Buddhists against racism

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tomschwarz
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Buddhists against racism

Post by tomschwarz » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:27 pm

Hello brothers and sisters,

I am sure many of you, like me, are interested in combating racism. So a couple things to discuss:
* I believe that racism is simply claiming to understand someone's mind based on physical characteristics. E.g. people of X skin tone have X mental trait. Agree?
* Here is a video I just made to combat racism. Is it effective? Why yes, why no?
https://youtu.be/1nf0HnRXuFc
Last edited by Ayu on Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Typo in title.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Buddhists again racism

Post by boda » Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:18 pm

A couple of things. Firstly, it doesn't matter how you identify a group, it could be by skin color or culture. You mention Hitler in the video, did he identify Jewish people by skin color or culture? Secondly, being color blind is not a virtue, it's a disability. If you're color blind you may be blind to the plight of people of color.

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Re: Buddhists again racism

Post by lobster » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:58 am

tomschwarz wrote:Hello brothers and sisters,

...

Is it effective? Why yes, why no?
https://youtu.be/1nf0HnRXuFc
No. :shrug:
I watched the first 30 secs
If you are going to talk about something. Do so.
You have to grab peoples attention.

I do not accept the arbitrary distinction of race. I consider myself Adamic, therefore Jewish, originally African, like everyone. Certainly not to be labled by the enlightened and unenlightened as a category. Have I gone wrong again? I blame my parents of which I had many, mostly Buddhas ... :thumbsup:

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Re: Buddhists again racism

Post by muni » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:15 am

First of all I wish the man talking in the youtube all the best for good health. _/\_

Then we are in fact all the same people is indeed clear and was once as well demonstrated in a museum of nature science in a complex demonstrations of interdependent details. It is then of course stupid to say "my people" when you see such explained.
Maybe we do that so like a child saying that is my mom, to feel safe, or because we rely on how we appear only, what feels "home"? And perhaps racism is created out of fear and by this fear aversion? Also nationality what is that? Associating with a place, a localisation and from there is the identity arising?
As In Buddhism it is not the Buddha’s meaning to focus on outer images, appearances, bodies, nationalities or people of this or that location. Since our Nature is not an image, not located here or there and has no identity papers.

I used to say something “very nice”(?) sometimes: “there are everywhere rotten potatoes”. I mean with this, the harming mind can be in whatever location. But the Nature of Mind has no location.

:namaste:
Buddha said all is empty like my brain.
Let’s make a selfie!

Having meditated on love and compassion, I forgot the difference between myself and others. Yogi Milarepa.

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Re: Buddhists again racism

Post by tomschwarz » Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:54 pm

boda wrote:A couple of things. Firstly, it doesn't matter how you identify a group, it could be by skin color or culture.... If you're color blind you may be blind to the plight of people of color.
I think it does matter how you identify the mind of a person. And i am not saying to be blind to suffering or to racism. I am simply saying dont be racist. Dont support racism just because it's the status quo.

Hitler tried to identify a mental profile of being money-hungry by what he claimed was the jewish skull shape. People try to identify "white people" and "black people" by a combination of skin tone, nose shape, lip size and hair type. And then the racist will assume that the mind of the person is X because there physical characteristics indicate race Y.

A bit off topic, but apropos, race is a myth, the naive assumption that there are 4 significant blood lines, a.k.a. races, is refuted by science/genetics. That is just not the way we have evolved. There has been both too much deviation/differentiation as well as comingling of genetic types to support a 4 race system. So denying race is essential to understanding reality.

Muni ))) thanks. I am fine )), just a small operation to remove my thyroid. Feels great actually... ....I agree with all your points, very elegantly said. This last point "the nature of mind has no location" is so true and I saw that in a realisation earlier today... ...when we become enlightened, and there is sitting a magnificent energy, statuesque, being, and people whisper "sh! don't bother him, that is His Holiness the Dalai Lama! Sitting in equipoise", and you think "but how can there be self and other in enlightenment?" The answer is that it is all your mind, and if all you see is your mind, where is the self and other? The nature of mind is all encompassing.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Buddhists again racism

Post by boda » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:58 pm

tomschwarz wrote:Dont support racism just because it's the status quo.
Not clear what you mean by this. If you're in a privileged position in the status quo you might be inclined to support it. Shouldn't we ask that people be willing to surrender their advantage in order to achieve a more egalitarian society?

