Nationally and internationally renowned researcher, educator and author of "Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome", Dr. Joy Degruy lectures on the insensitivity and disregard for basic human rights towards Black people throughout the history of racism in America.
Here are a few links to Dr. Joy DeGruy's work on helping white people understand the depths of history of trauma and how systemic it was and still is in preventing racial justice and healing.
Dr. DeGruy at Portland State University
Join her on Wellness Wednesday on Facebook
A white Baha'i couple's journey into racial America who traveled in an RV for 15 years, and what they learned. This link is to a video of a talk they gave. What happens when the warm connection between a black woman and a white woman is broken by insensitivity and unconscious white privilege?
Are courage, honesty, forgiveness and hope enough to heal the separation? This true story is based on the chapter "The Promise" in the book Longing: Stories of Racial Healing by Phyllis and Eugene Unterschuetz, © Bahá'í Publishing 2010. To learn about the Race Story ReWrite Project and to schedule a workshop for your organization, please visit www.RaceStoryRewrite.org.
I am an educator, photographer, artist, writer, and Peace and Conflict Studies practitioner. My dissertation: Being and Becoming: A Photographic Inquiry with Bahá’í men into Cultures of Peace sought new understandings of masculinity and how they are navigated in a community that holds gender equality as a sacred principle. Recent work interrogates whiteness and patriarchy in a spiritual context seeking integrity, oneness & justice
Common Threads: Critical Race Theory: Truths and Myths
Common Threads: Attacks on Critical Race Theory: Centering Whiteness
“Nice White Parents” is a new podcast from Serial Productions, a New York Times Company, about the 60-year relationship between white parents and the public school down the block.
If you, like many of us, are finding it hard to articulate how to discuss issues of racism, injustice, discrimination and privilege, we’d like to encourage you to take some time to learn and listen.
Take some time to watch some (or all) of these important documentaries about race, racial prejudices and privilege within our society.
How to Be Less Stupid About Race is your essential guide to breaking through the half-truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before.
Searing, sobering, and urgently needed, How to Be Less Stupid About Race is a truth bomb for your racist relative, friend, or boss, and a call to action for everyone who wants to challenge white supremacy and intersectional oppression. If you like Issa Rae, Justin Simien, Angela Davis, and Morgan Jerkins, then this deeply relevant, bold, and incisive book is for you.
University of Washington professor Dr. Robin DiAngelo reads from her book "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," explains the phenomenon, and discusses how white people can develop their capacity to engage more constructively across race.
Dr. DiAngelo is the author of "What Does it Mean to Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy" and has been an anti-racist educator, and has heard justifications of racism by white men and women in her workshops for over two decades. This justification, which she calls “white fragility,”
The link below is to a talk by Dr. Robin DiAngelo during Highline College's MLK Week, January, 2016. .
"Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove grew up in the Bible Belt in the American South as a faithful church-going Christian.
But he gradually came to realize that the gospel his Christianity proclaimed was not good news for everybody.
The same Christianity that sang, "Amazing grace, how sweet the sound" also perpetuated racial injustice and white supremacy in the name of Jesus.
His Christianity, he discovered, was the religion of the slaveholder. Just as Reconstruction after the Civil War worked to repair a desperately broken society, our compromised Christianity requires a spiritual reconstruction that undoes the injustices of the past." Here we share Jonathan's talk with us on this topic."
For those fellow friends who want to support the pupil of the eye, but don't know what to do or where to start. Here are the first one of seventy-five.:
1. Google whether your local police department currently outfits all on-duty police officers with a body-worn camera and requires that the body-worn camera be turned on immediately when officers respond to a police call. If they don’t, write to your city or town government representative and police chief to advocate for it. The racial make-up of your town doesn’t matter — This needs to be standard everywhere. Multiply your voice by soliciting others to advocate as well, writing on social media about it, writing op-eds, etc.
2. Google whether your city or town currently employs evidence-based police de-escalation trainings. The racial make-up of your town doesn’t matter — This needs to be standard everywhere. Write to your city or town government representative and police chief and advocate for it. Multiply your voice by soliciting others to advocate as well, writing on social media about it, writing op-eds, etc.
39. Listen without ego and defensiveness to people of color. Truly listen. Don’t scroll past articles written by people of color — Read them.
Maggie and John Anderson were successful African American professionals raising two daughters in a tony suburb of Chicago. But they felt uneasy over their good fortune. Most African Americans live in economically starved neighborhoods. Black wealth is about one tenth of white wealth, and black businesses lag behind businesses of all other racial groups in every measure of success.
One problem is that black consumers--unlike consumers of other ethnicities-- choose not to support black-owned businesses. At the same time, most of the businesses in their communities are owned by outsiders.
