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It’s hard to fathom that the Nazis looked to the United States for direction and inspiration when moving quickly to implement plans for racial separation and purity.

America has a reputation for being a land of opportunity, where dreams come true, and freedom rings.  As we learn more about the backbone of how our society was built, it was literally on the backs of suppressed people who were tortured and murdered to grow and uphold the upper caste.  It’s disturbing and embarrassing to think of America as being a motivator for Nazi Germany.  The Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  There is a huge contradiction between what the document states and the reality of what people of the lower castes have experienced.  Native Americans have been massacred.  Chinese were discriminated against with the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the first immigration law that excluded an entire ethnic group.  Irish Americans were oppressed and persecuted.  African Americans were enslaved, abused, and slaughtered.  Other groups such as Middle Easterners, Hindu, East Indians, and Japanese have also been oppressed.

The trajectory of this nation is slowly moving in the right direction but our past is more sinister than most of us realized.  Our caste system is systemic within our institutions and creates a deep economic disparity between white Americans and other groups that extends for generations.  It will take many more generations before suppressed groups can enjoy equal opportunities to acquire wealth, good health insurance, safe neighborhoods, and have equal opportunities for higher education, career placement, and job security.

Unity’s second principle states that each person is a unique expression of God with sacred worth and goodness.  We cannot fully awaken to our Divine Nature individually until we take steps to make comprehensive institutional changes in our society.  Our role right now is to actively take part in the transformation of our society to bring about these changes to level the playing field for all Americans.

See the problem – recognize that it exists.

Sit with the pain – endure the pain and loss that comes from it.

Heal – once the problem and pain is acknowledged, healing can begin.

Healing includes a shift in consciousness as well as action.  First, we must look within ourselves and find where we are upholding and keeping the caste system and racism alive.  How can I educate myself about the suffering of others?  What thoughts and feelings do I have about certain groups?  What assumptions am I making?   And then make a decision to divert those thoughts and feelings into more accurate ones, not influenced by what society teaches us.  As our thoughts change, our actions will change.  We will be more likely to befriend someone that is not like us, give them a hand up, encourage them, vote for them, hire them.  Collective action over time bridges the divide.

Progress doesn’t happen in a straight line, but in stair steps.  Our willingness to be courageous in our exploration of understanding each other, having compassion for each other, and feeling the pain of others, opens our hearts and allows us to see through the Christ perspective.  When we embrace and uplift others, we ourselves are uplifted, and all people move towards a more equitable, peaceful, and happy existence.