Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents (38 page)

BOOK: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
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Pillar Number Three: Endogamy and the Control of Marriage and Mating

“Caste,” wrote Bhimrao Ambedkar
:
Ambedkar,
Castes in India,
p. 15.

endogamy, which confers an alliance
:
Centuries later, the enforcers of the caste system under Jim Crow found it unacceptable for relations between blacks and whites to be “sustained, intimate and on the basis of equality.” George De Vos, “Psychology of Purity and Pollution as Related to Social Self-Identity and Caste,” in Reuck and Knight,
Caste and Race,
p. 304.

The case of Hugh Davis
:
“Although the full picture can never be reconstructed, some of its elements can reasonably be assumed….[B]ecause Davis’s mate was described as a ‘negro,’ but no corresponding racial identification was made of Davis, it can be inferred that Davis was white.” Leon Higginbotham quoted in López,
White by Law
, p. 17.

forty-one of the fifty states passed laws
:
Anti-miscegenation laws were so widely adopted that it is more efficient to cite the states that did not outlaw intermarriage than those that did. Aside from Alaska and Hawaii, which entered the union well after most anti-miscegenation laws were enacted, the only states that were silent on intermarriage were: Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Wisconsin, along with the District of Columbia.

Alabama, the last state
:
Suzy Hansen, “Mixing It Up,”
Salon,
March 9, 2001,
https://www.salon.com/​2001/​03/​08/​sollors/
.

“What we look like”
:
López,
White by Law,
p. 11.

94 percent of white Americans
:
The first Gallup survey on interracial marriage, in 1958, was conducted with white Americans. Ninety-four percent of respondents disapproved of marriage between blacks and whites, 3 percent had no opinion, and only 4 percent approved. “Marriage,”
Gallup.com
, n.d.,
https://news.gallup.com/​poll/​117328/​marriage.aspx
.

“You know the Negro race”
:
Davis, Gardner, and Gardner,
Deep South,
p. 17.

“who owned his wife”
:
Weld,
American Slavery,
p. 157; Goodell,
American Slave Code,
p. 103.

“I know you don’t think much”
:
Freedom Never Dies: The Legacy of Harry T. Moore,
PBS, aired January 12, 2001,
http://www.pbs.org/​harrymoore/​terror/​howard.html
and
http://www.pbs.org/​harrymoore/​terror/​lula.html
.

Pillar Number Four: Purity versus Pollution

somewhere between twelve and ninety-six
:
L. A. Krishna Iyer,
Social History of Kerala
(Madras: Book Centre Publications, 1970), p. 47. “A Dalit who comes closer than 95 paces to a Brahmin would pollute him and so the protectors and caretakers of the Brahmin families, the Nairs, would kill the defaulting Dalit in cruel ways.” Michael Manjallor, “A Critical Analysis of the Efficacy of MDG 2: Case Study of the Dalits of Kerala, India,” Ph.D. thesis, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand, 2015, p. 79,
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/​4a21/​f1f611df809766fc38a7fa1f466313634896.pdf
.

“drag a thorny branch”
:
G. S. Ghurye,
Caste and Race in India
(London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1932), p. 12.

required rituals of purification
:
Cox,
Caste, Class, and Race,
p. 33.

“They believed the entire pool”
:
Sartre,
Reflexions,
p. 29. This English translation of the 1954 French edition is cited in Steinweis and Rachlin,
Law in Nazi Germany,
p. 93. The English translation of Sartre’s 1948 book
Anti-Semite and Jew
reads: “It seemed to them that if the body of an Israelite were to plunge into that confined body of water, the water would be completely befouled.” Jean-Paul Sartre,
Anti-Semite and Jew,
translated by George J. Decker (New York: Schocken, 1948), p. 24.

separate sets of textbooks
:
“A Brief History of Jim Crow,” Constitutional Rights Foundation, n.d.,
http://www.crf-usa.org/​black-history-month/​a-brief-history-of-jim-crow
.

