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2003 Minute on Racism
New England Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends affirms its commitment to becoming an open, affirming, anti-racist Religious Society. Our understanding of racism is that it is a system that accords advantage or disadvantage based on racial identity. Racism is fundamentally inconsistent with the divine guidance that has led our Religious Society to testimonies such as Equality, Peace and Community. We seek divine assistance and the help of other friends of Truth to examine our individual and corporate com-plicity in racism. We aspire to a more perfect union with the Author of all, who shows no partiality in the diversity of creation.
Those of us who have grown up with a white identity in America have a par-ticular challenge in that we have been conditioned not to notice the system of racism and white privilege. Our well-intentioned attempts at colorblind-ness can have the unfortunate result of blinding us to the system of racism in which we unwittingly participate. Let us remember Jesus’ admonition to remove the log from our own eye before seeking to remove a speck from our brother’s or sister’s eye. We all pray for clarity of vision so that in the words of George Fox, we may “be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerful-ly over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them you may be a blessing, and make the witness of God in them to bless you.”