A229 Condemnation of Racial Discrimination and Encouragement to Confront Racism

Original version

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That while we recognize the many dedicated police officers who put their lives on the line to serve and protect, we also acknowledge the numerous inexcusable deaths of unarmed men and youth of color at the hands of law enforcement personnel such as those seen in Rapid City, South Dakota; Falcon Heights, Minnesota; North Charleston, South Carolina; Ferguson, Missouri; and Baltimore, Maryland, are having a detrimental effect on our communities; and be it further

Resolved, That we acknowledge the blackballing of clergy who speak up on matters of race as a roadblock to the Church being a leader in racial healing, justice and reconciliation carrying forward the Jesus Movement; and be it further

Resolved, That The Episcopal Church hereby does condemn the improper actions of authorities against people of color or any actions that make clergy and laity feel they should not speak out or take nonviolent action to eliminate the sin of racism.

Explanation

The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church recognized, by the adoption of Resolution C019, that, despite repeated efforts at anti-racism training as well as racial justice and racial reconciliation initiatives including the passage of more than 30 General Convention resolutions dating back to 1952, the abomination and sin of racism continues to plague our society and our Church at great cost to human life and human dignity.

In the wake of the numerous inexcusable deaths of unarmed black men and youth at the hands of law enforcement personnel; and the moral atrocity of mass incarceration in which a hugely disproportionate number of persons of color have been unfairly caught in the net of an unjust criminal justice system, the Presiding Officers have spoken out but the Church overall has not spoken out. This resolution is an opportunity for the Church body to speak out against these injustices.

The Church understands that the call to pray and act for racial reconciliation is integral to our witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to our living into the demands of our Baptismal Covenant. However, there have been many instances where clergy have been “blackballed”, criticized, or discouraged for praying for or taking actions that would bring about racial reconciliation. This resolution is an opportunity for the Church to say, emphatically, that this behavior is not condoned and should not be tolerated.


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