On January 1, 2009 the Andersons embarked on a year-long public pledge to "buy black." They thought that by taking a stand, the black community would be mobilized to exert its economic might. They thought that by exposing the issues, Americans of all races would see that economically empowering black neighborhoods benefits society as a whole. Instead, blacks refused to support their own, and others condemned their experiment.
Drawing on economic research and social history as well as her personal story, Maggie Anderson shows why the black economy continues to suffer and issues a call to action to all of us to do our part to reverse this trend.
Stage of White Identity Development (Helms) and their corresponding beliefs/thoughts/actions
“I don’t see color.”
How folks move from this stage: by being confronted with active racism, real-world experiences that highlight their whiteness.
Dear SOTE Friends,
In reflecting on the struggles we are all having in understanding and openly and honestly examining our barriers in overcoming how we have been poisoned by institutional racism, overtly and covertly, consciously and unconsciously, willingly and unwillingly, we are presenting this survey.
The purpose is to be able to objectively gain insights into what we experience when dealing with the “most vital and challenging issue”. Some of the barriers may fit you and some may not. This is not about identifying any individual but being able to step back first, then reflect on what I personally have to work on, and finally, what are steps to overcome the barrier(s).
We are a team and can do this together because we care. Otherwise, we would not be a part of this amazing experiment in this Baha’i inspired university. The Concourse on High is surrounding us and supporting us.
Thank you in advance for your participation. The results will be compiled and no individual will be identified. We are excited about taking our consultation to a new and deeper level!
TEDxInnsbruck - Michael Karlberg - Beyond the Culture of Contest: A Critical Juncture of Human History Professor of Communications at Western Washington University, USA
Michael Karlberg is a professor in the Department of Communication at Western Washington University. He completed his Ph.D. in the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. His research examines the struggle to create a more just and sustainable social order in an age of increasing global interdependence. Our reproductive and technological success as a species has transformed the conditions of our own existence. .
A RECOMMENDATION FROM
This is one of the best (most aligned with Baha'i framework) resources I've found to help white people have the challenging conversations with other white people to dismantle white supremacy culture. And she has great resources on her website too. http://nonprofitinclusiveness.org/files/Okun_Emperor_Has_No_Clothes.pdf https://www.dismantlingracism.org
As to racial prejudice, the corrosion of which, for well-nigh a century, has bitten into the fiber, and attacked the whole social structure of American society, it should be regarded as constituting the most vital and challenging issue confronting the Bahá’í community at the present stage of its evolution.
invest this problem, which the American believers are still far from having satisfactorily resolved, with an urgency and importance that cannot be overestimated.
must participate in, and lend their assistance, each according to his or her
to the common task of
Whether colored or noncolored, neither race has the right, or can conscientiously claim, to be regarded as absolved from such an obligation, as having realized such hopes, or having faithfully followed such an example.
A long and thorny road, beset with pitfalls, still remains untraveled, both by the white and the Negro exponents of the redeeming Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. On the distance they cover, and the manner in which they travel that road, must depend, to an extent which few among them can imagine, the operation of those intangible influences which are indispensable to the spiritual triumph of the American believers and the material success of their newly launched enterprise.
Let them call to mind, fearlessly and determinedly, the example and conduct of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá while in their midst. Let them remember
Let them revive and perpetuate the memory of those unforgettable and historic episodes and occasions on which He so strikingly demonstrated
To discriminate against any race, on the ground of its being
is a flagrant violation of the spirit that animates the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.
The consciousness of any division or cleavage in its ranks is alien to its very purpose, principles, and ideals. Once its members have fully recognized the claim of its Author, and, by identifying themselves with its Administrative Order, accepted unreservedly the principles and laws embodied in its teachings, every differentiation of class, creed, or color must automatically be obliterated, and never be allowed, under any pretext, and however great the pressure of events or of public opinion, to reassert itself.
If any discrimination is at all to be tolerated, it should be a discrimination not against, but rather in favor of the minority, be it racial or otherwise. Unlike the nations and peoples of the earth, be they of the East or of the West, democratic or authoritarian, communist or capitalist, whether belonging to the Old World or the New, who either ignore, trample upon, or extirpate, the racial, religious, or political minorities within the sphere of their jurisdiction, every organized community enlisted under the banner of Bahá’u’lláh should feel it to be its first and inescapable obligation to nurture, encourage, and safeguard every minority belonging to any faith, race, class, or nation within it.
So great and vital is this principle that in such circumstances, as when an equal number of ballots have been cast in an election, or where the qualifications for any office are balanced as between the various races, faiths or nationalities within the community, priority should unhesitatingly be accorded the party representing the minority, and this for no other reason except to stimulate and encourage it, and afford it an opportunity to further the interests of the community.
