Undoing Racism Committee
We are a long-standing committee of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair whose goal is to work with our congregation and the wider community to develop, strengthen and act upon anti-racist, multicultural perspectives through worship services, educational programs, lectures, book & film discussions, other cultural events, and community involvement.
The goal of the Undoing Racism Committee is to give UUCM members and friends the opportunity to act on their commitments to racial justice. We work closely with the UU Legislative Ministry of NJ and seek guidance from the UU Association. Through self-examination and learning, we are able to act with more direction and impact.
Jane Gaertner serves as chair. For information, contact email@example.com.
The Undoing Racism Committee presents a special meeting: TEACHING TRUTH: THE NEW JERSEY AMISTAD COMMISSION on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM in the Peierls Room. We will present Executive Director of the Amistad Commission, Dr. Stephanie James Harris. We seek to bring awareness to the Commission’s mandate, obtain ideas about how we can support its work and educate the public to take action to ensure it is supported by educators and parents. Please RSVP here. For more information, please email us.
When we Meet:
- The URC meets on the third Sunday each month following the second service or after the single service when scheduled.
As I See It
A Monthly Take on Race in America from Members of the Undoing Racism Committee
From Andrew Galinsky, Member of the Undoing Racism Committee
King’s Lesser-Known Words – But Abiding Legacy
Over the years, I’ve spent time reading works by and about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His words have given me better perspective on the issues troubling our world, but also given me much to strive to do better with in my personal life.
King gave his life to try to make the world more just, but he understood that how you fought for justice mattered, not just for tactical reasons, but for moral reasons. He saw that “if we succumb to the temptation to use violence in our struggle for freedom, unborn generations will be the recipients of a long and desolate night of bitterness, and our chief legacy to them will be a never-ending reign of chaos.” He refused to be seduced by the American romance with violence, but he understood that to fight injustice you must “bring to the surface the tension that is already alive. . . where it can be seen and dealt with.”
He recognized that there would always be people he couldn’t like, particularly those who were full of hatred and prejudice, but that you must love them because “Love is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men” and that only love is capable of overcoming hate, and while we usually think of what hate does [to those] hated. . . it is even more tragic. . . and injurious to the individual who hates. . . There is nothing more tragic than to see an individual whose heart is filled with hate.”
He believed to fight injustice you must “start by examining self.” It required understanding our own potential for wrongdoing. For example, he understood our need to feel recognized and important, but he also saw how that could lead us to push others down in order to push ourselves up. He understood that injustice must be fought thoughtfully, with a tough mind, and a tender heart but that “toughmindedness without tenderheartedness is cold and detached, leaving one’s life in a perpetual winter.”
It is, I think, his commitment to justice without succumbing to hatred or self-righteousness that ensures his words and legacy endure. We urgently need to heed his words today.