It’s been a while since my last post. I, like most of America, am exhausted by the Republican’s relentless attack on democracy. It appears their gerrymandered state legislatures will get away with it absent intervention by the courts or a ground swell of public outrage, protest and revolt in every attacking state. For several years now, I’ve been flummoxed to understand how the mostly white Republican electorate continues to blindly follow a demigod into oblivion. They continue to support policies that threaten to destroy (and in many cases already has destroyed) their financial wellbeing, their health and even taken their life, as they seek to drag all of the rest of us down with them.
What’s happened since my last post is that now, I finally understand them. Now I get it. At the time of my last post I had only begun to read the book by Isabel Wilkerson (Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents). Since then, I read it completely, and then spent several weeks going back and studying its contents. For me the experience was like the scene in the movie, The Matrix, where the character Morpheus gives the protagonist Neo the choice of taking one of two pills. The blue will put him in a deep sleep after which he’ll wake up in his own bed, refreshed and with all of the same beliefs he had about reality the night before. The red pill will show a completely different version of reality, the reality that actually exists.
The book was the red pill for me. It left me with an understanding of our history and its impact on our everyday lives that I couldn’t begin to have before reading it. It revealed to me that as Americans, we are part of a caste system, which in spite of all the propaganda to the contrary, compels us to think and act in very specific ways that are in keeping with our place in the caste system. It is a kind of matrix that defines us from birth based on our skin color and other physical characteristics. We are never consciously aware of this influence and there in lays its power. We never know that we are not who we think we are.
The book points out that prior to the American system of slavery, Europeans never thought of themselves as “white”. Prior to then their nationality defined their self-image. America offered them a new possibility that they couldn’t find in Europe. America’s creation of a permanent under class afforded them the opportunity to pursue their dreams with the knowledge (an insurance policy of sort) that no matter how spectacular their failure, they would never be reduced to the indignities of the harsh labor they were subject to in their own countries. By virtue of their white skin, they could become a new royalty.
The mythology created to support the caste system decreed that as a white person you were more beautiful, intelligent, civilized, creative, charitable and pious than the lower caste “black” people below your caste who were the opposite of you and of whom religious doctrine dictated that their subjugation and brutalization was God’s will and penance for some affront to God their race had committed in the past.
One only has to look at the plight of America today to see where we are destined to go if the Republicans succeed and the caste system prevails. As of today, America is last in health, education, happiness and overall quality of life than almost every other developed nation in the world. This is all due to the influence of the Republican Party since 1980, which has sought to render especially white Americans less educated and enlightened and more religious and dogmatic in how they regard patriotism, which is exactly what the caste system requires to reinforce itself. As a result, we elect less qualified people to lead us, based primarily on their position in the caste hierarchy as white males. Ironically we must import people of color to do much of the intellectual work of the country because our own educational system can’t produce enough home grown people to do the job. And who knows how many geniuses that had the potential to enrich all our lives are rotting away in prison essentially because they happened to have been born with dark skin and wooly hair.
As distressing as all this is I am at peace with it. I now realize that I was born into something that was so much more than I could overcome all by myself. I used to lament my shortcomings and wonder if I failed because I was to lazy, or lacked courage, or lacked the integrity required. I realize now that all of those negative characteristics are consistent with my lower caste conditioning. I’ve been conditioned to always be suspect of my own character. Now that I understand, the success I’ve achieved at this point of my life seems like a major miracle to have achieved it in spite of my caste ranking. I imagine it works the same in reverse for white people. Many can’t accept their failures and shortcomings, especially when they see people of color succeeding all around them. Since their caste anoints them as the pinnacle of all the superior qualities of humanity, if they’re failing, it must be the fault of those “other people”, whom caste doesn’t allow them to consider as true Americans.
I have done, and continue to do all I can as a single American to help us avert the catastrophe that awaits us if the Republicans succeed. The caste system loses its power the minute the majority of us acknowledge its existence. That must happen soon because in the end it will require the collective will of the overwhelming majority of us to save us. Otherwise, a minority of as little as 25% of the population will prevail and the Forth Reich of fascism will begin in America to the damnation of us all
One last thing: You must understand the caste system before you can eliminate its power over us. The best way to accomplish that is to read Ms. Wilkerson’s book. I believe this strongly enough that so far, I’ve given away four hardback copies to friends and family. Whether you are a Republican/Trump disciple or a loyal lifelong Democrat, you will find the authenticity of the facts presented indisputable. The sources listed in her eleven-page bibliography are considered to be above reproach by both progressives and conservatives. Regardless of which side of the political divide you stand on, if you read this book you will absolutely know and understand the true motivation for whatever you do and whomever you support after you read it. You will be secure in your understanding of the potential risks and benefits of continued support of the case system. You will truly know who you are. So go ahead. Take the red pill and read the book.