Colleges and universities across the US are moving to ban caste discrimination
(CNN)On paper, the change was subtle — the word “caste” appearing in parentheses after the term “race and ethnicity.”
But for many advocates and student leaders, the tweak to California State University’s anti-discrimination policy that quietly went into effect on January 1 was a civil rights victory: An acknowledgment from the nation’s largest, four-year public university system that the insidious form of oppression that has long haunted some on campus is, in fact, real.
Caste-oppressed students, who mostly hail from South Asian immigrant and diaspora backgrounds, say that casteism tends to manifest in US colleges and universities through slurs, microaggressions and social exclusion. But because these dynamics play out within these minority communities, most other Americans have little understanding of how they operate — leaving these students, many of whom refer to themselves as Dalits, without recourse.