Amid my incessant complaining about the marginalization of Asian Americans in the mainstream Buddhist media, various bloggers will pepper me with questions along the lines of: “So what do you suggest?” It’s a valid question. There are a number of “structural” actions we can do to raise the profile of Asian American Buddhists, who are largely sidelined in the dominant media of the very community where we constitute the outright majority. I’ve already mentioned my favorite one: Educate yourself. I’m appalled by the Buddhist Americans who might freely discuss “Chinese Buddhism” and yet who couldn’t tell Teochew from Toisan or Hakka from Hokkien. But here’s the thought for today: include us in your vision of the Buddhist community. If you’re going to make a flier with faces of Buddhists, then maybe you’ll put in more Asian Americans. And while you’re at it, if you run a major Buddhist publication, you might want to set aside more bylines for Asian Americans too.
8 hours ago