The Language of Caste Structure – a response to the effect of higher education costs on Caste Systems
Our world is divided, not just politically, religiously, or even socially. The caste division is one of our worst divisions because it doesn’t represent equal tribes against one another. It is one tribe oppressing, dominating, or abandoning another tribe to die.
While we do experience social class divisions in our country, they are not exclusive to the US. You can also see them in cultures like Europe, through the concept of royalty. However, caste divisions are actually thinner in these cultures than in places like the Middle and Far East, where something as inherent as a name determines a person’s potential for success.
The issue with the caste division is not money. It is not the cost of higher education. The problem lies in a whole different kind of education, one beyond school or money. Being lower class is not just built by lack, but by observation. Lower caste children are raised by parents who have no willpower. They live within the limitations of the working class, and the language they learn is one of anger, frustration, defeatism, and oppression.
They cannot join the gymnastics or ski teams, or travel to a national spelling bee if they win. They don’t experience cultural events or attend the ballet. They lack the education of world travel and speak the subtle languages spoken at Walmart. We feel insecure and off-trend, driving the wrong car, living in the wrong house, and working the wrong kind of job. It’s an internal feeling of unworthiness propagated unconsciously by the need to “fit it.”
We are criminalized for lesser crimes, being shunned by society for petty theft while crimes against masses go unchecked. Having been criminalized in the past, we feel like we only have a moment to explain before being beheaded. Beyond history, social inequality seldom offers those in the lower caste opportunities to speak. With an already limited vocabulary, we have small windows of opportunity.
When opportunities do present themselves, there is no room for failure. Each chance may be our only chance to be heard. So, we often misrepresent ourselves because we try to say everything at once. We speak loudly, saying too much too fast, producing chaotic, indiscernible, gibberish that established systems quickly disregard, though the ideas could have real merit if presented in the right way.
For all these reasons, the lesser caste is excluded from legitimate conversations. Lacking both the resources and the opportunity to participate in language that has true impact, we feel bound to our position. For example, the BLM movement is not just about being black. It is about being black and poor, and the situation did not improve until the upper-class became involved. It was the outrage of celebrity forces that finally evoked change.
The effect of this lack of social education develops not just at the level of language but at the level of identity. The underlying fear of not being heard translates to fear of inaccuracy, further burying our ability to speak. We lack verbal filters, often saying the wrong thing. We feel defensive like we must justify our existence and continually explain ourselves. We are Pygmalion or Good Will Hunting., discounted as an experiment and deeply misunderstood.
We live with the consciousness that we must be grateful for the scraps given to us, generally settling for less because we are so grateful to have anything at all. We live on leftovers, carrying within us a stain that does not permit us to walk through certain doors. Through centuries of training passed down generation after generation, we feel wrong not because we are wrong, but because we lack the inherent education that would give us the ability to explain our position. The Marshmallow Experiment it’s not just about success or failure. It’s about an identity of not just the individual. It is a tribal, exclusionary, language barrier.
We live with the consciousness that we must be grateful for the scraps given to us, generally settling for less because we are so grateful to have anything at all. We live on leftovers, carrying within us a stain that does not permit us to walk through certain doors.
You can see the feeling of unworthiness in our subject. She is resistant to something as basic as medical treatment because she has learned it is a failure to need it, likely driven by her ancestors’ inability to attain it.
Breaking through the caste barrier is not a minor thing. It is the development of a whole new language, one our subject will need to learn.