be invested in the well being of others in our species if only for our own survival,
well.. even deeper.. ie: if we focus on others’ well being.. we fall back into that mode of telling people what to do.. we have to let go of that even.. and trust that if we are all legit free .. then the dance will dance.. w/o our management
and recognize we are in need of one another more than we have been led to believe..
a world w/o caste would set everyone free
if legit w/o caste.. which i’m not seeing here.. we have to legit let go
had stimulating convos w his fam and w the author arundhati roy about the absurdity of caste
while this book is pointedly not about racism in itself, any book that touches on the subject owes a debt to the scholarship of ibram x kendi and to the mission of bryan stevenson, whose memorial to lynching victims sets the standard for reconciling history..
for uncovering parallels between jim crow america and aspects of third reich.. illuminated what i had had reason to believe from the start..
Racism is an unsolvable problem, except we solved it, we called it “Money.” Because giving tokens to everyone is something that’s very hard to be qualitatively (invisibly) racist about, and when we are receiving money, we are far less racist about who’s giving us money.
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/fabianacecin/status/1321042102118219776
the very idea of caste, which was that the universe was a vast hierarchy in which diff sorts of people were assume to be fundamentally diff natures, that these ranks and grades were fixed forever, and that when goods and services moved up and down the hierarchy, the followed not principles of exchange at all but (as in all hierarchical systems) custom and precedent
Politically, it is never a particularly good idea to first tell people they are your equals, and then humiliate and degrade them.
this is presumably why peasant insurrections, from chiapas to japan, have so regularly aimed to wipe out debts rather than focus on more structural issues like caste systems or even slavery
debt peonage it would appear is far more likely to inspire outrage and collective action than is a system premised on pure ineq