Part II response (Majority and Minority Responsibilities toward Integration)

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Posted by Brett Zamir ( on May 03, 2002 at 11:13:45:

In Reply to: Why immigration is bad posted by Vincent on May 01, 2002 at 16:48:25:

That being said, you cannot mix oil and water. Diversity can not only be good or harmless, but also harmful toward unity. Each substance must change itself (and allow change to act upon it) in order to be conducive to mixing (in order to lend itself to and benefit from a higher level of organization). Despite what some Bahá‚ís might say, the Bahá‚í Writings themselves refer to the analogy of the melting pot in a positive light. Of course, surely some distinctiveness could be maintained in a melting pot, but other characteristics must and should be altered or abandoned by each group (including the majority).

You may be comforted to know that the authoritative Writings of the Bahá‚í Faith do assign strong responsibility to minorities as well as majorities (unlike those caught up in divisive political correctness), even addressing specific groups in specific countries (such as blacks in America), while at the same time encouraging the majority to recognize their own responsibilities and be patient and sympathetic to a lack of readiness to integrate among groups which have been wounded for so long. If we take a humble position before our SINGLE Creator, we should not find it difficult to accept that certain negative features of each human (and thus fallible) culture must be abandoned, both majority and minority, as legislation and attitudes in an increasingly interdependent world in the greater society force change, and Baha'i law within the Baha'i Faith harmonizes each culture by having them abandon their respective negative qualities, which each has). Of course, despite having this awareness of the other group‚s responsibilities, for those having faith, it is primarily our duty to deal with our own responsibilities (though we certainly can (tactfully) express those responsibilities which may be grossly neglected at times by the other group, if necessary).

To offer an international example, the Baha'i International Community states, "The ruling groups (whether they be the majority or a minority) have a special responsibility, for the sake of justice, to bring about the social and political adjustments which will enable the other components of their society to exercise, to the fullest extent possible, their common and fundamental rights. Those groups not in power, on the other hand, have a moral responsibility to respond honorably to genuine efforts made toward them and to recognize, accept and fulfill their responsibilities toward society at large. As issues arise, both majorities and minorities must view them in the context of an increasingly interdependent world, where the advantage of the part is best served by ensuring the advantage of the whole, and where the whole cannot flourish when parts are oppressed or deprived." (

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