Racism is not primarily about individual prejudice or an individual’s beliefs and attitudes. Rather, racism in the U.S. is a socially constructed system. Some people are advantaged, and others are disadvantaged, merely because of their skin color, ethnic identity or their ancestral background. Social power and prejudice have combined to treat people differently, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Some people are privileged while others are oppressed. As a consequence, there is unequal and inequitable access to resources such as money, education, information and decision-making power.
In 2016, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved a comprehensive churchwide anti-racism policy called “Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community.” The policy states:
Racism is a lie about our fellow human beings, for it says that some are less than others. It is also a lie about God, for it falsely claims that God favors parts of creation over the entirety of creation. Because of our biblical understanding of who God is and what God intends for humanity, the PC(USA) must stand against, speak against and work against racism. Anti-racist effort is not optional for Christians. It is an essential aspect of Christian discipleship, without which we fail to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.PC(USA)
some book suggestions as we seek to learn and respond
Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Line by Andhya Rani Jha
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander