This happened in the USA
Dear friends around the world,
I was surprised when I came across this post on Facebook. When I was growing up in US, there was a lot of racial slander, slurs and name calling I had to contend with. Sometimes they even escalated into violence towards me because I was Asian. I often had to fend off racists in school. Racial comments and slurs for me was nearly a daily affair. My religion was different too. That was not a big target, but it would occasionally come into play. Growing up in this type of environment, I am now sensitive to others experiencing prejudice due to race, culture, ethnicity, handicaps and religion. These days there is much prejudice in the world against many groups of people from another group and that is truly sad because people cannot help the race they are. Not that anything is wrong with any race. There are people who are segregated because of their religious faith, like what is sadly happening in the Tibetan communities with their faith in Dorje Shugden today.
Segregating or showing prejudice to others is part of human ordinary consciousness but when it gets extreme, we have to be careful. We naturally have personal bias/preference towards our family, culture, pets, property, art and thoughts but we have to realize we what prefer or like is not superior to another’s. We can have pride in who we are and what we are but never to the detriment of others. When it is to the detriment of others, that is when it’s extreme.
We should never disallow another person from being accepted into or as part of the mainstream because of their religion, spirituality, race, economic background. What kind of society says this person is bad or this person is good because of their religion? We should not repeat negative history again. We cannot say that certain individuals or groups of people cannot join schools, work, meetings, hospitals or even enter a restaurant because of their spiritual orientation. It is one thing to have an opinion of someone’s choice that is different than our own, but to advise against them or create bias against them is plain wrong. How can we not be friends with another person just because their religion is different? How can we unfriend them on social media because their religious orientation is something we have been told is ‘bad’? Why is it bad? How has it hurt us? What is bad and good? Many in history using the name of religion have hurt many in every religion. In history many religions were labeled ‘bad’ and this type of negative thinking went unchecked, creating so much pain as in the case of Jews and their extermination by the Nazis. You may not agree with Judaism but that does not mean Judaism is not a proper religious path for many which it is. It certainly does not give you the right to discriminate against them and bring so much violence and suffering to their practitioners. Jews are just one example among many examples. Throughout history people were killed in the millions because of their religious faith and suffered persecution. Their properties taken away, fired from their jobs, not allowed to marry outside of their faith and not allowed in many public places. This is absurd. This happened in the USA with black people because they were black. The Colonialists forced the beautiful African people over to be abused for cheap or free labor and when black people rebelled and demanded equality, all types of laws were enacted to segregate them. To stop them from being equal. That was a dark and ugly period of American history. It’s not over yet in America unfortunately, and this type of prejudice still goes on.
What I and others as Buddha Dorje Shugden practitioners have endured is tiny compared to all the sufferings many had to endure in America due to prejudice against their race, ethnicity, religion and color as well as all over the world. I am in no way criticizing but I must say honestly, even today as someone who follows a faith that includes the Buddha Dorje Shugden, I experience much prejudice, taunts and threats, and I am spat upon. Yes it is happening. I even have people unfriend me just because of my religious orientation on social media. Can you imagine someone you have been ‘in contact’ with via social media for years and they unfriend you just because you practice Dorje Shugden? As if nothing else I did, said or contributed to their lives matters at all. I am suddenly bad. A demon practitioner of some sort. Someone to be hated and ostracized. These are supposedly ‘normal’ and ‘sensible’ people. Amazing that I am summarized for who I am just by my religion. But it’s happening. See what I mean: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=58841.
It’s amazing; sometimes when you make a spiritual choice, some people can criticize and segregate you for it. As if your choice must be approved by them. If they don’t approve, they have some mandate to tell you that you are wrong and also can be rude for your choice of faith. If you don’t pray to what they pray to, then your ‘god’ is a demon or something. How archaic. LOL. I find that amazing. LOL again. And they say that you are in a cult because you choose to stick to what you choice, and you choose to follow what your teacher has told you. But THEY are not in a cult because they are only following what their teacher said, and their teacher tells them your practice is wrong. How come I am in a cult for following what my teacher tells me, but you are not in a cult for following what your teacher tells you? Interesting.
