Seattle Insight Meditation Society adds our voice to the outrage and heartbreak over the continued violence, prejudice and oppression directed at our Black and brown fellow citizens. While the outrage has a new expression, this is not a new problem. Our Black brothers and sisters live with racism daily, fearing for their lives, struggling against discrimination, and being treated as second-class citizens. The barriers to success and financial stability are very real.
The shock and anger at George Floyd’s death are waking up a country that too easily forgets the daily oppression, racism, and violence that is a fact of life for our Black sisters and brothers. The comfort and security the dominant white culture enjoys are entrenched and risk putting us back to sleep. The unconscious white supremacy and fragility must be overcome. We must not go back to sleep.
We must seek to understand and heal the racism in our own hearts. We must act with wisdom and compassion, confronting and uprooting all aspects of racism. As Dharma practitioners, we are dedicated to understanding suffering and the end of suffering. The root of suffering is the illusion of a separate, isolated sense of self. Racism is a profound manifestation of the separation between self and “other”. By creating a separate self, we create an “other” to defend against, to oppress, to control. Healing racism is Dharma work. It requires inner transformation and outward action.
Please join us in taking concrete, specific steps.
Guiding Teachers and Board of Seattle Insight Meditation Society
Here are resources for both inner transformation and outward action. They offer a wide range to provide a starting point for your own work and engagement. Some information may be outdated.
Resources for Inner Transformation and Outer Action
There is a tremendous amount of resources to educate yourself in how to be an ally and not create harm in this time of transformation. Take the time to look through this long list and find areas that resonate with your heart.
ENGAGEMENT AND EDUCATION (COMPILED BY BARRE CENTER FOR BUDDHIST STUDIES)
CONTACT PUBLIC OFFICIALS
Our public officials respond to public input. Everyone’s voice is important right now.
BLACK-OWNED BOOKSTORES YOU CAN SUPPORT RIGHT NOW
- Consider multiplying your impact by ordering from a Black-owned bookstore
- Here is a great resource with a purchase link to many of the books above directly from a Black-owned bookstore.
RESOURCES TO BE AN ALLY TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY BY ASUW DIRECTORY OF DIVERSITY EFFORT
RESOURCES BY THE STRANGER
#BlackLivesMatter reading list
LETTERS FOR BLACK LIVES
Letters for Black Lives is a set of crowdsourced, multilingual, and culturally-aware resources to help talk about racial injustices with your own family/community. Translated into various languages
WHY IS THIS ALL HAPPENING?
This page on the 100 Year Hoodie website steps you through different layers of what has led up to this moment.
- Slavery by Another Name (PBS Documentary)
- 13th Directed by Ava DuVernay (can be found on Netflix)
- When They See Us (can be found on Netflix)
- Explained: The Racial Wealth Gap – Netflix
- Time: The Kalief Browder Story – Netflix
- Just Mercy – free to stream in June (YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play)
- Malcolm X (Netflix)
- Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea (Netflix)
- Teach Us All (Netflix)
- Hidden Figures
- If Beale Street Could Talk (Amazon Prime)
- I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon Prime)
- Notes from the Field: Full Film (HBO, available on YouTube)
In this adaptation of the Off-Broadway show, playwright Anna Deavere Smith dramatizes the accounts of students, parents, teachers and administrators affected by America’s school-to-prison pipeline, which pushes underprivileged, minority youth out of the classroom and into incarceration.
- They Gotta Have Us (Netflix)
- Hip-Hop Evolution (Netflix)