The Promulgation of Universal Peace
30 April 1912
Talk at Hull House
Notes by Joseph H. Hannen
When we view the world of creation, we find that all living things
may be classified under two aspects of existence. First, they possess
bodies composed of material substance common to all--
whether vegetable, animal or human. This is their point of agreement
or, as it is philosophically termed, their point of contact. Second,
they vary and differ from each other in degree and function--
that is to say, in their respective kingdoms. This is their point of
distinction and differentiation. For instance, the vegetable and
animal are alike in the fact that their bodies are composed of the
same material elements but widely different in their kingdoms and
powers. Man is like the animal in physical structure but otherwise
immeasurably separated and superior.
In the human kingdom itself there are points of contact, properties
common to all mankind; likewise, there are points of distinction
which separate race from race, individual from individual. If
the points of contact, which are the common properties of humanity,
overcome the peculiar points of distinction, unity is assured.
On the other hand, if the points of differentiation overcome the
points of agreement, disunion and weakness result. One of the important
questions which affect the unity and the solidarity of mankind
is the fellowship and equality of the white and colored races.
Between these two races certain points of agreement and points of
distinction exist which warrant just and mutual consideration. The
points of contact are many; for in the material or physical plane of
being, both are constituted alike and exist under the same law of
growth and bodily development. Furthermore, both live and move
in the plane of the senses and are endowed with human intelligence.
There are many other mutual qualifications. In this country,
the United States of America, patriotism is common to both races;
all have equal rights to citizenship, speak one language, receive the
blessings of the same civilization, and follow the precepts of the
same religion. In fact numerous points of partnership and agreement
exist between the two races; whereas the one point of distinction
is that of color. Shall this, the least of all distinctions, be allowed
to separate you as races and individuals? In physical bodies,
in the law of growth, in sense endowment, intelligence, patriotism,
language, citizenship, civilization and religion you are one
and the same. A single point of distinction exists--that of racial
color. God is not pleased with--neither should any reasonable or
intelligent man be willing to recognize--inequality in the races
because of this distinction.
But there is need of a superior power to overcome human prejudices,
a power which nothing in the world of mankind can withstand
and which will overshadow the effect of all other forces at
work in human conditions. That irresistible power is the love of
God. It is my hope and prayer that it may destroy the prejudice of
this one point of distinction between you and unite you all permanently
under its hallowed protection. Bahá'u'lláh has proclaimed
the oneness of the world of humanity. He has caused various nations
and divergent creeds to unite. He has declared that difference
of race and color is like the variegated beauty of flowers in a garden.
If you enter a garden, you will see yellow, white, blue, red flowers
in profusion and beauty--each radiant within itself and although
different from the others, lending its own charm to them. Racial
difference in the human kingdom is similar. If all the flowers in a
garden were of the same color, the effect would be monotonous
and wearying to the eye.
Therefore, Bahá'u'lláh hath said that the various races of humankind
lend a composite harmony and beauty of color to the
whole. Let all associate, therefore, in this great human garden even
as flowers grow and blend together side by side without discord or
disagreement between them.