Our statement regarding racism and social justice.
Almost 2600 years ago the Buddha became the first religious leader to break down the barriers of caste, race, gender, and even gender identity. We are still fighting to break down those same barriers in our society and in our hearts.
Today we must focus on the statement and the Black Lives Matter movement because this is the house on fire in our neighborhood. We teach, as the Buddha did so long ago, that when a person seeks the end of suffering it is the responsibility of all members of the community to assist them. We repeat in every practice a vow which states “Created Beings are numberless; I will strive to free them”, and we take this vow very seriously. That means everyone, regardless of skin color, nationality, religion, or any other category. Compassion is the heart of our practice and it is applied to all beings without discrimination.
We support the protests that bring the ongoing racism in America to light and demand an end to all forms of racist and discriminatory behavior from all people – most especially from the police and governmental authorities. These protests are the working out of the Bodhisattva vow quoted above.
We support our black family and state unequivocally that you are welcome with us. We are not perfect, but we vow to strive to get better and better. We will work to root out and deal with our own implicit racism. We will work to free ourselves from the paralysis of the “bystander syndrome” and work actively against racism wherever we encounter it. We stand beside you. When needed, we'll stand in front of you, to shield you. We will work to seek out and take thoughtful considered action; to do our part to help end racism in this country.
To police and government authorities; we ask that you act with peace, compassion, and restraint. Listen to those who seek to end injustice. Stand as models of compassion, equality, and service. Public service is a hard calling. But we know these standards can be met.
We condemn in no uncertain terms all expressions of racism and all other forms of discrimination that seek to place one group of people above another.
Signed by the Clergy
Monk Glenn Gustafson, Sensei
Deshi DeDe Parker
Deshi Joe Pierce
Signed by the Board
Garrett Patterson, Treasurer
Chad Schmeling, Secretary
Geneva Nixon, Outreach, Social Justice
DeDe Parker, Membership