A new song, and the music video and social media campaign that goes with it, has something haunting and profound to say about eradicating racism and internal bias in American life.
The song—“Here Comes Love,” written by famed composer Jack Lenz and sung by the late Amoy Brown and Mark Masri—repeats the refrain “Here comes love, from the world above” while the video depicts documentary footage of the nationwide surge of racial justice marches in 2020.
As the chorus of the song is sung, the video projects the images and names of those who have died in the struggle for civil and human rights on buildings where the marches took place.
This soaring spiritual remembrance of the victims of the struggle answers the movement’s call to “Say Their Names!”
The video begins by quoting an excerpt from a July 2020 letter about American racism from the Universal House of Justice, the democratically-elected global leadership body of the Baha'i Faith: “Racism is a profound deviation from the standard of true morality … The change required is not merely social and economic but above all moral and spiritual.”
The entire original paragraph that contains that excerpted quotation says even more about the issue:
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.
Baha’is around the world work every day to create the mechanism for that moral and spiritual change, by building a new world order, promised and promulgated by Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha'i Faith, who wrote:
Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. … It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.
Baha’is firmly believe that promoting “the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth” means doing away with every trace and vestige of the endemic racism that represents a horrific four-hundred-year legacy in the United States. Abdu’l-Baha, the son and successor of Baha’u’llah, said in his farewell address to the British people as he left London on September 29, 1911:
My hope is that through the zeal and ardour of the pure of heart, the darkness of hatred and difference will be entirely abolished, and the light of love and unity shall shine; this world shall become a new world; things material shall become the mirror of the divine; human hearts shall meet and embrace each other; the whole world become as a man's native country and the different races be counted as one race.
In their 2020 message, the Universal House of Justice wrote:
It is not possible … to effect the transformation envisioned by Baha’u’llah merely by adopting the perspectives, practices, concepts, criticisms, and language of contemporary society.
Instead, they recommended that all humanity devote themselves to practicing the universal love Abdu’l-Baha advocated, which crosses all boundaries of race, class, color, and creed:
Ultimately, the power to transform the world is effected by love, love originating from the relationship with the divine, love ablaze among members of a community, love extended without restriction to every human being. This divine love, ignited by the Word of God, is disseminated by enkindled souls through intimate conversations that create new susceptibilities in human hearts, open minds to moral persuasion, and loosen the hold of biased norms and social systems so that they can gradually take on a new form in keeping with the requirements of humanity’s age of maturity.
Strikingly, the social and racial justice movement of the past year, initiated by the deaths of Black people like Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, included an unprecedented outpouring of love from people of all backgrounds and colors. The interracial, inter-denominational, and even international tenor of the new racial justice movement demonstrates that love.
Because the purpose of the song and the accompanying video centers on spreading love for others as well as the love for justice, several prominent scholars, artists, business leaders, and others will join the social media campaign around the music video to increase awareness and promote the discussion of racism and racial bias. Produced by One Planet Media—a Baha'i-owned media production company focused on purpose-driven content with the power to positively change hearts and promote a spiritual transformation by educating and inspiring people—the song and video are available on OnePlanet.media and YouTube. One Planet also sponsors BahaiTeachings.org.