In the light of this principle, and bearing in mind the extreme desirability of having the minority elements participate and share responsibility in the conduct of Bahá’í activity, it should be the duty of every Bahá’í community so to arrange its affairs that in cases where individuals belonging to the divers minority elements within it are already qualified and fulfill the necessary requirements, Bahá’í representative institutions, be they Assemblies, conventions, conferences, or committees, may have represented on them as many of these divers elements, racial or otherwise, as possible. The adoption of such a course, and faithful adherence to it, would not only be a source of inspiration and encouragement to those elements that are numerically small and inadequately represented, but would demonstrate to the world at large the universality and representative character of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, and the freedom of His followers from the taint of those prejudices which have already wrought such havoc in the domestic affairs, as well as the foreign relationships, of the nations.
Advent of Divine Justice 1938
Calling upon local and national Bahá’í communities to sponsor a wide range of activities which will engage the attention of people from all walks of life to various topics relevant to peace, such as: the role of women, the elimination of racism, the eradication of prejudice, the promotion of education, the extension of social and economic development, the adoption of a world auxiliary language, the establishment of world government; 23 January 1985 – To all National Spiritual Assemblies
Racism, one of the most baneful and persistent evils, is a major barrier to peace. Its practice perpetrates too outrageous a violation of the dignity of human beings to be countenanced under any pretext. Racism
Recognition of the oneness of mankind, implemented by appropriate legal measures, must be universally upheld if this problem is to be overcome. October 1985 – To the Peoples of the World
National Bahá’í communities have organized and successfully conducted interreligious conferences, peace seminars, symposiums on racism and other subjects on which we have a specific contribution to make, often achieving widespread publicity and the interest of highly placed leaders of society. Bahá’í youth, inspired and uplifted by the vision and idealism of “the new race of men” have, through their many gatherings, attracted large numbers of their compeers and galvanized their own members to direct their lives towards service in the many fields in which a rich harvest awaits the dedicated Bahá’í worker.
Riḍván 1987 – To the Bahá’ís of the World
Hopeful as are the signs, we cannot forget that the dark passage of the Age of Transition has not been fully traversed; it is as yet long, slippery and tortuous. For godlessness is rife, materialism rampant. Nationalism and racism still work their treachery in men’s hearts, and humanity remains blind to the spiritual foundations of the solution to its economic woes. For the Bahá’í community the situation is a particular challenge, because time is running out and we have serious commitments to keep. Riḍván 1990 – To the Bahá’ís of the World
The concomitant rise of racism in many regions has become a matter of serious global concern. These are compounded by an upsurge in religious fundamentalism which is poisoning the wells of tolerance. Riḍván 1992 – To the Bahá’ís of the World
Racial and ethnic prejudices have been subjected to equally summary treatment by historical processes that have little patience left for such pretensions. Here, rejection of the past has been especially decisive. Racism is now tainted by its association with the horrors of the twentieth century to the degree that it has taken on something of the character of a spiritual disease. While surviving as a social attitude in many parts of the world—and as a blight on the lives of a significant segment of humankind—racial prejudice has become so universally condemned in principle that no body of people can any longer safely allow themselves to be identified with it. It is not that a dark past has been erased and a new world of light has suddenly been born. Vast numbers of people continue to endure the effects of ingrained prejudices of ethnicity, gender, nation, caste and class.
All the evidence indicates that such injustices will long persist as the institutions and standards that humanity is devising only slowly become empowered to construct a new order of relationships and to bring relief to the oppressed. The point, rather, is that a threshold has been crossed from which there is no credible possibility of return. Fundamental principles have been identified, articulated, accorded broad publicity and are becoming progressively incarnated in institutions capable of imposing them on public behaviour. There is no doubt that, however protracted and painful the struggle, the outcome will be to revolutionize relationships among all peoples, at the grassroots level. April 2002 – To The World’s Religious Leaders
A letter written on the Guardian’s behalf indicated that he did not see any objection to Bahá’í students taking part as Bahá’ís in a protest concerning racial prejudice on campus, since “there was nothing political about it” and “he does not see how they could remain indifferent when fellow-students were voicing our own Bahá’í attitude on such a vital issue and one we feel so strongly about.” 27 April 2017 – [To an individual]
A moment of historic portent has arrived for your nation as the conscience of its citizenry has stirred, creating possibilities for marked social change. It holds significance not only for the destiny of America anticipated in the Sacred Writings, but also for the mission entrusted to your community by the hand of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, who cherished you dearly and called you to a path of sacrifice and high endeavor. We are pleased to see that, led by your National and Local Spiritual Assemblies, you are seizing opportunities—whether those thrust upon you by current circumstances or those derived from your systematic labors in the wider society—to play your part, however humble, in the effort to remedy the ills of your nation. We ardently pray that the American people will grasp the possibilities of this moment to create a consequential reform of the social order that will free it from the pernicious effects of racial prejudice and will hasten the attainment of a just, diverse, and united society that can increasingly manifest the oneness of the human family.
