In Solidarity and Support of Asian American and Pacific Islanders

We are sickened and heartbroken by the recent attacks in Atlanta and to the rising tide of hate crimes that have targeted people of Asian descent in this country over this past year. The murders on Tuesday, March 16th, once again point to a central crisis in our nation, in which the evil of white supremacy is giving rise not only to abhorrent acts of dehumanization but also to tragic and horrific violence. We condemn this violence and the racist ideas it is rooted in, and we join others in making a call for cultural transformation. The violence and hatred must be seen into, uprooted, and transformed.

And so, with pain in our hearts, we extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of Yong Ae Yue, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Daoyou Feng and Xiaojie Tan. We grieve their unfathomable loss and wish so much that we could soothe their pain.

We also mourn the lives of Delaina Ashely Yuan and Paul Andre Michels, who were also killed in the shooting

As a community, we stand in steadfast solidarity with all people of Asian heritage in our sangha, in this country, and around the world. We want you to know that we see you, we honor you, and we support you. You belong. We vow to stand up for you, to have your back, and to work to transform the United States into a country in which you can live peace, freedom and safety.

At this time, as Zen Buddhists, we also wish to acknowledge the profound connection and gratitude we feel for our Asian dharma ancestors who developed the traditions that we draw upon today. Zen has roots in ancient China and Japan, and the wisdom teachings of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese ancestors have shaped our spiritual practice and transformed our very lives.

We stand with the statement below from the Buddhist Council of New York and are grateful for their leadership and initiative in responding to this violence.

Statement of the Buddhist Council of New York

“We are appalled by the recent Atlanta shootings that have left eight (8) innocent human beings deprived of their sacred life.

The Buddhist Council of New York (BCNY), which represents well in excess of 800,00 Asian Buddhists in the New York Metropolitan Area, has had a consistent policy of zero tolerance concerning violence against Asians. Despite our sincere efforts [to end violence and discrimination], the recent events in Atlanta again have shown our compassionate steps need to be amplified.

Towards that end, the BCNY has called for a “Love Movement & Walk” of support to be held in solidarity with the Asian Community, in which we walk with people of good will to highlight concerns about violence and discrimination against Asian Americans. Information about the vigil is forthcoming on the BCNY website and Facebook page.

We have made this call knowing the fierce urgency of the moment [and] the additional demands that we act and be in and harmony together safely.

We believe we can be safe and proactive. We must stand up for Asian dignity and our collective humanity.

We understand that Buddhist practitioners of all races and practices must be willing to endure some discomfort in our lives so that our Asian Brothers and Sisters who are now currently being terrorized in New York, Atlanta, and all across America, can rest assured that somebody is willing to put their body and being on the line to protect and advance their human dignity.

We invite people of other religious traditions and people of good will to join us.”

—The Buddhist Council of New York