“We don’t hear white people talking about how slavery has negatively affected them,” says Nancy Wong, a Baha’i living in Chicago. She shared that although she has many white friends who know that their ancestors were enslavers, none of them acknowledge that their feeling of entitlement is a direct result of slavery.
In this short clip from the “Race Unity Project,” Nancy discusses how important it is for white people to address their legacy of privilege. The effort is produced by Journalism for Change, Inc, a nonprofit media organization founded by filmmaker and human rights activist Maziar Bahari. The project tells “the century-long story of the American Baha’i community and its efforts — as well as its tests and challenges — in promoting race unity.”
In the video, Nancy explains that Baha’is believe that racism is a spiritual illness. As the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States wrote, “The tensions, divisions, and injustices that currently beset America are symptoms of a longstanding illness. The nation is afflicted with a deep spiritual disorder, manifest in rampant materialism, widespread moral decay, and a deeply ingrained racial prejudice.”“In order to heal, people of European descent in this country will have to address their illnesses in a way that is not shameful,” she says. Watch as Nancy shares how shame often hinders white people from talking about racism and being committed to abolishing it.