CHAP. CXI.–An Act to secure Freedom to all Persons within the Territories of the United States.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the passage of this act there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in any of the Territories of the United States now existing, or which may at any time hereafter be formed or acquired by the United States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.
APPROVED, June 19, 1862.
I am told that racial slurs and denigrating remarks are sometimes heard among us. I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ. … There is no basis for racial hatred among the priesthood of this Church. If any within the sound of my voice is inclined to indulge in this, then let him go before the Lord and ask for forgiveness and be no more involved in such.
In public actions and in our personal attitudes, we have had racism and related grievances. In a persuasive personal essay, the Reverend Theresa A. Dear of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has reminded us that ‘racism thrives on hatred, oppression, collusion, passivity, indifference and silence.’ As citizens and as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we must do better to help root out racism. … This country should be better in eliminating racism not only against Black Americans, who were most visible in the recent protests, but also against Latinos, Asians, and other groups. This nation’s history of racism is not a happy one, and we must do better.
Prejudice is not consistent with the revealed word of God. Favor or disfavor with God depends on devotion to Him and His commandments, not on the color of a person’s skin or other attributes.
The Church calls on all people to abandon attitudes and actions of prejudice toward any group or individual. Members of the Church should lead out in promoting respect for all of God’s children. Members follow the Savior’s commandment to love others (see Matthew 22:35–39). They strive to be persons of goodwill toward all, rejecting prejudice of any kind. This includes prejudice based on race, ethnicity, nationality, tribe, gender, age, disability, socioeconomic status, religious belief or nonbelief, and sexual orientation.
- Find and join a local Juneteenth celebration in your community. Check here to see what is happening across the U.S. and around the world.
- Consciously buy from Black-owned businesses and restaurants: Here’s how to find Black-owned restaurants where you live. We Buy Black and Official Black Wall Street are two platforms that aggregate businesses owned by members of the Black community.
- Sign petitions online, send texts, make phone calls, and attend local events: The ACLU website offers a handful of quick ways to participate on its site as well as some more involved options, like phone calls or texts on behalf of the organization’s causes and information on local events like town hall meetings.
- Do not place the burden solely on black communities to share their experiences or educate on Black history. Continue your self-education through book groups, TV shows, and more: CNET collected this list of books, movies, and TV shows to educate people of all ages about systematic racism.