by Kathie England

Re-educated About Our History

“What kind of country do we want to be, and what are we willing to do to achieve it?”

Those powerful questions are asked by Isabel Wilkerson in the cover story of TIME magazine’s February 13/February 20, 2023 issue. I invite you to read Wilkerson’s full article titled “Our Enduring Discontents – How to Understand America.”

Enduring Our Discontents

Wilkerson, the author of Caste (published in 2020), believes that the challenges we face “call for a massive re-education of our citizenry to lay bare the full history of this country so that every citizen can know the ways in which the state has systematically favored some groups and excluded others and can become aware of the urgent, long-overdue need to atone for past and current injustices to rectify continuing disparities for the collective healing of our country.”

In Caste, Wilkerson explains that caste persists because “people buy into the lie of a natural hierarchy” and this lie is assumed to be the truth. “Caste is a disease, and none of us is immune.” This disease creates fear!

The projections by demographers that somewhere between 2042 and 2045 whites will no longer be the majority in this country terrifies those who have bought into this lie of a “natural hierarchy.” This fear threatens our fragile democracy!

Wilkerson invites each of us “to do all that we can in our spheres of influence to make this a fairer world, to educate ourselves and our children about our true history, to alert legislators and policymaker to the depths of what they, and we, are up against.”

“We have the opportunity to set a standard for how to work together to create a truly egalitarian, multi-ethnic democracy, a stronger, all-encompassing, reconstituted version of ourselves as a society, and prove to ourselves and to the world that the divisions we have inherited do not have to be our destiny.”

Let us embrace this perspective, re-educate ourselves, and find the courage to take many small steps in 2023 to be Who We Can Be!