White Privilege and Buddhism

This a has been a fun roll. From Angry Asain Buddhist and Progressive Buddhism to Dharma Folk and DJBuddha; the comments and commentaries have been thick and gooey. The back and forth has been constant and (usually) respectful and the learning washes over us like big waves of razor wire and lemon juice. It stings.

This conversation really shouldn’t be easy. It should be rough and painful and eye-opening (even if just alittle). It needs to shed some blood so that it gets us all together on the same level of understanding so we can figure out exactly why we react and feel about certian things that usually have the tendency to remain underground and hidden.

[from Resist Racism] The next obvious step is to find ways to open our doors to those who can come to us. I hear that some San Francisco churches have created a kind of covenant of “open congregation.” This means that in their literature and at their services, classes, and events they make it known that they welcome people of color, gays and lesbians, and so on. Being pro-active rather than passive on questions of diversity and inclusion.

This is necessary because in America, passivity means white supremacy. It’s subtle and pervasive, conditioned by and conditioning our magazines, movies, tv, our clothing, all the things we buy. It is a virus infecting my mind as a person with so-called privilieges, and the mind of someone who might not have such privileges. …

So needless to say, this has been an experience. I can’t say that I agree with everything brought up in various postings but I can say that majority of commentaries provide readers (white or not) with information that is both valuable and relevant to this issue. I agree with “resistance” when he/she states that there is a need for individuals (regardless of color) to be proactive about these issues. We all need to seek out opportunity to be receptive as well. And try not to knee jerk. I love knee jerking. My knees I think habitually knee-jerk. One closing remark though…

[from Resist Racism]”People of color are not responsible for the education of white people.”

Not solely responsible -no. However, nothing is learned when people remain silent. Speak up. Call me an asshole (nicely), if you need to. Explain my faults or poor reasoning. My responsibility is to listen and understand. That is the capstone of education.

So to end this post I would wrap up with a quote (of which I have no idea of the meaning) to illustrate the need to, when all else fails, keep it simple stupid.:

In the works of Pynchon, a predominant concept is the distinction between ground and figure. The subject is interpolated into a expressionism that includes sexuality as a totality. In a sense, the premise of the subdialectic paradigm of discourse suggests that reality has intrinsic meaning, but only if Lyotardist narrative is valid; if that is not the case, we can assume that the raison d’etre of the artist is social comment.

When all else fails: Keep it simple stupid.