Who is America ?

Casual conversation between friends. Anything goes (almost).
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Grigoris
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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:19 pm

Lukeinaz wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:10 pm
Malcom, it seems punching nazis is a good way to get yourself shot.
So your answer is just to live in fear and let them do what they want?
I often wonder what if we let these assholes have there demonstrations or whatever and just stay the hell away? It seems they thrive off the confrontation which leads to more head lines more publicity, ect. What if no one showed up, it would just be a bunch of nazis jerking each other, they probably would get bored and less people shot.
No, they wouldn't get bored. Since they would not encounter resistance they would use the opportunity to go wail on some innocent people going about their daily business.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Lukeinaz » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:27 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:19 pm
Lukeinaz wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:10 pm
Malcom, it seems punching nazis is a good way to get yourself shot.
So your answer is just to live in fear and let them do what they want?
I often wonder what if we let these assholes have there demonstrations or whatever and just stay the hell away? It seems they thrive off the confrontation which leads to more head lines more publicity, ect. What if no one showed up, it would just be a bunch of nazis jerking each other, they probably would get bored and less people shot.
No, they wouldn't get bored. Since they would not encounter resistance they would use the opportunity to go wail on some innocent people going about their daily business.
good point
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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Rinchen Samphel » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:41 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:10 pm
Rinchen Samphel wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:05 pm
Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:51 pm


Mahāyāna ethics are based on intention, not on some particular set of vows. If by punching Nazis you intend to protect others, then this is a positive and meritorious act. And, if by punching a Nazi, you protect others, you also protect the Nazi from themselves.

Pretty sure Antifa is on the right side of history, here.

So...?
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:02 pm

The Buddha sat on a hillside under a dead tree watching Kapilavastu being sacked and his relatives being enslaved by King Ajatasatru after having dissuaded Ajatasatru on an earlier occasion from invading.

What we do in Mahāyāna in response to pure evil is keep our eyes open and act as witnesses.
Malcolm wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 8:38 pm
You still did not understand. Picking sides is what causes one to go to lower realms.
Malcolm wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:48 pm
It depends on your understanding the real situation of samsara. If you don't understand— you join in, pick sides, and go to three lower realms. This is called having a one-lifetime view.
Did I ever once say that Buddhists should run around punching Nazis?
No, you didnt, but that wasnt my point yo. (Edit: though you saying its an "american bodhisattva tradition" could be twisted to look like you were implying that they should)

My point was to contrast your views on Mahayana ethics.
Last edited by Rinchen Samphel on Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:35 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:17 am
No, that's just catharsis.
That's what I said!

Image
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Dan74 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:50 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:15 pm
Dan74 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:15 am
How do you guys square it with

“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.”

Please don't give me the BS that "punching out a Nazi" is done with love and no hatred, that you are a wrathful manifestation of blahblah, that only Hinayanists understand this literally. An honest heartfelt answer please.
I don't try to justify everything through Buddhism. I am not a fundamentalist. I have my own opinions on a variety of issues, that I have never tried to analyse through the prism of Buddhism, because I do not care to do so.

AND: I have afflictions.
We all have afflictions, but we don't all defend them and argue that they are the way to go.

As for not being a fundamentalist, I just asked for a reflection, not a justification.

Greg, I am all for robust action. Not a fence-sitter or apologist here (yes, maybe a mod shouldn't engage in ad homs, come on!), had my share of activism, though not violence, at least not against living beings. I am just 1. not at all sure that violent tactics will lead to desired results 2. not sure it is the right thing to do anyway. Mostly for me it's about 1., but 2 is also a factor, because people who can be helped will get hurt when the lines between right wing "buffoons" and fascists and neo-Nazis get blurred, when everything becomes so black-and-white, and a fellow like me becomes an apologist ("with us or against us"). For a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and to some of us, sadly, every rightwinger is a Nazi.

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by muni » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:30 pm

One test compassion or aggression; is whatever we do by own frustration or is it for the welfare of those fellows acting repeatedly by violence, causing so much harm and for those who are harmed? Is it for protecting them all from such harm? In that way using countermeasures?

