It is interesting that the news media and entertainment establishment is narrating the idea that America is a racist society, especially against African Americans.
From my perspective as an Asian American, that was born in Japan, and brought to the states when I was 2 years old in 1957. America has come a long way from the days of slavery. I have heard of racism against the Japanese after War World II, and I have myself experienced racism growing up. I remember classmates calling me Jap, and nip in high school. I even remember graduate school where a professor wrote on the black board “ the Japs bombed Pearl Harbor on this day”. I remember in 1990, where I got on an elevator, where a white gentleman in a bathing suit began his racist rant against me. I was surprised that no one in the elevator came to my aide against this man. But again, these are remote instances, and I believe I have not experienced any racial incidences recently. Yes I believe, as long as we have any differences, there will be prejudice in society.
Compared to many nations in the world, America is a mixing pot of all races. In many countries like Japan and China, this is not so. I believe this is the reason God has blessed this country. This is a country that we can grow as individuals, because we have freedom. They come to our country not to be part of a religion or racial society, but to have opportunities. This is why so many people want to come to this country. Our laws and especially our constitution provides for the safety and protection of all of our citizens. The news media continue to divide us by emphasizing racial conflicts every day, but this is a nation that selected a black President. Could this happen in Japan, China or Russia?
Now from the perspective of the Tenrikyo religion, how can we participate in calming the so-called racial tension in this country? I recently opposed an article in the Tenrikyo newsletter supporting the black lives matter movement. Why did I do this? When we agree that black lives matter, we are leaving the notion that some lives may not matter. Of course all lives matters. God tells us that we are brothers and sisters. In the Ofudesaki, God tells us that our bodies are borrowed from God. Yes, we can move or act as we please; but when we are sick, we may not have full control of our bodies. When we physically pass away, we cannot take our bodies. Like everything we have, we borrow from God; this includes our bodies.
If our bodies our loaned from God, we are hurting God when we hurt others either physically or verbally. Do we want to hurt God? Do most people know that they are making God suffer when they hurt others?
Some may say, if our bodies are not ours, what is ours? It is our souls or hearts that are ours. It is the soul that resides in the borrowed body. The soul has no color. In the Ofudesaki, it appears that the soul or heart, separated from our borrowed bodies contain our thoughts like greed, regret, arrogance, covetousness, and self-love in different proportions. It also contains our fates that were created by acting on these thoughts in our past lives. It is these elements in the soul, that permeate our central nervous system, to give us control of our minds, and manifest our fate in our next lives. We reap what we have sowed. It is not surprising that our pending fate is associated with the existing dusts in our mind. How do we remove our negative fate and evil thoughts? All is in the Ofudesaki.
It is ironic, that usually the two opposing factions, for this instance, black lives matter extremist supporter, and racists may have something in common. They all have some of the dusts that God wants us to eliminate. They are on the same path of suffering because of these same thoughts. They may be on opposing side in their next lives, with the possibility of supporting the views of those they oppose now. To the historian, the opposing factions may appear to be the same, but their souls may have exchanged positions. Something to ponder!