Wednesday's HOT MIC

Wednesday's HOT MIC

Brad Warner, my favorite living Zen master, posted this today:

People will deliberately misconstrue what you say in order to try to defend the view that it’s OK to punch Nazis.

Right now, there is someone out there trying to spin my words into something bizarre. Maybe they’ll tell folks I said that being against racism is the same as hating minorities or something along those lines.

They’ll know full well I never said anything remotely like that, even as they’re telling their friends I did. And their friends probably won’t read what I actually said, anyhow. Or if their friends do read what I wrote, they’ll read it the way it has been spun for them. That’s how the game works.

And yet, as a person committed to the Buddhist Way, my opinion is that it is not OK to punch Nazis.

Self-defense is acceptable in Buddhism, just like it is under the law. But the mere seeing of a swastika or some other object designated as a “symbol of hate” is not enough. Nor is most of what the kids these days are calling “hate speech.” The justification of self-defense must never be easy.

Personally, I do not care if all of my Facebook friends and Twitter contacts get together and decide it’s OK to punch Nazis. It is not OK to me. So I will not participate.