My friend and Zen teacher Maia Duerr has written what may be the best analysis of the whole Charleston tragedy and the racist milieu that gave rise to it.
Using the context of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, Maia breaks it down in ways that offer deep insight into the social and individual aspects of this national problem. Though it is Buddhist to the heart, it transcends that, and so is easily understandable and meaningful for all, Buddhist or not. Maia includes some wonderful quotes from Dr. King and Wendell Berry, as well as the Buddha and others, that elucidate her message beautifully.
These understandings are what we as a society must embrace if we hope to come out of this misery of racist lostness.
“I believe it is essential for us to call this for what it is. This was not simply the act of one very disturbed young man. It has its roots in racial violence and distortions and inequities that have been part of the fabric of our country since its inception.”