On Revisiting Being Called ‘Racist Cunt’, [Mis]Interpreting Zen Buddhism, and Excusing Abuse

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I continue to be mindful to a plethora of people in which mindfulness (at least how I perceive it to be) is not reciprocated. At this point, I’m trying to understand why I don’t have it in me to be ‘nasty’ and try to hurt their feelings like they have hurt mine.

Why do I actually care about the feelings of people who call me ‘racist cunt’ for doing critical race studies, or for other disgusting language used whenever I politely blog on the Sistah Vegan project?

In addition, outside of my blog space, why do I continue to believe that if someone is impolite, cruel, nasty, etc., I shouldn’t hate them or assume that their ‘bad’ behavior means they have a ‘bad’ spirit/soul? Why do I still believe and tell myself, “They aren’t really like that. Underneath all of the anger, hate, vitriol, etc., there is the capacity for mindfulness and unconditional love”?” As of this evening, I really question how I’ve been dealing with this phenomenon and wonder if I’m just too “stupid” or “naive” to realize I am accepting “abuse” and being an apologist for their behavior and rationalizing it through the logic of my Zen Buddhist practice.

Maybe I’ve completely misinterpreted the precepts of Zen Buddhism (?)

Short post, but it’s been on my mind this evening.






10 thoughts on “On Revisiting Being Called ‘Racist Cunt’, [Mis]Interpreting Zen Buddhism, and Excusing Abuse

  1. This is a point that I have stressed in yoga teacher training. Mindfulness is a wonderful thing, but it should not be confused with apologizing for someone’s abuse.

  2. I’m not Buddhist, so do not have the vocabulary as above. I think you are a decent person who has not been wounded in ways that you feel the only defense is offense. Or, you have been wounded but have the depth of character–perhaps an old soul–to have achieved the state of “there but for grace go I”–e.g. forgiveness– grateful for all favors.

  3. Perhaps you know that returning nastiness for nastiness gets you and the first offender nowhere…even if they do not believe as you do, that each of us possesses a spark of goodness somewhere underneath all that anger, hostility, pain. I do not believe that we open ourselves for abuse when we refuse to respond to cutting remarks with our own brand of nasty. We are robbed, give away our own humanity each time we let nastiness spill out of us toward another. We become like the one who seeks to hurt and offend us and are taken off-track from the harder work of being human, of living a fulfilled life, of living with peace, joy, contentment. There are those-and there will always be those!!–who so fear disruption to their world view/world order that they will do anything to prevent change–even living with the destructive, flesh- and soul-destroying cancer of their fear and anger. It takes great courage, strength, and patience to stand by one’s choice and decision to be human. Brava to you for deciding in favor of humanity!!

  4. I’m not a buddhist. I don’t think you are under any obligation to subject yourself to someone else’s verbal abuse. You are not just a buddhist but also a black woman. We, black women, experience micro-aggressions as we go about our day. We get enough abuse poured into our laps and over our heads. It must be bothering you or you would not have written a blog post about it. The simpest way to deal with trolls is probably to block them and keep it moving.

    1. I have begun to block as of a few days ago. I used to not censor and didn’t believe in censoring, but after receiving a sick response this afternoon, in which the poster talked about committing violence acts towards Black men’s genitals as a response to one of my post, I trashed their comment.

      Yes, this is bothering me, which is why I did post about it 🙂

      I’m still going through a never lending learning process of trying to find balance and harmony in the work I do, as a Black woman who is supposed to ‘know her place’ while pretending we all live in a ‘post-racial’ USA. Thanks for dialoging!

  5. Hi, so I realize the post is late but I just now found this. I’m not black, or a female in terms of born genetically wise al 5thhhough I’m in questioning of gender but I too am Buddhist and as much as I dislike saying this I’m really upset and unhappy with the black lives movement. From what I have been thought and also experienced with Buddhism and Zen is that all lives big and small, black, white or whatever else matter. I suppose this aspect of understanding does not sit well with everyone, and while I do know and understand that racism exists and happens, still there are plenty of other times and experiences where you may find the opposite experience. I’m not black but I am part Hispanic and fed experience first had many times in my own life but also experienced white friends as well experience things as well just because they do not fit the local standard. I often find myself in debate and arguments with people both distant and close to myself who think and feel I am dumb or neigive but I too know who or how I was prior to finding faith in buddhism, I suppose I think and wonder does it have faith in me as well. There is so much going on in the world right now due to everything that risk where to start, but am I wrong for not wanting take any side of political matter or race? Can we not all just get along?

  6. I hope im not comming off racist or offencive, im just confused as to why we think and feel we all need to claim anything as if there is actually anything to claim. I mean I understand living and having to live, I just do not understand why we need fighting and war. Perhaps I’m in too deep with study and practice, or not in deep enough. Honestly looking for constructive personal help and guidence.

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