Silence in the face of oppression is complicity.
The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey, Eric Garner, and many others are part of a systemic injustice in our country that is rooted in centuries of white supremacy, slavery, segregation and white privilege. This is a collective trauma that affects us all. No one is more affected by this trauma than People of Color. We stand by those peacefully protesting this injustice. We affirm that Black Lives Matter.
Buddhist teachings are grounded in the recognition of suffering, an ethical commitment to non-harming and an understanding of interdependence. We cannot separate our personal healing and transformation from that of our larger society. The historic and continued suffering of People of Color in this country harms us all and leads to our collective suffering.
These times of unrest create an opportunity to deepen our commitment to educate and engage our community in creating anti-racist, inclusive spaces that pave the way for equity and an increased capacity for empathy.
We acknowledge that racism is present everywhere and every day.
We acknowledge that the root of racism lives in the system of white supremacy and white privilege into which we were born, conditioned and raised.
We stand with all those struggling to bring justice and compassion to these times of anguish and violence.
We invite members of our community to read and take the following pledge, if they are moved and able to do so.
I pledge to seek to unravel the ways in which my thought patterns and behaviors (however unintentional or unwitting) are complicit with or perpetuate the cycle of privilege and oppression.
In respecting the dignity of every human being, I pledge to speak up and not remain silent when I hear or see an act of bias.