Danny Fisher just announced that he’ll be maintaining a new Patheos blog, which was mention enough to spark my smoldering curiosity and get me to check out the Patheos Buddhism Portal. So I visited and saw a landing page covered with the work of White people.
I really worked hard to find the Buddhist Asian folk, but Patheos seems to have created an almost perfect showcase for the stereotype online Buddhist: the White Buddhist American man.
Well okay, I managed to sniff out some diversity in that collection of essays on the “Future of Buddhism” in the United States. Among those 22 essays, you can find four written by Asian authors—namely Mushim Ikeda-Nash, Venerable Sheng Yen, Chade-Meng Tan and George Tanabe. With about 18% of those essays by Asians, this Patheos collection ranks at about the same level of Asianness as the general Western Buddhist publication—perhaps a noteworthy trend?
Yes I know that Justin Whitaker has publicly vowed to make the effort to try to be “more representative of American/Western Buddhism.” He even followed through by posting about an African American Buddhist! I can’t wait till he writes about another Person of Color!
So at least you know that the Patheos Buddhism Portal isn’t the exclusive preserve of White Buddhists. The Portal is not all White—it’s just overwhelmingly dominated by White American Buddhists. And that’s a problem.