There is racism in this sinful world, and it is against God’s will. I pray for an end to all racism. True racism. And when Christ returns we will see an end to all sin.
With that said, the ELCA has made some claims about white people and racism that are highly questionable. It could be argued that the ELCA's statement itself is racist.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s (ELCA) Living Lutheran magazine recently ran an article with this claim,
“You can’t grow up white in the United States and not be racist.” (see here)
I’m sure many ELCA church members would be shocked that their denomination is calling them racists. (96% of all ELCA members are white.) It is irresponsible of the ELCA to make this incredibly audacious statement. The ELCA does not know everyone’s thoughts, actions, beliefs, life stories and feelings.
If the ELCA wants to claim that all people of the world are racist, that is one thing. But to single out all white people in the United States as being racists is false and dishonest.
This must be a popular notion with ELCA leaders because here we have an ELCA seminary president saying something very similar:
“In particular, I am writing this mainly to white people like me at our seminary. I am convinced that we are in denial about the racism that saturates our society and from which we directly benefit. That denial produces predictable twin reactions from white people: either silence about the racism that plainly reinforces our way of living or surprise at the frustration and outrage African Americans and others express at how they are treated. I believe this denial, with its attendant silence and surprise, is nothing other than a refusal to acknowledge the privilege we hold and the degradation it inflicts on others. If we as white people have any conscience left, if we at this moment feel any distress at all with recent events, then we should at least have the moral courage in a seminary to admit that how we live is destructive for other people and ultimately unsustainable for ourselves. As white people, we must acknowledge our racism.” - The ELCA's Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago President James Nieman (see here)