unmistaken ignorance

Won’t somebody please think of the children!?!

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karma and the middle passage

I was out of town for most of this past weekend for some personal, family related issues. (That’s all you get, Internet! I don’t hang out all my laundry, dirty or clean!) So I’ve been out of touch with my usual online sources — blogs, Twitters, etc., etc. But one thing did catch my eye, and it’s been rattling around my head for a couple of days now. Claudia, of the wonderful blog The Bottom of Heaven, twittered (tweeted?) the following:

Can’t quite wrap my head around the idea of Karma on a meta-level; was the Middle Passage “bad Karma”? Is this a question Buddhists ask?

last word on the subject

Here are my final words on this whole “Western/American” versus “not-Western” Buddhism thing that just won’t. Go. Away.

The question isn’t whether or not white folks should infuse into Buddhism their own cultural expectations. The problem isn’t whether or not it’s appropriate for white folks to practice Buddhism. The question isn’t whether or not the West needs Buddhism or Buddhism needs the West. The problem isn’t reverse racism. The problem isn’t that there aren’t more white folks in Asian temples or Asian folks in white temples.

The problem is simple: “American” does not equal white. Whenever someone paints a portrait of American Buddhism as white Buddhism, they are necessarily suggesting that American-ness equals whiteness.