Sadly, however, your nation’s history reveals that any significant progress toward racial equality has invariably been met by countervailing processes, overt or covert, that served to undermine the advances achieved and to reconstitute the forces of oppression by other means. Thus, whatever the immediate outcome of contemporary events, you need not be deterred, for you are cognizant of the “long and thorny road, beset with pitfalls” described by the Guardian that still lies ahead. Your commitment to tread this road with determination and insight, drawing upon what you have learned in recent years about translating Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings into reality, will have to be sustained until the time, anticipated by Shoghi Effendi, when you will have contributed your decisive share to the eradication of racial prejudice from the fabric of your nation.
Racism is a profound deviation from the standard of true morality. It deprives a portion of humanity of the opportunity to cultivate and express the full range of their capability and to live a meaningful and flourishing life, while blighting the progress of the rest of humankind. It cannot be rooted out by contest and conflict.
It must be supplanted by the establishment of just relationships among individuals, communities, and institutions of society that will uplift all and will not designate anyone as “other”. The change required is not merely social and economic, but above all moral and spiritual.
Within the context of the framework governing your activities, it is necessary to carefully examine the forces unfolding around you to determine where your energies might reinforce the most promising initiatives, what you should avoid, and how you might lend a distinctive contribution. It is not possible for you to effect the transformation envisioned by Bahá’u’lláh merely by adopting the perspectives, practices, concepts, criticisms, and language of contemporary society. Your approach, instead, will be distinguished by
Sadly, however, your nation’s history reveals that any significant progress toward racial equality has invariably been met by countervailing processes, overt or covert, that served to undermine the advances achieved and to reconstitute the forces of oppression by other means. Thus, whatever the immediate outcome of contemporary events, you need not be deterred, for you are cognizant of the “long and thorny road, beset with pitfalls” described by the Guardian that still lies ahead. Your commitment to tread this road with determination and insight, drawing upon what you have learned in recent years about translating Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings into reality, will have to be sustained until the time, anticipated by Shoghi Effendi, when you will have contributed your decisive share to the eradication of racial prejudice from the fabric of your nation. +22 July 2020 – To the Bahá’ís of the United States
Prejudices of all kinds—whether religious, racial, patriotic or political—are destructive of divine foundations in man. All the warfare and bloodshed in human history have been the outcome of prejudice. This earth is one home and native land. God has created mankind with equal endowment and right to live upon the earth. As a city is the home of all its inhabitants although each may have his individual place of residence therein, so the earth’s surface is one wide native land or home for all races of humankind. Racial prejudice or separation into nations such as French, German, American and so on is unnatural and proceeds from human motive and ignorance. All are the children and servants of God. Why should we be separated by artificial and imaginary boundaries? In the animal kingdom the doves flock together in harmony and agreement. They have no prejudices. We are human and superior in intelligence. Is it befitting that lower creatures should manifest virtues which lack expression in man?
Therefore, the prejudices and bigotries which exist today among the religions are not justifiable, inasmuch as they are opposed to reality. All prejudices are against the will and plan of God. Consider, for instance, racial distinction and enmity. All humanity are the children of God; they belong to the same family, to the same original race. There can be no multiplicity of races, since all are the descendants of Adam. This signifies that racial assumption and distinction are nothing but superstition. In the estimate of God there are no English, French, Germans, Turkish or Persians. All these in the presence of God are equal; they are of one race and creation; God did not make these divisions. These distinctions have had their origin in man himself. Therefore, as they are against the plan and purpose of reality, they are false and imaginary. We are of one physical race, even as we are of one physical plan of material body—each endowed with two eyes, two ears, one head, two feet. Among the animals racial prejudice does not exist. Promulgation of Universal Peace
A rectitude of conduct, an abiding sense of undeviating justice, unobscured by the demoralizing influences which a corruption-ridden political life so strikingly manifests; a chaste, pure, and holy life, unsullied and unclouded by the indecencies, the vices, the false standards, which an inherently deficient moral code tolerates, perpetuates, and fosters; a fraternity freed from that cancerous growth of racial prejudice, which is eating into the vitals of an already debilitated society—these are the ideals which the American believers must, from now on, individually and through concerted action, strive to promote, in both their private and public lives, ideals which are the chief propelling forces that can most effectively accelerate the march of their institutions, plans, and enterprises, that can guard the honor and integrity of their Faith, and subdue any obstacles that may confront it in the future. Advent of Divine Justice