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.