Statement on the protests

Zoketsu Norman Fischer
June 2, 2020

The bodhisattva vow commits us to caring for everyone’s short term and long term physical and spiritual benefit. Having done our best to cultivate this vow, and to continue to practice to strengthen and extend it, we feel deeply connected to the dramatic events now taking place in the streets of our cities.

We at Everyday Zen stand with the protestors who have been expressing their (our) grief and dismay over the death of George Floyd, an innocent man, in Minneapolis last week, yet another in a sorrowful and horrifying American lineage, centuries long, of black deaths at the hands of white people.

Racism and white supremacy have been baked into American institutions since the establishment of the Constitution. The time is soon coming when all of us will finally find this so intolerable and morally repugnant that it will have to end. These protests are a major event toward that day.

We are heartened that white people are, at long last, finally standing side by side with their black brothers and sisters, and, to the best of their ability, sharing their feeling of anguish at this injustice. As are many law enforcement officials, many of whom are speaking out.

It is perhaps unsurprising that this moment occurs at a time when we have a President who expresses the worst in us with maximum force, encouraging, as a natural reflex of his personality, the divisiveness, racism, and violence that has long been part of our national character.

As we stand with the protestors we stand against our President’s incendiary language and actions, and we hope and pray that the next election cycle will express a hearty repudiation of the rhetoric and mean-spirited policies that have been in force in our country since mid-January 2017.

It has been humbling and frightening to recognize that this is us. We look forward to the full-throated expression of the other side of our character — our love, our sense of justice, and our energetic pursuit of the common good.