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Oprah Suggests America’s racial “caste system” was the “template for Nazi Germany”

In a new episode of Oprah’s book club, Oprah interviews Isabel Wilkerson, author of “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents.”

During her interview Oprah suggests the U.S. caste system was “the template for Nazi Germany.”

Winfrey asks “How did you decide to focus the book on three caste systems –  India, Nazi Germany, and the United States? I think a lot of people get riled up and offended that you’re comparing the caste system here to Nazi Germany, yet we discover that we were the template for Nazi Germany.”

Wilkerson replies “In the stories that I did for the New York Times, I didn’t use the word. In The Warmth of Other Suns, word does not appear. I pointedly stand here, sit here, stating that I don’t use the word and it’s for a reason. I think that it’s a word that is often misunderstood. It’s a word that has many different meanings to different people, even though social scientists have a singular definition for it, which would be prejudice plus the power to enforce that prejudice institutionally.”

She continues “I don’t use the word because I think that we stop hearing what it means when we’ve heard something for so long, and which can be misinterpreted by so many different people.”

“I believe that [Caste] is a focus on the infrastructure of our divisions. It’s a focus in on what lies beneath, what we think we see, and it focuses us on the structure of a thing and that allows us to see how race has essentially been the cue and the signifier of where a person fits in that hierarchy,” she adds.

In this video, Isabel Wilkerson explains in her new book “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” to Trevor Noah.