From the Lower Rung

I’ve been on a slight nonfiction kick, so be prepared to learn for a bit. While I entered this book knowing I would most likely learn something, I never expected to learn as much as I did. Sure, I read the summary and synopsis, but that did not prepare me for the brain blasts I had multiple times and the profound effect this would have more me. The most recent book to add to my list was Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.

For those who don’t feel like reading the summary, this experience argues, quite effectively, I might add, that America was built on a caste system. It does this by comparing the historically well-known and long-lasting caste system found in India, as well as the short-lived one that is the Nazi occupation of Germany, by bringing up the eight pillars: divine will, heritability, endogamy, purity, occupation hierarchy, dehumanization, terror as enforcement, and inherent superiority. This book discusses many historical facts that I had never heard about but is both surprising to never hear about and not surprising that it was covered up. One surprising fact was that the dehumanization of people in Europe during the Nazi occupation was based on the horrendous Jim Crowe laws that proliferated through society after the American Civil War, but then again, why not copy a system that has been shown to work.

Yes, there are some antidotes directly from the author, but I agree that this is necessary since history is built on the human experience. As another African American female, I felt many of the antidotes on a spiritual level, as I have felt many similar feelings in similar experiences. On top of hearing this compelling argument, it also speaks to my experiences, which probably made it a more profound experience for me. There are also other perspectives that should be heard from this book. That is why I would recommend anyone interested in the systemic racial structuring of the United States to read this book. It is a perspective that I never thought of before, and it completely made sense to me.

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