Because out of frustration gets quick the freedom to act with some good violence, it is then seen as "fair and correct handling". We forget then that these fellows have also emotions and these can turn even more destructive, causing more harm. Does it stop the habitual circle of destructive behaviour, racism, the fire of aggression?
Perhaps good to care how the outcome can be in long term?
Last edited by muni on Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Rinchen Samphel » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:43 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:24 am
Rinchen Samphel wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:54 am
Imagine if MLK had that view... Imagine how much more black people would have been beaten and/or died.
NEWS FLASH: Black people are still being gunned down indiscriminately in the streets and in their homes by "law" enforcement agents.
You understand what i was saying. If MLK had walked up to law enforcement and kkk members back in the 50s and 60s with his followers and advocated to punch them all, the chances of the u.s. having a civil rights movement would have been greatly lowered because all hell would have broke loose. Also it would have validated the messed up rhetoric of law enforcement agents and kkk members that black individuals were less than human and dangerous. MLK shut that all down with peaceful protest.

And, i bet MLK did want to punch some people, and im sure the people he wanted to punch deserved it, but he knew what would happen if he did it.

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:54 pm

As an American, my comments to your points:
Dan74 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:39 am
OK, let me try it another way. Let's break down the proantifa argument step by step.

1. PP, Proud Boys and the like are fascists or proto-fascists.

I've seen some whacky views expressed by individual members and roguish behavious, but does that mean the whole group can be determined to be fascists, let alone neo-Nazis? Shouldn't the views of the leaders, as well as the entirety of what they put out be considered? Any group will have some loons. And Tiny apparently assaulting a guy after a heated exchange is adduced as evidence that the groups he belongs to are fascists?? Hmmm...unconvincing, but not the weakest of the bunch.
The word "fascist" is getting tossed around rather loosely. I'm not sure what that means. That said, none of the people in those groups should be considered acceptable. They need to be marginalized and kept at bay.

And basically, they are marginal. More people show up to local high school sporting events than show up to these rallies. Just because they round up a few hundred people and bring them in by bus to a regional city for a rally doesn't mean much. It probably says more about that areas than anything else. Everywhere they show up, they have been far outnumbered by counter-protesters, most of whom are just regular people. You're not going to get a picture of "Norm" America on this board. No offense to posters here, but this is kind of a self selected slice of one form of marginal or another.

Trump's rallies, on the other hand, are concerning to me. While there seems to be overlap with these "fascists", there's something else going on there.
2. They might be small and insignificant now, but so was NSDAP or its progenitors. And look where that led to.

Argumentum ad Hitlerium. There are so many differences between the US and Weimar Republic, but even this could perhaps hold. It is conceivable that such groups will grow, mutate and attempt to undermine the very democratic order that they currently say they are standing up for. Yes, PP repeatedly say they are big on freedoms, right, etc. Not exactly Mr Hilter and his Munich buddies, but hey, very unlikely but possible.
The United States is a geographically big country. If you wanted to drive non-stop, no breaks to sleep or rest, from Los Angeles to New York, you'd get in your car and get out two days later. It is also very diverse, with many regional cultures and world views (lots to criticize, but there's something to it - City vs. Country Is Not Our Political Fault Line). The economy is also unimaginably massive. It has a momentum all its own that is beyond anyone's control and will flatten anyone who gets in the way.

There will be no coup by street thugs. The powers that be simply would not allow it. It would be put down. A military coup would mean a lot of other things have gone horribly wrong first; a lot of real patriots would have to be convinced that such drastic action is necessary. No matter how much Kelly and Mattis clearly think Trump is a disaster, but they're not even thinking of organizing a coup. There's always the worry that "deep state" actors might pull something, but the sheer size of the government in Washington militate against any conspiracy from getting far. There are definitely institutional forces at play - groups and agencies angling for influence - as well as larger associations like Eisenhower's identification of a Military-Industrial Complex, but its not quite conspiracy as a diverse group united by common interests - in the case of the Military-Industrial Complex, National Security and Corporate Profit.

