In response to certain comments, I twittered a quote from Resist Racism: People of color are not responsible for the education of white people. This quote resonates with me because it conveys the point that if people of privilege want to be educated about racial issues, then there are other (and better) ways to do so without finding a person of color and asking her to set aside a chunk of her life to write up a 30-min summary. One spectacular alternative is self-education. After all, we have ethnic studies for a reason. For Asian American studies, you can check out or order books like the classic Strangers from a Different Shore or the more recently published Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People. For discussion of race issues in the Buddhist community, you might want to flip through the Angry Asian Buddhist Reader (because I must admit my ramblings are neither representative nor coherent). If we are committed to diversity, then we should be committed to educating ourselves and noting the inequities that may very well exist beneath our noses. These disparities aren’t exclusive to Asians or people of color. Gender, class and sexuality are also polarized on scales of privilege—these issues need to be addressed too. I’m not trying to say that I have no responsibility in this discussion; we all must play a part. But shoving the responsibility of one’s education (or ignorance) onto the less privileged is itself a manifestation of this privilege. We can all be better than that.
Drowning in the Internet
I’ve flipped back and forth between here and Dharma Folk to encourage other writers to post more freely on the group site about topics other than social issues in the Buddhist community. But two important things happened: (1) the group told me to get over myself and reminded me that they weren’t posting as much as me because they had other priorities (not because of me), and (2) several individuals have since suggested I keep the Angry Asian over there, so now I have this Angry Asian Buddhist blogspot site, and I don’t know what to do with it.
Some ideas bubbled up late last night not long after I finally (gave in and) joined Twitter. I’ll keep this site for commentary on the Buddhist community, but I’ll try to keep it short. I was really surprised to see how many Buddhist Twitterers there are out there. I’m still learning my way. I’m sure that before long, I’ll be one of those annoying people who can’t spend half a heartbeat away from the internet. Hopefully I don’t go and drown in this sea of information!