Isabel Wilkerson’s recent book ‘Caste:  The Origins of our Discontents’ will be reviewed first (Reading this is suggested but not required.)  It will provide a background to understanding the endemic of racism that she states she and all Black people feel and deal with in their daily lives. She also states that our society today is best defined by its rigid social hierarchy, which derives in great degree from racism and is best described as a true caste system.  From this we will proceed to “how we got here,” with a chronological look at how the racism created and fostered by the slave system developed into the dominant social, cultural, political and economic force which so troubles our present.  We will discuss the evolution of the American slave system in early America, the direct connection of slavery to the Civil War, the post war effort of Reconstruction, its collapse and the creation of the white supremacist doctrine of subjugation and domination known as Jim Crow. To conclude we’ll look at subsequent history up to the present and why “Past is, indeed Present.”   Finally, as an illustration, a relevant look at today’s angry efforts by many who demand that a realistic teaching of this subject in American schools be prevented and that many books describing it be banned.