had to drink from horse troughs
:
Describing the work of Rev. Hugh Proctor, who oversaw the building of First Congregational Church in Atlanta in 1908, Paula Bevington writes: “His numerous neighborhood initiatives included the founding of an orphanage and two prison missions, as well as the installation of a public water fountain. The fountain was not inconsequential. It augmented the only public access to drinking water previously available to blacks in the community: a horse trough.” Paula L. Bevington, “Atlanta Colored Music Festival Association,”
New Georgia Encyclopedia,
June 19, 2014,
https://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/​articles/​arts-culture/​atlanta-colored-music-festival-association
.

In southern jails, the bedsheets
:
Fon Louise Gordon,
Caste and Class:
The Black Experience in Arkansas, 1880–1920
(Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995), p. 60.

“the body will be placed”
:
Doyle,
Etiquette of Race Relations,
pp. 153, 151, 152.

“Ambulances rushed to the man’s”
:
“Where Should a Negro Get Hurt?,”
Christian Index
61 (August 25, 1932): 9, 10.

whites threw nails and broken glass
:
Victoria W. Wolcott,
Race Riots and Roller Coasters: The Struggle over Segregated Recreation in America
(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), p. 96.

“The response was to drain”
:
Weiner,
Black Trials,
p. 177.

“each Negro who entered the pool”
:
Wiltse,
Contested Waters,
p. 126.

the city of St. Louis had
:
Art Holliday, “1949 Swimming Pool Integration Sparked Violence, Triggered Change in St. Louis,” KSDK, February 28, 2018,
https://www.ksdk.com/​article/​news/​local/​storytellers/​1949-swimming-pool-integration-sparked-violence-triggered-change-in-st-Louis/​63-524244606
.

“a circulatory type of pool”
:
Wiltse,
Contested Waters,
pp. 147–51, 135–38.

“From time to time, one or another”
:
Mel Watkins,
Dancing with Strangers
(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1998), pp. 127, 128.

racial absolutism, the idea that a single drop
:
Fredrickson,
White Supremacy,
pp. 134, 135.

“Degradation, resulting from”
:
Mark Tushnet,
The American Law and Slavery, 1810–1860: Considerations of Humanity and Interest
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), p. 150.

“become a Colony of Aliens”
:
Carla J. Mulford,
Benjamin Franklin and the Ends of Empire
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), p. 161.

“The law could not separate”
:
Raymond T. Diamond and Robert J. Cottrol, “Codifying Caste: Louisiana’s Racial Classification Scheme and the Fourteenth Amendment,”
Loyola Law Review
29, no. 2 (Spring 1983): 266.

“the most degenerate races”
:
Michael Denis Biddiss,
Father
of Racist Ideology: The Social and Political Thought of Count Gobineau
(New York: Weybright & Talley, 1970), p. 144; and Michael Denis Biddiss, ed.,
Gobineau: Selected Political Writings
(New York: Harper & Row, 1970), p. 161.

“scum and offscouring”
:
Gov. William Hodges Mann, testimony during a hearing before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, U.S. House of Representatives (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1912), p. 8.

“The moral fiber of the nation”
:
Ibid., pp. 15–23.

“just a little worse than”
:
Ed Falco, “When Italian Immigrants Were ‘the Other,’ ” CNN, July 10, 2012,
http://www.cnn.com/​2012/​07/​10/​opinion/​falco-italian-immigrants/​index.html
.

“no competent evidence”
:
The case was Rollins v. Alabama, 1922.

