Engaged Buddhism, Oprah Angel Network, and Renewed Spirits

I am sure that many of the protesters who may have financial challenges with making their bails and would be grateful for Oprah Angel network support, or some other financial foundation Oprah owns or supports that speaks to social justice and social change.

The protesters’ experience and willingness to protest injustice is as powerful for me as listening to Pema Chodron on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I am learning, through witnessing these events, how to be an engaged Buddhist, learning how to meditate with my eyes open toward a world that honors justice and peace.

I think that Oprah is so busy with all of the business endeavors that too much may be given to her current beliefs and thoughts. People change across time, and I do not want to approach her current beliefs as if they will not change, or treat them as non-dynamic objects.

I think there is a real danger in engaging in this type of mummification of people’s thought, particularly when it is a person of color, given the extreme pressure many of us face coping with racism and oppression. But with that said I believe we still can interrogate them and analyze them, but to do so with a lens of elastic forgiveness or gentleness –as all of us struggle with this existential, historical, and sliminess of white supremacy.

The problem of white supremacy, racism, police brutality, heteronormativity, patriarchical rule, and militarization of police in working with communities of color is both a domestic and international issue. Thus we face the complexity of addressing a global problem, although we are articulating it in response to our African American and people of color experience. I include in my definition of these groups a collective vision honoring our rights to be, (transwomen of color, differently abled bodies, and to articulate our wishes for the future life experience of children of color).

What I have learned is that the problem, white supremacy/racism/capitalism is so pernicious, like a social cancer, that all forms of treatments have to be called upon in order to make the cancer remit. These treatments require the coordination of a team, not just one doctor per se. And further I never got the impression that the protesters lacked leadership. In fact, the mobilization of so many people in so many spaces across so many time zones at once weakens the perspective that there is some form of chaos, disorganization, non-intent, and misdirection, as implied.

I am so saddened that all of this is happening, but for every cloud there is a silver lining and also feel proud and hopeful because of all the voices, chants, and protests. I only wish that I could wrap my big brother arms and hug all of the protesters for what they have showed me in these past few months and years.

As if I was sleeping in some sort of general anesthesized state, my fog was lifted from hearing #blacklivesmatter, #nojusticenopeace, #ericgarner, and so much more. Whatever comes from the protest, they have given me as much or more than watching OWN and Super Soul Sunday, they have renewed a part of my spirit and heart that I had left limping in the basement of the soul.

I posted the above response to a post from http://theculture.forharriet.com/2015/01/oprah-on-ferguson-leadership-will-beget.html. 1/4/2014 at 12:05 pm.


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