A couple of recentposts talked about Western Buddhism without any reference to Asians… or did they? On Progressive Buddhism, Kyle discusses “urban white liberal converts”, “rural converts, who tend to be white or black” and the “traditional” Buddhists. Provided in context:
the traditional Buddhists, who have been somewhat marginalized in the mainstream community
the local traditional population, which obviously only offers its one tradition
Over on Sweep the dust, Push the dirt, Jack Daw remarks:
Western Convert Buddhists insist that they are not taken seriously by other culture-based traditions and those Culture-Based Buddhists (I have no better term) insist that they are not well-represented in the mainstream media.
The authors of both articles frame the terms traditional and culture-basedwith regard to representation within the mainstream. Perhaps coincidentally, I have only read complaints of a lack of representation within the mainstream Buddhist media specifically in terms of Asian (American) Buddhists. Indeed, I wrote most of them. Are Kyle and Jack Daw euphemistically avoiding using the word Asian to talk about Asians?
To be clear, not all Asians identify as “traditional” or “culture-based”—but how many of those “traditional” or “culture-based” Buddhists who “insist that they are not well-represented in the mainstream media” are not Asian? When it comes to the cultural affinities of their Asian writers, The BigThree prefer to publish those who are more “traditional” and “culture-based” (and dead). It is precisely the less “traditional” and “culture-based” of the Asian American Buddhist community who are speaking out on this issue.
I’m well aware that, ironically, when race is obvious, white people will go out of their way to avoid explicitly mentioning race so that they don’t appear to take race into account. This inanity only highlights their racialized judgment. Let me be explicit: I prefer to be identified as Asianthan by some inept euphemism for it.
Update: I deleted a comment I reposted here from Kyle on Progressive Buddhism. He explains more in his comments at the bottom of this post. Someone or some people have identified themselves as myself and another blogger, and harassed Kyle with personally abusive emails. His furious reaction is little different than I would have reacted in the same shoes (and probably even more restrained than I would have been). It is a very sad state when others stoop to this level of depravity—apparently some people enjoy nothing more than watching the world burn.