Saturday, January 16, 2021
Home Entertainment ‘Unspoken caste system that shaped America’: Oprah Winfrey sends book, that needlessly drags India...

‘Unspoken caste system that shaped America’: Oprah Winfrey sends book, that needlessly drags India into a debate about slavery in USA, to 500 professionals

The core proposition of the book by Isabel Wilkerson is that the social structure of the United States of America is more aptly described as a caste system that manifests itself on the basis of race.

Oprah Winfrey has made a new pick for her book club and has claimed that the book “might well save us.” The talk-show host will send 500 copies of the book, ‘Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents’ by Isabel Wilkerson, to governors, mayors, CEOs and college professors. She has called the book a ‘required reading for humanity’.

Oprah Winfrey said, “It eloquently examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America. In writing this book, Isabel responds to a calling from the ancestors—and the ancestors are pleased.”

The core proposition of the book by Isabel Wilkerson is that the social structure of the United States of America is more aptly described as a caste system that manifests itself on the basis of race. “Race, in the United States, is the visible agent of the unseen force of caste. Caste is the bones, race the skin,” she says.

In her book, Wilkerson describes caste as an all-encompassing fabric that engulfs social structures, and society itself, in much the same fashion as the atmosphere surrounds the Earth. Speaking of the USA, the author wrote, “There developed a caste system, based upon what people looked like, an internalized ranking, unspoken, unnamed, unacknowledged by everyday citizens even as they go about their lives adhering to it and acting upon it subconsciously to this day.”

She continued, “Just as the studs and joists and beams that form the infrastructure of a building are not visible to those who live in it, so it is with caste. Its very invisibility is what gives it power and longevity. And though it may move in and out of consciousness, though it may flare and reassert itself in times of upheaval and recede in times of relative calm, it is an ever-present through line in the country’s operation.”

Wilkerson argues in the book that while the ‘caste system’ is a term used more often to describe the social realities of India and feudal Europe, the situation in the USA is much the same. She says, “We cannot fully understand the current upheavals or most any turning point in American history, without accounting for the human pyramid encrypted into us all. The caste system, and the attempts to defend, uphold, or abolish the hierarchy, underlay the American Civil War and the civil rights movement a century later and pervade the politics of twenty-first-century America.”

“Just as DNA is the code of instructions for cell development, caste is the operating system for economic, political, and social interaction in the United States from the time of its gestation,” she added. In her book, she has also made the thinly veiled attempt to equate African Americans in the USA with Dalits in India. She also claims, rather dubiously, that Upper Castes marry within their castes to maintain their blood purity. She does not appear to be aware that all castes emphasise marriage within their own.

The objective of the book is to assert that a system of racial hierarchy still persists in the USA. However, in doing so, she equates slavery in the United States with the caste system in India, which is a preposterous lie. While the author accurately describes the horrors of slavery in the United States, by equating it to the Caste system, she presents an extremely twisted view of Indian realities.

Furthermore, Isabel Wilkerson does not provide good reasons as to why the American sociopolitical realities ought to be described as a caste system. Not every birth based system has to do with caste, however, the implication appears to be that it is indeed the case. She does not show a very thorough understanding of caste either.

In her attempt to elaborate on the horrors of slavery, Isabel Wilkerson ends up dragging Indian society through the mud even though Indians have nothing to do with slavery at all. It is a regular feature of Western liberalism where attempts are made to universalise local phenomenons. It appears to escape their notice that by engaging in such endeavour, a lot of nuance is sacrificed at the altar of politics and complicated matters are force-fitted to suit preordained objectives.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Searched termsisabel wilkerson
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Ravish Kumar apologises for spreading fake news about paddy procurement by govt after letter to NDTV by PIB: Here is what he said

After getting caught for peddling fake news about paddy procurement by govt, controversial NDTV news anchor Ravish Kumar has apologized

NDTV’s Ravish Kumar spreads fake news on paddy procurement by govt: Read full details of letter written by govt of India

PIB Additional Director General sent a letter to NDTV after Ravish Kumar used wrong data to accuse govt of lying about paddy procurement

Ashoka University removes links introducing Nidhi Razdan as Harvard professor, another institute quietly edits website: Details

The Ashoka University has announced that it is withdrawing tweets and posts related to Nidhi Razdan.

Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: Former Director of Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab says the University does not offer journalism courses

Nidhi Razdan revealed that she had fallen for a phishing attack and that Harvard University had not really offered her a job.

Nidhi Razdan got ‘scammed’ into believing that she got a job from Harvard University: Here is what does not make sense in her story

While Nidhi Razdan says that the Harvard job she was offered was fake, last year she had said she is teaching in Harvard

Nidhi Razdan was scammed into believing she got an offer from the real Harvard University to become a professor of journalism: Details

Nidhi Razdan, formerly with NDTV, has revealed that she was the victim of a phishing attack and Harvard never came calling.

Recently Popular

Nidhi Razdan was scammed into believing she got an offer from the real Harvard University to become a professor of journalism: Details

Nidhi Razdan, formerly with NDTV, has revealed that she was the victim of a phishing attack and Harvard never came calling.

The Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: A user had sounded off the alarms as early as September 2020

Nidhi Razdan revealed on Friday that she fell victim to a phishing scam and confirmed that she was never offered a job by Harvard.

Nidhi Razdan got ‘scammed’ into believing that she got a job from Harvard University: Here is what does not make sense in her story

While Nidhi Razdan says that the Harvard job she was offered was fake, last year she had said she is teaching in Harvard

Vanishing barons: Alibaba founder Jack Ma and 4 other Chinese billionaires who had mysteriously gone missing

Several prominent elites from China who had ran afoul with the CCP had mysteriously disappeared from the public eye, including Jack Ma

Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: Former Director of Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab says the University does not offer journalism courses

Nidhi Razdan revealed that she had fallen for a phishing attack and that Harvard University had not really offered her a job.

Ravish Kumar apologises for spreading fake news about paddy procurement by govt after letter to NDTV by PIB: Here is what he said

After getting caught for peddling fake news about paddy procurement by govt, controversial NDTV news anchor Ravish Kumar has apologized

From ‘no trust on BJP’s vaccine’ to ‘impotency’ to ‘they can cause death’, Samajwadi Party’s petty politics over COVID-19 vaccine just does not end

Samajwadi Party has been continuously trying to create an atmosphere of panic by spreading fake news about Covid-19 vaccine

NDTV’s Ravish Kumar spreads fake news on paddy procurement by govt: Read full details of letter written by govt of India

PIB Additional Director General sent a letter to NDTV after Ravish Kumar used wrong data to accuse govt of lying about paddy procurement

Ashoka University removes links introducing Nidhi Razdan as Harvard professor, another institute quietly edits website: Details

The Ashoka University has announced that it is withdrawing tweets and posts related to Nidhi Razdan.

Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco: Former Director of Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab says the University does not offer journalism courses

Nidhi Razdan revealed that she had fallen for a phishing attack and that Harvard University had not really offered her a job.

Fresh wave of coronavirus cases reported in Hebei province, massive quarantine centres being built by Chinese govt

China has transferred more than 20 thousand people to these makeshift centres at Shijiazhuang in Hebei province after fresh cases emerged in the North China province.

Nidhi Razdan got ‘scammed’ into believing that she got a job from Harvard University: Here is what does not make sense in her story

While Nidhi Razdan says that the Harvard job she was offered was fake, last year she had said she is teaching in Harvard

Rajasthan: SDM was seeking bribe during meeting where CM Gehlot spoke against corruption, arrested

SDM Pinky Meena, and SDM Pushkar Mittal, along with the agent of a former SP have been arrested for taking bribes over a national highway project.

‘Tit for Tat’, ‘Work of Art’: Netizens react to the Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco, question her logic

Netizens have been commenting on the Nidhi Razdan Harvard fiasco and pointed out the incredulousness of the whole situation.

Puja Bharti murder case from Ranchi: Facebook account of victim deleted, BJP questions police inaction

The BJP has warned that it will hit the streets to protest in case the culprits are not arrested soon.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,700SubscribersSubscribe