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HABIB HOSSEINY, Baha’is of San Clemente spokesperson
The Baha’is of the United States join our fellow citizens in heartfelt grief at the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others whose lives were suddenly taken by appalling acts of violence.
These tragic violations against fellow human beings, believed due only to the color of their skin, have deepened the dismay caused by a pandemic whose consequences to the health and livelihoods of people of color have been disproportionately severe.
Yet, amidst these tragedies, there are also signs of hope. Countless citizens have arisen to proclaim the truth that we are one nation. This moment beckons us to a renewed commitment to realize the ideal of e pluribus unum—out of many, one—the very ideal upon which America was founded.
To create a just society begins with recognition of the fundamental truth that humanity is one. But it is not enough simply to believe this in our hearts. It creates the moral imperative to act, and to view all aspects of our lives through the lens of justice.
The elimination of racism will require a sustained and concerted effort. It is a far more profound challenge to create a new framework for justice. Our efforts can only succeed when we learn to build relationships with each other based on sincere friendship, regard, and trust, which, in turn, become pillars for the activities of our institutions and communities. To this end, we offer the following thoughts.
It is essential for us to join hands in an honest discourse about current conditions and their causes, and understanding the deeply entrenched notions of anti-Blackness that pervade our society.
We must build the capacity to truly hear and acknowledge the voices of those who have directly suffered from the effect of racism. This capacity should manifest itself in our schools, the media, and other civic arenas, as well as in our work and personal relations. This should not end with words, but lead to meaningful, constructive action.