I read about the commemoration of the attack on Fort Sumter which launched the Civil War (north of Mason-Dixon Line) or War Between the States (south of the same line). This was defining event for the United States as a country. Millions of people went from holding the status of property to being… well… human. The reverberations are still being felt today.
It made me think of The Vision of Race Unity: America’s Most Challenging Issue from the National Spiritual Assembly for the Baha’is of the United States in 1991.
Racism is the most challenging issue confronting America. A nation whose ancestry includes every people on earth, whose motto is E pluribus unum, whose ideals of freedom under law have inspired millions throughout the world, cannot continue to harbor prejudice against any racial or ethnic group without betraying itself. Racism is an affront to human dignity, a cause of hatred and division, a disease that devastates society. Notwithstanding the efforts already expended for its elimination, racism continues to work its evil upon this nation. Progress toward tolerance, mutual respect, and unity has been painfully slow and marked with repeated setbacks.
Still. Baby steps. A hundred fifty years after the Civil War and twenty years after the publishing of The Vision of Race Unity, we still struggle with the issue. Something tells me we will still have a struggle a hundred years from now. A mixed President who self-identifies as black is astounding progress. Who would imagine it 50 years ago during the struggle to integrate schools?
I look forward to the continued progress.