This shorter video is the core of Wilkersons’ historical analysis of the construction of the color-based caste-system in the US. During the full-length interview, she mentions the correspondence between Dr. B. R. Ambedkar with Dr. E. B. DeBois on the subject of race and caste.
In a new book, “Caste: The Origins of our Discontents,” journalist Isabel Wilkerson argues that the word “racism” does not adequately capture the historical plight of Black people in the U.S. in its totality. Drawing from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s reflections upon his 1958 visit to India, Wilkerson says the U.S. racial hierarchy is best understood as a caste system similar to the one that structures Indian society. “Caste system essentially is an arbitrary grading, an artificial graded ranking of human value in a society. And it’s one in which there’s a fixed infrastructure that, in our country, predates anyone who’s alive today,” says Wilkerson. “This is the hierarchy that we have all inherited, that no one alive created, but we have inherited it, and we live under the shadow of that system.”
This is DM’s full-length interview with Wilkerson, including her comment on the selection of Kamala Harris as Vice President candidate for the Democratic Party.