the ideology of White Supremacy is at its foundation, within its very core, violence. the moment one race has been placed in a position of superiority to another, thereby diminishing the humanity of the other race, an act of violence has taken place. whether it manifests in thought, word, deed, through a platform of economics, institutions, laws, politics, it is violence. whether under the label is White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi, Nazi, Confederate, or Alt-Right, it is violence. there is no such thing as a “peaceful” White Supremacy rally.I have to remain hopeful that hearts can be awakened, but we don’t awaken them by sympathizing with the true enemies which are delusion, fear, aggression and hate, or excusing the violence that manifests from these sicknesses. we must name the suffering, shining light into the dark abyss which is racism, which includes an honest and real look at this country’s foundation, its history, and our own privilege. so many want to claim they are pro-life. this is a moment to prove it. one cannot claim pro-life, yet sympathize with, excuse or ignore an ideology of death. and although they may not recognize it and we may not want to see it, those who identify with the White Supremacist ideology are also victims of its destructive power. there are no winners in hate. so, we must stand firmly as an ally to life and those who have and are suffering at the hand of the destructive and dark force of racism.
the basic Buddhist understanding of life is one of interdependence, that we have no independent self, that many co-arising conditions have come together to manifest this body and life. this is the case with all things, including all people. as it has been often quoted and re-quoted (to paraphrase) we are related to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the entire Universe atomically. all have their rightful and honored place in this web-like tapestry of Life.
understanding this, how can anyone say that one thing is more important or superior to another?
this is Achilles Heel of the White Supremacist movement, the White Nationalists movement, the Nazis, the Neo-Nazis, the KKK, the Alt-Right movement, and all the other racist movements that have sprung up through time over and over pitting one group of people against another manifesting in physical violence, economic/structural/institutional violence, and political violence.
They are all eventually doomed. Why? Because they act contrary to Life itself which is at its foundation interdependent and always changing. Yet, these movements rise up again and again – sometimes hiding under a rock sheltered in darkness, until finding home once more in fragile egos and closed hearts. This is why it is so important that we stand as allies to Life and to all who are oppressed. Life acts through us, and sometimes in spite of us, so it is each one of us who have to wake up, listen, stand, speak, write, create art, practice and serve, as allies to Life and all who are oppressed finding themselves on the receiving end of the fear, anger, bigotry, racism, aggression and violence that has found its way into the light. We MUST be engaged. Naming the darkness and what lies beneath it, so that we can defeat it, without becoming it.
in this moment our greatest enemies are what we call in Buddhism, The 3 Poisons – our tendency to avoid the discomfort of our situation of this life by either grasping (greed), being aggression (hatred), or lost in our ignorance (delusion – ignorance is NOT bliss). these are the driving reactive force for those who would put themselves above others, the roots of the fear and anger we see motivating racism and these hostiles groups. we counter these by authentically engaging life in all of its challenge and discomfort with an open heart through practicing The 4 Immeasurables, which are lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. these aren’t to be confused with being “nice” as we may think. compassion can be fierce, cutting and precise. we need the fiercest compassion at this time.
the rock has been turned over again and what has been hiding underneath once more is in the light. what will we do? the world is watching and history will record these moments.