I just finished Isabel Wilkerson’s excellent “Caste“, and thought I’d share a few quick thoughts. I was going to write up a more comprehensive post about it, but decided not to — you just need to read the book for yourself.
It’s amazing and heartbreaking, and should be required reading for almost every person. It certainly opened my eyes wider in a lot of areas.
Two things stood out to me. First, I had no idea that laws against marriage between blacks and whites lasted as long as it did. From the book:
…some states were slow to officially repeal their endogamy laws. Alabama, the last state to do so, did not throw out its law against intermarriage until the year 2000. Even then, 40 percent of the electorate in that referendum voted in favor of keeping the marriage ban on the books.
That was stunning! It wasn’t overturned until 2000, with 40% voting against it? Wow.
Near the end of the book was a simple statement that Isabel made which really resonated with me, and kind of summed up the entire book:
Every spiritual tradition says love your neighbor as yourself, not tolerate them.
As I mentioned at the top, this post is pretty short on purpose. I can’t begin to properly summarize everything this book presents, so I strongly encourage you to read it for yourself.