What Is Race? What Is Racism? A Discussion.

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The Principle of Racial Unity

The principles of racial equality and racial unity are central to the Baha’i­ teachings. Baha’i­s are working to establish a world civilization, guided by the underlying principles of the oneness of mankind and of the attainment of unity in diversity. In consequence of this belief, Baha’i­s recognize the equality of all races and strive to eliminate all forms of racial prejudice and discrimination. “Close your eyes to racial differences and welcome all with the light of oneness”.

Because Baha’i­s attach such a great importance to encouraging unity, each Baha’i­, while taking pride in his unique racial, ethnic or cultural heritage, seeks above all to recognize and foster the common human and spiritual bonds that unite the human family — a family rich in the diversity of races and cultures that compose it.

Baha’i­ Efforts to Promote Racial Unity

In classes conducted by Baha’i­ communities in over 100 countries, children are being instructed in the principles of racial unity and equality and become aware of the problems of racial prejudice and discrimination. Baha’i­ communities world-wide have co-operated with United Nations programmes in the field of eradicating racial discrimination. They have participated in human rights conferences and seminars, and have actively sponsored commemorations of Human Rights Day and Race Unity Day in their individual localities. The everyday principles by which Baha’i­s and Baha’i­ communities conduct their lives offer further testimony to the deep commitment felt by Baha’i­s to the principle of racial unity.

In Baha’i­ communities at the local and national levels, individuals of all races associate regularly and freely, in complete amity and concord.

The Importance of Spiritual Education

Prejudice can be eradicated only through a spiritual awakening — an awakening nurtured, on the one hand, by the independent investigation of truth, and, on the other, by proper guidance and direction. What is necessary, then, to eliminate racial prejudice is proper spiritual education — education whose purpose is to promote that spirit of free inquiry which alone can break through racial stereotypes, while at the same time inculcating in human hearts and minds the fundamental principle — and truth — of the organic oneness of mankind.

Please review this presentation prior to our session this Sunday, the recording of a Zoom lecture given by Richard Hollinger on The American Baha’i Community and the Struggle for Racial Justice in America.  We believe that our Sunday Class participants will certainly enjoy it, and it will give them something to talk about!