Race

Radical Dharma

Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams is a jewel. Radical Dharma is the title of her latest book which I look forward to reading. Today I attended her workshop on Radical Dharma. Here are my (white) person thoughts: Dharma is a Sanskrit word which can be roughly translated as “the teaching of Buddha” for a Buddhist, or more generically as “truth”, or perhaps “profound spiritual truth”, or “that which awakens and liberates”. Buddhists learn about Dharma in the context of the Four Noble Truths taught by Shakyamuni Buddha – suffering, the causes of...

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White Anti-Racist Perspective

Earlier this month I attended an amazing conference hosted by NonWhiteWorks – Storytelling Strategies for Dismantling Racism. I tell you this not because I am secretly hoping for a merit badge, because as a white person, it’s obvious that my racial and white privilege analysis is a big messy work in process. (And anyways, people of color don’t give white-ally merit badges for actions which are easy and risk little). I’m telling you because I encourage you to check out NonWhiteWorks and attend one of their upcoming events if you can. I am not afraid of being told that...

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Decolonizing Africa, Decolonizing Your Mind

My first recollection of Africa as a white person growing up in America was images of elephants, zebras, giraffe, lions and wildebeests frolicking across the Serengeti while slender tribal people, with skin as black as the night, adorned with colorful clothes and ornaments, hunted, sang, ran, and danced in the tall grass. This fantastical imagery was likely a product of children’s picture books, Tarzan comic books, the TV show “Wild Kingdom” with Marlin Perkins, visits to zoo prisons, and other long since forgotten experiences and media. Gradually, these stories faded to...

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Black Lives Matter

In the aftermath of Senator Bernie Sander’s visit to Seattle on August 8, social media and the blogosphere has been abuzz with analysis of the interruption of his planned speech on Social Security and Medicare by two female Black Lives Matter activists.  First, I should mention that I was not there – I was doing acupuncture in my clinic – but immediately started reading accounts from Facebook friends who were. The chronology of events is probably familiar to most so I will not repeat them in much detail. For those needing more background, click on the links at the end of...

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Racial Equity and Diversity Awareness

On a beautiful sunny Sunday in Seattle, I joined about 17 other parents of Bright Water School, to participate in a diversity and racial equity awareness workshop led by consultants Lara Davis and Diana Falchuk. Although diversity awareness accompanies more than race, race is often used as a focal point to acknowledge that racial inequity in American society is a foundational understanding that intersects all forms of diversity awareness. We could have been hiking, gardening, reading novels, relaxing, or otherwise engaged in a diverse menu of life activities, but instead, we had...

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