About slavery....

Slavery is not something that's "over there"...if you know what you to look for, you can find it right in your own backyard. This map shows instances of forced labor close to where I live in Northern California. It's all over the United States.


While reading some the latest tweets on Twitter this morning, I decided to check out @Not_For_Sale's profile and web site Not for Sale: End Human Trafficking. I have been fuming about the continued existence of that deplorable condition, slavery ever since. Let's face it, we ALL contribute to it. Think about how we are able to buy clothing or food for relatively low prices. (Yes, I know prices have been rising, but we don't pay anything near what other people in this world pay for food, clothing and other essentials.) I don't know what the specific answer is to this problem in terms of what has been done so far--political sanctions? Yeah, that worked SO WELL against Cuba, Iran, Sudan and other countries whose policies and practices were deemed unsavory by the United States government. Same thing with economic sanctions, censures in the U.N. and other actions. If nothing else, our economic dependency on cheap material goods GUARANTEES that slavery all of the world will continue indefinitely!

As a proud descendant of those who suffered underneath the yoke of slavery, I cannot turn a blind eye toward those who still endure undue deprivations because of the unnecessary greed of a privileged few. In fact, I find it unbelievable that so many other Black people in this country seem apathetic toward the suffering of so many others. Yes, we aren't slaves today, thanks to the sacrifices made by both Black and White people to abolish slavery in this country. Does this mean that we should become heartless just because we are now "free"?

So what's the solution? It seems a foregone conclusion...greed, consumerism, the constant need for more and more and more...will it EVER stop?

Unless...everyone on this planet realizes that there is enough resources for every man, woman and child to live comfortably, and there is NO NEED to enslave anyone to keep prices accessible to the average consumer in the West. We have to believe that. God has spoken in this day, and we can no longer afford to deny His Voice! There is a solution, but it is a spiritual one. Each and everyone of us needs to turn toward God, and allow Him to transform our thoughts and behaviors. Only then will we see significant changes throughout the world.

The second part of the Religion of God, which refers to the material world, and which comprises fasting, prayer, forms of worship, marriage and divorce, the abolition of slavery, legal processes, transactions, indemnities for murder, violence, theft and injuries -- this part of the Law of God, which refers to material things, is modified and altered in each prophetic cycle in accordance with the necessities of the times.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 47)


His commands, like a resonant call upraised from a land of oppression to the confused and sorrowful world -- stern, irrefutable, immutable -- stand out against the bloody background of Europe. Those who are following this call 8 declare that the soundless voice will be heard throughout the ages, for they believe the words to be creative, and affirm that, notwithwstanding this banishment and incarceration, BAHA'O'LLAH has been able to impress every nation on earth with a glory and universality of thought that promises the loosening of the shackles which have held mankind in the political, ecclesiastical and financial slavery of the times.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 7)

RACIAL HARMONY

Today I am most happy, for I see here [1] a gathering of the servants of God. I see the white and colored people together. In the estimation of God there is no distinction of color; all are one in the color and beauty of servitude to Him. Color is not important; the heart is all-important. It matters not what the exterior may be if the heart be pure and white within. God does not behold differences of hue and complexion; He looks at the hearts. He whose morals and virtues are praiseworthy is preferred in the presence of God; he who is devoted to the Kingdom is most beloved. In the realm of genesis and creation the question of color is of least importance.
[1 Howard University.]

The mineral kingdom abounds with many-colored substances and compositions but we find no strife among them on that account. In the kingdom of the plant and vegetable, distinct and variegated hues exist but the fruit and flowers are not in conflict for that reason. Nay, rather, the very fact that there is difference and variety lends a charm to the garden. If all were of the same color the effect would be monotonous and depressing. When you enter a rose-garden the wealth of color and variety of floral forms spread before you a picture of wonder and beauty. The world of humanity is like a garden and the various races are the flowers which constitute its adornment and decoration. In the animal kingdom also we find variety of color. See how the doves differ in beauty yet they live together in perfect peace, and love each other. They do not make difference of color a cause of discord and strife. They view each other as the same species and kind. They know they are one in kind. Often a white dove soars aloft with a black one. Throughout the animal kingdom we do not find the creatures separated because of color. They recognize unity of species and oneness of kind. If we do not find color distinction drawn in a kingdom of lower intelligence and reason, how can it be justified among human beings, especially when we know that all have come from the same source and belong to the same household? In origin and intention of creation mankind is one. Distinctions of race and color have arisen afterward.

Therefore today I am exceedingly glad that both white and colored people have gathered here and I hope the time will come when they shall live together in the utmost peace, unity and friendship. I wish to say one thing of importance to both in order that the white 35 race may be just and kind to the colored and that the colored race may in turn be grateful and appreciative toward the white. The great proclamation of liberty and emancipation from slavery was made upon this continent. A long bloody war was fought by white men for the sake of colored people. These white men forfeited their possessions and sacrificed their lives by thousands in order that colored men might be freed from bondage. The colored population of the United States of America are possibly not fully informed of the wide-reaching effect of this freedom and emancipation upon their colored brethren in Asia and Africa where even more terrible conditions of slavery existed. Influenced and impelled by the example of the United States, the European powers proclaimed universal liberty to the colored race and slavery ceased to exist. This effort and accomplishment by the white nations should never be lost sight of. Both races should rejoice in gratitude, for the institution of liberty and equality here became the cause of liberating your fellow-beings elsewhere. The colored people of this country are especially fortunate, for, Praise be to God! conditions here are so much higher than in the East and comparatively few differences exist in the possibility of equal attainments with the white race. May both develop toward the highest degree of equality and altruism. May you be drawn together in friendship and may extraordinary development make brotherhood a reality and truth. I pray in your behalf that there shall be no name other than that of humanity among you.

Therefore strive earnestly and put forth your greatest endeavor toward the accomplishment of this fellowship and the cementing of this bond of brotherhood between you. Such an attainment is not possible without will and effort on the part of each; from one, expressions of gratitude and appreciation; from the other kindliness and recognition of equality. Each one should endeavor to develop and assist the other toward mutual advancement. This is possible only by conjoining of effort and inclination. Love and unity will be fostered between you, thereby bringing about the oneness of mankind. For the accomplishment of unity between the colored and whites will be an assurance of the world's peace. Then racial prejudice, national prejudice, limited patriotism and religious bias will pass away and remain no longer. I am pleased to see you at this gathering, white and dark, and I praise God that I have had this opportunity of seeing you loving each other, for this is the means of the glory of humanity. This is the means of the good-pleasure of God and of eternal bliss in His Kingdom. Therefore I pray in your behalf that you may attain to the fullest of love and that the day may come when all differences between you may disappear. 36

(Abdu'l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 33)



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