Oprah's book club choice made me curious about this topic. It was poignantly well-written. She talks of caste as an inherent, unconscious, infrastructure while the race is an external and visible social construct. Whatever, name you might call it, its prejudice. We are not born with it but learn or taught as we grow. As Ambedkar said, its a state of mind. Casta, Portuguese Renaissance word meaning 'race/breed'. Her inspiration was mentioned as the 1937 Dollard's and 1948 Oliver Cromwell Cox's book on Caste.
She did her research traveling to Germany and India. The comparison of Nazi's to have the Nordic/ Aryan purity and rules were set seeing the US as the prototype with segregation. Eugenics Stoddard and Madison Grant were mentioned with the implementation of the Nuremberg laws, sterilizations, 1 drop rule Negro, etc.
I was unaware of MLK visiting India and he referred to as the untouchable of US and likewise, Ambedkar compared as MLK of India. She draws similarities between Affirmat
ive action of the US to a reservation in India which is true.
The stories of discrimination mentioned in the aircraft and her own experience, medical apartheid was upsetting to read. What broke my heart was the 2018 story of Devonte Hart, abused by his adopted White people and the tragic ending.
She mentions 8 pillars of casteism which was presented well. Noah's nakedness/curse to the descendants of Ham was new to me. I would rather be the omega dog than the alpha/underdog with the reference to the canine chapter.
Her final chapter to look beyond hierarchy, status, privilege, stereotypes, religion is important to set ourselves free.
Guest 2 years agoComprehensive, compelling, and so timely. Read it to understand our past and more recent history, (including the problematic appeal of Donald Trump to white women).
Guest 2 years agoMy friends' comments about this book seem to depend on their race. Black friends say it is mesmerizing and so important for understanding the US. White friends say they never knew this history and were shocked and overwhelmed to learn the connection with Hitler's drones borrowing from the Jim Crow south and the descriptions of lynchings. Some white friends said they could not finish the book.
I would challenge everyone to finish this book. Setting it down because it challenges our corporate innocence is an example of how white privilege works. We ALL need to know this history and Wilkerson gives it to us comparatively, so you can contrast India, South Africa, etc. with the US. That makes it even more essential learning.
Read it and talk about it. I read and taught her The Warmth of Other Suns, on the biggest migration in US history. Caste is a quite different book but equally thoroughly researched. Keep writing, Ms. Wilkerson. Your words MATTER.
Guest 2 years agoI don't think there are any lies in this book. Wilkerson lays out exactly what a caste system is and why systemic racism and individual racism against Blacks in America are manifestations of the effort to preserve a caste system that favors whites at the expense of Blacks. Most people who read this book aren't going to need to be convinced of that. The book does rely a lot on anecdotes, and most of the examples about how caste works in America are either from the period during slavery or Jim Crow era South, which is a shame because I think most readers are interested in how the caste system manifests today and Wilkerson's personal examples aren't the most illustrative. Also, the book is not really a comparison of the caste systems in America, Germany, and India. It's all about America with little parts about Germany and India used to illustrate the issues here.
Guest 2 years agoI listened to this book on audio and was read by the author. It was heart breaking at times to listen to it. The book was well-written and researched extensively. The author included her personal incidents, which are very current.
I highly, recommend this book to others.
Guest 2 years agoI learned a lot about a system I’ve always felt existed but never had a name for. I’ll be doing more research on it.
Guest 2 years agoReframing slavery/racism into a caste system similar to Nazi Germany and India. Lots of information/research. If you don't support reparations after this book, what is wrong with you?
Guest 2 years ago"Color is a fact. Race is a social construct".
A nonfiction book that makes us think. Due to the social climate this book was right on time. I learned what caste means and the sad part is we can actually see which one we belong to. Overall, I am giving it 3 stars because some parts felt disjointed and repetitive.