- “…each of the hereditary classes of Hindu society, distinguished by relative degrees of ritual purity or pollution and of social status. e.g. “members of the lower castes,” or “she could not marry outside her caste”
- “the system of dividing society into hereditary classes.”
- any class or group of people who inherit exclusive privileges or are perceived as socially distinct. E.g.”those educated in private schools belong to a privileged caste”
Race is an invented caste system. It is the same type of system that is in place in India, the same kind of system which manifested and sustained apartheid in South Africa, and it is the same kind of system that caused the enslavement and killing of countless valuable souls from Africa.
There are those who still believe, against the vast majority of international scientific and anthropological consensus, that a person’s race is based on his or her looks (phenotype) or genetic makeup (genotype), that there is some fixed quality to a person’s race. It confuses people because a quick look at race shows that it is at least a heriditary feature. But this is not by itself convincing. After all, all that is hereditary is not necessarily genetic. For example, real property may pass by heredity, but has nothing to do with a person’s genotype or phenotype.
While eroding at the very edges in America, racial castes are still strongly held to notions that are enforced by the people… through their government where possible, through violence and intimidation (to the other castes), through shaming and reproach (to members of their own caste (how could you date an Asian man?) and through normative social interactions (like deciding who to call back to job interviews).
Having equality under the law is the first step. Where possible, members of the most privileged caste will seek to have their privilege accorded the force of law. Think about Apartheid, slavery, or anti-miscegenation.
Amendment (2000): “Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to abolish the prohibition of interracial marriages.”
To highlight my point about equal laws only being a starting point, that Amendment passed with 60% of voters in favor. That’s 40% of Alabama voters still wanted government enforced castes. (Loving v. Virginia was in 1967 so Alabama was a little late to the party).
So even with equal laws, racial caste enforcement is very much alive in America.