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Re: Buddhists against racism

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 26, 2017 11:42 pm

In a bread and butter way, it doesn't really matter that race is a myth. It's a positive thing if one can live this on a personal level and connect with people across the bounds of race for sure, even if it's not easy.

People live with consequences of race everyday though, so always repeating that it's a myth (which it is, technically) means very little. Of all samsara is a kind of myth, but it still hurts pretty bad, don't it?

There are two basic questions, one is whether or not one acts or thinks like a racist personally, for that one has to acknowledge that we all have a certain amount of xenophobia, and make sure not to let it dictate our actions and ways of thinking in our personal lives, it's important not to reinforce those black seeds.

I think for many Buddhists, that is probably the easier part. The harder part is connecting that with what race means socially, where it most certainly "exists" enough to cause some serious consequences.
Hitler tried to identify a mental profile of being money-hungry by what he claimed was the jewish skull shape. People try to identify "white people" and "black people" by a combination of skin tone, nose shape, lip size and hair type. And then the racist will assume that the mind of the person is X because there physical characteristics indicate race Y.
Present day racism is less commonly this type though, it's more common today for racists to claim "color blindness" in order to claim that not only race, but racism itself, does not exist.
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Re: Buddhists again racism

Post by boda » Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:32 am

tomschwarz wrote:A bit off topic, but apropos, race is a myth, the naive assumption that there are 4 significant blood lines, a.k.a. races, is refuted by science/genetics. That is just not the way we have evolved. There has been both too much deviation/differentiation as well as comingling of genetic types to support a 4 race system. So denying race is essential to understanding reality.
I'm sure this kind of reasoning is helpful but personal biases are difficult to overcome. I think it takes more than intellection. I believe the best approach is getting to really know the other. That's more difficult to do in a segregated society.

Do you have hidden biases? If you're not sure try taking that Implicit Association Tests. You might surprise yourself. :jawdrop:

https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

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Re: Buddhists against racism

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:51 am

Why is abandoning racist terms (not using them) being blind to them? And more so, why does that equate to being blind to racism?

I am actually an anti racism activist. And I have been one from a very young age. I have very good and long lived friendships with people of all skin tones countries of origin and religions. So this radical perspective does come from a good place.

Perhaps it is interesting to take an example of someone who strongly dislikes a culture. Let's take a 6 year old boy, raised in a home with a mom and dad who love him unconditionally. The speak with him in the high register of his local language. They have financial resources etc... ...then there are three other 6 year old boys, one Light Pink skinned, one olive toned and one the color of dark chocolate. All three of those kids have broken homes, no feeling of safety, they experience violence every day, they know only the lowest register of their language and have no financial resources to speak of. And so those three children are angry and unstable.

Now if the parents of the first child try to distance him from the pink child, the olive child, or the dark chocolate child, are they racist? I suggest that conciously trying to exclude people is not necessarily racism and it does not necessarily relate to race. You have to be careful not to call something racism that does not even relate to the illusion of race. What if the motivation in this case is simply better education and to bar those who interfere with that process? Sera Jay gelug Buddhist monastery does this ))). So do all universities that I know of. Is that racism? Does it even relate to the illusion of race? In my experience the answer has been consistently no.

Enter real racism. I have many friends who are real racists. The believe in race. And they associate a race with specific characteristics of the human mind (people of race X are productive, people of race Y are not). Of course it is silly ))) that thinking does not hold water.

Then assuming you are an anti-racist like me, you don't belive in race let alone racial identity, then ask yourself what does using racist caricatures like "white people" and "black people " afford you? Do they help you fight racism? How? As you know, I belive that by rejecting them, as well as other racist terms, we step in the right direction. Of course a lot of people in the USA deeply belive in the truth of the two terms. But think about it, if President Obama and Tupac Shakur (same skin tone) are both supposedly "black people" and yet their cultures could not be more different, grouping them as a "people" simply based on their skin tone, and branding them, together, with the collective identity 'black people", as well as every other poor Joe around the world which shares that milk chocolate skin tone, what do you achieve? I say you achieve racism. So abandoned that negative path, fight racism, and replace it with a discussion about culture: the good the bad and the ugly, from your perspective....
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Buddhists against racism

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:56 am

tomschwarz wrote:Sera Jay gelug Buddhist monastery does this
There's only an Inji khantsen at Sera Jey because the International Mahayana Institute set one up as westerners expect a higher quality accommodation.
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

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Re: Buddhists against racism

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Jan 27, 2017 2:20 pm

Dear Lobsang I am glad you challenged that point. It bears more investigation.... ...Let's do that together.

