“Everyone in the caste system is trained to covet proximity to the dominant caste: an Iranian immigrant feeling the need to mention that a relative had blond hair as a child; a second-generation child of Caribbean immigrants quick to clarify that they are Jamaican and categorically not African-American; a Mexican immigrant boasting that one of his grandfathers back in Mexico ‘looked just like an American’—blond hair and blue eyes—at which point he was reminded by an African-American
that Americans come in all colors of hair and eyes.”

Isabel Wilkerson, from CASTE

Can you breathe a new strength on a foundation of love, liberty and justice for everyone?
Celebrate the music excerpts at iTunes, JULIE TRUE, MUSIC TO JOURNAL BY, VOL. 13, Heavenly Light and Living Water
Can you breathe a new awareness that we all have the same right to love,
peace and freedom?

“We are accustomed to the concept of narcissism—a complex condition of self-aggrandizing entitlement and disregard of others, growing out of a hollow insecurity—as it applies to individuals. But some scholars apply it to the behavior of nations, tribes, and subgroups. Freud was among the earliest psychoanalysts to connect a psychiatric diagnosis to Narcissus of Greek mythology, the son of the river god who fell in love with his own image in a pool of water and, not realizing that it was he who was ‘spurning’ his affection, died in despair. ‘Narcissus could not conceive that he was in love with his own reflection,’ wrote the psychologist Elsa Ronningstam. ‘He was caught in an illusion.'”

Isabel Wilkerson, from CASTE

The illusion of superiority is the toxic energy that continues to perpetuate the lies that we must all come to terms with, breathe through, transcend, and heal.

“A person deeply invested in his group’s dominance ‘has a euphoric ‘on-top-of-the-world’ feeling, while in reality he is in a state of self-inflation,’ [Eric] Fromm wrote. ‘This leads to severe distortion of his capacity to think and to judge….He and his are over-evaluated. Everything outside is under-evaluated.’ And underneath may lie the fear that he cannot live up to the constructed ideal of his own perfection.

History has shown that nations and groups will conquer, colonize, enslave, and kill to maintain the illusion of their primacy. Their investment in this illusion gives them as much of a stake in the inferiority of those deemed beneath them as in their own presumed superiority. . . .

The social theorist Takamichi Sakurai wrote bluntly: ‘Group narcissism leads people to fascism. An extreme form of group narcissism means malignant narcissism, which gives rise to a fanatical fascist politics, an extreme racialism.'”

Isabel Wilkerson, from CASTE

What distinctions are you using to ‘elevate” yourself and distance others?

“‘A group whipped into narcissistic fervor ‘is eager to have a leader with whom it can identify,’ Fromm wrote. ‘The leader is then admired by the group which projects its narcissism onto him.’ The right kind of leader can inspire a symbiotic connection that supplants logic. The susceptible group sees itself in the narcissistic leader, becomes one with the leader, sees his fortunes and his fate as their own.

Isabel Wilkerson, from CASTE

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