As United Methodists, we believe in the full rights of racial and ethnic persons and that racism is a sin. "Racism is the combination of the power to dominate by one race over other races and a value system that assumes that the dominant race is innately superior to the others. Racism includes both personal and institutional racism. Personal racism is manifested through the individual expressions, attitudes, and/or behaviors that accept the assumptions of a racist value system and that maintain the benefits of this system. Institutional racism is the established social pattern that supports implicitly or explicitly the racist value system. Racism, manifested as sin, plagues and hinders our relationship with Christ, inasmuch as it is antithetical to the gospel itself. In many cultures white persons are granted unearned privileges and benefits that are denied to persons of color. We oppose the creation of a racial hierarchy in any culture. Racism breeds racial discrimination. We define racial discrimination as the disparate treatment and lack of full access and equity in resources, opportunities, and participation in the Church and in society based on race or ethnicity." (an excerpt from the 2016 Book of Discipline, Social Principles ¶162.A: Rights of Racial and Ethnic Persons)
As a Baltimore-Washington Conference we are engaged in this work and are inviting people from all walks of life to take their next faithful step to address racism within themselves and to work to dismantle it in all the organizations they are a part of--including the church.