‘Caste’ Author Wilkerson: Slavery Existed ‘246 Years ... Before There Was a United States’

‘It was there that the devaluation of black life became codified’

WILKERSON: "Well, I would say this is part of a continuum if you look at American history. Enslavement which is the basis of the hierarchy which I’m describing lasted for 246 years, that’s 12 generations before there was a United States of America. And it was there that the devaluation of black life became codified and just part of how the country functioned so we’re living under the shadow of that as we can see what video after video ever heart breaking instance that we see. When we look at Kenosha, when we look at Rochester and Minneapolis before that. I mean, we are seeing before our eyes things that have been part of our country’s legacy. But are now visible to everyone around the world. So I would hope that we’re — you know, on the cusp of an awakening, a recognition of the challenges that we’re facing and of how people truly are being treated differently based upon their perceived value in our society."

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