TNI's Response to Violence Against Asian and Pacific Islander Communities

 

Dear Sangha,

Our beautiful dharma practice exists in our lives because of our Asian family members, friends, and teachers, who have shared the teachings of the Buddha with the Western world.The dharma provides us a way to support our wellness, and explore how we respond to the experiences of suffering of all beings. 

It is from this place in our hearts that we want to publicly denounce all forms of violence against Asian communities. We acknowledge that racism against Asians has always existed, and it has surged at an alarming rate since the beginning of the pandemic. Most recently are the horrifying events in Atlanta where six Asian women, and two non-Asian individuals, were killed by a white-male terrorist. Our hearts go out to all who have been traumatized by this act of hatred.

Canada has a higher number per capita of anti-Asian racist attacks than the U.S. (see Refinery 29 article on anti-Asian racism in Canada). Organizations such as covidracism.ca have started tracking this violence, which is underreported, and often ignored not only by mainstream media, but by our non-Asian community members as well.

We also know that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted the lives of Asian LGBTQ community members (see the Human Rights Campaign statement by Viet Tran) who have been underemployed, or unemployed during this time. Asian women, particularly those working in massage parlours and the sex industry, are violently targeted (see the community statement by the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter). 

We want to raise awareness in our sanghas around the prevalence of anti-Asian violence, and ask that you take some time to reflect on ways we unintentionally, or intentionally harm our Asian community members. It is also an invitation to consider the different ways we can offer support, educate ourselves, and take skillful action towards making impactful change.

It is with deep bows of gratitude and care for our Asian family, friends, dharma teachers, and wider community members that we express our desire to hold space, and unify our efforts in continuing to take steps towards ending hate.

The following resources are a starting point.

Fight COVID Racism 

Responding to Hate Toolkit

Butterfly Asian and Migrant Sex Worker Networks - Toronto

Project 1907

Chinese Canadian National Council - For Social Justice

Groupe d’entraide contre le racisme envers les Asiatiques du Québec (French) 

Asian Allies Friendship - Free service to help Asian folks in Montreal to feel safer as the move around the city

Bystander Intervention Training - Asian Americans Advancing Justice