As I begin my ancestral healing journey and continue to follow the threads for spiritual communion, I choose to explore what attracts my attention. I was intrigued by the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson because I had known of this system in India and was curious how the author applies this concept to other cultures. This curiosity led me to a six month library waiting list. My conclusion is that Caste is a must read, well worth the wait.
The author focuses on the African slave experience, the Jews in Nazi Germany and the Indian caste system. Wilkerson postulates that caste is dominant in all three situations and that it is a more accurate depiction of how groups are marginalized and pitted against one another. I became tearful and wept off and on while reading through this material. I trust you may do the same.
So many millions of humans carry the trauma of enslavement and dehumanization in their DNA and this legacy is the gift that keeps giving, creating more toxicity and despair in its wake. I was horrified by much of what I learned on these pages but grateful that I know more of the truth about the trajectory of our species. All the technological advances such as smartphones and space expeditions do not account for much when we consider of the evolution of humanity.
Nazi Germany looked to America to apply their Caste system to the Jews, but could not go as far as the US did. They would not set the standard that having on drop of Jewish blood made one Jewish. They were so impressed with Jim Crow segregation.
The lowest caste in India , the Dalits, were called the Untouchables and considered non-human.
Scapegoating and incentivizing white culture to buy into racism was necessary to perpetuate the caste structure.
The Trump Presidency happened in part to the projection that in 2042 that white people will no longer be the majority population. This fear of losing control exacerbated fear and hatred of all non-whites.
The term Caucasian, which refers to the region within the Caucasus mountains, is an artificial categorization of a people. The difference in DNA between the “races” is minimal and separating humans into boxes based on pigmentation made it easier to justify enslaving people(s).
As a woman with a Jewish last name and an olive complexion, I certainly do not feel part of the dominant caste, but white privilege is something I carry with me nevertheless. When I contemplate the classism and prejudice I grew up with in my family, I now have a clearer understanding of where it originated. I was taught that my people were the best, that Sicilians were inferior to other Italians, and some family members acted “European “, meaning they did not deserve measure up to assimilated Americans. I hated hearing these comments, but I can forgive a bit more. I descended from poor, disenfranchised people who fled this country for a better future. They judged other groups because they were worried there would not be enough to go around. It is ironic that my family did not acknowledge that Northern Italians with the lighter skin would be deemed more ideal. This is because my people were not from Northern Italy.
Read Caste and discuss it with others. It reinforced my positions in favor of reparations and other incentives to right the centuries of abuse of power. I really truly favor financial redistribution here in the US. Not only is it the moral choice, it could eliminate some of the division and fear in 2021 America. I do not think Socialism translates into dictatorship. In fact, I think we just dodged a bullet here back in November. I applaud the Rescue Act and will happily accept the benefits that come my way. It is a small movement in the direction of equality, justice and potentially freedom for all. Love must prevail over fear in order for us to evolve as a people.
Images courtesy of wikipedia. org and pexels.com, public domain