How can you come to my space, environment and life and tell me my religion is wrong? I didn’t hurt anyone with my faith and I don’t intend to. Whatever others of my same faith are or are not doing is not me. So don’t bundle me up into the same package. I am me and they are them. Besides, I am more than my religion. There are many aspects of who I am. So don’t just look at my spiritual choice and summarize me. You don’t know me. And you don’t have to know me. Also I owe nothing to you. I don’t need your approval for my spirituality. I would love to be your friend but let’s not let our spiritual choice ever get in the way. Be modern, be today and accept who I am as I don’t hurt anyone. So look at all the parts of who I am but the bottom line is my spirituality is my choice; do not ever presume to comment, disparage, judge or even think anything about it. I eat what I want. I dress as I like. Live where I want. Befriend who I wish. Write what I like on my social media space and pray to whatever I feel is working for me. Full stop! Thanks for letting me live my life as your opinion of it is not needed, requested or solicited and I say this with deepest respects to you. Do not ever tell people Dorje Shugden is bad and his practitioners have to be biased against. That is not spiritual, compassionate, ethical nor human.
Hatred because of my religious choice or race or culture should not exist anymore. People who encourage hatred, segregation, violence and disharmony should stop. Do not say that I have religious freedom and I can do what I want but then turn around and say I am worshipping something bad. And if I do not stop, you will not associate with me. Or that I should be segregated, hated, taunted and unfriended. That is emotional blackmail of a sort. Examine carefully the ramifications of what we are doing and the negative repercussions. I speak out for myself but also millions who are persecuted because they chose to follow Dorje Shugden’s peaceful form of worship. This persecution will stop because I have done nothing wrong and truth will prevail. What happened in the race riots against the black people of 1921 cannot in any way be compared to the sectarian hatred against Dorje Shugden practitioners of today. The race riots of Tulsa was horrible, tragic and should never be repeated. Black people if I may say humbly were forced to the US as slaves. They didn’t willingly go. Once they were emancipated from slavery, they were still not left alone to live freely. Sure the law said they are equals but in actual treatment they were not treated equally. They are still abused, hated and prejudiced against. It’s not like they wanted to be in the USA. Once there, generations later, they are alienated from their native countries, culture and customs in Africa and they have no choice but to adopt the prevalent US culture, ‘settle’ down and live. Yet they are even not allowed this dignity. Amazing. The millions of Shugden practitioners do not suffer as much as the beautiful strong black people of America suffered, but they ARE suffering. The Tibetan leadership says there is religious freedom yet if you are a Dorje Shugden practitioner you are spat upon, unfriended, not allowed in Tibetan public places and cannot join the mainstream. In principle you are free to practice Dorje Shugden, but in actual day to day life, you are emotionally blackmailed and threatened to stop your beliefs in Dorje Shugden. This time it’s because of religious beliefs many Dorje Shugden practitioners have to suffer prejudice and the Tibetan leadership can put an end to this through peaceful dialogue if they wish. All suffering based on color, ethnicity, religion, social background must stop. When I read what happened in Tulsa 1921, it reminded me of the millions today suffering prejudice, hatred and bias because they peacefully practice Buddha Dorje Shugden.
The worst race riot in US history
The Tulsa race riot was a large-scale, racially motivated conflict on May 31 and June 1, 1921, in which a group of white people attacked the black community of Tulsa, Oklahoma. It resulted in the Greenwood District, also known as ‘the Black Wall Street’ and the wealthiest black community in the United States, being burned to the ground.
During the 16 hours of the assault, more than 800 people were admitted to local white hospitals with injuries (the two black hospitals were burned down), and police arrested and detained more than 6,000 black Greenwood residents at three local facilities. An estimated 10,000 blacks were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire. The official count of the dead by the Oklahoma Department of Vital Statistics was 39, but other estimates of black fatalities varied from 55 to about 300.
The events of the riot were long omitted from local and state histories. Numerous witness accounts described airplanes carrying white assailants, who fired rifles and dropped firebombs on buildings, homes, and fleeing families. As unrest spread to other parts of the city, many middle class white families who employed blacks in their homes as live-in cooks and servants were accosted by white rioters. They demanded that families turn over their employees to be taken to detention centers around the city. Many white families complied, and those who refused were subjected to attacks and vandalism in turn.
“Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? To such extent you bleach, to get like the white man. Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other?”~MALCOLM X
Read more on how Dorje Shugden practitioners have to tolerate so much pain and prejudice: http://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/category/dorje-shugden
Please support us so that we can continue to bring you more Dharma:
If you are in the United States, please note that your offerings and contributions are tax deductible. ~ the tsemrinpoche.com blog team