America has a Caste System. Not formalized like that of India past. Discrimination based on Caste there has been illegal for over sixty years. It doesn’t present itself there in all the ways it used to. It has found new ways, particularly in elections where Caste is still the determining factor in choosing who to vote for. It was once true that when born into a Caste it was virtually impossible to change. Now there are Inter-Caste marriages, primarily among the upper-level. It may seem what I’m describing still sounds a lot like America. There is a big difference.
In America, Caste is more informal and everyone has created a hierarchy based on their own experience. Of course, there are general external classifications based on education level or career. When you meet someone among the first questions; “Where did you go to school? And “What do you do?” We rate each other based on education, career income… and race.
Throughout American history, race has always been one of the ways people placed themselves in context. The poorest white person could be relieved that at least they weren’t Black or Native American. Then Obama happened. America had a Black President who oozed intelligence whenever he spoke. They spent eight years with their equilibrium out of whack. They could no longer make an honest intellectual case for superiority while there was a Black President, Black Attorney General, a Black First Lady that went high when they went low. In a way, President Obama was as they say, “the most divisive President of all time.” Not because of his words or actions. It was his existence that divided the nation, the Caste system had been overturned.
The final straw that changed the campaign allowing Trump to win wasn’t Hillary’s private server. It wasn’t leaked E-mails. Not even the Comey letter in a late October surprise. It was the multiple appearances of Barack and Michelle Obama on the campaign trail that motivated white people from every crack and crevice to vote against Obama thru Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t a strictly male reaction. White women ignored all the misogyny, multiple women coming forward to report sexual harassment and Trump’s admission on tape to being a sexual predator. They ignored his extramarital affairs. Looked the other way at the rape charge that was working through the courts before death threats caused it to be withdrawn. They left their sisters of color in the lurch as they have throughout American history with their ultimate decision being to support their whiteness above their gender. Loyal to their Caste.
I’ve watched the glee in some Republican faces as they attempt to dismantle everything President Obama accomplished in the past eight years. They may be successful in undoing the first thing he accomplished which was salvaging the economy. To undo all things Obama they’re willing to take healthcare from twenty-three million Americans and remove most restrictions regulating big banks and Wall Street which almost destroyed the nation before.
When the Senate meets to confirm Trump’s cabinet choices. They may mention the racist or xenophobic past that afflicts most of his early picks. But they’ll ignore what they’ve said and done in favor of who they are. Caste uber alles.
When you watch the news in the future. Look thru the prism of a Caste based society. You’ll understand the limited and biased coverage of Standing Rock with its modern-day Bull Connor. You’ll know why a Bannon or Sessions was acceptable to those making decisions because those are their people. You’ll see why attacks on voter rights are so successful in becoming law despite their clear unconstitutionality and obvious racist intent. It’s because when it’s all said and done. Caste wins out.