And, despite all the groaning about democracy - its still working. It is still a wild chase that is very unpredictable - that's why people spend so much money on elections. If there was a way to control the voter cost effectively, you wouldn't have whole industries around the election process, and people throwing money at every possible advantage.

The folks in this thread are hyper focused on this stuff, but in the big picture, these are rather minor details.

What would be a disaster is that this sort of thinking that violence needs to be part of the political process actually takes hold. And that brings us to your point 3.
3. If we don't nip them in the bud, with violence and whatever means necessary, this is what's bound to happen.

This, to me, is by far, the weakest link. It betrays a lack of belief not only in the 1st Amendment but in democracy itself - the power of non-violent action, civic discourse and a fundamental distrust of the voters. The choice is painted as being between antifa violence and non-action. Organising a powerful grassroots alternative to corrupt pollies and rightwing loons is not on the cards, is it? Winning over people's hearts and minds with coherent and fair policies, better arguments and a sensinble compassionate ideology is just a pipe dream, is it? So it's goodbye democracy then. It is indeed a sad indictment of your society if it's best minds turn to this sort of thinking. It won't take much to undermine the democratic order when it already is so weak. Vigilantes, taking law into your own hands, is all fair game. Next time people turn out to protest Trump like they did in 2016 many refusing to accept the outcome of the democratic election, the Trumpistas can organise and beat the crap out of them, since they judge them to be a danger to society. Oh boy, good luck and gawd bless America..
This country is so big that the violence would be localized. Letting this stuff get out of hand would be disasters for the place where it happens, but its not going to bring the country down. This is not happening in New York, or Boston, or DC, or Atlanta, or LA, or Chicago. If stuff happens, it happens in second tier places.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:07 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:50 pm
We all have afflictions, but we don't all defend them and argue that they are the way to go.
Yes we do. On a daily basis!

Anyway, I never said that my penchant for punching Nazis was an affliction! :tongue:
As for not being a fundamentalist, I just asked for a reflection, not a justification.
Oh, believe me, it was not a justification.

But I don't think you were asking for reflections. It seems to me you were looking for people to open up so you could attack them from a different angle.
Greg, I am all for robust action. Not a fence-sitter or apologist here (yes, maybe a mod shouldn't engage in ad homs, come on!), had my share of activism, though not violence, at least not against living beings. I am just 1. not at all sure that violent tactics will lead to desired results 2. not sure it is the right thing to do anyway. Mostly for me it's about 1., but 2 is also a factor, because people who can be helped will get hurt when the lines between right wing "buffoons" and fascists and neo-Nazis get blurred, when everything becomes so black-and-white, and a fellow like me becomes an apologist ("with us or against us"). For a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and to some of us, sadly, every rightwinger is a Nazi.
Well, it seems that we will have to agree to disagree then, doesn't it?

And, just to be clear: I am not a blithering idiot, I know the difference between a conservative and a Fascist, a right-winger and a Nazi, etc...

Thing is that history has shown us that "patriots", for example, are normally more than happy to team up with Fascists when push-comes-to-shove.

Nationalism almost always falls into Fascism.

But that's history for yah, always giving lessons, but constantly being ignored.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:17 pm

Rinchen Samphel wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:43 pm
You understand what i was saying. If MLK had walked up to law enforcement and kkk members back in the 50s and 60s with his followers and advocated to punch them all, the chances of the u.s. having a civil rights movement would have been greatly lowered because all hell would have broke loose. Also it would have validated the messed up rhetoric of law enforcement agents and kkk members that black individuals were less than human and dangerous. MLK shut that all down with peaceful protest.

