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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, July 05, 2020

Isabel Wilkerson: Our founding ideals promise liberty and equality for all. Our reality is an enduring racial hierarchy that has persisted for centuries. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power - which groups have it and which do not. It is about resources - which groups are seen as worthy of them and which are not, who gets to acquire and control them and who does not. It is about respect, authority and assumptions of competence - who is accorded these and who is not.

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A caste system is an artificial construction, a fixed and embedded ranking of human value that sets the presumed 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. A caste system uses rigid, often arbitrary boundaries to keep the ranks apart, distinct from one another and in their assigned places.

As a means of assigning value to entire swaths of humankind, caste guides each of us often beyond the reaches of our awareness. It embeds into our bones an unconscious ranking of human characteristics and sets forth the rules, expectations and stereotypes that have been used to justify brutalities against entire groups within our species. In the American caste system, the signal of rank is what we call race, the division of humans on the basis of their appearance. In America, race is the primary tool and the visible decoy for caste.

Race does the heavy lifting for a caste system that demands a means of human division. If we have been trained to see humans in the language of race, then caste is the underlying grammar that we encode as children, as when learning our mother tongue. Caste, like grammar, becomes an invisible guide not only of how we speak but also of how we process information, the autonomic calculations that figure into a sentence without our having to think about it.

Amazing piece of a larger work that tackles the historical underpinnings of American life as defined by how this nation has defined and dealt with human difference. I've seen many comments this very day from who I hope are well meaning but functionally ignorant about the invisible role racial dynamics has always played in our culture and society since its inception.

This article shouldn't be viewed as an attempt to assign blame as a matter of catharsis, I see it as an attempt to educate and explain life's reality from a perspective often unheard and neglected. May it try to help us all understand each other - and our problems - better while we all strive to finally reach the promise America has always proclaimed in its cry that All are created equal.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-07-05 06:46 PM | Reply

Slave mentality. Shocking.

#2 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2020-07-05 06:55 PM | Reply

Massa's got to rule. Divine right of kings. Ancien Regime, Top Dog. India has had castes for millennia.

The caste stuff is designed to keep the poor at each other's throats and not coming after Massa.

It works every time.

#3 | Posted by Effeteposer at 2020-07-05 11:40 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Nothing invisible about it.

#4 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2020-07-06 05:58 AM | Reply

Man, that evil casts system hits again. It's almost as if all those Africans who enslave other Africans or oppress them on a daily basis are all rich, too. Right? Right!? But yeah, America is terrible and we should all burn in hell.

#5 | Posted by humtake at 2020-07-06 08:01 AM | Reply

It's almost as if all those Africans who enslave other Africans or oppress them on a daily basis are all rich, too. Right? Right!? But yeah, America is terrible and we should all burn in hell.

#5 | POSTED BY HUMTIDUMP AT 2020-07-06 08:01 AM | FLAG: PPPFFFTTTT & EYE ROLL

OMG Humtidump!You rascal. I love how pig brains like you love spinning that yarn as if it justifies the US experience. You don't get to say committing atrocities is alright because someone else does it! If another republicl0wn ran and jumped off a cliff into a lava pit and told you join it in the experience woul....
oh... ermmm...
wait... what am I saying?
yer a clown... of course you would.

ergo GFY

You don't respond to rational thought.

#6 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2020-07-06 09:29 AM | Reply

Sad to say, but this reality has existed in every country, society or kingdom since man has walked upright

#7 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2020-07-06 09:42 AM | Reply

#7 | Posted by phesterOBoyle

As much as it pains me that is impossible for me to argue because your are correct. However, it does not mesh with our stated morals as a people - our vision for the United States of America. It does not make it right. It also doesn't mean it shouldn't be discussed. And it certainly does not mean we shouldn't work to change or eliminate it.

Here is what pains me the most - I may be a pessimist but I prefer to see it as realism and unfortunately I see the outcome as preordained. I see it as a result of human nature. Many and indeed even most people would likely work to change things what inevitably happens is enough people manipulate the system for their benefit and it doesn't matter who those people are - all that eventually happens is you either end up with the status quo or a reshuffle of who is on top... This is why Utopias simply do not exist.

#8 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2020-07-06 01:26 PM | Reply

Sad to say, but this reality has existed in every country, society or kingdom since man has walked upright

#7 | POSTED BY PHESTEROBOYLE

Yes that was old world thinking. Why do you Trumptilians insist on trying to drag us back there?

This was why we had this Big Idea called "America" in the first place.

Because we held that certain truths are unalienable. We even once desired to spread these ideas to the entire world.

I wonder what happened.

Oh yeah.

Trumpism happened.

#9 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-07-06 02:09 PM | Reply

#9 | Posted by donnerboy

Certain truths are unalienable... And then we make Slavery, that takes away all those rights, officially sanctioned in our constitution. Oh ya, then there was indentured servitude and debtor prisons and ... the list goes on and on.

Sort of goes to the article's contents. I'm not defending Phester or saying it's right but minorities in this country know all too well those "unalienable" truths are just mere words and utter BS from their perspective. Frankly I am all for changing that though. As far as spreading those truths. Rarely have the US done that in truth. All too often we have simply set our pet ruthless dictators in place - just as long as they weren't commies all was good.

#10 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2020-07-06 05:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

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