What I am talking about is exclusion. It is not all bad. And of course not all racist. Brothers and sisters where is it wise to exclude people and other beings, not based on a silly illusion like race, but based on your personal commitments and other factors like safety and order in institutions of learning etc ?

This is from a dear friend of mine at Sera Jey. It was written in 2011:
Thank you very much for the email letting us know that you would like to be a Buddhist monk. We hope you are well aware of the different traditions in Buddhism and that we (Sera Jey) is affiliated to the Tibetan Gelugpa tradition.

And as per different monastic tradition's customs & norms, similarly we follow our own distinct practice (customs) in all affairs of the monastery. The admission into the monastery first begins from individual Khangtsen (House Divisions within the monastery). Each member monk of the monastery belong belong to one of the several (14) Khangtsens.

One has to first find a teacher / guardian - a member monk of the monastery, who will take the responsibility as your guarantor for admission into his (teacher/guardian) Khangtsen. After admitting into the Khangtsen, the guarantor teacher / guardian will recommend for your admission into the monastery.
In any case, this kind of discussion about culture is the true antidote for racism!!!! SAMAYAMANUPALAYA
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Buddhists against racism

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:54 pm

Tom,

I agree it's not racist it is based on how to benefit people although I wouldn't say that khantsens lead to exclusion, I would say that they provide the conditions for easier practice and maintain your vows; as well as meaning donors can ensure their local area benefits.

I've been told that when I join Sera Jey I will have:
Your KHAM GEN is your house master and it is him who rules your life in the house and from whom you have to get permission to leave the house to go to town or whatever.
He will also help you find people to act as your .... GEN i.e. personal teacher (i.e. a monk in the house who you are allocated to and who is responsible for making sure you have a place to stay, keeping the vows, are memorising and studying well etc and your general behaviour in the house and more widely in the Monastery, and crucially your entry into the debate courtyard once you have got the basic stuff memorised (sorry can't remember the full name for this role). You also have to ask this person for permission to come and go etc.
KEY GEN (language teacher),
PECHA GEN (the person who teaches you text. This will vary according to subject as you move through the curriculum).
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
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Re: Buddhists against racism

Post by boda » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:17 pm

tomschwarz wrote:Why is abandoning racist terms (not using them) being blind to them? And more so, why does that equate to being blind to racism?
To clarify, terms like "black" and "white" are not racist but socially acceptable descriptors. For example, it's not a racist comment to say that our former president was black. If anything that's a positive thing to say in regard to race relations. Perhaps a false positive though.
Michelle Alexander wrote:Obama's mere presence in the Oval Office is offered as proof that "the land of the free" has finally made good on its promise of equality. There's an implicit yet undeniable message embedded in his appearance on the world stage: this is what freedom looks like; this is what democracy can do for you. If you are poor, marginalized, or relegated to an inferior caste, there is hope for you. Trust us. Trust our rules, laws, customs, and wars. You, too, can get to the promised land.

Perhaps greater lies have been told in the past century, but they can be counted on one hand. Racial caste is alive and well in America.

Most people don't like it when I say this. It makes them angry. In the "era of colorblindness" there's a nearly fanatical desire to cling to the myth that we as a nation have "moved beyond" race. Here are a few facts that run counter to that triumphant racial narrative:
  • * There are more African Americans under correctional control today—in prison or jail, on probation or parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.

    * As of 2004, more African American men were disenfranchised (due to felon disenfranchisement laws) than in 1870, the year the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race.

    * A black child born today is less likely to be raised by both parents than a black child born during slavery. The recent disintegration of the African American family is due in large part to the mass imprisonment of black fathers.