And, i bet MLK did want to punch some people, and im sure the people he wanted to punch deserved it, but he knew what would happen if he did it.
You ever heard of the Black Panthers? MOVE? Things changed after the 50's and 60's you know.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:32 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:17 pm
Rinchen Samphel wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:43 pm
You understand what i was saying. If MLK had walked up to law enforcement and kkk members back in the 50s and 60s with his followers and advocated to punch them all, the chances of the u.s. having a civil rights movement would have been greatly lowered because all hell would have broke loose. Also it would have validated the messed up rhetoric of law enforcement agents and kkk members that black individuals were less than human and dangerous. MLK shut that all down with peaceful protest.

And, i bet MLK did want to punch some people, and im sure the people he wanted to punch deserved it, but he knew what would happen if he did it.
You ever heard of the Black Panthers? MOVE? Things changed after the 50's and 60's you know.
This was referenced earlier in the thread -
Queequeg wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:57 pm
King's legacy was washed out. SNCC's story prevailed. Why? Because anger is easier than love.
And what did the Panthers or Move accomplish? They acted like criminals and got treated like criminals.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:34 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:32 pm
King's legacy was washed out. SNCC's story prevailed. Why? Because anger is easier than love.
No. Because love was no longer working.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:37 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:34 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:32 pm
King's legacy was washed out. SNCC's story prevailed. Why? Because anger is easier than love.
No. Because love was no longer working.
If love doesn't work, then game over.

I think there is another answer:

Because young people want action and excitement. They don't have the experience and patience needed for the long game. They are easily frustrated and leap to rash actions.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:41 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:37 pm
If love doesn't work, then game over.
Not really. Reasoned equanimity is an option too.
I think there is another answer:

Because young people want action and excitement. They don't have the experience and patience needed for the long game. They are easily frustrated and leap to rash actions.
There were young people involved in MLK's movements too. I think a decisive factor in the shift was the efficacy of the Vietcong in thwarting U$ imperialism. There was a lesson there for home-grown radicals. Also the move away from Black Baptist Christianity by urban youth.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:44 pm

People here are also ignoring the long armed struggle waged by black Americans against slavery, including the black battalions in the Union army.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:03 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:41 pm
There were young people involved in MLK's movements too.
Yes. SNCC, for one. Most of the people who did the direct action were young people - young people sat at the lunch counters, rode the buses, etc. When MLKJr was killed, the non-violent movement lost its center of gravity. Other voices lacked the charisma, gravity and discipline and could not take his place.
I think a decisive factor in the shift was the efficacy of the Vietcong in thwarting U$ imperialsim.
I've never heard that, but that might have been a factor. I always understood that taking up arms by the black nationalists was just good old American Second Amendment self defense logic. They just took what white gun owners were saying and applied it to themselves. If they thought an armed conflict was going anywhere, they were stupid. I don't recall any articulation as you put it, and I did read quite a bit of Black Nationalist material back in the day.
Also the move away from Black Baptist Christianity by urban youth.
Maybe another factor. But that would tend to support my thesis that it was the rashness of youth. A big part of religion is about reigning in the impulses of youth.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:06 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:44 pm
People here are also ignoring the long armed struggle waged by black Americans against slavery, including the black battalions in the Union army.
That is far fetched. You'd have to make that connection. You'd have to identify a continuous militarist tradition in the black community.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:19 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:03 pm
I've never heard that...
What sort of Black Nationalist literature were you reading exactly?

Geroge Jackson is somebody that comes to mind.

The Black Panthers were heavily influenced by communist revolutionary theory.

Returning black service men also played a role.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:21 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:06 pm
That is far fetched. You'd have to make that connection. You'd have to identify a continuous militarist tradition in the black community.
Reality is far fetched??? And, no, you don't have to identify a continuous militarist tradition. These things grow and wane. Just like the MLK thing grew and waned.
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Who is America ?

Post by Queequeg » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:30 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:19 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:03 pm
I've never heard that...
What sort of Black Nationalist literature were you reading exactly?

Geroge Jackson is somebody that comes to mind.

The Black Panthers were heavily influenced by communist revolutionary theory.

Returning black service men also played a role.
Like I said, maybe. I just never came across a direct reference to Viet Cong as an inspiration. I get communist connection, though.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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