“one in whom there is”
:
In 1911, Arkansas passed Act 320 (House Bill 79), its “one-drop rule.” This law made interracial “cohabitation” a felony and defined as “Negro” anyone “who has…any negro blood whatever.” L. P. Sandels and Joseph M. Hill,
A Digest of the Statutes of Arkansas Embracing All Laws of a General Nature
(Columbia, Mo., 1894), p. 1375. In 1910, the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned the conviction of Octave Treadaway of New Orleans and his mistress, who was of mixed ancestry. According to the
Encyclopedia of Arkansas,
“Chief Justice Olivier Provosty ruled that the woman was neither ‘Negro’ nor ‘Black’; rather, she was ‘Coloured,’ an intermediate caste based upon dual ancestry, as defined in Louisiana case law. Within a month of Provosty’s ruling, lawmakers reconvened, amending the statute to define ‘Negro’ via a one-thirty-second blood fraction—in effect, a one-drop rule. When Arkansas’s legislature met the following year, it left no wiggle room for a recalcitrant judge. They adopted the wording of Louisiana’s statute while adding the one-drop clause. The felony for interracial sex was ‘punishable by one month to one year in penitentiary at hard labor.’ ” Frank W. Sweet, “One Drop Rule,”
Encyclopedia of Arkansas,
February 1, 2019,
http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/​encyclopedia/​entry-detail.aspx?entryID=5365
.

“who has no trace whatsoever”
:
Brendan Wolfe, “Racial Integrity Laws (1924–1930),”
Encyclopedia Virginia,
November 4, 2015,
https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/​racial_integrity_laws_of_the_1920s
.

“The ‘traceable amount’ was meant”
:
Raymond T. Diamond and Robert J. Cottrol, “Codifying Caste: Louisiana’s Racial Classification Scheme and the Fourteenth Amendment,”
Loyola Law Review
29, no. 2 (Spring 1983): 281, 266.

“to discover that they were”
:
Nancy Hewitt,
Southern Discomfort: Women’s Activism in Tampa, Florida, 1880s to 1920s
(Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001), quoted in Voogd,
Race Riots,
p. 40.

“Since this newspaper did not”
:
Yuchi Ichioka, “The Early Japanese Immigrant Quest for Citizenship: The Background of the 1922 Ozawa Case,”
Amerasia
4, no. 1 (1977), quoted in López,
White by Law,
p. 60.

“It may be true that the blond”
:
López,
White by Law,
p. 63.

“Obstacles this way”
:
Kritika Agarwal, “Vaishno Das Bagai’s Disillusionment with America,”
South Asian American Digital Archive,
August 6, 2014,
https://www.saada.org/​tides/​article/​living-in-a-gilded-cage
.

A Japanese novelist once noted
:
Okada,
No-No Boy,
p. 202.

black Mormons in America
:
Jana Riess, “Forty Years On, Most Mormons Still Believe the Racist Temple Ban Was God’s Will,”
Religion News,
June 1, 2018,
https://religionnews.com/​2018/​06/​11/​40-years-later-most-mormons-still-believe-the-racist-priesthood-temple-ban-was-gods-will/
. See also “Race and the Priesthood,” Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, n.d.,
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/​study/​manual/​gospel-topics-essays/​race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng
.

“the negroes must catch the gospel”
:
Goodell,
American Slave Code,
p. 312.

“They were driven from Independence”
:
Roediger,
Wages of Whiteness,
p. 57.

“They were not allowed to be”
:
W. W. Hunter,
The Indian Empire: Its People, History and Products
(London: Trübner & Co., 1886), p. 91.

“to read architectural blueprints”
:
Mills,
Racial Contract,
p. 51.

“They have germs”
:
Clark,
Southern Discomfort.
Also interview of Tena Clark conducted by Lois Reitzes, WABE/National Public Radio, December 27, 2018,
https://www.wabe.org/​music-legend-tena-clark-unveils-her-chaotic-childhood-in-southern-discomfort
.

“Strange things pop up at us”
:
George De Vos, “Psychology of Purity and Pollution as Related to Social Self-Identity and Caste,” in Reuck and Knight,
Caste and Race,
p. 304.