    * If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas have been labeled felons for life. (In the Chicago area, the figure is nearly 80%.) These men are part of a growing undercaste—not class, caste—permanently relegated, by law, to a second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits, much as their grandparents and great-grandparents were during the Jim Crow era.
tomschwarz wrote:I have very good and long lived friendships with people of all skin tones countries of origin and religions. So this radical perspective does come from a good place.
I don't understand, you haven't shown a radical position. The "era of colorblindness" is well known, and given the above, apparently rather impotent.
Perhaps it is interesting to take an example of someone who strongly dislikes a culture. Let's take a 6 year old boy, raised in a home with a mom and dad who love him unconditionally. The speak with him in the high register of his local language. They have financial resources etc... ...then there are three other 6 year old boys, one Light Pink skinned, one olive toned and one the color of dark chocolate. All three of those kids have broken homes, no feeling of safety, they experience violence every day, they know only the lowest register of their language and have no financial resources to speak of. And so those three children are angry and unstable.

Now if the parents of the first child try to distance him from the pink child, the olive child, or the dark chocolate child, are they racist? I suggest that conciously trying to exclude people is not necessarily racism and it does not necessarily relate to race. You have to be careful not to call something racism that does not even relate to the illusion of race. What if the motivation in this case is simply better education and to bar those who interfere with that process? Sera Jay gelug Buddhist monastery does this ))). So do all universities that I know of. Is that racism? Does it even relate to the illusion of race? In my experience the answer has been consistently no.
This particular scenario is a bit confusing because you refer to locality, which implies segregation. You describe the child coming from a wholesome home as having financial resources and parents who speak with him in the high register of his local language. You describe the children from broken homes as only knowing the lowest register of their language and living in poverty. This can only mean that these children don't live in the same neighborhood.

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Re: Buddhists against racism

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:27 pm

Thank you so much Lobsang for sharing that information.... ....it is very good for many to think about....

Exclusion is real and immediate Lobsang. At Sera Jey, as well as all modern institutions of learning that I know of, exclusion is based on culture. Culture includes clothing, language food religion dance music education philosophy etc... and while certain very liberal institutions claim they are fully open to all cultures, it is phony, such as usa institutions rejecting Muslim orthodox cultures such as that of Saudi Arabia where a woman must not leave the home without a man.

Back to Sera Jey, you must be Buddhist. You must adhere to buddhist vows that relate to and define all aspects of accepted ans rejected culture. Do not follow the vows, you will be excluded. That is OK! )))

And my statement: when we deny our culture, our cultural requirements, our caprice, etc... then a much more insidious racism can take hold, unspoken, hard to combat. Straight racism is easy to combat. But the racism of liberal usa and (less so) in Europe goes like this (in the voice of the enfranchised liberal):
1) our policy is open heart, we accept all cultures
2) you are OK just as you are, whatever low language register even though privately we dislike your language
3) you are OK as you are, even though privately we do not like your clothes
4) we accept your music, even though privately we hate it
5) this person who was always told that he is 100% OK and accepted as is, tries to get a good job. He is refused.

So Sera Jey exclusion-- OK. Phony and untenable multi culturalism - catastrophic.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Buddhists against racism

Post by tomschwarz » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:42 pm

Then the way that phony multi culturalism becomes actual racism, is that by not being honest, by withholding their true feelings and judgements, they isolate themselves and create skin-tone-homogeneous neighborhoods, businesses, churches, schools, etc...

The antidote, if they could say, "I don't like your clothes, I tell my children not to wear those silly clothes" then
1 we would have a cultural discussion instead of a racist one
2 the poor fellow with pants sagging bellow his butt can engage directly in conformity, rebellion, etc... and the cards are on the table.
i dedicate this post to your happiness, the causes of your happiness, the absence of your suffering the causes of the absence of your suffering that we may not have too much attachment nor aversion. SAMAYAMANUPALAYA

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Re: Buddhists against racism

Post by Lobsang Chojor » Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:14 pm

Tom,

I must appologise as I think I missunderstood you before. I agree some exclusion must exist as it is obvious that non-buddhists shouldn't live among ordained sangha.
ༀ་ཨ་ར་པ་ཙ་ན་དྷཱི༔ Oṃ A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhīḥ

"Morality does not become pure unless darkness is dispelled by the light of wisdom"
  • Aryasura, Paramitasamasa 6.5

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