The Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy (CEMCA) mourns the death of affirmative action, not just in higher education but as an infrastructure for repairing America’s racism. The US Supreme Court’s decision ruling the use of affirmative action as unconstitutional is antithetical to the social teachings of The United Methodist Church. As stated in the Book of Resolutions, The United Methodist Church sees “the most fundamental premise underlying the concept of affirmative action is both moral and spiritual … According to biblical teaching, we are mandated, in the face of inhumane discrimination – whether that discrimination is intended or unintended – to do what we can to redress legitimate grievances and to create a society in which the lives of each and all will flourish” (2016 Book of Resolutions, #3373: Affirmative Action). The Supreme Court’s ruling will make the struggle to redress past injustices and advance equity even more difficult in our institutions and society.
We concur with the statement from the General Secretaries of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), and General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW).
CEMCA calls upon our Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church members to actively engage in prayer and action, confessing our sins of discrimination and racism and rebuilding a just society. The Supreme Court has given us a call to action. We believe that the words of Jesus, the Holy Scriptures, and the Wesleyan tradition require us to be open to the Holy Spirit and renewed action to uphold our baptismal covenant and respond again to the question: Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
We pray that individual United Methodists and local churches prayerfully consider how God wants us to turn this setback to justice into an opportunity for renewed action.
Eduardo Carrillo, CEMCA Co-chair
Lester Kurtz, CEMCA Co-chair