Pillar Number Five: Occupational Hierarchy: The Jatis and the Mudsill

“In all social systems”
:
James Henry Hammond,
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond of South Carolina
(New York, 1866), p. 318.

“nothing less than a monster”
:
Bleser,
Secret and Sacred,
p. xii; Craig Thompson Friend, “Sex, Self, and the Performance of Patriarchal Manhood in the Old South,” in
The Old South’s Modern Worlds: Slavery, Region, and a Nation in the Age of Progress,
ed. L. Diane Barnes, Brian Schoen, and Frank Towers (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 247.

“intimacies”
:
Rosellen Brown, “Monster of All He Surveyed” (a review of Bleser,
Secret and Sacred
),
New York Times,
January 29, 1989,
https://www.nytimes.com/​1989/​01/​29/​books/​monster-of-all-he-surveyed.html
.

“There is severe occupational”
:
Verba, Ahmed, and Bhatt,
Caste, Race and Politics,
p. 83.

“no person of color shall pursue”
:
Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, Passed at Sessions 1864–1865
(Columbia, S.C., 1866), p. 299.

forbidden to sell or trade goods
:
Goodell,
American Slave Code,
p. 337.

“The caste order that followed”
:
Edward B. Reuter, “Competition and the Racial Division of Labor,” in Thompson,
Race Relations,
p. 58.

“Anything that causes the negro”
:
Independent
(New York) 54, no. 2798 (July 17, 1902), p. 1739.

They entered the North at the bottom
:
“American color bars existed not because government required them,” wrote the historian George M. Fredrickson, “but because it did not act, at least until very recently, to prohibit the discriminatory practices of private employers and trade unions.” Fredrickson,
White Supremacy,
p. 235. See also Roediger,
Wages of Whiteness
, p. 58. “In New York, and some other Northern cities, colored persons are still denied licenses to drive carts, and pursue other similar avocations for a livelihood.” Goodell,
American Slave Code,
p. 337.

“Every avenue for improvement”
:
William A. Sinclair,
The Aftermath of Slavery
(Boston: Small, Maynard, 1905), p. 67.

“no one occupation has but”
:
W. Lloyd Warner and Allison Davis, “A Comparative Study of American Caste,” in Thompson,
Race Relations,
p. 231.

“one can distinguish six merchant”
:
Bouglé,
Caste System,
p. 17.

“85 percent of black men and”
:
Steinberg,
Ethnic Myth,
pp. 206–7.

“refused to carry water”
:
Roediger,
Wages of Whiteness,
p. 49.

“If white and colored persons are”
:
Doyle,
Etiquette of Race Relations,
p. 154.

“forced him to procure overalls”
:
Ibid., pp. 154, 155.

“This was done to make them”
:
Brown,
Life of William Wells Brown,
p. 45.

“Menial and comic roles”
:
W. Lloyd Warner and Allison Davis, “A Comparative Study of American Caste,” in Thompson,
Race Relations,
p. 237.

Yet the rotund and cheerful slave
:
The scholar Andrew Hacker noted the roles reserved for African-Americans throughout history: “Within living memory, your people were barred from major league teams; now they command the highest salaries in most professional sports. In the movies, your people had to settle for roles as servants and buffoons. Now at least some of them are cast as physicians, business executives….When everything is added up, white America still prefers its black people to be performers who divert them as athletes and musicians and comedians.” Hacker,
Two Nations,
p. 46.

“I have a slave who I believe”
:
“Narrative and Testimony of Sarah M. Grimké” (1830), in Weld,
American Slavery,
p. 24.

An SS squad leader, who
:
“Compulsory Labour in the ‘Brickworks’ Death Camp,” Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, Sachsenhausen, Germany. Wall text describing SS squad leader Richard Bugdalle making prisoners dance like bears around a shovel. When one man refused, Bugdalle “took a shovel handle, and hit and killed him.”

“the claim of absolute proprietorship”
:
Goodell,
American Slave Code,
p. 77.

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