NPR's TERRY GROSS: SOURCE: https://www.npr.org/transcripts/898574852
What do you think the difference is between using the word caste system or systemic racism?
PULTZER PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR ISABEL WILKERSON:
Well, it's a difference in some ways between what one would consider caste versus race to begin with... Andcaste system is actually an artificial hierarchy. ... You're just born to it... whereas race is the metric that's used to determine one's place in that or one's assignment in that caste system.
So that while there's an interaction between the two of them, caste is the much older term. It's a term that's been around for thousands of years, predates the idea of race, which is a fairly new concept. It's only 400 or 500 years old, dating back to the transatlantic slave trade. And so race is the newer concept, and it was, in some ways, created to maintain - to delineate, categorize and create the caste system that underlies our society.
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