For hundreds of years, people were denied the right to vote and participate fully as citizens because of the color of their skin. However, it would seem that a greater evil was at work. A caste system was initiated in the colonies to ensure that the dominant group kept control over those on the bottom levels of society.

Reading the book, "Caste" by Isabel Wilkerson, has been very enlightening. I believe it should be required reading for everyone, especially those in elected positions, Republicans and Democrats, and those who enjoy white privilege whether they want to admit it or not.

I was shocked to learn that the Nazis used the caste system of the United States as they devised their plans to control Germany. They even found some elements of the Jim Crowe laws to be too extreme. Interestingly, the German people have chosen to outlaw such Nazi symbols as the swastika.

Meanwhile, the United States still has folks intent on maintaining and strengthening the caste system. One of the most dangerous areas of concern is how there are attempts by Republicans to suppress voters. Right here in Blount County, we have the proposal to reduce voting places. On the state level, there are some very scary proposals that would further restrict voting opportunities.

The caste system is alive and well. Now is the time that we must speak up for justice. Now is the time we must recognize how white privilege is being used to perpetuate the evils of the caste system.

Ginny West Case

Cedar Park Drive

Maryville

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