Tag Archive for racism

Origins of Racism: the Case of the Count de Gobineau

arthur de gobineau

When we see racism still at work in our world it is important not only to know its current manifestations but also to understand something of how it arose. This article concerns, Count Arthur de Gobineau, a man who is often labelled a “father of racism”. Of course, no one individual is solely responsible – but…

White Australia Policy

white australia policy

Most us take a multicultural, multiracial reality in our stride – a normal and welcome part of life. It is a very recent development. For a Faith that arrived in Australia when the White Australia policy was the law, it inevitably raised questions for some of the newly enrolled Baha’is. How were they to square…

A Tribute to Bahá’u’lláh

abdu'l baha plymouth - tribute to baha'u'llah

This article tells the story of a moment in time. A small event – briefly told – yet an event that still echoes through time and space. A few evenings ago the words from that event echoed in song in the Australasian Baha’i House of Worship in Sydney. Here is the story. Abdu’l Baha was travelling…

We are One – Overcoming Racism Part 2

As introduced in yesterday’s article, racism is entirely incompatible with Bahá’u’lláh’s thought. “Close your eyes to racial differences, and welcome all with the light of oneness.”[1] As westerners began to join the Baha’i Faith early in the 1900’s, it was clear that racism would need to be addressed, and Abdu’l Baha, Bahá’u’lláh’s son, set out to do so.…

We are One – Overcoming Racism Part 1

gathering of humanity - flowers of a garden - against racism

While Bahá’u’lláh, a persecuted prisoner of the Ottoman Sultan, was promulgating his universal teachings of the oneness of humanity, wholly different and toxic doctrines were taking hold in western thought. Racism was emerging as scientific and intellectual orthodoxy and was to reach its horrific nadir in the holocaust of World War II. Europeans held dominance over their fellow human…

No Human Being is Unclean

Bahá’u’lláh abolishes the concept of “uncleanness”. In different cultures, at different times, human beings and things have been held to be “unclean” – in the specific case of religion – “ritually unclean”.  In 1873, Bahá’u’lláh wrote: God hath, … abolished the concept of “uncleanness,” whereby divers things and peoples have been held to be impure. … Verily, all…

Silence

Silence

Silence. One day I visited a bookstore. It’s one of those clinging to survival in an increasingly post-book world. Aimed at a “discerning” audience it carries a rich diversity of titles – fiction and non-fiction on virtually every topic.  It is particularly well stocked with historical works – Europe, America, Australia, Germany, Britain, France  and others.…

Peace Bell

Peace Bell Cowra

In Cowra, the Peace Bell tolls a warning, And magpies caw their raucous and wry chorus in reply. Their voices reach a quiet graveyard, An unusual place, Here Japanese mothers and children sleep. So far from home – they are not forgotten. ANZACS sleep nearby -almost – almost – beside them. They too attract the living –…

The Poetry of Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

Racism and problems of race relations continue to generate injustice and racial animosity around the world. The problem is not confined to any one people or country, but the case of the United States is better known in the English speaking world. The poetry of Langston Hughes comes from a period in which racism had…